To be successful in today’s ever-changing world, you need to be on top of new trends. More precisely, online trends. If you register the perfect domain name for your company, you can increase your chances of attracting customers or clients to start building a long-term relationship with them. But which domain extension should represent your brand? What is most suitable for your business? And, should you go with a standard option like .COM and is your .COM domain name even available?
Most countries offer a country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) like .DE for Germany, .UK for United Kingdom, or .RU for Russia, and the number of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) like .BEST, .APP, or .TECH is also continually growing. But why are so many tech companies and start-ups turning to the .IO domain in particular? Read on to find the answer to this question and why you should consider opting for a .IO domain name, too.
Domain Name 101
When you register a domain name, you do not just have to decide for the name itself but also for the domain extension, which is the last part of your name. There are different types of TLDs, but the most common extensions are organized into ccTLD, gTLDs (which include iconic .COM or .NET extensions), and new gTLD.
While the latter is growing in popularity because of the endless variations that are possible, some ccTLDs offer great ways to be creative as well. For example, the .AI domain for Anguilla was adopted by companies that specialize in Artificial Intelligence, and the .TV domain for Tuvalu is most notably recognized as the domain hack for television.
Experienced domain name providers like 101domain offer a wide selection of domain extensions to choose from. Do some research and discuss it with your team, picking the right domain name extensions can be vital for your online success. The team of Technos Amigos recently published an article about creative techniques to come up with a domain name. It can help you to find the ideal domain name for your brand.
What you need to know about the .IO Domain
Several years ago, the .io domain started to become more and more popular among the tech industry. Initially, it was only assigned as the country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory. Still, over the years, it has become synonymous with technology and a widespread domain extension among start-up firms.
The .IO domain extension opens up new opportunities to develop and promote a tech business worldwide.
The industry adopted .IO as a reference to the term input/output (IO), which describes data transfers to or from a computer and to or from another device. Now, it is a popular choice for the technology sector and an excellent choice for building a web presence for a very specific audience. It is a fantastic way to signify to anyone seeing the domain name that the website’s content is related to the tech industry. It can help to establish an emerging brand as a notable tech company or lead a business to finally reach its desired breakthrough.
Why you should get a .IO domain name for your (tech) business
There are many reasons to choose an .IO extension over the great variety of other domain extensions. But it is not just a great domain name extension for start-ups, a lot of established companies like Coca Cola or Canon already use their brand name in combination with .IO.
In the following, we will sum up the most apparent motives for companies that decide for the ccTLD:
- Availability of domain names
If you consider the amount of registered .COM websites, it is not surprising that lots of desired domain names are already taken. Some companies choose a .IO domain over a traditional ending simply because it is available and the next best thing after their first choice. Since the ccTLD used to be only registered by individuals or businesses based in or with connection to the British Indian Ocean Territory, the number of domain names that were taken was not very high before the tech world started to use it. Therefore, it provides a higher possibility that the name you want for your brand is still available.
- Creativity with domain hacks
Domain extensions can also be used for “domain hacks,” which means to use a word and include the extension to create a unique URL that is easy to remember. You can use the ccTLD to create a domain name like tr.io, pat.io, cheer.io, portfol.io, and much more. Just be creative and play around with some words or phrases that end in the letters io.
Google has categorized the .IO domain among the generic country-code Top-Level Domains (gccTLDs). The search engine recognizes that if the ccTLD is used outside of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it likely does not target this specific geographic region. That being said, it will not negatively influence the organic search traffic to a website. Instead, the site will be shown as locally and internationally significant.
The .IO domain has only two characters, which makes it a shorter option than some of the other available extensions. The shorter and more memorable your domain name is, the easier it is for users to find you and to type the URL into a browser.
- Branding with domain names
The innovative .IO domains are widely known by tech-savvy people and the audience you most likely want to attract. It is seen as a significant advantage if your domain name appeals to the tech industry and it can be used as a branding strategy for your business at the same time. It offers the unique opportunity to identify your brand as part of the tech scene.
What should you be careful about?
At this time, the .COM domain still has the best reputation among all domain extensions. The .IO domain is gaining a reputation as well, but it will take more time for people to recognize its real value.
Most companies want a .COM domain because it is the most popular extension on the market. A lot of people do not yet recognize the importance of new gTLDs, ccTLDs, or gccTLDs. Therefore they are not as popular at the moment.
Opting for a domain name with an IO. extension can lead to users thinking that your business has only been on the market for a short time. This can help you establish a fresh and hip brand, but it can also be a signal of a weak image.