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A while ago we talked about what the new top level domains mean for businesses. Since writing that blog post over 12 months ago, a lot has happened. Since the initial announcement of new top level domains coming to the market, we thought it would be worth looking at what has actually changed and what you can actually do with the new domains.

 

New Generic Top Level Domains

Back in February 2014, there was a total of 362 top level domains that had been registered. Today, there are 988, a figure that is almost triple. Again, have a good browse through the top level domains that have been registered over the past year to get a feel for how things are changing.

An interesting point to note that while we have seen an almost tripling of top level domains that have been registered, we’ve yet to see any significant rollout of these domain names from businesses and brands online. The .google top level domain has been registered, yet we are all still using google.com or google.co.uk when searching. Likewise, .barclays has been registered but we are also still using barclays.com or barclays.co.uk. So why is this?

Well, honestly, things haven’t really changed that much over the past year when it comes to how customers perceive top level domains. If anything, people have become more wary of websites that don’t appear genuine, with cyber fraud and phishing attacks becoming part of everyday life. You only need to look back and read some of the topics we’ve covered on cyber security recently to see the scale of the problem; Cyber Security Conference 2015; Online Fraud and Cybercrime is a Serious Threat in 2015; Creative Entrepreneur 2014; A Short Story About… A Poorly Designed Website Allowing Anyone to Register as an Administrator Without Validation or Authorisation.

What this has ultimately led to is a situation whereby it appears that brands aren’t willing to experiment with the new top level domains just yet. So we thought we would experiment a little to see what kind of things we could do. It would be extremely unlikely for us to switch over to our new top level domain for the main website, since people are still very unsure about the new top level domains and still associate websites with the traditional .com and .co.uk. Hence why this is a nice little experiment to see how people can interact with websites and brands in a more user friendly and effective way with a little thought and planning.

 

Introducing contrado.digital

That’s right, we’ve just purchased a trendy domain that fits well with our brand, http://contrado.digital. Yes this is the full domain. The .digital top level domain became available quite recently, so we thought it would be worth securing this to protect the brand. Going beyond this, we’ve set up some additional functionality that allows you to interact with us a little easier.

 

http://search.contrado.digital

To search the Contrado Digital website, you could use search functionality that is built into WordPress, www.contradodigital.com/?s=searchQuery, although you may not know that exists. We’ve kept the search functionality hidden on purpose for the time being to avoid cluttering the main navigation as we found that it wasn’t being used a great deal by the majority of website visitors. But what if you still want to search the website without having to remember what the specific search URL is?

That’s why we created search.contrado.digital. Simple type this into your web browser, followed by your search query and you will automatically be shown a search results specifically for your query. For example, here are a few you can try;

So there’s a nice easy way to find exactly what you need on the Contrado Digital website.

 

Search Engine Optimisation

 

http://email.contrado.digital

To email us at Contrado Digital, again, simply type the following into your web browser, email.contrado.digital and you will be presented with a simple way to drop us an email without any effort at all. Go on, give it a go;

Yes, you could just go to the homepage, scroll down to the bottom and click on the link there. But why waste your time looking for an email address when you could just setup a nice piece of functionality that automates this whole process for you.

 

Small Business Email Addresses

 

Social Media Channels

How about if you want to go straight to our social media channels to find out the latest trends happening in the digital world? Sure, you could again go to the website, hunt for the social media icons or go to the social media website and search for us there. But why waste your time doing that when you could just go straight to the relevant channel with ease;

Nice little bit of functionality!

 

Social Media Sharing

 

Summary

While the new top level domains are certainly still in their infancy, is there any way that you could be using these to help your audience connect with your brand easier? I’m sure there are many different and unique pieces of functionality that can enhance the user experience of your website by using this technology. What ways can you think of that would help by using a similar setup?

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Michael Cropper

Founder & Managing Director at Contrado Digital Ltd
Michael founded Contrado Digital in 2013. He has experience working with national and multi-national brands in a wide range of industries, helping them achieve awesome results. Michael regularly speaks at local universities and industry events while keeping up with the latest trends in the digital industry.