Since their official launch earlier this week, it has now been possible to buy a .ski domain extension. So for example it’s now possible to buy domains such as courchevel.ski or backcountry.ski
And since that launch the most common question we’ve had at Skipedia is ‘Should I buy a .ski domain?’
Not necessary, but probably worth it
It’s simply not necessary to buy a .ski domain just to prove that you are a business in the ski sector. If people don’t already know that you do ski when they see your SERPS result, social channels or promotional material then you are doing something seriously wrong.
A lot of companies have ‘ski’ in their name, but will users really not be able to find them without a .ski domain extension? Crystal Ski will not lose any business by not using crystal.ski
However, despite all that, you probably should still buy a .ski domain for your company.
Existing Snowsports Brands
For existing businesses within the ski industry the key reason to buy a .ski domain is to stop someone else buying it.
There’s an entire industry based on ‘domain squatting’. Companies buy up large numbers of domains on a speculative basis, targeting existing players within an industry, and then try to sell them on for an inflated price.
If you are an existing business and you do buy a .ski domain for your brand, there is no need to do anything with it.
The simplest solution is just to redirect it to your existing website, in case anyone types the URL into their browser directly (not very likely). Without a website hosted on the domain, it will never get indexed, so you won’t miss out on any organic traffic.
Develop a microsite
More ambitious companies could use a new domain to develop a microsite relevant to their business, perhaps linking back to the main site or incorporating the existing booking engine under a different skin.
Built around specifically targeted search terms (probably longer tail keywords with the right balance between volume and competitiveness), this could deliver additional traffic, as well as adding more valuable inbound links to your main website.
Perfect for start-ups and new businesses
For new businesses, owning a .ski domain is the obvious starting point. It immediately makes it easier to get the message across, depending on how the brand is being developed.
For example, look at fatmap.com – a new start up in winter 2014/15 offering 3D piste maps on your mobile device. If all you saw was the URL, then fatmap.ski tells you much more about the brand from the start.
Evidently, simply owning a domain is only the starting point. It often requires a decent marketing budget to build up a brand to compete on the scale needed to make it viable.
Would Chalets.ski be worth owning?
Skipedia understands that the domain name chalets.ski is currently being offered for sale for €19000.
It’s hard to see how this would represent value for money. You could buy a different domain for £10 and promote it with that money instead. With that sort of budget you could buy a lot of clicks and build a great fan base.
So, the .ski domain is a cute new idea, worth owning (probably), but is not going to change the industry.
Article by Iain Martin