A domain name is more than a simple online address – it represents your brand, reputation, and can help you build credibility. New changes to the Internet landscape mean business owners can include more context within their domain name. With these new extensions come new opportunities for businesses to distinguish themselves.

In the past, entrepreneurs were limited to choosing from generic top-level domains (TLDs), or domain extensions, like .com, .net, and .org. Due to the massive number of traditional TLDs (.com, .net, .org) registered, businesses have been forced to consider more complex domain names encompassing abbreviations, hyphens, slogans, or variations of their formal name. While this enabled them to acquire a domain name, the results were often irrelevant and difficult for visitors to remember.

Recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit that manages domains, began approving new extensions, more than 700 over the next few years. These new TLDs offer a host of possibilities for businesses to not only have a relevant Web address, but also to establish a reputable brand, stand out against competitors, and better secure their online identity.

The new options allow businesses to communicate a wide range of different messages directly within their Web address. Businesses can expand their online presence in regard to their industry (hotel, .realestate, .restaurant, or even .consultant), their location (nyc, .miami, .vegas, or .boston -- all launching soon), their website type (.app, .blog, and .directory) and even special interests or events (club, .family, or .wedding).

To date, more than 175 of these new domain names have been released for businesses and individuals to register. Some companies use the addresses as their new primary domain, as part of a marketing campaign, or as an addition to their domain portfolio.

For some, they provide an opportunity to stand out. Winning.Email is a free service that helps online business owners identify and fix issues with email deliverability and was one of the first adopters of a .email domain extension. “The .email extension describes perfectly what industry we’re in. It allows us to brand ourselves better,” says Kane Miller, founder of Winning Email. “There are just not enough good .com’s available anymore, so these new extensions give people way more options. It is also more memorable than any other domain names we were considering.”

FastTwitch.Training took the same approach. This leading athletic training company, was looking for a way to acquire a memorable domain name for their growing business. “We use our website as an information/marketing source that we direct potential consumers to. Having a website that is recognizable and easy to recall is essential in order to capitalize our marketing efforts,” says James Meder, the company’s founder.

“I see the new domains as the integral piece in a creative marketing strategy. New or existing businesses can utilize these unique domains as an opportunity to brand themselves and diversify from their competition,” says Meder.

When selecting a domain for your business, think carefully about your company’s needs now and in the years to come. You want to consider how you want to position it in the marketplace as well as how people find your company online. In the end, the right domain is the one that will grow with your business. 

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