Do I have to use a .COM fitness domain ?
If you are in a hurry, the short answer is Yes. That said, there are occasions where a non-.COM domain name will work well for a fitness business.
In a domain name, the right part of the dot is called the extension or the top level domain (TLD)
For instance, the website Bodybuilding.com (you know it ?) uses the extension .COM
In fact, .COM has been the gold standard for over 20 years. Every big company we know uses .COM : Google.com, Youtube.com, Amazon.com….you name it, it’s .COM, with very few, if any, exceptions. When people see something different than .COM, they can become doubtful.
Normally you have a big array of options for your domain’s extension :
Also, if you are not located in the US, there is usually the country-specific TLD :
.CO.UK for Great Britain
.DE for Germany
.IT for Italy
.CA for Canada
So, the question is, how does the extension affect your fitness business ?
Well, there are two ways in which the extension becomes important for your website and your business :
- What people (your clients and prospects) think about you
- What the Internet (search engines, like Google, and other automated web services) think about you
1. What people (your clients and prospects) think about you
As mentioned above, people become a bit suspicious when they don’t see a .COM. A website that “fails the .COM test” is deemed less trustworthy, because people believe that all legitimate businesses use a .COM website. We will not comment on whether this is correct or not. The fact is that it happens.
Another issue you many encounter if your website uses another extension is that your customers may have trouble finding you. It is very common for people to forget your actual extension and type .COM instead. This is an unpleasant situation : no business wants to leak customers.
Finally, we should mention that an alternative extension appears less professional. Typically, anything that is not .COM has less authority and inspires less trust. If you care for your professional image, by all means go for a .COM.
2. What the Internet (search engines, like Google, and other automated web services) think about you
Search engines, like Google and Yahoo, are free services that help people find what they are looking for. When people search for fitness matters, they are potentially your clients. If you want to have your customers and prospects come to your website, you should care about how these coldblooded search engines rank you.
To be able to rank well, your website needs to be Trusted. This is currently the most important factor in search engine ranking, and will continue to be so. Relevance is also very important, but Trustworthiness is #1 by far. Here again, .COM does best. Another very good extension to use is .ORG, as this is also considered very trustworthy.
To recap :
- Choose .COM if possible
- If you are outside the US, your country code TLD is also a good choice (but limits you within your country)
- If you need a specific word or words and you can’t have the .COM, choose .ORG (or .NET). But consider using a different .COM instead
- Don’t use any other extension, like .MOBI, .BIZ, .PW. You will only harm your business