In a 2013 study by Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), it was reported that 89 percent of Canadians believe it is important for Canadians to have a .CA extension. Additionally, 69 percent of online users in Canada say businesses and organizations should use a .CA website.
In today’s world, your website is the perpetual storefront of your business. To survive in the online and mobile business world, a website is a must to ensure your business gets the maximum exposure.
When you are choosing a domain name it is very important to consider your geographic market. A .COM domain extension conveys that your business is targeting a global market. At the same time, a .CA domain extension shows that you primarily do business in the Canadian market.
If you have launched a website (or expect to do so in the near future) and want that website to be visible within the search results to Canadian audiences, geotargeting should be your priority.
What is geotargeting?
Geotargeting is used by Google to assign a geographic location to a particular website in order to show searchers more relevant local information. Google knows the IP address location of every search conducted and filters the search results to raise the prominence of locally published websites.
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Google maintains a different database for Canada. Therefore, when a user searches Google from Canada, different search results turn up than if the same search was performed outside of the country. If users in Canada enter google.com in their browsers, they are automatically redirected to google.ca. So it is safe to say that .CA has become a national identifier.
In order to target your SEO to the right audience you want your site to give Google as many hints as possible about the geographic market you serve.
Today Google’s algorithm relies on more than 200 clues to ensure users are getting the right results on their search. These clues include original content, region and page rank of a website.
Google tends to change the conditions of its algorithm sporadically. Given Google’s current guidelines, it would be best practice to purchase both .COM and .CA for your business’s domain extension. Domain extension names are rather inexpensive so, if possible try to acquire other domain extensions such as .NET, .INFO, etc.
However, if push comes to shove, having a .CA domain extension does give your business certain advantages that the standard .COM extension doesn’t. The issue, of course, is where your prospective clientele lie. Simply put, Canadian users will benefit greatly from a .CA extension.