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canadian_flagJuly is Canada Month at WebFuel and since we are BIG fans of the .CA country-code TLD, we have invited David Fowler, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) as a guest blogger. Here are facts about Canadians online and Canada’s domain extension (which turned 25 years old this year).

Guest Post by: David Fowler

We Canadians are a unique bunch. While we tend to view our country as the Great White North, we are, in fact, one of the most technologically-focussed nations in the world.

A recent study by Ipsos Reid found that Canadians spend more time (on average, 44 hours per month) online – twice the global average. We also watch more video than the global average (40 per cent of our time online).

In addition to being heavy digital users, being Canadian also matters. Canadians like to interact with other Canadians and do business with Canadian companies. We also have the added benefit of Canada being a great brand globally.

You know this yourself if you have traveled internationally with the Canadian flag on your backpack. The maple leaf is a brand recognized around the globe. And whether you are talking to other Canadians or an international audience, the Canadian brand is a door opener. Canadians are trusted and welcomed in many corners of the globe.

Clearly, having your website identified as Canadian is a great way to ensure it gets noticed and is trusted. As the only Canadian domain extension, .CA is the Canadian flag on your digital backpack.

Having a .CA does more for your business than enhance your online brand. Sites with a country-code top-level domain, such as .CA are associated with a geographic region by search engines like Google, thus ensuring your website is identified as Canadian. Canadians also prefer to visit and shop at .CA websites. Surveys show it. And the money spent by Canadians on the Internet proves it. Over 60 per cent of Canadians say they would rather shop at a .CA website. Canadians trust Canadians, and shopping domestically often means less hassle with exchange rate conversions or customs. And, 81 percent of Canadian Internet users agree that whenever possible, they prefer to support Canadian businesses.

Not only do Canadians prefer .CA websites, and lead the world in time spent online, citizens of other countries recognize and trust .CA sites as safe and secure. The fact is there is tremendous value in proudly proclaiming your business is Canadian with a .CA domain name.

Visit the CIRA website more information about .CA and check out CIRA2012 Factbook: The Canadian Internet Economy. New CIRA2013 Factbook

BIOGRAPHY – David Fowler

David Fowler is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). David joined CIRA in 2008, and is responsible for developing and implementing all corporate communications strategies and the marketing strategy for .CA.  This includes providing executive leadership for all the organizations advertising and communications programs, managing all aspects of the .CA product as well as providing leadership in the customer service and channel management functions.

David brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience across a broad spectrum of industries in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining CIRA, David was Director of Marketing at the Royal Canadian Mint, where he led the development of the high profile 2010 Olympic Coin program which contained a number of world firsts. Prior to joining the Mint, David held a number of senior level positions in marketing and communications at national and international organizations.  This diversity of experience helps inform his role at CIRA.