Two years ago hundreds of new top level domains (TLDs) were introduced to give businesses a greater variety of choice when building a website to target at a specific audience.
There were plenty of convenient extensions added which on the surface were seen as being a bit better than generic options like .co.uk or .com.
Everything from .email to .marketing were introduced at this time, but a new survey from Nielsen suggests that adults are not really engaging with these TLDs. In fact 54 per cent of the respondents to the study said that they were not even aware that the new group had been introduced.
This might make it sound like businesses should steer clear of these TLDs and instead opt for the likes of .org, which are recognised by 98 per cent of web users and also receive a higher level of trust as a result. But are there benefits to taking heed of the new TLDs when it comes to website creation and online marketing?
Consulting with companies like viziononline.co.uk, which offers web design in London, is a good way of getting advice that is specific to the circumstances of your organisation. But it is also essential to understand where TLDs are succeeding and where they leave a lot to be desired.
It is worth pointing out that since the new TLDs have only had 24 months to bed in, rather than enjoying the decades of widespread exposure of established elders, there is still a lot to think about in terms of the future trajectory of these domains.
In fact the study revealed that .email in particular is proving to be popular, achieving the highest level of awareness amongst respondents while still managing to stand out from the crowd of legacy domain extensions.
The second fastest growing TLD in terms of awareness was .link, just ahead of .club in terms of awareness and trust levels. And so even if businesses are sceptical about the short term benefits of making a new TLD part of their online marketing push, there are likely to be enhancements that come into play further down the line as the reputation of these domains expands.
Respondents to the study were also asked to identify the words and phrases that they most associated with the new TLDs, with people picking up on the fact that they are both useful and informative, as well as being a practical way of identifying appropriate sites.
Of course businesses may also be focusing on other elements of online marketing, such as catering to the impact that real time responses to breaking news stories can make on sales.
In spite of these emerging techniques for bolstering the profile of a business online, for website creation it certainly seems sensible to think about how a TLD is chosen and giving real thought to the newer options will put companies in a strong position.