It is not a mystery why there are 1,835,159 .UK reserved domain names which are unclaimed by the entity with rights for registration. Many of these companies own a domain name with another domain extension, consisting of mostly .COM domains and a handful of others.
Yes, .UK domain name can provide up to 70% increase in search and clicks to a local business or company website. Still, website owners find .COM domain more attractive and valuable, especially knowing single and two words (English) domain names hold the most value. Fact is that .COM namespace is over-saturated, but a .UK domain name should provide better online visibility in a local search.
Moreover, brand, product or company online presence protection should be the main motives for acquiring a .UK domain name even if the company already owns a third-level domain or a .COM domain.
Right of Registration period for .UK domain ending
Recent research conducted by Nominet, the organization responsible for the .UK domain name space shows that a website ending in .UK provide more trust among consumers than other domain extensions.
With several different domain name extension options available in the .UK space, there is flexibility with the extension an organization can choose from. Now, a competing business may register said domain name, and redirect traffic to their own website, with the biggest negative impact to local UK small and medium business which does not possess a large market budget.
The 25th June of 2019 was the ending date of a five year ‘Right of Registration’ period by Nominet, started in June 2014 to allow third-level domain registrants the time to consider if they would like to register their second-level equivalent, for all sorts and purposes.
.UK domains in more detail
Interesting facts about .UK domain names:
• 70%2 of people would rather buy from a website ending in .UK.
• Every 5 seconds a start-up business, an organization or an individual register a domain name ending in .UK.
• The three most popular .UK domain name extensions are: .co.uk, usually registered companies. .org.uk usually registered by charities and not-for-profit organizations and .me.uk usually registered for personal use.
• There is no restriction on which .uk domain name extension you can register for your business. Which means, an individual can register a .co.uk, .org or even .UK.
• 76% of adults bought goods or services online.
Arguably, domain names that are a perfect match to registered trademark might be a bit more difficult to exploit by competing for business, but this case-specific scenario can be used the other way around too.
Imagine if a competing business acquires the domain name with your product or service, and makes it into a registered trademark? This would lead to potential loss of all matching domain names that another company might infringe on.
Mapping out a digital marketing strategy, revolving around the perfect domain name, is one of the key decisions that need to be made at the beginning of a successful business start-up plan.
The cornerstone of such a digital marketing plan is the domain name extension chosen to used by a business or an organization.
Within almost two million .UK domains that are bound to be released, insightful competing businesses are bound to find opportunities to further their business on account of their competition.