It is almost impossible to succeed as a business today with a vibrant online presence, three active social media profiles, and a user-friendly site. While creating a social media account and sharing relevant posts with your network is easy enough, building a website involves a little more technicality. For instance, apart from choosing a web hosting platform and coming up with the perfect structure for your website, you are also faced with the unenviable task of coming up with the perfect domain name.

Unfortunately, and in most cases, after coming up with the ideal domain name for your business, you find out that the name you came up with is unavailable because someone else has registered it. This mostly applies to the three most popular top-level domains (TLDs): .com, .net, and .org.

But just because your ideal domain name is unavailable in these TLDs does not mean you don't have other options. In fact, there are hundreds of other domain extensions you can choose from when registering a domain name for your business. However, if your website is specially designed for an audience from a specific country, opting for a ccTLD may be your next best option. 

What are ccTLDs?

Country Code Top Level Domains or ccTLDs are domain extensions specific to a particular region or country. Some common examples of ccTLDs are.DE, .CO.NZ, .CO.UK,.FR and. ES relates to Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.

A ccTLD shows search engines and website users the country or sovereign state a website is registered in and, by extension, the market such a website targets. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) publishes a list of hundreds of ccTLDs associated with many countries and regions.
Why it matters to use ccTLD for your local business

ccTLD is a significant factor in both international and local SEO. In fact, it is one of the best ways search engines and users can determine that a website is targeted to a specific country but not to a particular language.

For example, suppose a site uses a . CO.NZ domain extension or ccTLD. In that case, Google assumes that the site and all its content are specifically for the New Zealand market or audience and should appear in New Zealand search results. This makes it a good tool for small businesses looking to target a specific local market or international businesses looking to enter a foreign market. In fact, for companies like these, using ccTLDs is the most effective solution for long-term SEO benefits.

Unless it is a high authority website or otherwise indicated in technical SEO, search engines rank domains from the same country higher in search results than others. For example, if someone in New Zealand searches for the term "Used iPhone X," Google will more often than not return results. CO.NZ first before those with other gTLDs. Considering this, it is obviously more beneficial for businesses targeting a local market to use the ccTLD for that market than to use any other top-level domain name.

What are the benefits of ccTLDs?

As we have already established, ccTLDs have many benefits. But are these benefits enough to make you choose a Country Code Top Level Domain over the very popular? COM TLD? The answer is yes.

First, using ccTLDs makes it easy to create customer and brand value. Second, gTLDs are not only congested but are also increasingly decreasing in value. These Top-Level Domains no longer offer any benefit apart from their popularity; even then, there are no guarantees that you will get them. COM version of your choice domain name.

There are many places online to buy your preferred ccTLD, but even if you are not ready to buy a Country Code TLD, you can always visit domain names nz to explore the many ccTLDs available to you or to secure a . CO.NZ domain name for future use.

But first, let us take a broader look at the benefits offered by ccTLDs

1. Geo-targeting and SEO Benefits

When you use a ccTLD, you can target traffic specifically from the part of the world associated with your chosen ccTLD. For example, if you want to attract traffic from different parts of New Zealand to your Auckland-based automobile repair shop, using CO.NZ as your domain extension will do the trick perfectly. This domain extension will ensure that your website and business show relevant search results to people living in different parts of New Zealand rather than to people in Canada, the USA, or the UK.

Besides this targeting advantage, ccTLD also ties into your SEO efforts. Country Code, Top Level Domain, gives you better SEO value for country-related search results so that only people who matter to your business can find your business online. This is because the search engines return results based on the search user's unique search preferences, including location. Therefore, your New Zealand automobile repair website with a . CO.NZ domain extension has a bigger chance of appearing in the search results than if it has a regular domain extension.

2. Increases Buyer Confidence

Using a Country Code Top-Level Domain extension boosts your business credibility and boosts visitors' confidence in your website.

Because your domain extension shows your website and business to be local in origin or location, users may feel more confident about purchasing, especially if your physical address is a place they recognize. Also, many online consumers prefer to shop on websites that carry their own currency, speak their language and are located in their country.

3. It Encourages Creativity

ccTLD allows you to give your creative spirit a free rein when choosing a domain name for your website. Not only can you select the domain name of your choice without coming upon the "domain name taken" scenario, but you can also use the neat trick of domain hacking to make your domain unique.

Domain hacking is a creative way of combining your domain name with a domain extension to make a unique brand, even if your business does not target that local market. An example of domain hacking is, where the beach is combined with the Spanish domain extension to form beaches. Others include (where BE is the ccTLD for Belgium), free. i.e. (where IE is the ccTLD for Ireland), and check-in (where IN is the ccTLD for India).

With domain hacking, the possibilities for creative domain names are endless, and the combinations you can create are limitless.

4. They are Always available

After spending hours developing the ideal domain name for your website, it can be frustrating to hit the domain search tool and be told that your preferred domain name is unavailable. This happens a lot when you search for it.COM domain names.

DOT COMs account for more than 46% of the total registered domains on the web, so it is not surprising that your preferred domain name is already taken by someone else. Where your preferred domain is available, it is usually very expensive. But this is never the case with a ccTLD. You will always find the domain name you want when you search for a country code extension, and you don't have to pay through the nose for it.

Final thoughts

While everyone wants a cool.COM domain name, the reality today is that this is not always possible. However, opting for the domain extension associated with your target country will open up your business to many benefits, most of which may not be available with other domain extensions.