Do users care about the domain suffix (“.com/.org”), also known as a Top Level Domain, or TLD? Many marketers and domain registrars will tell you “no” – however, a recent study seems to indicate otherwise, and while it mostly focused on domain-specific TLD’s, there are some solid points for marketers to take note of.
Here are 4 things you must know about a domain name suffix.
1. User’s Don’t Trust Non-Traditional TLD’s
Q: “www.bestquotes.insurance” – based primarily on the URL, would you trust this site?
When asked this question, 62% of Americans said they would not trust this domain, looking solely at the URL.
If you’re considering starting a new website or undergoing a rebranding effort, the data strongly suggests you use a traditional TLD such as “.com” or “.org” for trustworthiness.
If you must go non-traditional, dig deep into your user base for validation with focus groups.
2. For A Non-Profit, Choose “.org”
Q: Which Domain Name Is Likely A Nonprofit?
- I’m not sure
Nearly 93% of respondents saw a “.org” TLD as one that is likely to be registered to a non-profit.
5% said they didn’t know, and around 2% said a “.com” was correct.
Clearly, when registering a non-profit, claiming the “.org” has some built-in credibility and perceptions.
3. “.EDU” Domains Are More Trustworthy
Q: In an unsolicited email about water quality, which email address appears more trustworthy?
89% of respondents said that an unsolicited email about water quality appears more trustworthy from an “.edu” than from a “.com”.
It clearly shows once again that respondents pay attention to a suffix.
4. Country Code Domains (“.CA”) Imply Locale
Q: Where Is www.eeeeeeee.ca located?
- I Can’t Tell
Over 50% of respondents identified Canada as the correct TLD, although. When users were segmented by country, Americans responded with California slightly more than average, suggesting that American users weren’t as familiar with the “.CA” TLD.
Summary & Takeaway
It’s clear that users pay attention to domain suffixes, and build up notions and ideas about what they trust and do not trust. Keep this data in mind when rebranding or creating a new site or blog.
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