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We have a bit of a debate here internally. We are launching our ecommerce site quite soon. We're in France, but the site is for now solely for UK customers. We have the .com and .co.uk extensions for our domain name. Which is the most recognized in the uk that we should promote? I favour the .co.uk especially as there is a .com domain very close to ours, but others in the team prefer .com saying it's more recognized. As far as I remember (I lived 10 years in London) .co.uk is more used in there. What do the panel think?
I personally would vote your way and go with the .co.uk!
A lot of people (mainly infrequent web users) who are looking to buy online, will still only buy from .co.uk as they feel they have more "security" from buying UK. I dont mean security as in fraud, but as in more trust in the vendor.
Just my opinion anyway :)
<added>and what Nick says about the hosting ;)</added>
and hosting is advised, NOT essential at this moment in time.
.co.uk domains hosted outside of the UK do very well from past experience.
if its a .com then UK hosting is essential, but still doesnt solve problems such as AOL and Yahoo only showing .uk extensions when users select "pages from the UK"
On the other hand I was recently looking for a childs swimming pool for the grandchildren and I ended up only looking at the co.uk sites to save wasting time reading about stuff that would have to be shipped in from the states.
I guess it depends what you are selling or doing.
Why don't you register both .com and .co.uk? (presuming they are both available).
I agree with earlier posters who advised you get both.
As I understand the original post they already have both, the question is which one to promote.
As the audience is UK, the only way to go is to promote the .co.uk.
A lot of UK customers are put off by .com.
301 redirect the .com to catch the mis-type-ins.
You can always use the .com later for a more worldwide flavour if that's what you end up wanting to do.
In the fullness of time the difference in serps between the two is very small, but you are more like to hit the ground running with the dot UK.
Sometimes dot com has simplicity value, if you have a hyphenated URL, or alliterative, if it begins with C.
If you have an e commerce site, then consider how you will come up in serps with punters wanting to cut out US or other foreign sites. If I want to buy say a digital camera, I often add "uk" to the keyword search to cut out getting a number of US sites, that can mean a UK dot com, which is listed on the SE, gets cut from such a search (unless you have fully covered it in other coding)