Building a regional clientele by registering a ccTLD
Ok, your business plan is complete, printed and ready for presentation. Your target audience is probably the second subject on your table of contents. You’ve already figured out age and gender of your customers and their location. Without this in your blueprint your business is meaningless – to put it the simplest way.
The time has come to promote your company on the World Wide Web and just as you’ve thoroughly determined your target market – the group of customers that will bring revenue into your company and hopefully keep it alive, the same effort or even more should be placed into making a decisive decision about your TLD name (top-level domain) extension.
Many people are of the notion that investing their money in the .com domain is worth it, because that’s the one lots of people assume when typing in a domain name, due to its popularity over the years. However though it is true that many international businesses have thrived with the .com domain, there are many which are steady with other top-level domains. For example, icann.org, and slideshare.net. What if your target market is solely regional? Does it matter which type of TLD extension you use? This is where purchasing a ccTLD (country-code top-level domain) is just as influential as purchasing generic TLDs.
CCTLDs are two-letter second level domain name extensions such as .bb, .tt, or .jm that was intentionally created to represent a particular geographical location. This type of TLD is to identify the country in which the business (individual or corporate) is located. If your business is set to be in Saint Lucia you might want to register for .lc domain. Here’s a fair reason: using your local ccTLD indicates that your brand is part of a nationality. People feel good knowing that they can trust a company, especially when they come from the country that the ccTLD is representing, therefore giving the business good credibility. Furthermore having a country domain offers security and stability. It has been said that each ccTLD is unique but are seen as a collective. Your .lc domain is rare because there are no other countries where that domain extension is registered. There will be many other St. Lucian based businesses that will have the same ccTLD. Fact is .lc domains are intended to represent St. Lucia only!
In addition adopting a ccTLD is impactful for a higher ranking SEO (search engine optimization) purposes particularly for country-based search results. Google Webmasters Central Blog clearly stated that search engines use this as a strong sign that your website is intended for a certain country. However, most country domains are available freely to anyone who is willing to pay for them. Therefore some domains can be treated like gTLDs. For example the .tv is the ccTLD is for Tuvalu, however the domain name extension was also bought for MTV an American based television channel (http://www.mtv.tv/) If you want to build a regional clientele to achieve great benefits like geographical representation, credibility, affiliation, and domain security you should look into securing your ccTLD now!