Nomensa reports that ‘the .co.uk domain name is now an essential part of a company’s brand presence in the UK’, according to research by Sedo (a global domain name marketplace, funnily enough).
I’m not that surprised, really. For many global companies, for example, a regional domain name is a key part of their localisation strategy.
Inspires trust and creates credibility
The Nomensa article goes on to say that ‘the research, undertaken at Internet World 2009 revealed that two thirds of respondents said the domain extension inspired trust and security in a website’s credentials. In addition, 45 per cent of respondents highlighted that .co.uk was their primary domain’.
You’ll notice that this website’s domain name is .co.uk too, which was a deliberate choice on my part. I freelance from Spain and I felt sure that a .es domain name would put some potential clients off, rightly or wrongly (well, wrongly in fact).
Also, I think (correct me if I’m wrong) but .co.uk sites rank more highly in an English-language search than .es, for example. This is important, because my target audience is still the UK market. Once I translate my site into Spanish, I’ll register it with a .es domain for the same reasons.
.com still popular though
‘What about .com?’, you’re asking (maybe). Apparently, it ‘remains the most popular domain extension overall, with 80 per cent of businesses using .com [as] their web address’.
Again, people perceive this in different ways too; for me, .com leads to the impression of a large company or a global organisation. So, even if .com had been available (it isn’t) for my site, I’d still have chosen .co.uk.