Just like having the “right address” for your business, selecting the correct domain name extension can help you on the web. So… what do you choose? .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz or a country-specific domain? If you are a Canadian business, or provide services to Canadians, a dot-ca should be a serious consideration.
Many countries now allow businesses, and individuals, to register the right to use a country extension. For example, the .ca domain, belongs to Canada, and is globally recognized as Canadian. There are currently over one million dot-ca domains registered.
Some famous Canadian domains include:
• Maple Leaf Foods Inc is a truly Canadian company and uses the domain www.mapleleaf.ca.
• McGill is a well-known Canadian university and uses www.mcgill.ca.
This, of course is important, in terms of recruitment in a global setting.
• Maclean’s, a Canadian current affairs magazine, runs with www.macleans.ca.
You know the site will contain Canadian content even before you launch it.
Rick Mercer is, in my opinion, truly Canadian – and so is his show. However, he is not using his .ca as his primary domain name. So… unfortunately, I cannot add him to the list.
Google is a perfect example of a global company that uses country domains targeting specific countries. For example, Google’s Canadian Internet identity is Google.ca. This search site was created to be used by Canadians.
So… what are the benefits of a Canadian Internet identity?
Only Canadian organizations, and those that live in Canada, can legally register a dot-ca domain name. This gives you credibility on the web.
For those companies that are proud to be Canadian, or operate only in Canada, this is a great way to build your brand on the web.
Don’t forget Google Insurance
Even if you have been using one of the other extensions, purchasing the rights to the .ca domain is a good idea. We call this Google Insurance. In other words, it insures that your competition cannot use this domain name.
But don’t stop there
To protect your own name, I would recommend registering it as well.
So what does this have to do with search engine visibility? A trusted domain, one that appears in an organic search result, or even in a paid listing (such as Google AdWords), has a higher click through rate. Isn’t it all about getting qualified traffic to your site?
Use a Canadian Certified Registrar
Before you register a Canadian domain name, ensure that the registrar is in good standing with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
What are you doing about your .ca domain(s)?