Recently GoDaddy, Hover and other domain registrars haven started selling the new TLDs available for photographers. For example, at Hover you can purchase:
While these domain styles can look really cool for your photography business, I want to talk about 3 very important reasons why you should pass on using them.
Why not all Top Level Domains (TLD) are worth it
To get the point across I will be using John Doe Photography as the example.
Bad For Branding
You have a business already called John Doe Photography and you made business cards up, your marketing, doing Facebook ads and so on. People now know your brand, identify with the logo, the colors, your photography and services. They have been to your website, johndoephotography.com many times in consideration for purcashing it.
Now all of a sudden you switch your website to johndoe.photography.
At that point in time you are very likely to be questioned about what happened to your .com website. Why your branding is different. Are you legitimate for not having a .com?
Which leads me to number 2.
Bad for people knowing what to type
I do not care whether your TLD is .net, .org or .camera. It does not matter. People will type .com because that is the most common domain. Heck even hyphens catch people off guard. In fact, the one thing we wish the Photographer’s SEO Community had different was no hyphen but the domain was taken.
So forget about what you think looks cool and go with what your customers and audience will type easiest and most naturally.
Which leads me to number 3.
Don’t think people are as knowledgeable or smart as you
That might sound cruel but it is true. People do not stay on top of the TLD technology. Your wedding photography clients do not care if you have a .photography domain. They care that they can find you, see your photography, and know you are a legit business. So go with what they know, what they type in. Ok, so this one kind of similar to number two, but whatever. It gets my point across.
Basically, do not assume that because you are using johndoe.photography that people will type it. You are much better off assuming you wil be using johndoe.photography and people will be typing johndoephotography.com
Would it be cool for Strobist to be Strobist.lighting? Sure! Or Nikon.camera? Sure! Although that might happen – people will type .com majority of the time.
So if you plan on getting one of these TLDs, get it for a project or fun security or for fun. But do not get it with the intention of using it for your business.