968x504xhg-blog-image-top-domains.png.pagespeed.ic.aAkeDFB_RZ.jpgThe term “top level domain,” also known as TLD for short, refers to the final section of a web address. It’s basically the suffix that follows the period in a URL. So, for instance, in our website,www.hortongroup.com, the domain is “com”. “Hortongroup.com” is the second level domain. 

So, what other top level domains are there and – more importantly – why does this information matter for your business?

First, let’s take a look at the formal categories of TLDs, as defined by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ):

  • Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) – These are the most commonly used TLDs, including “com” (for commercial), ‘edu’ (for educational) and ‘net’ (for network).
  • Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) – Two letters long and identifies a specific country, such as .us for the United States.
  • Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD) – These domains are overseen by private organizations (i.e. ‘org’)/
  • Infrastructure Top Level Domain – ARPA (address and routing parameter area) is the sole TLD in this group.

Ok, now on to the good stuff: why domains matter for your business. First, with ICANN releasing more options in terms of generic top level domains, companies and individuals are now able to reserve URLs that are most relevant to their location and/or industry. And there’s really no limit to how many of these domains you can grab.

Owning more than one domain is especially helpful for businesses whose names don’t necessarily reflect their product or service. For instance, let’s say a bridal registry in Los Angeles called La Couture has a main URL of lacouture.com. Unless a prospect searches by that specific name, the site may not capture that lead if it isn’t properly optimized. To address this, the bridal shop might also reserve the domain bridalshopinla.com, which could redirect visitors to the main website.

Other benefits to having multiple domains include:

  • The option to make the name of your main site more memorable (versus descriptive).
  • Targeted marketing and more measurable results (each campaign can be assigned to a specified domain).
  • The best offense is a good defense. You have the option to claim certain domain names before your competition has a chance to.

Now that you have a better understanding of what domains are and the important role they play in marketing your business online, we recommend taking a few moments to review this in-depth resource that contains more detailed information on top level domains and how to use them.

Need help? Confused? Overwhelmed? We’re here to assist in any way we can. Give Horton Group a call today and let’s discuss how we can help.