Benefits of New gTLDs for Small Businesses
ICANN’s new gTLD program is going to bring about significant changes to the Internet. As hundreds of new gTLDs are introduced in the not-too-distant future, a new era of opportunity will open for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises, individual users, cities, social groups, organizations of all kinds, and communities all over the world.
Two of ICANN’s primary goals with this new program are to create a “platform for innovation” and increase competition within the Internet’s domain space. The new gTLD initiative could have a very positive impact on small businesses all over the world. In fact, this could be the perfect time to start rethinking your current business plan or consider launching a new business. Either way, you can participate in and benefit from this exciting new era of the Internet.
Let’s consider some of the benefits the new gTLD program will likely create for small businesses:
Opportunity and Choice
To date, there are only 21 top level domains. Of those, only a few are available for use by the general public. Choice has been significantly limited in the past few years as everyone has been competing for .com and other traditional TLDs. With so much competition it’s become almost impossible for newer small businesses to obtain the domain name of their choice. Many have had to settle for a less desirable domain that is either quite long, misspelled (e.g. flickr.com) or just plain awkward. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult for people to remember your domain.
With hundreds of new TLDs coming available, there will be much less competition and tons of opportunity. Not to mention, many of the new gTLDs will be much more relevant to your business. For example, if your current domain is JoesAutoDealershipNewYork.com , you will likely be able to improve it significantly. For example, it could be changed to something short and sweet like Joes.auto or geared to the local market like JoesAuto.nyc. Both are short, catchy, and very easy to remember!
Branding and marketing
A short, catchy domain name is perfect for branding and marketing. For example, the popular dating site “Match.com” has turned their domain name into their brand. You never hear it called “Match” in any of its marketing campaigns. You could do the same with your business name, especially when it’s attached to a TLD that instantly tells people what your business is all about (e.g. Joes.auto).
Reach your target market
The new gTLDs will allow you to reach your target market more effectively. For example, if you want to focus on your local market, then a city TLD would be perfect. Your target market will know that you’re located in the area in which they’re looking. If you want to target a cultural group or region, then a TLD like .scot would be a good fit. By choosing the appropriate gTLD for your business, such as a niche TLD (.health), interest TLD (.golf), cause TLD (.green), or social group (.gay) you’ll increase the likeliness that your target market will find you when they’re searching online.
The opportunities for small business in this coming era of expanded domain space are huge. The program is initiated for ‘Innovation’ and no other group can benefit more from this than small businesses, startups and entrepreneurial ventures.
New Top Level Domains will create enormous opportunities for branding, niche target marketing, geo marketing, There is no way to predict the new and ingenious ways fresh minds will find to use these new domains.
More Opportunity and Choice
There will be new gTLDs of all flavors to choose from, at prices lower than you could find in existing gTLDs. Dot .COM names are mostly sold now, making it difficult to find a good name that fits your business at a reasonable price. Simply allowing so many new choices will fill the market with fresh, newly available domain names upon which to brand and build new business ventures.
Think Global, Act Local
The latest marketing trends are becoming more personalized, localized and targeted. Search engines are also moving in this direction, delivering more specialized and localized results to their users. There will be many new gTLDs that will facilitate target marketing through geography .london, culture .SCOT, interest .SPORT, Community .GAY and more ! It is the hope that these specialized TLDs will usher in a more intuitively orchestrated navigational architecture to the internet.
Protecting Your Personal or Business Identity
Whether you own trademarks or not, there may be need for you to be vigilant about new gTLDs to protect your business name, professional or business identity in some of the new Top Level NameSpaces. There will be New gTLDs for almost every profession or occupation. Should you register your personal name or business name in .ART, .MUSIC, .LAW, .DOCTOR, .AGENCY, .CONSULTING or any one of hundreds of new domains?
It would be advisable to make yourself aware of all the New gTLDs that are being introduced to know which may apply to you. What are the implications if someone else registers your business name in your industry gTLD?