This article was written by Bart Burggraaf who is a Partner at MediaGroup Worldwide.
A top-level domain (TLD) is an extension like .com, .net or .de.
A few years ago, the organisation that administers these TLDs started allowing people to own their own TLD. Which means that Google might own .google and put sites like search.google or gmail.google on it.
One might consider owning .YourName but alas the costs are prohibitive for mere mortals. To own your very own TLD will set you back $185,000 to start and then 25K per year.
Saxo Bank has much deeper pockets then the average person and recently changed its website address from saxobank.com to home.saxo. It registered this TLD in early 2015 and has now launched what is probably the first in a series of new services to be made available under the .saxo TLD, the firm’s homepage.
Saxo is not the only broker to apply for and receive its own TLD. IG group owns .forex, for instance. While some examples like .XXX will surely be very popular domain choices, in most cases operating new TLDs is only interesting for companies looking to own their own name (like .Apple) and not categories, because of the popularity of .com.
What is the advantage of this change in URL for Saxo?
For one, Saxo now has a more unique website URL. While .com is definitely more recognizable and perhaps better trusted, once found, .saxo is more memorable. What’s more, from an SEO perspective it will now be able to operate keyword domains like forex.saxo, options.saxo and so on and host relevant content there in order to gain rankings. The downside from an SEO perspective is that the firm will lose some of the power that the old .com website had. There are more nuances to consider, but all in all I think Saxo made the decision not for any technical SEO reason but more from a brand perspective.
With Saxo’s new campaign ‘Let’s change the way we invest’ it seems there is an overall brand strategy to be ‘different’ at play here. Changing the website to a new domain is not something that can be easily undone or repeated without serious damage to organic presence, so for better or worse, Saxo is stuck with .saxo for a while.
Taking the opportunity to also launch a new mobile friendly and scrollable one-pager website, one thing we can say is that Saxo has become much less conservative in recent times. The trend of making scrollable one page sites is a bit over (that reminds me to change our company website too!), but it still looks fresh and Saxo did a great job at it. While the new website looks good and works great on mobile devices, I am not sure it was a good idea to completely hide the navigation from desktop users.
The idea of having one website for all devices with the same navigation is great in theory, but in practice people are not yet used to this type of mobile navigation on their desktops. I think eventually the data will show this, and perhaps Saxo will change back to a classic navigation for larger screen devices. The best brokers test, optimize and test again and I am sure Saxo will see if the change worked well for them or not – time will tell.