Does your domain name affect your SEO?


April 3, 2024

If you are a business owner, then deciding your domain name is as important as deciding your brand name. Your domain name becomes your business’s online identity. While some companies retains their company’s name as their domain name, others create a thriving space for their companies on the internet with highly specific domain names.

But how does a domain name help you thrive on the world wide web? Having a right domain name is like owning a crucial plot of land on the internet; with the right plot, your website’s URL can have big impact on your search engine optimization.

People usually find selecting a domain name deterring, as once it is selected there’s no going back. Earlier in the day when SEO was the new big thing, it was easier for the companies to buy a domain name and since it was good enough, it gave a presentable rank. But now things have changed tremendously.

While thinking about the perfect domain name, the business owner also needs to select a domain extension. A top level domain extension is the suffix used after the domain name i.e. the letters that come after the dot to the right side of the domain name.

There are several kinds of Top level domains:

Top level domains (TLDs) – These are the most commonly used domains with a global reach. They aren’t limited to an industry or a geographical region. Anybody can get a top level domain.

The most common top level domain extensions are:

.com (commercial)

.org (organization)

.net (network)

Generic top level domains (gTLDs) – They encompass areas greater than normal TLDs. Most of the gTLDs can be registered anywhere in the world by anyone. But some gTLDs like .gov do require specific eligibility to register. It depends on which gTLD you select and its SEO potential. Since 2014 to increase the markets’ options, niche or industry focused gTLDs have been used.

The most common generic top level domains are:

.biz (Business)

.info (Information)

.gov (Government)

.edu (Education)

Country code top level domains (ccTLDs) – Every country has their set of country code domain extensions. A ccTLDs helps helps search engines understand your site and its audience with its geographical location. It helps your audience to sort through the web, providing them with a more relevant and specific results.

Examples of country code top level domains are:

.in (India) (New zealand) (Australia)

How to choose the right domain extension?

Quite a lot of businesses go with .com as it’s one of the most common and trustworthy extension on the internet. However, it is possible that .com isn’t available with your preferred domain name, then you can opt for .net or even country code specific domain name. But as i said selecting the right domain name is a dicey business, people coming to your website might be dismayed to find that your website with extension .info is actually an online store than an information site.

How to choose the right domain name?

Companies are very well aware of the fact that stuffing keywords into the domain name in an attempt to manipulate search results and increase ranking basically does the opposite of it. So, it’s better to choose a brand name that represents your brand in the best way possible for good online marketing.
Companies like Wikipedia, Trivago, Zomato aren’t word specific for their niche audience but they still end up in the top results of google. Why? Because they’re using search engine optimization for optimum and smart keyword strategy to get higher ranking in search results.

How search works?

To get an understanding of search engine optimization with domain name you need to understand how google’s algorithm works.

Google got tired of companies using their domain names to get high rankings even if they had weak websites. So google being google, came up with exact match domain (EMD) with over 200 ranking factors to rank a website. EMD focuses on finding problem solving content and helps in building high quality backlinks.

So does keyword rich domain still has an impact on SEO?

Yes, they do. But the approach is significantly changed if you wish to have a large impact through SEO. Now, for a website to have a high rank it needs to have more than just a keyword enriched domain name and extension. Quality content has been given a high priority by EMD. Along with it, the website design should have backlinks and inbound links for high ranks on google.

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