If you’re an Australian business, chances are you have a website that is critical to the success of your online sales. Websites are the main platform businesses use to promote and sell their products and services, raise brand awareness, attract new customers and generate trust in the business. While registering a .com.au domain name has been the preferred choice for Aussies up until now, the introduction of .au websites is set to shake up the way we do things.
Here’s what’s happening and how it can benefit you and your business.
What Changes are Happening to .au Domains?
From the 24th March 2022, Australian businesses will have the option to use a .au domain name directly after their business name. This means that instead of yourbusinessname.com.au, you can have the shorter and simpler domain name of yourbusinessname.au. This is big news as previously, the only options were domain names such as .com.au, .net.au and .org.au.
So, how does it work?
If you already have a registered .com.au domain name for your business that was registered before this date, your new .au domain name has automatically been placed on a priority 6 month hold for you until the 20th September 2022. This gives everyone the chance to register their new online name.
If you haven’t registered to reserve your domain by then, the name becomes available to the general public. This means that you risk losing your .au business domain name to a competitor which can confuse your customers. impact the traffic to your website and leave your business open to cyber security risks.
How Can Using a .au Domain Benefit Your Business?
A .com.au domain lets potential customers know that you are an Australian business and that you have a presence in the country. This is important for those who wish to shop within Australia and deal with Australian companies.
A shortened direct .au domain will deliver even more benefits. It can:
- Allow you to create more memorable and catchier online names that are easy to remember
- Improve your branding, marketing and advertising with a shortened name
- Make it much easier for customers to find your website by registering different variations of your domain name
- Safeguard your website and business against cybercrime and fraud
Who Can Use a .au Domain?
Any business that has an Australian presence is eligible to apply for a .au domain name. This includes:
- Registered companies
- Sole traders
- Owners of registered Australian trade marks
- Registered charities
- Registered political parties
- Foreign companies who are licensed to trade in Australia
Do You Have to Switch to a Direct .au Domain?
No, the choice is totally up to you. The process is optional and you can choose to stick with your current .com.au domain name which will continue to operate in the exact same way.
However, it’s important to consider that not reserving your .au domain name can leave your business, brand and identity more vulnerable to cyber security risks as other businesses can register it instead after September 2022. It’s always a good idea to register all variations of your domain name, including .com.au, .au and .com.
What Should You Do Now?
The best thing to do is to reserve your chosen .au domain during the priority period so that your competitors can’t snap it up before you. You can start this process by reviewing your current domain and checking Whois Lookup to confirm your domain eligibility information is accurate and up-to-date.
Next, check that your domain is eligible for priority status by using the auDA’s Priority Status Tool. Once done, the easiest way to apply for your chosen domain is through your current domain name registrar. You can also visit an auDA accredited registrar.
Once approved, you will be able to complete your registration and start using your new domain name shortly afterwards.
Talk to the SEO and Digital Marketing Experts
Digital Surfer are an SEO and digital marketing agency on the Gold Coast with extensive experience in organic and local SEO, web design, digital marketing strategies and much more. Our talented team understands all about the importance of the right domain name and can help you out with all of your .au websites and online business needs. Give us a call today for more information and to discover how we can help you and your business to grow.
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