For many businesses, the .co.uk domain has been a staple throughout the internet’s evolution. It identifies a brand as being both British and corporate, as opposed to a charity (.org) or a public sector body (.gov). Since .us never really caught on in America, .co.uk is one of the world’s best-known country code top-level domains. According to internet analysts Statista, 10.68 million websites currently end in a .uk domain, most of which will be .co.uk. The only countries with higher numbers of ccTLDs are China (.cn) and Germany (.de).
Planning to buy the .uk domain
If you plan on appealing to UK residents or your business mostly caters to UK clients, then a .uk domain name is a smart choice.
On the other hand, buying any ccTLD should really be based on the following:
- Brand Relevancy
Buying specific ccTLDs won’t affect search rankings directly. However, each ccTLD provides a certain level ‘trust’ and credibility when reaching out to customers within that given country. So if you have a fashion brand for example and you buy a .UK domain, more people within the UK will think that it is a local brand and might be inclined to purchase.
Why does the UK need a new domain?
The shorter .uk domain was released on June 10th 2014. Nominet, the official registry for UK domain names, claims that the .uk domain is for everyone, and not restricted to particular kinds of website. This is different from the popular and trusted .co.uk and .org.uk domains, which are, generally speaking, reserved for businesses and organisations respectively. This may be one reason that the .uk domain was released, another being that having a .uk address gives a website the opportunity to create a sense of local identity, and gain the trust of web users.
If an international organisation with a branch in the UK has a .uk address, not only will their Google search results be higher in the UK, but UK users are more likely to visit it. If a shop has a .uk domain, it shows the online shopper that this shop is based in the UK, and less likely to charge more on those dreaded shipping costs. The same is true for bloggers, for example, who may wish to highlight their UK relevance with a .ukdomain, and secure or grow their UK readership.
Another reason may be that new domain names mean more space on the web – with an already huge number of UK domains, there needs to be lots of domain possibilities so that new websites can be launched. This is, of course, good news, but existing websites do need to be careful that their established domain isn’t snatched away by a new website, or worse, targeted by cybersquatters – see below. This is why it’s highly important to make use of your website’s reserved .uk domain before time runs out.
What’s the benefit of a UK domain?
- UK domains add local relevance to your online identity. Users, and customers, will immediately be able to see that you’re a UK brand
- 4 in 5 people in the UK have a preference for websites with a UK domain when searching or buying online
- UK domains may rank higher for searches made in the UK
- Be part of a growing market: the UK’s Internet economy is growing at a much faster rate than the wider UK economy, meaning it never has been more important to get you or your business online
- .uk is new, punchy, and very versatile. Consider .uk if you’re looking to move your local business online, start a new venture, or create a portfolio.