Every day, we all type URLs into our internet browsers and confidently navigate the web. While they might all seem the same to us, there are key differences in web domains that might impact their visibility and their authority. Two of the most common extensions are .com and .net, and they can be found all over the world wide web. When you are sitting down and preparing to choose the right web domains for your business, what do you need to know about the differences between .com and .net? Gauge Digital Media is here to help your business however we can.
What Are Domain Extensions?
When you purchase web domains, you will be able to choose from a variety of extensions that can coordinate with your brand and what you do. Some of the most common ones that you will see every day on the web include .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov and more. Unrestricted domain extensions are ones that anyone can buy, like .com, .net and .org. While a domain like .org is typically used by non-profits and organizations, there are no explicit restrictions on who can use it. However, there are restricted domain extensions that can only be sold to certain institutions. For example, only government organizations can use the .gov extension.
What Are the Differences Between .Com and .Net?
The two most popular extensions on the web are .com and .net. .Com domains have the connotation of being used in advertising, business and e-commerce as the “com” is short for “commercial”. The .net domain is short for “network” and it is most commonly used for email, internet infrastructure and internet providers. This is why a business like Verizon would use .net and a business like Netflix would use .com instead.
46% of all registered domain names end with .com, and many people naturally assume that a URL will end with it. If you are creating a website for your business, it’s a good idea to use .com for your web domains for easier marketing and promotion. However, how can you come up with the precise URL? In general, you should use your name and potentially what you do. If you are a bakery named Downtown Goods, downtowngoodsbakery.com is a better pick than downtowngoods.com. You should also try to use words that are easy to spell and understand to avoid people mishearing the domain and being unable to find your business.
In other cases, .net is more appropriate. If your company offers networking, database hosting, email hosting or other utility services, it’s a good idea to choose .net instead. Only 4% of registered domain names use .net, and sometimes it’s used in conjunction with a .com URL that forwards to the correct .net address.
The SEO Perspective
One of the many things you’ll want to consider when it comes to web domains is the SEO perspective. At the end of the day, there will not be a big difference between .net and .com for your SEO. Both of the domain extensions will offer you a top level web presence. It’s a better idea to spend your time focusing on the URL and name itself instead of just the extension.
How to Decide Between the Web Domains
There are a few key factors you should consider when you are choosing between a .com and .net domain:
- Think about the purpose of your website. If you are selling a product or educating your target audience, those are associated with different domains. A .com domain typically offers a product or service. It is also used for blogs, businesses and more. If you aren’t sure what to use, using .com is a good idea. A .net domain is typically associated with websites that offer internet-related services like email or internet service. If you cannot use the .com domain for your business because it is already taken, using .net or .org might be the best path forward.
- How well known is your company? How unique is your name? These are two factors that can have a big impact on how much a domain costs and whether or not it is available in the first place. If you have a generic business name, like Cupcake Bakery, you can expect that domain and common variations of it, like cupcake-bakery.com, to be taken. Gauge Digital Media can help your team to decide what URL is the best for your business and the best way to work your business name into your URL.
- How memorable are your name and URL? One of the biggest strengths of using .com for your web domains is that it is the domain extension most consumers assume your business will have. If you miss the tail end of a commercial, would you assume that you should visit localbank.com or localbank.net? Because this assumption is so ingrained in people, it’s a good idea to choose .com whenever possible.
Once you are ready to make a website, you can leave your domain choices in the hands of the professionals at Gauge Digital Media. We can walk you through all of your options and help you discern what is most appropriate for your target audience and your industry. In some cases, it might be appropriate to purchase multiple domain names or multiple versions of one domain to point to one central website and eliminate confusion. Let Gauge Digital Media make your website creation process easier.
We Are Here to Help You Optimize Your Website and Domains
Working with a professional digital marketing company is the best way to make the most of your website and all that Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn ads, Google Analytics and other digital advertising platforms have to offer. To learn more about the best digital marketing strategies for your company and reach a bigger audience than ever before, work with Gauge Digital Media. For a quote or to schedule a call, contact us at 443-376-7709.