Boost your trade in France with .fr

Country domain names are a key component of the marketing communications mix. But one that many businesses tend to forget. Yet there are many reasons why companies wishing to export should not only consider having a website in the local language but also securing a country domain name for their brand as well.

Some of the key reasons and benefits for having a local domain name include:

Cross cultural marketing. When trying to sell to a new marketplace, it’s important not to just transpose marketing communications approaches used in your domestic market but to show a real commitment and understanding of the local culture.

Buying local. With greater emphasis on sustainability and supporting one’s own economy it may be a tactical mistake in some cases to emphasise, or de-emphasise the national provenance of your products. When targeting the Spanish market for instance, do your customers really want to see a URL on your brochure or website that says

Greater credibility. For some type of customers, a local domain name will immediately help instill greater buyer confidence.

Better ranking on key search national engines. When your target audience searches for one of your key words your website will rank higher in the search. Pour example, if your company wishes to sell greeting cards to French wholesalers, your website will rank better if you have a .fr domain than

Of course, businesses cannot always afford to have a website for each market but they should certainly consider it for those that offer the greatest sales and profit opportunities.

It’s not always that simple however. Until recently, British companies wishing to have a French domain needed to be based in France, effectively ruling many of them out.

However since December 6th, the Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (AFNIC) has made it possible for European businesses and individuals residing within the European Union to use a French domain name extension.

This was introduced in accordance with the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act of 22March 2011. Residents in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are also able to apply for a French domain name.

To register a .fr website, you must contact a registrar (mandatory intermediary between you and the AFNIC to register your domain name under the .fr) on the AFNIC website

What has your website experience been internationally?

We would be interested to hear from people who have or haven’t gone for a localised domain name.

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