Most domain name extensions – even the generic ones – are geared towards a certain market, industry or geography. By understanding your target market, you can register the right extension for you.
Well-Known Domain Name Extensions
Here are some of the most popular domain name extensions and what markets they work well with:
You could say that .COM is popular because .COM is popular – it saw huge initial success with the Internet boom, and became the standard domain name extensions for domains. It is the largest domain name extensions, and arguably the highest in demand. But most people are now familiar with other domain name extensions, and don't expect all domains to end in .COM. As a general rule, register the .COM if it is available, but don't worry too much if it's not available – many of them are taken!
.CA is known as Canada's domain name extensions, and holds a high regard in Canada. Studies show that Canadians trust .CA domains more than .COM, which is an important consideration for any Canadian brand, organization or entrepreneur. .CA also has more available domains than .COM. If you're a Canadian individual or organization, .CA is a great domain name extensions for any application – on its own, or in addition to others.
.NET, .INFO, .BIZ
.NET was a popular alternative to .COM in the late 90's, but has since become used less frequently. .INFO and .BIZ were likewise viewed as .COM alternatives as many of the top domain names became available. If the .COM you want is unavailable, these are good generic alternatives. If you're managing domains for a large brand, it's also worth registering in these domain name extensions to manage your brand.
.ORG – also a long-standing domain name extensions – is most popular with charities and non-governmental organizations. It has a good reputation for these purposes, and is a good domain name extensions for non-profit organizations.
.CO is a relatively recent up-and-coming domain name extensions. Originally the domain name extension for Colombia, it has since become "genericized" and available to the global market. .CO is a great alternative to .COM, with many more domains available. It is also shorter, and it used frequently for "shortening" URLs, such as Google's "g.co" and Twitter's "t.co". Because .CO is still new, it is often associated with up-and-coming businesses and startups. It conveys a new, dynamic personality, which may be a good compliment for your brand.
These are the best place to start when looking for a domain name extension for your online marketing needs.