.CA vs .COM What’s Best For SEO

.CA vs .COM What’s Best For SEO

One of the prerequisites of setting up a website is to create your own unique domain name. You will be required to choose an appropriate domain extensionsuch as .com, .ca, or .uk,which are also known as top-level domains (TLDs). Even if you don’t give much thought to the matter, your domain name will eventually end up with an extension. It is in your best interest to choose the domain that allows you to capture several market metrics, especially the ones in your local area.

By market metrics we mean technical terms such as pay-per-click campaigns, total organic traffic, total paid traffic, bounce rates, and conversions. Since your website is going to reflect your business, your domain extension should show that you cancater to a local audience. In the case of Canadian businesses, it is preferable to go with the .ca extension because it appears more trustworthy to local audiences.

In fact, Google likes ccTLD so much that it has placed them at the top of the list used to determine country-specific targeting.

country specific domains seo

Localized domains such as .ca are relatively easier to reach target countries because you don’t necessarily need to rely on Geotargeting, an SEO tool that needs to be configured to determine a person’s location. Domains which are not targeting links affiliated with a specific country will have a harder time reaching local audiences. This is why ccTLDs are efficient at reaching local audiences.

Customers Form Opinions Based on Domain Extension

Most users have no trouble identifying domain extensions such asthe.ca. If anything, it adds to the authenticity of the website and business. This is especially useful if you’re trying to set up an ecommerce website and earn the trust of your audience. Domains with geographic extensions produce better local search engine results because the ccTLD tells the search engine exactly what to search for.

The .ca domains are good for higher SEO rankings in Canada because the customer will already develop positive opinions about your website’s shipping terms and conditions.

domain extensions

An article on Hubspot discussed at length about customer opinions when they have presented two choices. The first choice had an .org domain while the other had a .com domain. An overwhelming majority (90 percent people) believed that the .org extension meant that the company was a registered non-profit.

This observation will also apply for businesses that want to target a localized website, irrespective of their affiliation to a non-profit organization. The fact that your website has a .ca domain attached shows the audience that you have country-specific capabilities to handle client requests.

.ccTLDsAre Easier to Identify

There are fewer .com websites available to register with meaningful names. This is why registering with the .ca extension is a smart way to capture domain-specific niches.

Alternatives like the .ca domain allow business owners to create a powerful presence online while establishing a less restrictive experience for their own staff members. Just because someone else already got to your favorite domain name on .com doesn’t mean you have to miss out on matching your company name.

.CA vs .COM What's Best For SEO

The above chart was sourced from Netcraft’s January 2018 survey, which found that there are over 1.8 billion websites out there. This means that it is relatively easy for your website to go under the radar if it doesn’t have something unique supporting it. Acquiring the .ca extension will go a long way to give your business some extra cushion against the onslaught of several .com websites.

Here’s Why the .CA Domains Are So Beneficial
  • Over 49 percent of Canadians have a strong preference for websites with a .ca domain.
  • Over 54 percent of Canadians have a strong preference for .ca for personal use such as e-commerce, news research, personal banking, and social media.
  • After its inception in 1987, it took 21 years to reach the 1 million milestone for .ca domains. It took another 4 years to reach the 2 million mark.
  • A component of national integrity is attached to the .ca since 89 percent of Canadians believe in the importance of using country specific ccTLDs.
  • A small portion of the proceeds from .ca registrations are given back to the community through the Community Investment Program. This public initiative contributes to innovative projects to build a more robust online Canada.
  • On a lighter note, you will get a little bit of traffic from Californians who may mistake.ca as a website based in California!

Why the .CA Domains Are So Beneficial

This isn’t to say that the .com domains are obsolete.Let’s discuss some advantages of you will get by getting a .com extension.

  • Google prefers websites with a .com domain name because it has the largest database of websites. There are over 125 million registered .com domains available.
  • The .com is the oldest domain name, which gives it credibility and authenticity.
  • Users are familiar with the .com domain name, which means that cognitive familiarity will result in more human interactions.
  • Google is more likely to give higher domain authority to .com businesses than those ending with a .uk or even a .ca if you don’t have enough backlinks.
  • Businesses that want to attract more customers outside Canada should use a domain name with .com instead of .ca.
  • It is a good idea to register your domain across popular TLDs to protect and control your brand. You should try to target both .com and .ca domains before your competitors do the same.Higher SEO Results

The .ca domain name helps you target traffic from Canada. Suppose you have a UK-based restaurant and you want to target users from Canada. You will want to choose the .ca domain because it ensures you show up on the search results of people living in Canada, rather than the USA or Australia.

So if someone were to type “burgers near me,” the search engine will show different results depending on the IP address of the person. A person with a Canadian ID will see your website registered with the domain suffix .ca instead of someone else’s website with the .ca domain name.

You Gotta Catch Em’ All (If You Can)

While it is true that the .ca domain will open you to a world of options when it comes to interacting with clients, if you have the financial muscle to purchase all ccTLDs related to your business, you should go ahead and do that before someone else does. This might bode well in the near future if your business manages to do well, and you want to expand operations internationally.

Since you already registered several international domain names, it will become as simple as plug and play to create a globally structured website. If you want to go down that route, you should look into registering domain names with slight variations to your business name, for instance, www.keyboardsforyou.ca should also have www.keybaordsforyou.ca registered for it.

This is good for lead generation because you will minimize instances of clients running into another business because of a minor typo.

Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the traffic intended for your business to go to other businesses simply because your domain names match across different ccTLDs.



author – Jamie – Barton
Jamie Barton
CEO of NASN Licensing Inc. & Shopincities.com

Jamie has more than two decades of experience in accelerating brand visibility for online businesses. His company operates SEOResellersCanada.ca, a white label SEO and digital marketing agency. With his unique and actionable business processes, agencies and small businesses can successfully expand online operations without the traditional associated cost overhead.

For over 18 years we have been the solution to fit any size agency or business. Our team of creative SEO experts and marketers develop some of the best results driven campaigns in the industry.

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