We love our .nyc-ers! And, we especially love hearing about their success stories.

Today, we have a compelling .nyc case study to share with you—and it’s all about how the .nyc domain has helped a New York business increase their search engine traffic.

We recently spoke with Art Mal, co-founder of Souvenirs.nyc, to get the scoop on their SEO success story.

1. When did you launch your .nyc website?

Souvenirs.nyc was launched in mid April 2015. We hadn’t done any work in the souvenirs field before, so it was very exciting and challenging to tackle the project with a fresh perspective. The .nyc domain was essential to our launch strategy.

We realized that New York is constantly changing, and has so many amazing things to offer: its modern feel, amazing architecture, new and exciting events, world-class art and a boom of cool flea markets and unique artisan shops. Yet, the souvenirs that are carried by vendors haven't really adjusted to this change and are still the same as they were 30 years ago. We felt it was time to change it up and bring the awesome souvenirs that New York has to offer to the forefront; souvenirs that are handmade by artists, but still relevant to NYC life and represent what it is all about, and a .nyc domain was the perfect vehicle for this project.

2. What has your experience been like on a .nyc website?

We found that it’s easier to build our site architecture with .nyc since it has allowed us to keep the name shorter and more relevant to both search engines and users. We also got a great response from businesses we reached out to, similar to responses we would have gotten if we had been an established brand. A one-word descriptive domain name certainly helps our case when we come to them. We have also gotten retweeted and linked to by a number of local businesses, at least in part due to our great sounding .nyc domain.

3. In general, how do you feel that the .nyc TLD has affected your business?

We would not have launched Souvenirs.nyc if we didn't get the domain—simple as that. Securing Souvenirs.nyc domain was the primary driver as to why we went into such competitive market.

The .nyc TLD allows businesses to target a very specific NYC-centered audience, which we believe is harder to do with other TLDs for two reasons. First of all, good .com domains are very expensive to acquire, and secondly, one of the most important elements for many businesses is location.

Let’s use our website as an example. The domain name Souvenirs.nyc tells visitors and search engines that it is all about New York. In comparison, other competitors’ domains in the souvenir space are completely generic. And, in the souvenir field, people don’t want to shop in a generic store, they want a feeling of New York; an emotional connection during the purchase. Aside from the souvenirs business, there are many other businesses in NYC that are succeeding on .nyc domains due to this reason.

In addition, by having a single word domain, we don't have to explain to our visitors what we are. We look like an established brand already. In our case, our visitors know who we are and why they are there. The .nyc domain name gives NYC businesses the chance to get a better, easy to remember domain while also strengthening their brand.

4. What is your primary source of traffic? How has that changed over time?

We launched two months ago. Very soon after launch, we started ranking highly in search engines very quickly, and within the first week we were on first page for terms like “nyc souvenirs”. Within the first month, we were ranked in the top 3 results for a number of souvenir-related queries. We had a significant social media push initially and received a lot of traffic from that, then we focused on more targeted organic traffic. Our organic search engine traffic doubled during our second month, and our primary source of referral traffic is organic searches from Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

5. Has anything surprised you with the .nyc domain name?

What surprised us is the amount of direct traffic we have been getting; people who just type in our domain Souvenirs.nyc and go to the site directly. The second biggest source of our traffic is people who type the domain directly.

6. Can you tell us about what you’ve seen with your search engine rankings?

We ranked for “nyc souvenirs” on Google at number eight within the first week, and number three within three weeks.

We now rank number one for a lot of relevant searches, including “NYC modern souvenirs”—a spot that was held by MOMA prior to us. We are currently ranked in the top 3 spots in searches for most “new york souvenirs” related search terms and are ranking for more terms by the day.

7. Do you feel that being on a .nyc TLD has helped your SEO efforts? How so?

Absolutely. For one, we are able to use .nyc as part of an indication to search engines and visitors that we are NYC- based. We don’t need to make it any more specific.

Two, we believe that there is more trust from people when they see shorter name and one word. They are more likely to link to you, to cover you in a blog, to send you traffic. When people don't trust your site, they don't share it. With our .nyc domain, there is no need for branding. It resonates strongly, and it’s easy to remember shorter domains.

Souvenirs.nyc’s Success Story

  • Ranked quickly in search engines for relevant .nyc-based keywords
  • Souvenirs.nyc is currently ranked in the top 3 Google search results for relevant nyc-related souvenirs search terms, and the list keeps growing by the day
  • Increased direct traffic sourced from searchers typing related keywords straight into the address bar
  • Organic search traffic doubled during the second month following launch, and is now the primary source of referral traffic
  • Signaled to search engines and visitors quickly what the website is about; are able to target a very specific & qualified audience
  • Gained traffic from qualified searchers; Souvenirs.nyc now has customers from 80 countries
  • Easily obtained social shares, consumer trust and backlinks

We’re so excited for the success that Souvenirs.nyc is enjoying, and will continue to recommend this unique business to all our friends in search of unique NYC-inspired souvenirs and gifts!