We are currently working with a client who provides very localised business services. As always, the issue of which domain name to have (either the .com, the .co.uk, all of them, or something else entirely) came up. The .scot domain extension was released to the public on the 23rd of September 2014 and it has a higher price tag than most domains of £30.00 a pop, per year. Not a lot of money I know, but in the context of a .com or .co.uk it is well over three times the cost. I wanted to know if it had any significant benefits for our clients business.
If you or your business only provide goods or services in Scotland this could be an ideal way of you targeting only those people with a memorable domain name. Unfortunately we are so used to .com and .co.uk currently this may take some time to gain any traction with regular users, but if the .co.uk or .com have already been swallowed up by someone else a .scot domain could be a great place to start. I should probably note here that you can also purchase domain extensions like .london now as well, so seeing businesses with these new domains names will become more regular over time and they clearly tells users/customers where you are located.
Finally and probably most importantly, how will this affect your Google search rankings? The answer is really simple, no one knows (well unless you work at Google and if so please feel free to spill the beans!) Google search results are becoming more and more about serving relevant and localised content, which is why you should have your business listed on Google Business. We have no way of knowing for sure if a .scot will be ranked higher than a .com if you are searching for something within Scotland, all we can say for sure is that it probably wouldn’t hurt and as these new domain names gain traction over the years, we suspect you can count on seeing them being served in search more often.
If you are thinking about targeting more local business then here is a list of things to consider.
- Does your domain name have localised information? i.e www.coolstuff-edinburgh.com
- Is your domain extension localised? e.i www.coolstuff-edinburgh.co.uk or www.coolstuff-edinburgh.scot
- Is your website hosted in the UK?
- Do you have your company address listed in the footer?
- Have you localised directions on your Contact page?
- Are you registered on Google Maps and Google Business?
- If you use a copywriter for your website make sure they can write for your area and use local lingo.
- Can Google understand what an image really is? It’s reverse image search is really good so using local imagery and alt tags is good for your site!
If you are still having problems getting your business online or want more information, come have a coffee with us!