While many small and medium businesses hopped online during the pandemic, Australia’s domain name authority .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) has reported that 15 per cent of Australian small businesses still don’t have any kind of web presence.
This is particularly concerning given that recent data released by Google suggests that over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone.
Up until recently, the only option for Australian businesses and organisations was a website address that included a .com / .net / .org / .edu namespace convention before the .au internet country code. However, in March 2022, auDA opened registrations for the new .au direct domain.
Consultation on introducing a .au direct domain began more than five years ago. However, the economic and business response during the COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed the need for a shorter, direct country domain.
Taking an idea online as early as possible can create value for the website owner and the community: making a business, not-for-profit or great idea discoverable and shareable.
The introduction of .au direct domains opens up new opportunities and benefits for Australian businesses including;
1. Affordable Presence
auDA has deliberately kept the wholesale registration cost of the .au direct domain very affordable – less than A$10 per domain name per year – to ensure that price is not a barrier to existing or new businesses joining the .au domain name system.
While the domain registrars will add a mark-up for the additional services they provide, such as website hosting and cyber security, the retail registration cost will still be modest.
According to analytics company Contentsquare, 58 per cent of all online visits in 2021 were made on smartphones.
In a mobile-first world where you’re typing with your thumbs, an extra four keystrokes in a website address can make a big difference.
3. Trusted Domain
.au direct domain isn’t replacing other website address options; rather, it’s a new member of the family.
Apart from providing existing Australian businesses with a shorter website option, it leverages the high level of trust in the .au domain.