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Google's ‘.new’ domain extensions are coming: Marketers take note

Google's ‘.new’ domain extensions are coming: Marketers take note Blog Feature

Brian Casey

Lead Content Trainer, Content Marketing Consultant, 7+ Years of Digital Marketing Strategy and Account Management Experience

November 1st, 2019 min read

In 2018, Google released the .new domain extension for G-suite products. Simply by typing "docs.new," users could start a new Google document. These shortcuts allowed users to create a new Google doc, spreadsheet, or slide presentation with a simple short URL.

This week, Google announced a slew of new sites using the .new URL structure. Some of the fun ones you can test out include:

  • playlist.new - Start a new Spotify playlist
  • canva.new - Start a new Canva design
  • cal.new - Start a new Google Calendar event
  • story.new - Start a new story on Medium

Several companies are already using the .new domains, and public availability is coming soon. In the world of online sales and marketing, early adopters usually get the worm. 

Benefits of .new domains

As marketers, it's important to understand how the .new landscape can work in your favor. There are several benefits that might make it worth investigating.

Vanity URLs are memorable

These .new domains are one of the latest examples of vanity URLs. A vanity URL is a custom, usually brand- or keyword-focused, short URL that redirects to a traditional URL. They're used for marketing purposes to help users find and remember a specific page.

If you wanted to hop on a quick Webex videoconference with a coworker, the specific URL string to start a new meeting would be https://globalpage-prod.webex.com/launch. Compare that with webex.new.

These .new domains are short and easy to understand. They're made up of real words that people can pronounce and remember. As a result, they're much easier to use in marketing campaigns and social posting. In fact, branded short links generate up to 39% more click-throughs versus generic short URLs.

Reduce the clicks to perform an action on your site

From a user experience perspective, the less work that a site visitor has to do the better. By using the .new shortcuts, you can create a playlist, make a dinner reservation, or start a Canva project in one click.

While the "three-click rule” has been debunked, the guiding principle behind it applies: Create the best user experience possible in the easiest manner possible. A great UX can decrease the bounce rate and increase conversions on your site. 

If you needed to start a new Google slides presentation in the past, you would start at drive.google.com. From there, you would click the new button on the left menu bar and then click slides. You can now bypass the additional steps and start a new Google slides presentation in one click by using slides.new. 

Tie focus keywords to your brand

Brands like Spotify have already cornered the market for terms like "playlist." As a result, they've tied this important keyword in the vanity URL to their brand. This is now the Wild West and the major keywords that are important to your business are up for grabs.

If your brand is being associated with keywords that users already know and that are important to them, this can create trust. If someone types playlist.new and is directed to Spotify, they’re going to associate Spotify as the place to go for playlists. Tying together keywords and your brand helps position your company as a trusted authority.

A focus on creating trust is an element of digital marketing strategy that is here to stay.

Who should use the .new URLs?

The most obvious and immediate answer is SaaS companies. The idea of getting new users to start on your platform more quickly is very appealing. The early adoption of the .new domains has mostly been SaaS platforms due to the functionality of the shortcut. Companies like Webex, OpenTable, and Bitly have already jumped on board.

A broader opportunity exists for companies that might not even be able to take full advantage of the shortcut functionality.

Using the .new domains could be a great option when considering online or traditional marketing campaigns. Let’s say you’re planning a multi-channel marketing campaign with mailers, social posting, and billboards. The entire campaign would guide traffic to a single, easy to remember URL. Using a .new address would be an easy way to directly attribute the success of the campaign holistically.

Final thoughts

According to Google "through January 14, 2020, trademark owners can register their trademarked .new domains. Starting December 2, 2019, anyone can apply for a .new domain during the Limited Registration Period."

The .new top-level domain isn’t going to create the new standard for website structure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. But if you want a memorable campaign URL that makes sense with the .new structure or want to improve UX, you should consider applying for a domain.

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