- Dec 19, 2020
New Zealand domain company's piece about .COM vs. .CA
.com vs .ca - Which One Works Best For Your Canadian Business
.com vs .ca – Which One Works Best For Your Canadian BusinessBy Lisa Baltes
We probably don’t need to tell you (because otherwise why would you be reading this blog?) but the right domain extension says a whole lot about your business and sends important signals to both potential customers and search engines. That’s why, if you’re having a hard time deciding between registering your businessname.com or going with the local .ca domain extension, we’ve got all the pros and cons lined up for you. But spoilers: there’s no clear winner here, as both are solid candidates. It’s less about the right answer, and more about the right answer for you, because it depends on the needs and goals of your website.
But a quick question before we begin: you’ve checked if the web address you want is actually available, right? If you can’t register one of the options, you can save yourself a whole lot of time and jump straight into one of these follow-up topics: How to name a website or What to do when .com is taken. Quickly find out by doing a WHOIS query, or search for the name you want with OnlyDomains’ domain search.
When to Use .com?We hardly need to tell you at the world’s main business top-level domain is clearly .com. From start-ups to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide rely on the .com domain for their e-commerce websites.
Why? Well, .com domain names are…
… universal: .com is understood by everyone, everywhere. Originally introduced as a domain extension for online businesses, .com is now used for everything, like blogs, non-profit websites, portfolios, email addresses, etc.
… trustworthy: Over the years, .com has established itself worldwide as the preferred domain for companies of all sizes to get connected with customers and business partners.
… recognised: You don’t have to be an internet expert to recognise a .com domain. .com is well known among consumers and often the first step for businesses like yours to build their online presence.
When to Use .ca?If you are a Canadian business that focuses on local website visitors, the best way to show where you’re from is with a .ca website. Since only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and businesses can register .ca, this country code TLD (ccTLD) instantly brands your website as 100% Canadian. This is important if you’re worried about search engine optimisation, as .ca domains get a SEO boost locally.
According to CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, internet users feel more comfortable shopping on Canadian websites, which shows an affinity for .ca domain names. More than half (53%) have intentionally made an online purchase from a local vendor before (source: 2022 Canada’s Internet Factbook).
Fun Fact: Heck, even Google uses google.ca in the Canadian market.
Plus, proceeds from .ca registrations go to the Community Investment Program, which helps improve the Canadian Internet and funds innovative projects that benefit Canadian communities.
And take it from old domain hands like us: there are way more registered .com domains than .ca, so the likelihood of finding the domain name you want is much higher there.
The Bottom Line: .com vs .caYes, the .com extension is the most popular out there, but is it the best choice when it comes to the Canadian market? Here’s the final verdict:
.com .ca Target audience Global customers Canadian customers Eligibility Open for everyone Open for Canadian citizens, residents & businesses Credibility Well-known across the globe Highly trusted in the Canadian market Availability Lower chances your domain is available Higher chances your domain is available SEO No SEO benefits Boosts local search results Price CAD14.82/ yr CAD14.99CAD12.99/ yr
FYI, if you are an established business with many website visitors, there are good reasons for having multiple domain names and registering both .com and .ca.
We hope we have shed some light on your domain dilemma. However, with more than half (54%) of Canadians spending 5+ hours a day online, chances are you’ll succeed whether it’s .com or .ca. Fingers crossed.