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Beginner’s Guide: The Most Popular Top-Level Domains by Industry

by Thu Hà

What is a domain name? Why should a small business care about having one?

A domain name is the backbone of your digital presence. It’s one of the most important things for visitors to know and remember, and it’s a crucial component of your multi-channel marketing strategy. Understanding what a domain name is can greatly aid in successfully establishing your online presence — especially if you’re a business looking to increase sales through your website.

In short, a domain name for a business is essential in today’s digital world. It allows you to have a unique identity and establish your brand. You can create a professional-looking website to attract new online customers using a domain name.

To help you understand domain names and how you can register your own domain name to operate your own website, we’ve created this detailed guide.

Domain names may seem complicated, but after reading this guide, you’ll have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about domain names and domain registration. Are you prepared? Let’s get started!

What is a domain name?

Every computer on the internet has an “address” known as an Internet Protocol or IP address. It’s a long and complex string of numbers and letters that computers use to identify a website and it’s hard to remember. That’s why domain names were created.

A domain name is the unique name that each website has. It’s usually a memorable term, making it easy for you to type to access an online asset. For example, people find it easier to remember the domain name ExploringStartups.com than 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1.

Imagine your website as a building. In this case, the domain name would be its street address. When people want to visit your website, they need your website’s domain name to do so. Thus, each domain, like a street address, is completely unique.

Most of you are familiar with a domain name. You use the address bar of your browser to search for a website or company or enter IndiaTimes.com or Flipkart.com to directly access the website. These addresses are the domain names for these websites.

For example, to access GoDaddy’s website, typing “GoDaddy” into your browser will give you search results for “GoDaddy”. It’s not enough to display the actual website. Instead, you need to type the domain name “GoDaddy.com” into the browser to navigate to GoDaddy’s website.

You can also quickly identify the domain name in emails and web addresses. It’s the name after the ‘@’ in an email address and after ‘www.’ in a web address or URL. For example, in the email address sales@ShopClues.com, ShopClues.com is the domain name.

Because the purpose of a domain name is to make it easier for people to access your website, it’s important to keep the domain name simple and easy to remember. But before you start choosing the perfect domain for your business, let’s talk about the main things you should know about domain names.

Why is a domain name important?

The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business. If you are a small business owner or just starting up, having a website domain must be in the cards.

A domain name is a unique identity of your business

Just as fingerprints are unique to every individual, a domain name is unique to one website. Registering a domain name is like securing your identity on the internet. No two websites can share the same domain name. Thus, once any individual, business or organisation registers the domain name, no one else can use it legally.

When users type your domain name on the internet, they are automatically directed to your website and no other. For instance, when users type “YourStory.com” into their browser, they are automatically taken to the website of the startup advocates in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Furthermore, by registering a domain, businesses can enhance their brand awareness and attract more customers. The domain name also needs to be registered to safeguard your copyrights and trademarks, informing newcomers that the domain name they might be considering is already taken.

Even if you don’t plan on having a website soon, secure the .com and .in versions of your business name now. This is because if someone else purchases your domain name:

  • They might exploit your brand recognition by launching a website that looks similar to yours.
  • Later, when you want a website, you might have to find the domain owner and buy it from them at a higher price.

You can further protect your brand by applying for a Trademark Registration in India. This will ensure that no one can use a similar brand name.

The most important reason for you to register a domain name for your business is that you can’t create a website without one.

In 2024 and beyond, digital marketing is essential for any business to survive. Consumers are turning to the internet before buying anything. If you run a business, you need a website.

With the high penetration rate of mobile technology and social media in India, businesses need to have a mobile-friendly website and an interactive online presence.

However, research shows that about 46% of small businesses don’t have their own website.

Your website is the direct experience with users that someone gets when they access your domain name. Here are some top reasons to build a business website:

Consumers research businesses online before making purchases in-store. Your website provides them with the information you want to convey about your business.

Expand your business’s reach and accessibility. A physical store has its limitations. It can’t be open continuously for various security and logistical reasons.

On the other hand, your website is always open (even when your actual store isn’t). Even if you lock up overnight, your website can still generate potential customers or accept new orders. Therefore, if you have a domain name and a website, you can close your actual store at 8 pm, but your business doesn’t stop there.

Make sure you add enough product information on your website. Your customers can browse your products at any time. If your website supports a shopping cart function, they can even order online from you while you sleep.

It serves as a marketing channel for your business. A website allows you to freely control the message and user experience, unlike other online platforms like social media.

Your domain name is not just a random web address that people can use to access your website. It’s a powerful opportunity for businesses to build brand recognition and improve the consumer experience.

Increase professionalism and business image with a domain-specific email address In the early years of doing business, you may be busy building your product to the point where you don’t have time to create a website. The great thing about having a domain name is that you can also use it to create and use domain-specific email addresses with a professional email account. Many business owners often overlook this and continue to use free email services like Hotmail or Gmail to communicate with their customers.

Imagine receiving an email from akashgoel@gmail.com asking you to buy a house. You wonder who this is? Now imagine the impact of an email like akash@GoelRealtors.com. The second email seems to come from a more professional and serious business.

As consumers become more tech-savvy, they expect businesses to have a certain level of professionalism. In a highly competitive market, small differences like having a business email and a professional email account can be a factor that gives you an advantage.

