This may come as no surprise to most online marketing buffs around the world, but for those thinking about setting up a local business with online presence, it is worth knowing that despite the success of ‘.com’ and ‘.co.uk’ globally over the past generation, many international hosting sites are realising that to be really in the know, local businesses thinking of becoming an online brand actually prefer, if possible, to have a domain that reflects the locality of the business – at least local by country. For a brand identity where internationality is key to its success, the more established ‘dot com’ URL is most certainly more appropriate.
Where a company is selling personal, local, and/or ethical services, or where a product is for sale that omits international shipping, a local domain and local host is preferred all ’round. While the statistics are invariably high around this point of discussion, the domain registrar site Free Parking, now owned by the leading new web hosting provider in New Zealand, Umbrellar, offers insight as to why and how this has become the case.
Aside from .’com’, associated primarily with international or US dominated internet terrain, domains can be classified into country – ‘ccTLD’ addresses, or even more specifically, geographical cities, such as, ‘.Miami’.
According to Free Parking’s sources, 75% of people prefer to buy products from their own country, for practical reasons such as shipping and currency.
Although much can still be said for being able to obtain a ‘dot com’ address, the domain can be intuitive in your brand’s identity and customer appeal. If the web host of the website is local, the site is more likely to operate more quickly (within the confines of the countries connection and page download speed). This can mean all the difference to a potential sale, with SEO rankings now measured in part on a site’s page load speed. The quicker a site loads, the more friendly the user experience is, and the higher the SEO rank in Google.
The site speed is also important in regards to retaining customer conversion rates, with 40% decrease in conversion in sites where a page takes longer than three seconds to load.
The benefits of having a local domain and local hosting provider, such as ‘.nz’ or ‘.kiwi’, are threefold:
- Customers will choose a local domain (and likely), in collaboration, a local host over an international company or foreign country domain for their purchases, as they trust local businesses more, believing them to be more accessible and contactable than international companies.
- The locally hosted, local domain page will load more quickly, increasing conversion rates.
- Local domain and hosting will improve overall online SEO rankings due to the likely-quicker loading speed from users accessing the website from the same country.
Peace Of Mind For Your Brand
For local businesses attempting to reach out to people in their home country, the benefits of having a local host provider, such as Umbrellar in New Zealand, will have greater peace of mind. Knowing that they can contact their local host server at any time of day, they receive the same level of service and 99.9% uptime guarantee as international hosting companies, that previously relied upon their brand and saturation of the industry.