Internationalised domain names (IDNS) are essential to any business with global ambitions. IDNs, domain names which use non-Latin scripts, respect the linguistic diversity of Internet users around the world. They also make it easier for businesses to target marketing and messaging to diverse markets which use non-Latin scripts.
The Internet is becoming more multilingual
Internet users around the world need to be able to access information in their own language. With Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese among the top languages spoken by users, it would be a mistake to assume that everyone on the Internet uses Latin script characters when conducting a search.
An International domain name allows an entire web address, to the left and to the right of the dot, to appear in a user’s own language. Consequently, they don’t have to rely on, and possibly struggle with, unfamiliar characters when searching for a site. As a bonus, because users don’t have to work so hard to find you, they’re more likely to remember you. Of course, you’ll also stand out because users will see – and appreciate – the fact that you are sensitive to their unique language needs.
IDNS give Internet users a voice
With the Internet becoming increasingly multilingual, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is actively working to develop and promote IDN usage. Over 8 million have been registered since becoming available in 2009 and now make up 3 percent of the world’s domains. Registration is highest in the Asia Pacific region. And scripts of registered IDNs strongly correlate to the languages used in different countries and territories.
Universal acceptance of IDNs has been slow as domain name servers only support the English alphabet (A – Z), digits (0 – 9), and a couple of punctuation marks (dashes, full stops). But thanks to the efforts of ICANN and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group, the domain name system has evolved to keep pace with the emergence of domain names which use non-Latin scripts.
A system called Punycode was created so that non-Latin script characters could also be supported. Punycode converts non-Latin script and special characters (like accent marks) into code that is readable by DNS. For example, españa.com converted by Punycode creates the domain xn-espaa-rta.com. DNS will have no trouble recognising xn-espaa-rta.com as it does not contain any non-Latin script characters.
IDNs expand your business across the globe!
Clearly, IDNs are key to unlocking new markets. If you’re able to communicate in local languages, your services become more accessible, your user experience improves, and your branding becomes more intuitive since users can use the exact words they’re likely to type into a search engine when looking for a business like yours.
And we want to help. International domain names registration is available through EBRAND. We offer a comprehensive selection of Internationalised domain extensions in various languages. If you have additional questions about how IDNs work or aren’t sure if an IDN makes sense for your business, just contact us for a consultation. We would be more than happy to discuss the best options for you!