Choosing a .COM or .COM.AU Domain Name?
Last updated: April 2019
You’ve decided to start your own business, chosen a name and are excited to get your website online. One step in this process that catches many people out however, is whether a .COM or .COM.AU domain name is the right choice for their business. But how do you decide? Let’s weigh up the different options below.
Why Choose a .COM Domain Name?
.COM domain names are by far, the most recognised global domain extension and is used by many of the world’s largest companies as well as some of Australia’s best known brands. These Australian businesses include Telstra, ANZ, Qantas and Jetstar.
Many businesses choose .COM domain names as they are internationally known, have a rock solid reputation and their scarcity adds value to a brand. If you have a global customer base or want to create a domain name that’s easily remembered, then a .COM domain extension might be the best choice for you.
Choosing a .COM.AU Domain Name
The major benefit of .COM.AU domain names is that they instantly tell someone you are an Australian based business and are here to serve Australian customers. As the most popular and widely recognised Australian specific domain name, .COM.AU’s also come with an inherent level of trust as there’s a set of criteria that must be met before someone can register a .COM.AU domain name. The criteria for registering a .COM.AU domains is that you must be:
- an Australian registered company; or
- trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
- an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
- a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
- an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
- an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
- an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
- an Australian commercial statutory body.
This stringent criteria means that when someone visits a website with a .COM.AU domain name, they know they are dealing with an established business that they can trust. When you’re just starting out, this added trust factor can be invaluable when someone is unsure about doing business with you for the first time. Google is also known to favour .COM.AU domain names over Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) as it is a signal that the website is relevant to Australians.
My Personal Recommendation
If you have the opportunity; choose both. Having both under your belt is a no brainer for a number of reasons; the first being when someone mistypes your domain extension, for example, .COM instead of .COM.AU, you have the option to redirect the person back to the website they’re originally looking for instead of potentially losing that customer into the abyss of the web. Redirecting a domain name can be easily achieved with VentraIP Australia’s free DNS Forwarding service.
Another reason for choosing both extensions is if you plan to expand your business overseas and will require a separate website for international customers. Having both gives you the ability to serve local customers through your .COM.AU website and international customers through your .COM site. Reserving both extensions is also a viable way to protect your brand and stop copycat competitors from popping up and stealing your hard earned goodwill.