Flipkart.com leads to a website and also appears in the company’s email address as cs@flipkart.com. The matching web and email addresses make Flipkart look trustworthy.

The .com remains one of the most popular TLDs in the world and is currently used by 53.3% of global websites. The lesser known .ca controls less than 11% of the market, followed by .org at 4.4%.

Ranked by use in global websites, the top domain TLD extensions of 2023 are:

  1. .com
  2. .ca
  3. .org
  4. .ru
  5. .net
  6. .au
  7. .uk
  8. .in
  9. .ir
  10. .de

Since 1995, retail giant Amazon.com has been one of the most popular ecommerce domains. Today, Amazon reaches three billion monthly visitors, across all devices. Rivaled by AliExpress and eBay, the company continues to hold a 40% market share across the ecommerce industry.

The top 10 most popular ecommerce domains in 2022 are:

  • Amazon.com
  • eBay.com
  • Amazon.co.jp
  • Etsy.com
  • Rakuten.co.jp 
  • Walmart.com
  • Amazon.de
  • Aliexpress.com 
  • Temu.com

Social media use continues to grow among different demographics. Facebook ranks at the top of the list, followed by Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The top 10 social media domains in 2023 are:

  • Facebook.com 
  • Twitter.com 
  • Instagram.com 
  • WhatsApp.com
  • TikTok.com 
  • Reddit.com 
  • LinkedIn.com 
  • VK.com 
  • Discord.com 
  • Pinterest.com 

Video is the most popular form of online content. Today, four in five consumers use the internet just for video streaming. YouTube.com boasts the highest amount of traffic, with 500 hours of footage uploaded per minute. While perhaps more curated, video streaming domains like Netflix.com and Hotstar.com take a back seat to user-generated content.

The 10 most popular video streaming domains are:

  • YouTube.com
  • Netflix.com
  • IMDB.com 
  • Hotstar.com 
  • DisneyPlus.com 
  • HBOMax.com 
  • Hulu.com 
  • PrimeVideo.com 
  • Nicovideo.jp 
  • Xfinity.com 

Internet users prefer Yahoo.com as a trusted news source, followed closely by Naver.com and QQ.com. Non-English sites including Globo.com and UOL.com.br retain a spot in the top ten.

2023’s top 10 news domains are:

  • Yahoo.com
  • Naver.com 
  • QQ.com 
  • MSN.com 
  • Globo.com 
  • TurboPages.org 
  • BBC.co.uk 
  • CNN.com 
  • NYTimes.com 
  • UOL.com.br 

The sports industry has a strong online presence. ESPN.com is the most popular sports domain, with more than 500 million unique visitors every month. 

The 10 most popular sport domains in 2023 include:

  • ESPN.com
  • Marca.com
  • AS.com 
  • Cricbuzz.com
  • CBSsports.com 
  • Futbol24.com 
  • ESPNcricinfo.com 
  • Livescore.com 
  • Kooora.com 
  • Betman.co.kr 

Website traffic related to health and wellness spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Healthline.com pulled ahead of nonprofit and governmental sources with an average of 190 million visitors per month.

The top 10 most popular health domains are:

  • Healthline.com
  • NIH.gov
  • MayoClinic.org 
  • WebMD.com 
  • MedicalNewsToday.com 
  • CDC.gov
  • CVS.com 
  • MedlinePlus.gov 
  • NHS.uk 
  • Tuasaude.com 

Most popular travel domains of 2022: Booking.com

Sites like Booking.com enjoy 420 million visitors from all over the world, helping travellers book flights and reserve hotels. Other popular sites, including TripAdvisor and Airbnb, lead the industry in terms of size, traffic, and general interest.

Below are the 10 most popular travel domains worldwide:

  • Booking.com
  • TripAdvisor.com
  • Airbnb.com
  • Expedia.com
  • Uber.com 
  • Travelerdreams.com 
  • Southwest.com 
  • AA.com 
  • Ryanair.com 
  • Hotels.com 

Insights from 10 popular domains of 2022

Google.com is the decided victor of search engine domains worldwide. As of 2022, more than 90 billion people in 180 countries rely on the website to find what they’re looking for. Google’s web traffic can’t be matched by secondary competitors Baidu.com (six billion monthly visits) and Yandex.com (four billion monthly visits).

The top 10 search domains in 2023 are:

  • Google.com
  • Baidu.com 
  • Yandex.ru
  • Bing.com 
  • DuckDuckGo.com 
  • Daum.net 
  • Seznam.cz 
  • Sogou.com 
  • Sm.cn 
  • Ecosia.org 

most popular banking domains 2022: PayPal

PayPal.com is the leading domain in the banking and financial industries. Online web traffic hovers at 514 million visitors per month, with an average growth rate of 10%. Chase.com lags behind at 200 million total visits.

Globally, the 10 most popular banking domains of 2022 are:

  • PayPal.com 
  • Chase.com
  • WellsFargo.com 
  • BankOfAmerica.com 
  • CapitalOne.com 
  • CreditKarma.com 
  • AmericanExpress.com 
  • Sberbank.ru 
  • HDFCBank.com 
  • Citi.com 

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