Geographic domains: What’s all the fuss about?

It’s incredible to think it’s been three decades since symbolics.com became the first .com domain name ever registered. Since then, so much has changed. In 1985, the internet was considered more of a plaything.

Fast forward to today, and with an estimated 115 million registered .com domain names, it’s integrated into almost everything we do.

While .com is ingrained in the mind-set of internet users, we’re now seeing an expansion in new geographic top-level domains (geo TLDs), which are changing the landscape of the domain name market.

For example, a few months since .wales and .cymru were announced, more than ten thousand individuals and businesses have registered one of the domains, revealing a significant level of demand and further demonstrating the growth in the power of identity on the internet.

It’s been suggested by some that country-specific suffixes are irrelevant, as users often don’t type in specific addresses, instead using search engines. So why are .wales and .cymru seeing such success?

Here are some of the reasons I hear from customers:

Identity

The domains appeal to a registrant’s identity, associating their brand with Wales by fostering some national pride. Some have described them as signs saying “we’re from Wales, just like you!” as they reinforce their presence and relevance in and to Wales. A 123-reg survey found that more than 50% of Welsh Businesses believed that it was important or very important for businesses to demonstrate their Welsh identity.

In today’s sprawling world, .wales and .cymru make the world local again, enabling groups to share interests and interact on a regional basis.

Innovation

They provide the business community with a longstanding digital advantage that’ll ensure the continued development of the digital economy in Wales. Registering a .wales and .cymru domain name offers individuals and firms a new and innovative way of doing business online.

Furthermore, a .wales/.cymru web address is an important part of a registrants’ digital marketing strategy. I believe that a .wales/.cymru address improves the online experience for visitors, giving them a competitive edge in Wales’s business landscape.

Welsh web addresses are perfect for savvy early adopters keen to make digital history and take advantage of the benefits the domain name offers. It’s important for firms to innovate and engage online, improving consumers’ online experience.

Targeted

Through .wales and .cymru, big and small businesses can attract a consumer in a way that was never possible before. Navigating the web through .wales and .cymru domain names will be the easiest way to identify organisations serving the Welsh community and provide savvy businesses with an opportunity to dominate an online industry market.

Connectivity

With thousands of registered names, the domain is about connectivity. I see businesses intentionally picking names that are targeted at themselves and their communities, creating meaningful interaction between Welsh people and organisations.

They allow people with similar geographical interests to brand themselves through a single domain. The new domains stand out for their national distinction, and the fact that they’re not limited to businesses and groups operating inside the country makes them even more accessible. It’ll be really exciting to see how companies embrace them and how they will impact their business.

Nick is currently digital director at 123-reg.co.uk, the UK’s largest domain register. As the founder of a number of hugely successful businesses in the last twenty years, he understands the importance of growing a start up firm from the very beginning.

Image credit: Nominet.org