What are my domain name extension options in South Africa?
There are a few options for South Africa with respect to Domain choices.The domain you select can have an impact on your web site. The Domain extension is supposed to give more information on the purpose of the website it is linked to. A co.za domain is for commercial purpose hence the co, an abreviation for commerce. An org extension is used mainly for non-profit organisations.
How important is the Domain name?
The domain name is a very important factor in getting traffic to your site if you are depending on organic search engine traffic, ie traffic from a search engine such as Google that has found your site by means on there bots and not using a sponsored advert approach.
The Domain name needs to tell the user what the function of the site is, eg IDS Hosting, we know its a hosting site, else you need to work very at branding your site like FaceBook. If you have never heard of FaceBook and you where told about it, you would ask for an explanation of wht is it, where MySpace tells a little more of what there function is.
So when when your main keyword for your site, like Hosting is for IDS Hosting is in the domain name it carries more weight than if it is a co.za or anorg.za for a search engine pioint of view. That’s why choosing a domain name & extension is very important. What you gain on a search engine by having a name for example of: freshfish.org.za which sees the fish which might be an importantkeyword, others may think its a non profit organisation.
How search engines see ZAR extensions?
If you wish to have an international web site but select a co.za extension you will not get very far as Google via there Web tools does not allow you to focus your site on any other country other than South Africa, so you are pretty much snookered there. but you could look at a second level domain such as za.com or za.net if you would like to keep the SA flavour for local market interest as well.
The South African Market is not as sensitive to .com or .net tld’s as the international community is to co.za tld’s so this is also a consideration, but the problem is that you will probably not find a domain with your keyword in it unless you go toa long three word domain name such as chipsfreshfish.com which is long and cumbersome.
Even though I mentioned above that domain names are not so important in sponsored links as in organic search engine links, having your main keyword in the domain name isa plus and this is seen by Google adwords (sponsored links), and thus a bonus and it does stand out more to catch the eye of your potential clients.
How do I go about obtaining a domain and what do I do with it?
To purchase a domain you need to find out what domain you want, so you need to search for it, you can start by searching for the domain in the IDS Domains Checker: client area
Once you have found your domain/s you need to decide what you are going to do with it: