Small business owners already know the importance of having an online presence. After all, it’s how you expand your customer base in the shortest amount of time. But are you reaching the right people at the right time?
Enter .ca domains – the domain extension that is specifically for Canadian individuals and businesses. If you are an entrepreneur in Canada – whether you have a brick and mortar business or are running your dream business online – using a .ca domain will get you noticed. Here’s why:
The truth is, when given the choice, Canadians would rather support fellow Canadians. The proof is in the pudding, with these eye-opening statistics from a study conducted by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA):
- 77% of Canadians will support Canadian businesses whenever possible
- 64% of Canadians agree that Canadian businesses should use .ca domains
- 54% of Canadians prefer to use .ca domains because they are Canadian
Showing that you are Canadian right in your domain is the easiest way to wave your digital flag and attract Canadian customers. And, once those customers are on your website, it also provides them with a sense of security. How, you ask? Well…
Canadians Trust .CA
In the same CIRA study, they discovered that Canadians prefer to use websites that make use of .ca whenever they have to exchange personal information. Personal information like their credit card number. If you are selling goods online, you want to provide your customers with security and safety; you want them to know that their sensitive personal banking information is in safe hands. With .ca domains, coupled with essential SSL certificates, you give them that extra peace of mind that they need to conduct business with you.
Get Seen By Google
A common question that I hear in my job is, “How do I get my website noticed by Google?” Search engine optimization (SEO) is probably the biggest mystery for entrepreneurs when they are just starting out. The good news is that you can employ a number of tactics to increase your Google ranking, and that starts with a .ca domain.
Picture it: you have a coffee shop in Kamloops that you want people to find when they are in your area. When people want to find a coffee shop near them, they take out their smart phone, turn on their location, and ask Siri to tell them what coffee shop is closest. Google will rank the most relevant search results and, if you have a .ca domain, you’ll be more relevant than your competitors that have a .com domain only.
“One challenge of advertising online is getting as much information across to clients as quickly as possible,” says Marg Cresswell, an artist who uses .ca to promote her business. “With my company name and my .ca domain, potential clients know my name, occupation and location in only 15 characters and in under 10 seconds. Now that’s a fast elevator pitch!”
If you already have a .com domain, no worries. Getting on the .ca train is easy, and you don’t need to build a whole new website to do it. It’s as easy as purchasing the .ca domain and redirecting it to your already existing website. By doing so, you can advertise your .ca domain to your Canadian customers and still capture the traditional traffic that you received through your original domain.
If you don’t have a website at all yet, it’s the perfect time to get started with .ca. The domain can be purchased for as low as $1.99 and, on top of that, there are a number of easy-to-use website builders that are ideal for entrepreneurs who don’t yet have the budget to hire a website designer.
Join the community of entrepreneurs who already call .ca home and you’ll be giving your small business a leg-up in the competitive online marketplace.