In this article, we will review to pros and cons of using the new Top Level Domains that are available in the market and the scenarios were the new Top Level Domains are a viable option.
.com is the most common TLD domain. As of 2018, there were 135 million registrations.
When we register a domain is want it simple to use, which implies that the domain should be short and well contain keywords that have high volume. Finding a .com domain with these attributes are very hard they are either no available or else are for sale a premium domain. Where a premium domain can be sold from a few hundred up to millions of dollars.
This is not to case for new TLD domains. You can find a single or a double keyword domain at a very cheap price making it an affordable option. You can find the same keywords of a premium .com domain at a fraction of the price.
Google does not discriminate when it comes to the Top Level Domain. The only scenario where google would be influenced by a Top-Level domain is when you use a country code Top Level Domain. If the user makes a query for services in service in a location. Sites that match the location and region will match higher.
The most important factor to keep in mind is that from the SEO perspective a .com domain and new top-level domains like .io have the same quality.
A big drawback of using the new top-level domain is related to the fact they users assume that a site ends with a .com domain. If a user remembers your brand and tires to type the domain in the search bar there is a risk that they will use a .com domain. Resulting in the user loading another unrelated page or worse a competing site or load an error page the site cannot be reached.
Users typically have alot of confidence in a site that ends in .com. This might not be the same for sites using a new top-level domain. Users might feel less confident to use a site with a new top-level domain that they have never seen before.
The answer to should I use a new Top Level Domain is yes as long as you match the following scenarios.
The domain accessed through a call to action. Users will access your site through sites like Google search result pages, links from emails, apps or social media. So it makes sense on sites that have a large volume of new users when compared the returning visitors.
Your target audience is young and tech-savvy. Younger people will not be influenced by the fact that they have never seen a new top-level domain. Also if the audience is tech-savvy they will have an understanding that the new top-level domain is not a security risk.
The domain is required for infrastructure and is not directly client-facing. If you only need a domain for email or to expose an entry point for mobile apps. The new top-level domains are the perfect option.