For some organizations it makes sense to have a website with the .org extension. I’ve worked with non-profit radio that actively promoted their .com website and received several complaints from listeners who felt the non-profit aspect of the radio station warranted using .org instead of .com. But even if you have a .org, .net or anything else, I always recommend obtaining the .com version of your domain name whenever possible.
Why the .com matters
The importance of having a .com domain name was clearly illustrated by online gambling sites. Online casinos were having trouble buying ads in magazines and newspapers due to the nature of their business. So the casinos took their gambling website domain names and registered the .org versions. New public service announcements were designed and placed on these .org domains to help people with gambling addictions. Then they placed ads in newspapers and magazines, who were happy to advertise these new public service announcements to their readers.
Then it was later discovered that over 75% of people saw the .org domain name listed in the ads, but turned to their computers and typed .com instead. It turns out we’ve been conditioned to recognize and respond to “dot com” more than we thought!
Competitors and other bad sites
Besides the natural instinct to type .com, there are branding and competitive reasons to register .com versions of our websites. In the same way that casinos recognized the potential of traffic going to the wrong website, your competitors may register the .com version of your website to steal away customers who type in the wrong address. And if your competitors don’t register those domains, other “less desirable” businesses are skilled at finding any domain name that gets traffic–even misdirected traffic–to register them and place their own ads and materials on those sites.
The cost of registering an additional domain name to protect your website is inconsequential, and you can automatically redirect people to the correct website. If your website isn’t already a .com, register the additional name today!
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.