Should I use .com or .es for my business in Spain?

Introduction .com and .es explained

So you have decided it’s time to register your domain name for your new site, living here in Spain, you have seen that there are different options. Should I register a .es domain name, a .com domain name, or both?

Maybe you have got that perfect domain name but the .com version has already been taken, and you are asking yourself if you should think of a new domain name or register the .es version.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using a .es domain name vs a .com domain name, or whether it is necessary to register both. I have included a few case studies which will hopefully allow you to make the right choice.

Should I use .com or .es for my business domain name?

What is a .com (gTLD) and what is a .es (ccTLD) ?

So .com which is similar to .net or .org are Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) and are valid for all countries.

There are many types of gTLD such as .online, .info or .biz to choose from. In general .com and .net are more trusted and have more universal appeal. domain name is a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) and as the name implies is specific to a specific country, so search engines will generally show a .es site in search results in Spain and a website in UK-based search results.

It is NOT ADVISABLE to use a .es domain name if you are trying to target customers in the UK or use a domain name if you are trying to attract clients from Spain (even if they are English-speaking) 

Language: How does Google know which language your site is in if it is using a .es domain name?

First of all, they analyse the site and determine the language (yes the search engines are really smart!!) but when you set up your site you need to include a small snippet of code to tell the search engines the language of your site:



  • My Site is in English: <meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en” />
  • My Site is in Spanish: <meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”es” />
  • My Site is in German: <meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”de” />

As you can see in the part content=, the language is defined so en for English, es for Spanish, de for German etc.

You can find a full list of country codes here:

This infographic explains when it is a good idea/acceptable to use a .com or .es domain name.


In Genereal

.COM is good in all situations but often this is not possible because the .com has been registered by a company in another country and it is perfect for your business here in Spain.

A .com domain name is GOOD for:

  • Spanish speakers living outside of Spain
  • Spanish speakers living in Spain
  • English speakers living in Spain
  • English speakers living outside of Spain

A .es domain name is goof for:

  • Spanish speakers living in Spain
  • English speakers living in Spain

A .es domain name is NOT GOOD for:

  • Spanish speakers living outside of Spain
  • English speakers living outside of Spain

For more help in setting up your website and choosing the correct domain name, please contact me– I am a registered IONOS agency partner.

Infographic, when to use a .es or .com domain name for your website

Can I use a .es domain name to get English-speaking clients in Spain?

If your .com domain name has been registered by another company, technically you CAN use a .es domain and have your site in English.

NOTE: You should seek legal advice about the use of another company’s name before registering your domain name.

How does Google know where your business is located?

So if I have a .com domain, how does Google know that my business is in Spain? My business has .es but when someone searches for “lawyer near me”, how does Google know that near me is in Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca and not Madrid or Barcelona?

Google uses different Geolocating tools, first of all Google, Bing etc generally know where the person searching is, due to their ip address. Don’t believe me? Try using this website, which will show your location:

In order for the search engines to know your location, it is important to prominently display your address and contact details on one of your pages. Many websites have the address of the business in the footer and also on the “contact us” page.

It’s also a great idea to connect your website to Google’s Google My Business page, there you register your address, tell them your domain name, and they will then either verify your location by calling you with a code (landlines only) or send you a postcard with a code which, when you receive it, you need to enter into your Google My Business account to verify that it is really you.

Geo Locarion


Here we take a look at three  case studies regarding when to use a .com or .es domain name for your business.

Estate Agent Spain
The Estate Agent: Business looking to operate in more than one country in 1 language

Mrs Smith is starting an Estate agent in Orihuella, she already knows lots of people who are looking to sell their house and there are plenty of her friends back in the UK who are looking for a place in the sun. All of Mrs Smith’s clients are English speaking, maybe at a later date she will start looking for Spanish buyers but for the moment she needs a website in English.

