What do the most popular Australian websites have in common? Really short, memorable, and easy to type domain names.
But more than that, having a .au domain name speaks directly to the people you're trying to reach - Australian customers. Thanks to our friends at Afilias, we're taking a deep dive into the benefits of .au domains.
What's the Difference Between .au Domain Extensions?
Before we explore the benefits of .au domains, we've got a little housekeeping to take care of. Namely, explaining the differences between the 7(!) different .au extensions:
.COM.AU and .NET.AU
The two most popular extensions in the .au namespace. These are reserved for businesses, and you need an active ABN/ACN to register either of these.
.ORG.AU and .ASN.AU
These two extensions are reserved for charities/not-for-profits and associations.
This is the domain name for individuals, and the requirement is simple: you just need to be an Australian citizen or resident to register one.
.EDU.AU and .GOV.AU
These are reserved for educational institutions and the government.
For this blog, we're focusing on .COM.AU and .NET.AU.
Show The World You’re Australian
By having .au at the end of your domain name, it shows your customers that they’re dealing with an Australian business. And research shows that 7 out of 10 Australians prefer to do business with Australian companies. This is especially handy if you’re, say, an e-commerce business or offer local services.
Eligibility Rules Prove You’re Australian
Unlike a .com or .net, not everyone is entitled to register a .com.au. You must meet the special criteria as outlined in the auDA policy. This may seem daunting, but it isn’t. If you have just opened a hardware store in Wangaratta, you would have been required to register an ABN/ACN and business name--let’s say the name is Wangaratta Tools ‘n’ Timber. This should be sufficient for you to register your preferred domain name, e.g. wangtoolsandtimber.com.au. The ABN/ACN requirement policy stops someone from overseas coming in and registering the names of Australian businesses - which also means you have more room to score your ideal domain name.
Your Web Address Signals Recognition and Trust
Australian consumers recognise and trust the .au domain name extension. They're used to seeing it in advertising and when dealing with Australian businesses. They know to look out for it. This is especially important for local e-commerce organisations who ship goods in Australia. The .au extension on your domain name is a signal that you're dealing with other Aussies.
May Help With Your Google Ranking
Having an .au domain name helps Google understand where your business is based or operates. If you used a .com, Google would have a harder time ranking you for local searches--it would be dependant on other elements of your website to know which market you service.
It matters, too, in what users do with the search results. If your search returns two sites side by side, one at a .com and the other at a .com.au, which is an Australian consumer more likely to click on if they need a local business?
There are many factors that go into ranking your website on Google, so do your part to help searchers find you: use a .au domain.