Keeping it local is lekker

There was a time when having a “.com” or “.co.za” behind your website’s name was an absolute necessity. The popularity of these domain name extensions have over the years left fewer domain name options for new businesses.

A new shift in domain name extensions have created endless Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) options such as .net, .org and .biz. for startups and entrepreneurs. In recent years, even more gTLD options became available, including some that show where your business operates from. These are called geographic domain names. Some of the available geographic domain names that are relevant to the South African context include .joburg, .capetown .durban and .africa. And if you get most of your business from the local market, getting a local domain name might be perfect for you.

A geographic domain name can be a powerful asset to a business. Although search engines do not always take web addresses into account for SEO ranking, having a geographic domains name does influence visitor perception. Having .joburg or .durban behind your name shows that you are proud to be part of the community you service.

“Hyperlocal” is a trend that is still growing steadily. Recent studies show that 93 percent of consumers travel less than 20 minutes for everyday things like gyms, auto repair, grocery stores, etc. And if you look at Google statistics, the number of mobile searches with “near me” and “can buy” or “to buy” grew by 500% over the last 2 years. A geographic domain name can potentially give you the edge in searches like this.

If your business has branches in different cities or locations, it may be a good idea to register different geographic domains for each of them. You can also choose to get different extensions if you have different languages, needs, and niches within your broader target audience.

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