For digital marketers and business owners savvy in the tech space, the introduction of .au domain is a game-changer. Australians have been keenly awaiting this upgrade for years, despite talk lingering across the virtual wavelengths throughout this time.
But it’s happening. These exciting .au domain names are about to hit the market and that means BIG news to any business that operates online. Even if you think this won’t impact your Australian presence, it may just do the opposite. So, here’s what you need to know about this new product, and what it means to your existing domain.
.au direct domain names and the priority allocation process
Considering registering your business online and finally launching that website of yours? As of TODAY, Australian domain names are changing. While .com.au extensive have long reigned the virtual space for Aussies, these formats are now going to take second place to the .au domain extension.
Existing .au domain owners will automatically be eligible to opt into the .au domain namespace, meaning they can snatch up their own as soon as possible. Essentially, they’ll be first in line for this process. If you own a .com.au Australian domain name, you’ll instantly receive the priority status for this new matching domain.
But if you haven’t got either, they’ll be a slightly lengthier process to wade through.
You can still get priority status for .au domain names
Despite the launch happening at the time of this article going live (24 March, 2022), businesses with other Australian domain names can still take part in this upgrade. In fact, you have six months after today’s launch to apply for this priority status with your trusted registrar.
When you’re gearing up to apply, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind for .au domain names:
- Have your existing domain password readily available
- Ensure your registrant information with WHOIS is as up-to-date as possible.
Is it that important to register a .au domain name?
Just like any form of technology, upgrades and patches are needed over time to remain relevant and on top of the market. When it comes to domain names, it’s no different.
If you’re interested in keeping your brand as appealing to users and search engines as possible, opting for a .au direct domain name is a must. Even if you have an existing domain name (like .com.au), making the transition to .au gives you added edge, but the benefits don’t stop there.
Here are a few more reasons why registering a .au direct domain name should be top of mind for your business right now.
Maximum online visibility
Investing in SEO campaigns or other marketing tactics? Why risk all of your hard work and money becoming redundant because your extension is no longer the best format? Complement your digital marketing strategy with a .au direct domain name that puts you front and centre in the spotlight.
How? These extensions give you even better online visibility when it matters most. They’re short, easy to remember and type and give users a simple way to directly input your URL. And when it comes down to you and a competitor landing the sale, it might just be the winning factor.
Another Australian domain name in your bank
If your business is based in Australia, obviously having a prominent brand and trademark on the market is important. .au domain name registrations allow you to tap into this, making your mark on virtual real estate before it’s taken up by a competitor.
Ever heard of businesses buying multiple extensions just for the sake of having all of them under their weapon belts? Companies (especially larger ones) often snatch up any relevant domains to their brand in order to stop them from becoming unavailable in the future. Consider this another way to safeguard your name in the space even further, even if you’re not after the new domain right now.
Who’s eligible for the priority allocation period?
As we mentioned above, anyone with existing Australian domains can already opt-in to receive this upgrade and will be put on the priority list. For those that haven’t, it’s not too late. You can still register and grab yours in the next six months.
You can also learn more about these .au direct extensions on the auDA official website.
How to secure your .au direct domain name
Thankfully, it’s easy enough to grab your own nifty new extension. Just follow these steps:
- Ensure that your existing second-level domain is registered under your name and adheres to the Priority allocation period guidelines, eligibility and distribution rules.
- Apply for priority status within the 30-day period beginning 24 March 2022 to ensure you don’t miss out, however, they will still be available for up to six months.
- Ask your web developer or designer to support you with the process, if you need further support. There may be technical .au domain administration tweaks needed, so an expert in handling .au direct namespace in your DNS is your best bet. (Psst – we can help you.)
Get started in your process by contacting our experts for free help and advice. Don’t have a website? Let’s get that sorted for you too. Call now on 03 9068 5266.
Frequently Asked Questions
What multiple people are after the same .au direct domain?
If more than one person tries to apply for the exact same new domain, issues will arise. But to combat this, the official governing body – auDA – will sort the process out and resolve any conflicts. This may mean the two parties have to negotiate and come to an agreement.
What if no one registered a .au domain name after applications close?
After the priority allocation period is over, anyone who is eligible under the ‘Australian Presence’ criteria will be allowed to register for the new domain, just like anyone else.
What kind of Australian presence do you have to have?
Just like .com.au has its own criteria for registrations, so too does .au.
To be eligible for this domain, you’ll need to fall under the following categories:
- Be either a Sole Trader, Company, Charity, Partnership, Trust or Association. You must have a current ACN or ABN.
- Must be a permanent Australian citizen or resident. You may also need an Australian passport, driver’s license, Citizenship Certificate to prove your presence.OR
- Have a foreign business that carries an Australian trademark registration or application.