As Mrs Smith will want her website to appear in the UK for search terms like “property for sale in Orihuela” or “villa with pool near orihuella”. She also needs her website to appear in Spain for her English-speaking clients who are looking to sell their properties, using search terms like “sell my villa in orihuela” or “best estate agents near me”.

For this reason, Mrs Smith should choose a domain name that ends in .com because her site is likely to appear in UK search results and Spanish search results. If Mrs Smith decides to have her site translated into Spanish or German, then equally her site would appear in search results in those countries too.

Car sales garagae Spain
The car sales business operating in Spain but only really in English

Mr Jones runs a successful car sales company here on the Costa Blanca, the problem is that has already been taken. Mr Smith is only interested in the car market in Spain and has no interest in contacting people outside of Spain. He may decide to translate his website into Spanish to attract Spanish buyers, but it is unlikely. What should he do?

First of all, it is important to think carefully before you decide to use a domain name that has already been registered in another country. Even if it is available, you may well be infringing on someone else’s trademark (check with a reputable lawyer). 

So if it is all legal and above board, from a marketing point of view a .es is a great option for Mr Jones as the .es TLD clearly identifies that he is operating in Spain and as long as his domain name is in English then there can be no confusion. This option is becoming more and more popular, especially in popular industries such as golf properties and car sales.

Jetski rental business Spain
Jet ski and boat rental business in Torrevieja

Mr Greene runs a popular jet ski and boat rental business in Torrevieja, he is looking to attract bookings from people from many nationalities, about half his clients book before they arrive for their holiday and the other half book while they are here. (Hey a jet ski ride always seems like a great idea when you are on holiday, and you see everyone else having so much fun)

As Mr Greene needs to appear on the Search Results Pages (SERPS) in many different countries and in many different languages, it is not cost-effective to register many different domain names i.e. es, .de. etc so the best option for Mr Greene is a .com domain name.

For example, he could register and then have the site translated like this:





There are many other ways to handle multilingual sites, If you would like for information about multilingual sites then please contact me for a free no-obligation consultation.

How to choose a domain name for your Spanish business

Ok, so now you have decided on whether or not you need to use a .es or a .com domain name, how do you choose a domain name?

Obviously, you want your domain name to include your business name, but the question is should you use your profession in the name?

For example, if you are a lawyer, should you register the name or or should you choose something which has the keyword* “lawyer” in the title, for example, or

Google states that there is NO advantage to having a keyword in your domain name, so if you think that people are searching for lawyers Denia then according to Google there would be no advantage in choosing the domain name or

My experience is that it does help a little to have a keyword in your domain name but good SEO is much more important. Here are a few tips to take into account when choosing a domain name:

Choose .com or .es carefully

Don’t use accented letters like Ñ

Avoid using hyphens i.e -

Avoid using numbers, e.g. (when you tell someone your domain name is it or 1plumbers,com, lots of unnecessary explaining

Make sure your domain is easy to pronounce

Aim for 6-14 letters (not everybody adheres to that, my domain is 21 letters long)

Try to be unique

Don’t stuff your domain name with keywords (think = TERRIBLE)

There are some great tools out there to help you choose a domain name, you just put in the keywords you’re interested in and it will produce a list of available domain name combinations:

The only disadvantage of these two sites is that they don’t tell you if the .es domain name is available, so once you have settled on a domain name, head over to, IONOS are a great web hosting company that I have personally been using for nearly 15 years with no complaints


Well if you are reading this then you now know whether or not to use a .es or a .com domain name. My advice is that wherever possible, you register both domain names in order to protect your brand.

If you have any questions then please feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment in the comments section below

Does a .es domain mean that the site has to be in Spanish?

No, it doesn’t for a full description please see the .es section in this post

I have relocated my business to Spain, should I keep my domain name?

You can certainly keep your domain name but if you are trying to attract customers who are living here in Spain, then it is advisable to register a .es or .com domain name.

There are other things to take into account too regarding domain redirection and duplicate content. It is advisable to speak to a SEO Consultant in Spain

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