Although it isn’t expected to go live until September, domain name .london is already generating buckets of buzz. April 29th will mark the day that individuals and businesses across the UK will be able to register for a new domain name that will give them a direct association with the country’s capital.

It’s already being promoted by some of Britain’s most high profile figures, including Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Part of a wider plan by ICANN, the global Internet body, .london will be among over a thousand new Internet domains that are set to completely change the face of the World Wide Web. London will become the third city in the world to gain a regional domain, joining Vienna and Berlin which have already gone live.

Already, some 200,000 SMEs have expressed an interest in the regional domain. A recent study of 1,000 SMBs based in London has revealed that one-quarter intend to apply for the domain when registration opens later this month.

But what are the benefits?

Firstly, .london will directly associate businesses with the capital, a particular plus point for SMBs. A .london domain instantly lets consumers know where a business is located and whether their product or service is relevant to them. Consumers looking for goods or services in London will instantly recognise the localised presence of a business, potentially leading to increased interest and customer loyalty.

London is more than a city – London is a brand. Its status as a world leader in technology and innovation means that the domain is a great way for businesses to promote themselves alongside a brand that has boomed over the past few years.

Thanks to the Royal Wedding, the 2012 Olympics (and maybe even One Direction), the city is synonymous with forward-thinking, strength and determination. The potential success of .london is limitless. Global firms will also be able to personalise their brands by region.

The .london domain extension provides established businesses with the opportunity to refresh their brand, a huge benefit as it becomes increasingly important for even small companies to have a strong digital identity. Applying for the .london domain could be the first step to building a solid online future.