Maybe you’ve heard of or visited a website that uses a new .boats or .yachts domain name. Consider master.yachts for example, who transitioned to their new TLD name in 2017. Other companies have started to follow suit, including Sea Ray and Bass Pro Shop, who have purchased a combined 66 new .boats and .yachts domain names. What’s the story behind these names? Why are these new URLs something your business should consider?
In 2015, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) introduced over 500 new endings for URLs-- also known as top level domains, or TLDs-- to help create more opportunity in the domain name market. These are meant to give relevant alternatives-- like .boats and .yachts-- to traditional domain endings like .com and .net. Even if you are are happy with your current domain name, Google recommends choosing a new TLD for your business based on five key benefits:
A new, shorter and more descriptive domain name allows you to quickly communicate the value of your business and the services you provide. For example, MikesBoatSales.com would be more quickly described and better branded by using “Mikes.Boats” as a URL instead.
Because these new domain names are relatively new to the market, there is great opportunity to seize valuable online real estate. For example, newyork.yachts or bargain.boats would provide great SEO opportunities to reach new customers looking for the services you provide. These short, relevant, descriptive names are simply no longer available in .com and .net.
- Brand Protection
Even if you are happy with your current traditional domain name, it’s a good idea to secure your company’s .boats or .yachts URL now. Purchasing your name quickly prevents the competition from registering your name or similar competitive URLs, and it also allows you to take advantage of early domain market conditions and pricing. You can always redirect your new TLD to your current website if you’re not ready to change over your web address.
Less characters means easier to remember-- particularly when you are using an email address. As in our earlier example, referring a client to firstname.lastname@example.org takes more characters and is more difficult to recall than email@example.com.
Remember when you first heard about mobile websites and wondered if it was something you needed to worry about? These new TLDs give us a chance to learn from the past. According to Google, “new TLDs will eventually be as common as traditional domain endings”. Purchasing a .boats or .yachts domain today prepares you for the future and sets your business apart as a trend-setter in the industry.
The biggest question about new TLDs is regarding organic search results. Do new TLDs help improve your website’s SEO value and ranking? Currently Google considers all domain endings as equal. However, new domain pioneers including .Cars and .Motorcycles have published case studies proving how their new domain endings have helped companies beat their .com competitors in search results right from the start. While Google doesn’t specifically give preference to new TLDs yet, industry-specific domains have been proven to make your site more relevant in search results.
Still have questions about new domains? Dominion Domains has a team of experts that can help. Contact us at (757) 774-6272.
Through this partnership, the MRAA and Dominion Domains have created a three-part publication series designed to lead marine retailers through the three-step process of evaluating their websites, using the results of the evaluation to realign their website strategies, and then finally taking action to implement the changes necessary to improve their results.
The first digital publication in the series – "Evaluate Your Website’s Domain, Design and Digital Content" – is available at www.mraa.com/page/guides.