gTLDs are generic, top-level domains and it’s possible to purchase new gTLD extensions these days. An example of an “old school” domain extension is “.com”. With the advent of new gTLD extensions, it’s possible for entrepreneurs to move beyond “dot coms” by customizing domain extensions according to their specific needs. However, these new extensions aren’t available to just anyone…
Provided by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), new extensions are subject to approval by this Web-based authority and they are designed to open up a wealth of online marketing opportunities to Web-savvy entrepreneurs all over the world.
In order to help you understand the benefits of these new gTLD extensions, we’ve created a detailed guideline.
Blue-chip gTLD Extensions Add Cachet to Companies
These gTLDs are available by invitation only. The application process (via ICANN) began in 2012, in order to cater to the needs of a range of larger companies (Google and YouTube are two examples). These firms, along with many other top-tier companies and organizations, seek out these exclusive domain extensions in order to positively impact their online business initiatives.
Most (but not all) companies, organizations and individuals are applying for domain extensions which are the same as their business names. To create an example, the Audi auto manufacturing company might apply for the gTLD, .audi.
As you can see, these new domains offer personalization features which make them superb advertisements for companies, organizations (such as charities) or individuals, in direct contrast to older domain name extensions, such as com and .net, which are decidedly generic.
These Domain Extensions are Very Exclusive
ICANN VIPs will decide how many new gTLDs are to be released. The number of domain extensions is believed to be 1400. The goal of the new domain extension program is exclusivity, so numbers are very limited.
To date, a little less than two thousand applications for new gTLDs have been received. Typical requests for customized gTLDs may be company names, as we discussed earlier (or abbreviated versions of company names) or geographical names (or abbreviations of same), such as .milan or .miami.
The process of applying for new domain extensions of this type is very long-winded. Applicants must move through different rounds of evaluation in order to succeed, and they are evaluated at the discretion of ICANN officials. In addition, these new domain names are awfully expensive. In fact, the evaluation process will set you back a cool $185k (additional fees may also be required).
If you’ve got the cash, investing in a new domain extension may be the key to unlocking superlative business success in the future. This is why the world’s most impressive firms are joining the queue.
Now, let’s talk in more detail about the power and potential of these new gTLDs.
Same Market, More Choices
This new ICANN program represents a clever way to enjoy more choices within the same market. Nowadays, only twenty-one top-tier domains are in existence and very few of these may be utilized by the public at large. Since options are currently so limited, the demand for certain “dot com” designations or other, very desirable designations is sky-high – in other words, competition for existing gTLDs is extremely fierce. In fact, a lot of frustrated entrepreneurs despair over the fact that “all of the good domain extensions are already taken”.
Due to this strong competition, many businesses have had to settle for less-than-ideal domain name extensions, which typically do not help to generate traffic (and to inspire higher amounts of conversions) or to build brand power online. With the advent of new gTLDs, there is fresh hope for companies which have the means to apply for customized domain names via ICANN’s innovative and timely initiative.
While this program is definitely out of reach to most small and medium-sized business owners, whose owners probably don’t have sufficient capital to pay the evaluation fees, it’s designed for the big fish in the corporate pond. However, smaller businesses that do have the capital to apply for the program may find that getting these exclusive gTLDs is the key to growing. In other words, these gTLDs may have the power to turn little fish into sharks…
Customized gTLDs are Very Memorable
The goal of entrepreneurs who participate in the program is to access truly memorable domain name extensions, which will attract and retain the interest of those who surf the Web. In a nutshell, the right domain name extension will drive Web traffic and e-commerce sales (and community-based sales, if applicable), while also fostering exceptional brand recognition.
This plethora of benefits is probably well worth the investment for those who are in a position to afford evaluation fees and related fees.
However, it has to be said that some people aren’t really “true believers” when it comes to the new gTLD program. Therefore, only time will tell if these new domain extensions live up to their marketing hype…
Extensions are Virtual Calling Cards
Brand image is all-important. In the Internet milieu, domain names act as virtual calling cards, which assist prospective customers in classifying businesses. Even websites which don’t focus on e-commerce benefit from having memorable domain extensions, simply because visitors are able to recall them easily. Therefore, the battle to secure the most impressive domain names and extensions will always be a primary focus for entrepreneurs, particularly those who are embarking on Web-based business for the first time. While the ICANN program really isn’t centered on the needs of e-commerce newbies, it’s definitely a ground-breaking program for those who are established, with a good amount of capital to play with.
Now that you know more about the benefits of new gTLD extensions, you’ll be ready to decide in applying for one of these domain extensions is the right choice. If you do apply and gain approval, you’ll certainly join an elite group of online entrepreneurs. In fact, it could be said that by securing this powerful “status symbol”, you’re showing the entire world just how far you’ve come as a business person.
To find out more, visit the official ICANN website today, at: http://www.icann.org/