Wait. Did you just notice that? The UK internet just experienced its biggest shake-up ever, moving UK businesses on par with European competitors and helping them dramatically with their online marketing.
From today you can pre-order your .uk domain name via 123-reg and in a world dominated by a desire for smaller, faster and more efficient, the launch of the domain could be the catalyst for many businesses to get ahead of their online competitors. The .uk domain name will go on general availability from 10th June 2014 but 123-reg customers can pre-order the shortest country specific domain name ever to hit these shores now, so that the 123-reg systems will apply automatically as soon as that general availability window opens.
What’s the excitement about?
If your business is online – who wouldn’t be? – you will probably already appreciate the importance of brevity and succinctness. Whilst .co.uk domain names will continue to prove strong and authoritative addresses for business websites and professional email addresses, the 140 character limit on Twitter, the move towards mobile browsers where keyboard typing is best kept to a minimum and the general desire to make things simpler, means the three character difference between .co.uk and just .uk could have a massive benefit.
The use of shortlinks like bit.ly and goog.le have long played a part in the world of social media as a way of using long website addresses in limited character social media posts. Imagine then if that short URL could be your very own branded version? Setting up your own short URL service isn’t as complicated as it sounds – indeed there are even easier faux short URL services that allow you to piggy-back using your own custom domains, bit.ly included. Yourbrand.uk immediately has an impact both in the physical world but more importantly online and in social media particularly.
With SEO value in using your own brand and standard URL as full links in your social posts, the reasons to look at the potential advantage those additional three characters a .uk domain name free up, begin to appeal even more.
A new domain also offers a chance to grab a popular prefix that may not be available under other domain name suffixes. A generic, perhaps descriptive domain name can have major impact on traffic to your website. Even big brands use them, with retailer B&Q famed not for the many branded domain names in its portfolio but its use of diy.com. Again brevity playing a part in that one too.
Of course, .uk has more availability than existing domains like .co.uk at this stage, but the demand for .uk is expected to be massive, and with pre-ordering meaning you are ‘at the front door’ when it opens, your chances of securing the domain you desire is high.
Is it a chance you are willing to pass up or even afford to?