50% Discounts On All .Ke Domains, What’s The Catch?
Kenya’s top level domain administrator KENIC has just extended the 50% discount offer on all .Ke domains until May 2012. The domains which initially sold for Ksh.2, 400 before tax can now be purchased at half the price. As of March 2012, KENIC had sold only 21,000 .Ke domain names – a cause for a myriad of speculations about the company’s marketing strategy.
South Africa’s top- level domain administrator had sold about 700,000 .co.za domains and 20,000 .org.za domain names as of March 2012. This has been attributed to superior coordination, affordable pricing and good marketing policies.
From my past experience as a webmaster, .com, .net and .org domains have always been my preference because of their affordability, ease of configuration and their worldwide recognition. Many webmasters in the country share the same sentiments take for example; most Kenyan internet users will just key in www.google.com in an effort to search for local content despite www.google.co.ke offering far more relevant local searches.
The main reason many people find themselves doing this is because of familiarity with .com domains, it comes naturally like scrolling down a message using the thumb. Still on the same, it is probable that this blog loses hundreds of visitors daily who key in www.openbook.com Instead of www.openbook.co.ke, open a strange website and give up.
On a lighter note, per country top- level domains such as .co.ke and .co.za are by default configured to show up high in SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) in their country of administration and poorly in other countries.
For instance, a site like Dealfish.co.ke* will show up high in SERPS for “Laptops for sale” if the search is made in Kenya and poorly if the same search is made in Madagascar. On the contrary, a site like Dealfish.com * using a global TLD (Top level domain) would perform equally in SERPS in all countries of the world if properly optimized.
Despite all these, I have been using a .co.ke domain for almost a year and still going strong mainly because:
- My website has been ranking exceptionally well locally on SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) even for highly competitive phrases such as ‘make money online.’
- A plethora of competitive and generic domain names such as programmer, cook, recipes, dating etc are still available. Last year when I was registering this blog, openbook.com/net/org/info/biz/co/tv were all taken and some were even being auctioned for as high as $7,000 but Openbook.co.ke was still available!
- My SERPS have been converting well to inbound clicks since unlike the universal but monotonous .com names; .Ke domains are fewer and distinctive.
- I registered my .Ke domain name without necessarily needing a credit card. Almost all KENIC accredited resellers in Kenya accept payments through mobile money services such as Mpesa.
Disadvantages of .Ke domains:
- Not cheap. As other top level domain names go for a maximum of $10 a year, I acquired my domain for $ 34 a year.
- Configuration takes hours and sometimes days. Other top level domains take about thirty minutes to be fully propagated worldwide.
- Website content will only be optimized for searches within Kenya and this unfortunately cannot be altered. Looking at my Google Analytics, majority of search engine traffic to this blog is from Kenya even though the website can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
To sum things up, if all you need is a website centered within Kenya, let’s say a brand that offers its services within the geographical boundaries of Kenya, you will be better off with a .Ke domain.
What experiences have you had with .Ke domains?