Choosing a business domain name is an essential step in creating your company and search engine optimisation. People browsing the internet will judge your company by its domain name and extension, so it’s vital that you carefully consider your options before deciding which domain extension to choose.
Not all domain extensions are built equal. Some domain extensions command a high level of authority and credibility. For example, a domain name ending in ‘.org’ is likely to be a website for a nonprofit or a community-driven organisation. Those who see the website in the search results will likely deem it legitimate because of its domain extension.
The bottom line is that your domain extension should reflect what your company stands for and help improve your online visibility. So, which is better for SEO: .com or .co.uk?
What is a Domain Extension?
A domain extension is the last few letters in a domain name. For example, our domain name is www.marwickmarketing.com. The ‘.com’ is our website’s domain extension. There are over 1,000 possible TLDs to choose from, but the most popular option is .com. Businesses in the UK must weigh up the pros and cons of choosing either a .com or a .co.uk domain extension. Both .com and .co.uk domain extensions have their benefits:
The Benefits of .com
The .com domain extension is the most used top-level domain (TLD). It commands authority because it is the oldest and largest domain extension.
If your business needs to target an international audience, always choose a .com domain to ensure your website is easily accessible.
Customers are familiar with the .com domain, which will heavily influence their browsing decisions.
A .com domain shows that your website is credible and authentic. It shows that your website is well-established and reliable.
No Domain Rules
The .com domain does not have any specific rules attached to it like some TLDs. For example, if you want to register a location-specific domain, you must be located in that country.
Google ranks websites in various ways. One way is the number of user interactions with a given link in search engine results—the more interaction with your website, the higher your rank.
The Benefits of .co.uk
The .co.uk is suitable if you plan to target a UK audience exclusively.
If you wanted to choose a .com domain, but it was already taken or too costly, a .co.uk domain might be better. More often than not .co.uk domains are cheaper than their .com counterparts.
If your business is hoping to attract more regional traffic to your website, a .co.uk domain is a good choice. If you ship goods, customers visiting your website will see that it is local, implying that you offer a lower cost of shipping and a shorter shipping time than a .com website.
What If .com or .co.uk are Unavailable?
If .com and co.uk domain extensions are unavailable for your chosen domain name, you have a few choices. Either, you can change your domain name. For example, say you were going to name your website www.joebloggs.com, but the website is already in use. You could change it to something not currently in use, such as www.joebloggscompany.com.
However, if you do not want to change your domain name and the .com and .co.uk domain extensions are unavailable, you can choose a different domain extension altogether. Some recommend choosing .net as a backup, as it provides credibility to your company.
The Verdict: .com or .co.uk?
The .com and .co.uk domain extensions both have their advantages. However, generally, it is best to choose a .com domain extension as it is better for SEO purposes and allows you to target customers from across the globe.
Christian is a British-born entrepreneur and founder of Marwick. For over 19 years, Christian has successfully helped businesses excel in digital marketing. Founded in 2012, Marwick has grown from a start-up to the 11th Fastest Growing Company in Canada in 2020 and expanded into the UK in 2019.