The rise of the new .au domain is a huge addition to the Australian market for marketers and business owners alike. In fact, it’s big news.
For years, Australians have eagerly awaited this upgrade, with it mostly being hearsay and not a lot of action. We’ve had to deal with .com and .com.au (or even .net.au) for decades. So, with a new product now on the market, it’s exciting times ahead for all.
As of March 24, 2022, these direct domains are now a reality and business operations online are about to see all the powerful benefits these extensions are about to bring to the market.
Whether you believe it will impact your Australian presence or not, there are some key factors you’ll need to consider about the au registry system and how it affects your local business.
Understanding the priority allocation process
If you’ve been thinking about registering your business online but haven’t made the move, now’s the best time to do it, as the priority allocation period has begun. That means you can opt to be put on the list of those who will get first dibs on their chosen .au domain. If you’re not on this list, you’ll just have to hope no other brand swipes it before you.
Essentially, starting on 24 March, Australian domain names will look a little different. The .com.au domain extension has long been the favourite for business owners and business entities, but now .au will take over and lead the charge. And there are a few reasons why you should be excited about this addition as an Aussie brand.
However, there is a process you’ll need to wade through in order to snatch up your .au domain.
For starters, all existing com.au domain owners are automatically eligible to migrate to the .au alternative. That means they’ll instantly qualify and take up first place in line. If you don’t have either, it will be a more difficult process to sift through (but still worth the effort).
The good news is, businesses with other Australian domain names can still participate in this upgrade, as the doors remain open for a few more weeks for priority status. After that, registration is still open for six months. You’ll need to go through your trusted registrar to opt in, though.
NOTE: When you’re ready to apply, make sure you have your existing domain name on hand, and your WHOIS information is 100% up to date.
Does registering a .au direct domain name really matter that much?
In order to remain relevant and on top of the market, upgrades and ‘renovations’ are necessary over time. Domain names are no exception. No one likes a brand that’s falling away from the times or failing to keep up-to-date with trends, especially online.
Additionally, transitioning over will give you an edge over your competitors, even if you already have your own .com.au domain.
But beyond those basic benefits, here are a few more reasons why one should register a .au direct domain now…
Online visibility at its best
If you already run SEO, ensuring the rest of your marketing suite complements your campaign is key to success. So that means ensuring your technical aspects – like your domain – go hand-in-hand with these efforts.
By helping your SEO strategy with a more relevant and logical domain, you can also do wonders for your online visibility. For example, this new extension can provide benefits like:
- A shorter, more concise URL for your business
- Able to be recalled easily by those that see it in the local community
- It is easier to input directly into browser search bars.
More Australian digital ‘real estate’ for your business
Your business needs a prominent brand and trademark if it is based in Australia, so it only makes sense to choose a .au direct domain name for even increased relevancy. When you snatch up this new real estate for your business, you also grab it before a competitor sweeps in and does it instead.
Plus, businesses are prone to buying multiple domains and commercial entities when they’re larger-scale, simply to avoid others taking up the potential space that they may want later down the track. If you don’t want a .au direct domain name right now, there’s still a big chance you might want it in the future.
Are you eligible?
Anyone who already owns an Australian domain (.com.au) can receive this upgrade and be put on the priority list. But you’ll need to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria (more on this below.
How to apply for .au domain names
If all of this sounds a bit techy, some more good news is that it’s super easy to grab your own .au domain name, in just a matter of a few clicks:
- Make sure your matching domain name is registered under the correct contact details, and information with WHOIS. I.e. your .com.au needs to be up-to-date.
- You will need to ensure your existing domain name is in line with the priority allocation period eligibility rules. (Visit auDA – the .au domain administration.)
- Apply through your chosen registrar in the next three weeks so you don’t miss out on priority allocation, but doors will remain open for a further six months.
- If you need further help, contact your web developer to assist you with domain name registrations, as there are some tricky aspects involved in the migration.
Need help getting your own .au domain? Contact EDGE for easy support toward navigating registration restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can more than one person apply for the same domain?
Basically, yes. And there will be issues if more than one party applies for an exact match for .au domains. It’s likely this will end up with auDA attempting to resolve the issue and negotiations between the individuals involved.
What if no one registers a specific .au domain in the allocation period?
Once the priority allocation period is over, anyone can snatch up their chosen domain name, so long as they’re deemed eligible. If you didn’t opt for your own, that means they can take your desired one and you risk missing out.
Who can use a .au direct domain?
Most domains have criteria involved when they’re country-specific. For example, you need an ABN if you’re applying for a .com.au second-level domain.
In terms of .au, you’ll need:
- To be a Sole Trader, Charity, Company, Partnership, Trust or Association.
- To carry an Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN)
- To be a permanent Australian resident or citizen.
- To carry a driver’s licence, passport or citizenship certificate.
You can also have a foreign business that has a trademark registered in Australia.
For more information on getting started with your .au domain names, feel free to get in touch with our helpful team now on 1300 621 863.