Have you heard that Canadians discovered the Internet?
Actually, that’s about as far from accurate as a statement can be. In fact, Canadians are more web savvy than Americans per capita.
A big milestone was reached for our neighbors to the North regarding the use of .ca domains. On April 13th, the 1 millionth .ca domain was registered. The first was registered in 1988 (see, they’ve been on the web for a LONG time).
I get to work with a rather prominent .ca domain on a regular basis that should certainly be a .ca: Century21.ca. This is a Canadian business that clearly does business primarily in Canada. A perfect case for a .ca domain.
However, Toronto-based search engine marketer, Andrew Goodman, who thinks .ca domains may not be appropriate for Canadians in all situations since they may seem “provincial” on the world wide web:
When Registering Domains, Think Big
It reinforces the tendency of Canadian businesses to think “provincially.” Much of the time, you are in a global and definitely a North American market, even if you didn’t realize it yet.
It’s true that in some markets, a .com is a liability. Using a .com in France, research shows, will lower clickthrough rates on paid search ads, and no doubt conversion rates to sales.
However, Canada is not France.
Here’s my take: If your business is Canada based and does business in Canada, a .ca domain seems to make a lot of sense. If you do business internationally, a .com may make people outside of Canada more comfortable. More importantly, if you decide to use a .ca for your business and would be pissed if someone registered the .com version of your business’ name, you have all the justification you need to at least own both.