Despite being overshadowed by generic TLDs, ccTLDs have always been there to provide a more targeted and memorable extension for your website name.
Learn more about the key advantages of ccTLDs and check out the registries who take the most creative measures to promote their country-specific domain extensions as a way to combat gTLD monopolies.
If you, as a web hosting provider, target a local market, you should consider going with a ccTLD too in order to facilitate your online marketing efforts. Learn more from our post.
What are ccTLDs?
A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) indicates that your website is designed for a particular region or country.
Why choose ccTLDs over gTLDs?
Thanks to their local nature, ccTLDs boast a host of local market advantages over global domain extensions such as .COM and .NET.
These advantages are as follows:
They secure a top position in local searches
Search engines like Google always try to serve content that is relevant to users.
As regards local searches, apart from showing sites located in the country of the user, they also give priority to websites using ccTLDs.
Thus, a user searching for information or services in Germany will get results featuring .DE websites on the first page:
This is because a ccTLD is recognised by Google as the clearest sign of what country/region a website is targeting.
That said, ccTLDs are the most powerful way to rank a website in a certain country organically.
They target local markets easily
Websites using their local country-code extension are approached with more confidence and trust by local markets.
With the help of ccTLDs, you can target specific markets even if you are not physically located there.
If you are running an international business and are operating in a completely different country, you could easily target that country’s local market by registering your site under the corresponding ccTLD.
For instance, by using .SE ccTLD you could target customers from Sweden, without being there physically.
They inspire loyalty and trust in your customers
A domain name on a given country-code extension makes prospects from that country feel safer to make purchases.
The national aura that a ccTLD adds to a site may cater to users’ patriotism and make them feel proud they support a website that they share the same culture and language with.
They are much more likely to be available
Short, memorable and SEO-friendly domain names are usually already taken with global TLDs such as .COM or .NET.
And even if they are available, they are usually offered at an unreasonably high price (these are so-called “premium domains”).
With ccTLDs users could easily lay their hands on the exact domain match for their business venture.
Creative registry campaigns to promote ccTLDs
Almost every single country or region in the world has its own ccTLD assigned to it.
This means there are hundreds of registries that are taking care of ccTLD management.
Each of these companies has their own tactics and strategies to bring ccTLDs to the attention of the public and to raise awareness about their local market benefits over the generic TLD choices.
Some of the registries stand out from the crowd due to their creativity and enthusiasm in popularizing ccTLDs.
We’ve compiled a list of the top creative registries for you:
CIRA – choose .CA. Don’t be a traitor!
Their website is targeting Canadian individuals and businesses with a special message – choosing a .CA domain is a question of national pride.
Moreover, the preference of .CA over the generic top-choice TLDs such as .COM and .NET testifies their engagement with Canada.
It’s a national cause. You either go the right Canadian way or become a traitor:
Apart from the slogan CIRA has made a humour-infused video ad, which sums up the whole vibe of their “Don’t be a traitor” campaign:
IEDR – .IE is identifiably Irish and secure
IEDR – the registry behind the official ccTLD for Ireland – .IE, has been very active over the years in providing a secure, reliable and reputable namespace for Irish entities.
Through a strict registration procedure they aim to show the registrants how much they care about privacy and security.
Also, they have been working actively with Irish SMEs through various educational and contest campaigns to help them with their online initiatives.
This way, they’ve turned their registrants into real ambassadors of the .IE namespace:
Through their annual SME Digital Health report, IEDR analyze and measure the Irish SME’s digital skills in several categories such as online communication with customers, ease of transaction and online growth.
By awarding an overall grade to SMEs, IEDR encourages them to improve their digital skills and increase e-commerce adoption on the Irish market.
.IT – digital education via an animated video series
It is dedicated to the digital challenges that change society and offers Italian individuals and businesses a simple, concise and fun explanation of various topics they are directly involved in such as cyber security, artificial intelligence and digital identity.
Here is an excerpt from one of their videos on the importance of having your own digital identity followed by the video itself:
“The domain name of your site is not only to stand out, but defines the identity that you will build on the Web. Are your company’s products Made in Italy? Choosing an extension other than .it could end up being a communicative blunder.”
.IN registry – .IN is a natural extension for your Indian business
They have invited .IN site owners to take part in their #IamIN video series which presents the advantages of owning a .IN domain in a convincing, real-life manner:
.PT registry – a free online set for small SMEs
The Portuguese registry (.PT) takes part in various initiatives aimed at increasing the e-commerce adoption for small businesses throughout Portugal.
For instance, the ComercioDigital.pt program is focused on helping 50 000 small Portuguese companies launch their first online presence via a 3em1 Comércio set (which includes a free web development tool, email and a .PT domain), all free for one year.
The registry also supports a “Young Female Student .PT award” which is aimed at promoting female talent in the technology sector.
In addition, the registry is a partner of the Apps for Good initiative – an educational program focused on encouraging the use of technology (i.e. the creation of apps for smartphones or tablets) by young people as a way to solve society’s problems.
Apps for Good was named one of Europe’s 100 most promising technology initiatives in 2018 by the Financial Times and Google.
EURid – making .EU accessible worldwide by liberalizing eligibility policy
Starting from 19 October 2019 European citizens living abroad will be able to register .EU web addresses as well.
With around 12 million Europeans living in the US, Canada and Australia alone, EURid’s hope is to provide these individuals with a personal European online platform through which they can share their lives with families and friends in the EU.
Are you targeting a local market too? Getting a ccTLD for your hosting store is a wise choice!
As mentioned earlier in this post, by using your local country-code extension for your online presence, you target your local market directly.
So, if the target audience of your web hosting store is within a specific country or region, then going with a ccTLD would be a smart decision.
For instance, if you are from South Africa and are planning to market your services there, then a .CO.ZA domain for your store will give you a SEO boost right from the start.
This will give search engines like Google a strong signal that all of your content is designed for South Africa specifically and will naturally rank your website in google.co.za with priority.
So going with a ccTLD is the fastest, most powerful way to gain a quick brand visibility boost and rank a website high in a specific local market.