There's a new player in the increasingly crowded domain name derby called .tel - only this one is offering something uniquely different for business users. Small business owners might think of .tel as more of a turnkey service that can help customers find you online without the need to build, maintain and host a full website. Telnic, which operates the registry for .tel, calls it the "webless web," and open registration for .tel domains starts today at over 100 approved registration services listed at Telnic.
Whatever domain names you already have registered - and especially if you have trademark names - securing your .tel domains would certainly be a prudent move right now. Don't think of .tel like a standard extension. For a small business seeking online exposure, this is more like a centralized directory listing service, except it's under your own brand and your complete control, at a minimal cost.
The one-off cost for a .tel domain includes all the tools needed to get discovered. In addition to storing contact info, location details and unlimited keywords to help Google find you, biz owners can use .tel to add instant messaging tools, micro-blogging platforms or even VoIP services. "Plumbers, dry cleaners, chauffeurs, window cleaners, locksmiths and fitness instructors, to name just a few categories, can consolidate costs of directory listings and benefit from free SEO built into .tel domains," says Khyashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic.
In short, .tel lets you store, publish and update online all of your business contact info and keywords under your unique domain name without needing a website. But you've really gotta see details of how this works (pdf) to appreciate its place in your marketing, web and communications strategy. For one thing - and this is a biggie - .tel can give even the smallest biz an effective mobile presence since the info about your business is automatically optimized for mobile devices. Get going on this now. Until March 23, registrations carry a 3-year minimum. After than, 1-year terms will be offered, but you may not want to wait.