When you are starting to build a new website, one of the most important decisions that you have to make is choosing the right domain name. The domain name is considered by many experts to play an important role in SEO. Once upon a time, you could simply choose a domain with your desired keyword in it and you will be able to top the search list. However, the algorithms used by search engines have evolved and right now you need to consider a few more factors before you choose a suitable domain name.
How does my domain name matter for SEO?
Your domain name is a key part of your brand’s online identity. People must be able to recognize your brand, your business, and your website just from the domain name. An SEO-optimized domain name does just that, it makes your website stand out in a sea of search results. An easily recognizable domain name will lead to more clicks.
If you truly want to know the power of the domain name, all you have to do is look at spam websites. These websites have names that are filled with their target keywords, for example, buycheapcars.com or biggesttoyonearth.org. As they are filled with these target words they tend to get higher click rates and are ranked higher in search engine results. So, yes, the domain name plays an important role in SEO, but it’s more than just using the right keywords. While using keywords might be enough for a spam site, if you want to build a credible brand you need much more.
The ways in which the domain name can affect your SEO and rankings in search engines
Domain names affect your SEO in two main manner, branding and keywords.
Your brand is the identity of your company or product. Choosing a domain name that is based on your brand name will be helpful. Your users will then be able to find, register, share and recognize your brand online. Ideally, you must choose your domain name along with your brand name. What this means is that both your brand name and the domain name must be the same. The key to a successful SEO-friendly domain name is your branding. If you have an already established brand, you must not use other words in your domain name. Porsche won’t have a domain name like bestcaronearth.com, similar to that you must use the value of your brand to pull in traffic, rather than rely on keywords. Search engines prefer established brands as their users prefer established brands. If an established brand has an online site, the website is more likely to get clicked on, shared, and read. More and more people will remember your website and this will convert into recurring visits and clicks from the same user. This will increase your website’s credibility, thus making you rank higher in search engine rankings.
Here are the scenarios in which you must use a branding domain:
- Your brand name is already well established and people will be able to recognize it
- You have already started serious serious brand promotions along with campaigns to increase people’s awareness of your brand.
- When your brand name is your own name(example: org)
- You have a very unique brand
- You want people who are searching with your brand name to see your website first.
What if you don’t have an established brand or rather want to cater to people who want a specific service. In such cases, you will fare much better if you have a domain name that has incorporated the required keywords into it. If you are a premium car washer, a name like premiumcarwasher.org might get you more traffic than using your unknown brand name. However, do bear in mind that search engines tend to rank keyword domains lower than branding domains.
Does my domain extension affect my SEO ranking?
Your domain extension plays no part in deciding your ranking in search engines. The only exception to this is country-code top-level domains, such as .in, .uk, .us, and .ca. These extensions will seriously affect your rankings in searches made on a geographical level, for example, users who are making a web search from the UK are more likely to see the .uk extension.
While these extensions don’t play a major role from an SEO standpoint, they do have a significant physiological effect. Users are mostly accustomed to .com, .net, and .org and they tend to find the sites with those extensions to be more credible. If you choose extensions like .biz or .info, people might wrongly think that you are a spammer website and will not click on your link. So make sure that your extension is indicative of the quality of service you provide, or you will risk losing quality traffic.
Your domain name depends primarily on your company or brand. If you have a well-established brand, you can go with a branding website. If your business is yet to grow wings, you could go for a keyword domain. You can also integrate both your brand’s name and keyword into your domain name, but this will cause an issue if you want to scale up in the future. Make sure you use credible extensions. Do not make your domain name sound like a spam website or you will not see a significant amount of traffic. Memorable and easy to search domain names are the best way to go if you want your website to have high SEO rankings.