Registrations for the domain name .eu rose by 7.4 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012.
Figures from EURid highlight how the domain is increasing in popularity, as this represents the second consecutive quarter growth of more than seven per cent.
EURid’s general manager Marc Van Wesemael noted the positive data means that “sustainable growth targets” are likely to be met. “During tough economic times, doing business online becomes ever more attractive. I see .eu’s growth as evidence of this trend across Europe,” he added.
Malta is the country in the continent returning the highest annual growth, with a 35 per cent increase in registrations when compared with 12 months ago. This is followed by Slovakia (22 per cent) and Austria (21 per cent), while four other nations – Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania and Slovenia – also recorded growth of over 15 per cent.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, there are 3.67 million registered domain names using the .eu suffix. Mr Van Wesemael believes the URL offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the perfect opportunity to expand their market share within their own sector.
“While local domain names clearly have a strong national resonance, .eu allows companies to broaden their reach, rather than be limited by national boundaries and perceptions,” he added.
The expert thinks it means businesses can break into different territories, which would not be possible if they stuck to using a country-specific domain name. With 72 per cent of European SMEs already operating beyond their local markets, purchasing .eu websites should be a natural step for many companies.
Mr Van Wesemael remarked that with social media becoming an increasingly important facet of marketing, companies need to have a lot of information on their websites in order to attract the interest of consumers.
Moving forward, he expects more and more firms to go down the .eu route.