The UK TLD question is one that start-up brands and businesses regularly ask us. The question in most small businesses owners’ minds is “which is better – .co.uk or .uk”?
It is clear the .co.uk or a .uk domain name debate is one that could easily run forever!
Currently, the .co.uk is still generally the first choice when registering a domain in the UK, but at Click Marketing, we believe that this will not always be the case.
.uk OR .co.uk – the debate goes on!
So, if you’re starting a small business in the United Kingdom, which TLD (top-level domain) should you plump for?
Should it be the trusty .co.uk or the new (ish) arrival, the .uk? (We could also throw the .com option into the mix, but we will save that for another article!)
The bottom line is: The .uk domain is newer and therefore, less saturated. However, the .co.uk brings greater legacy and trust.
Many people like the short punchiness of the .uk, so it is definitely a winner. However, others prefer the .co.uk as their first choice as it is more established and therefore much more recognisable.
Benefits of using .uk or .co.uk
Firstly, having the UK in your domain typically identifies you as a UK based business.
This is especially important if you are trying to attract a UK audience.
Also, using a .co.uk or .uk domain can be beneficial as it makes your brand look more established and professional, so a WIN-WIN!
The main benefit of having the UK TLD is that it will help people find you, and having both extensions can raise awareness of your brand.
UK TLD domains are easy to memorise, and customers subconsciously align themselves with a site from their country of origin or one they trust.
Which TLD for my UK business?
The answer is not so simple.
Your choice of TLD will depend on what type of business you are running, your budget and where your target audience is located.
Weighing up the pros and cons for each option may give you some insight into which one is right for your business.
If you are thinking about website performance and wondering if the TLD choice even matters when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – the answer is yes!
You will rank much higher on Google if you choose a suitable TLD, and there are some solid statistics to back this.
Many people feel that a .co.uk domain extension works better than a .uk, but why?
There are no proven statistics to support this theory.
Many feel that a .uk extension can be easily misread, and some think that a more professional domain name is the .co.uk.
Also, it may be because the .uk domain has only been around since 2014, so it is a newbie! The .co.uk domains have been around a lot longer (since 1985).
As a result, you will see more .co.uk websites than the .uk alternatives. This may make people perceive that the .co.uk are a better choice as they are more familiar.
Here are some more benefits to consider:
Benefits of .co.uk
- Usually cheaper compared to the .uk domains.
- One of the most recognisable countries TLD.
- Often highly trusted by a UK audience.
Benefits of .uk
- There are more .uk domains available as the TLD is relatively new, so you have more chance of finding the one you want.
- People worldwide will be more likely to recognise this TLD as it is directly linked with the United Kingdom and follow other countries’ TLD format.
- Contributes to UK-focused branding.
- Clean, short and punchy TLD.
So, it is just a matter of preference and how you want your brand to be perceived. Both are equally as powerful, especially when targeting a UK-based audience.
We would highly recommend registering all the significant extensions and purchasing both the .co.uk and .uk domain for your business if you can do so.
TIP! – Protect yourself from competitors or domain squatters
Experts predict that any .uk not claimed by legitimate business owners are more likely to be snapped up by unscrupulous people who might want to carry out fraudulent activity, so protect your brand!
Our UK TLD Preference
At Click Marketing, we are huge fans of the longer established .co.uk domain as we believe it adds greater credibility to your website compared to the newer .uk TLD.
When we first launched our Click Marketing website, we were operating under clickmarketing.uk. We eventually managed to pick up the clickmarketing.co.uk domain but had to pay a premium price!
Our long-term plan is to continue to use both of these domains as they both add a number of benefits to the business and add credibility to our brand.