Should you purchase a .com or Country-Specific domain?

January 18, 2021

If you’re outside of the States, you might have more than one option for your website domain.

So what should you purchase – the .com or the .com.au/.co.nz/.co.uk/whatever’s relevant to the country you’re based in?

.com vs .com.au

It’s a question I get asked all the time, but luckily, there’s a pretty straightforward answer.

There are two things I want you to bear in mind:

  • Are both the country-specific and .com domains available?
  • Is your target market-based in one country?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the first question, then you should 100% buy both the domains. Otherwise, you run the risk of someone else purchasing a domain you may want in the future.

A domain shouldn’t set you back more than around $15 per year, but if someone else snaps up a domain you want, it could cost thousands to get your hands on it again. 

I’d strongly recommend you save yourself the hassle, and just buy ‘em both. Especially if you’ve got expansion plans on the horizon.

Now we just need to figure out which domain you should use…

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the second question and target market is only based in one country (or you only ship, say, Australia wide), then you’re going to want to use that country-specific domain.

Similarly, if your branding is all geared up to being a locally owned business, the country-specific domain is likely best for you.

If you sell digital products and cater to a more international market, then the .com domain may be a better fit.

So what about that other domain (you know, the one I just told you to buy).

You want to set-up a redirect so that if anyone accidentally types in the wrong URL (sometimes people will just assume a .com address or vice versa), they still end up on your site.

If at some stage you do want to switch across (say maybe your target market changes, or you set up a second website), you’ll need to consider that from an SEO perspective, there’s some extra work you’ll need to do. This would include telling Google that your domain has changed, creating redirects and a few other bits and bobs. But that’s a problem for your future self 🙂

Should I buy the .org/.net/.co/.io/.organic/.yoga domains?

(yep, those last two actually exist.) In short, no. Don’t get too carried away, as very few people no one is going to try using yourdomain.wine 🍷

Let’s say your brand takes off, and you end up redirecting all the country level versions of your domain (for places you operate in). It’s going to be very hard (read, near impossible) for someone to optimise a random extension domain, and make it outrank your content in the same niche.

TLDR; country-specific domain summary

The biggest takeaway from this should be: if both versions of your domain are available, you’ll probably want to buy both, and redirect one to the other.

Do you own both the .com and country-specific version of your domain? If you’ve got any questions about the post, feel free to pop them in my free Facebook group here.

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.com vs .com.au

Please note, a (*) denotes an affiliate link. I only recommend products/services that I’ve used personally and genuinely found useful/enjoyed.

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