When moving from North Shore Data, our journey through rebranding introduced us to the emerging world of new Top-Level Domains (nTLDs).
In an ever-evolving digital landscape, a company’s domain name is more than just an address; it is an essential part of its identity and branding. When North Shore Data was set for relocation and rebranding, we had to carefully choose a new name. ‘West to East Consulting’ emerged as the winner, and serendipitously, this was around the same time when ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was launching a plethora of new Top-Level Domains (nTLDs).
The New TLDs:
Instead of the typical .com or .net, we faced a smorgasbord of options such as .app, .tech, .blog, .store, and even location-specific ones like .nyc or .london. There were options like .design and .media for those in the creative field. Non-profits had .ngo, while tech enthusiasts could go for .io. Our eyes were set on a .consulting domain that perfectly aligned with our services. So, w2e.consulting was born. For a comprehensive list of the new TLDs, you can visit http://www.name.com/new-gtld.
On the surface, nTLDs seemed like a gold mine. They allowed businesses to have more relevant and often shorter domain names. It was an opportunity to cut through the clutter and align your domain with your industry or services more closely. The specificity of nTLDs could serve as an instant identifier of what a company does. Furthermore, Google even confirmed that nTLDs would be on equal footing with traditional ones regarding search engine optimization.
However, the path was not as smooth as we expected. We switched our email addresses to the new domain and quickly encountered a significant issue. Many online forms and systems were not recognizing our .consulting emails as valid. It turned out that the adaptation to these new domains was not as widespread as we had hoped. While we were ahead in embracing the latest trend, the rest of the internet was taking its time catching up.
The Cost Factor:
Another aspect worth mentioning is the cost factor. While some nTLDs are priced similarly to .com domains, others can be substantially more expensive. It’s important to consider not just the initial registration cost but also the renewal fees, which in some cases, can be steep.
After some consideration and weighing the pros and cons, we decided that while being forward-looking is good, practicality couldn’t be ignored. We decided to revert to a .com domain. It might not have had the unique appeal of .consulting, but it ensured compatibility and wide acceptance, which was crucial for business operations.
Importance of SEO:
Understanding that having a .com or .net domain doesn’t mean your website will automatically appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Proper SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is essential regardless of your chosen domain. SEO is an amalgamation of techniques that improve your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. Some of the core SEO techniques include:
Keyword Optimization: Researching and using relevant keywords in your content to help search engines understand what your site is about.
Quality Content: Regularly publishing valuable and engaging content that addresses the needs and interests of your audience.
Mobile Responsiveness: Ensuring your website is user-friendly on mobile devices, as this is a ranking factor in search engines.
Page Load Speed: Optimizing your site to load quickly, as search engines often penalize slow-loading pages.
Backlinks: Earning links from reputable websites pointing to your site, which search engines interpret as a vote of confidence.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing elements on your web pages, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text.
Technical SEO: Ensuring your website’s structure is optimized for search engine crawling and indexing.
Remember that SEO is an ongoing process; achieving high rankings takes time and consistent effort.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying adaptable is key. Balancing innovation with practicality can help navigate the winding roads of the online world. Embrace the possibilities with new TLDs but keep your feet firmly on the ground. Pay attention to compatibility issues, costs, and, importantly, invest time optimizing your website for search engines, irrespective of the domain. Your domain name is just the starting point; building and maintaining a robust online presence is an ongoing journey.