The Benefits of a .UK Domain Name

Before we get into the many benefits of registering a .UK domain name, let's review the types of domain extensions that are available. The main three we will go over are TLDs (top-level domains), ccTLDs (country code domains), and SLDs (second-level domains).

The part of a domain on the far right, at the very end, is called the TLD. The three most commonly registered TLD extensions are .com, .net and .org and all of these are readily available all over the world.

The ccTLDs are top-level domains that are assigned to specific countries or regions. Many of these domains are restricted to residents of the specific country, but not all have these restrictions.

SLDs are those domains having another part to the left of the TLD such as .co.uk which simply means that it is a commercial entity under the .UK registration.

Nominet Manages the .UK Domains

Nominet UK is a non-profit entity that was set up in 1996 to govern and regulate the use of the .UK domain. This group is in charge of the creation and selling of domain names under the various SLDs which have been established in the UK. No new direct .UK domains have been allowed since the establishment of Nominet so all registrations must be under one of the second-level domains.

The most popular of the second-level domains are .co.uk and .org.uk as while they have a specific designation, they are not restricted to those designations any more and you do not have to be a UK resident to register either of these. The .co.uk was originally set up for commercial entities and while it's no longer required, the vast majority of .co.uk. domains are business websites. 91% of domain registrations under the .UK domain are for .co.uk domains.

Why Register a .UK Domain Name?

Choosing a domain name that will best represent your business can be quite difficult. There are many factors that must be considered including trademarks, branding and consumer perceptions. Domains that are hard to remember, very long or have odd characters will make it more difficult to become well known to your target audience. You also want to be sure that the domain conveys the right image for your company and that's where the .UK domain name can help.

Whether you have a UK business or just do business with UK residents, it is very important to show that your business has a real, local Internet presence and the best way to do that is with a .UK domain. According to surveys, 72% of British Internet users will choose to open a .UK domain over any other domain extension, even the ever prevalent .com domain. Users say that seeing the .UK domain makes them believe that the website's content will be relevant to them, of local import and trustworthy.

Consumers actually state that they will look for .UK sites in the search results when they are looking for information. They perceive .UK sites to be more dependable and far more likely to have the information or product that they are looking for. 25% of all .UK domains are used for active e-commerce, selling products directly from the website. With more than 50b spent online in the UK annually (and growing), that is a good indication of the value of a .UK domain name for any business operating in or targeting the UK market.

This domain extension identifies your company to consumers as one that is based somewhere in the United Kingdom. Even if your company is actually based in the US or Australia, it's the consumer perception that matters. People feel more comfortable doing business with a local company, especially online, where many still hesitate to spend their hard-earned income. Anything that puts your potential customers at ease is something you should be doing.

The .co.uk. domain is particularly useful in that, although registration is no longer restricted to commercial entities, it remains perceived as such in the consumer's mind. The first thing that comes to their minds is that your website is professional and puts a corporate twist on the perception. Despite how many complain about the soulless corporation, the solid and successful perception still shines through.

Professionalism builds credibility with consumers, leading them to trust your company. People don't buy from companies they don't trust. Trust is the cornerstone of today's community-driven, relationship-developing marketplace.

Another reason to choose a .UK domain is that it's one that most consumers will guess if they forget your actual domain name. This is true of United Kingdom residents, first of all, but also those from other parts of the world that know you as a UK company.

Did you know that a .UK domain name will tend to rank higher in the search engines than other domains? Google will show UK searchers the most relevant results for their country and a .UK domain will show above a .com domain in many cases, given a similar level of content and quality. Organic traffic is much coveted and sought after, as it's highly targeted and costs a company nothing.

The Four .UK Domains You Should Focus On

There are four SLDs that are best suited for organisations:

With there being no restrictions, any group or company's first choice should be the .co.uk domain in order to take advantage of the high recognition of this domain with UK consumers. Even if your business is registered as a LTD or PLC, you should try to get the .co.uk first as the .ltd.uk and .plc.uk domains are not nearly as common.

Remember, there are many benefits to registering a .UK domain if you operate or do any type of business within the UK market. The consumer perceptions of professionalism, relevancy, credibility and trustworthiness are worth their weight in gold. The extra boost in search rankings and consequent gain in organic traffic is a fringe benefit that has a lot of value, as well.

Erin Gray is a professional author and webmaster who works for Discount Domains https://plus.google.com/105680080416880251513/posts


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