SEO is a key pillar of every digital marketing agency today. This ever-growing relevance should not be surprising considering that only 0.4% of internet users ever visit the second page of the SERP search engine results page to find the information they are looking for.
It’s also understandable that companies performing SEO want every resource at their disposal to make Google rank algorithm work for them. We will now examine how domain names are a part of this story.
What Are Domain Names And How Do They Impact SEO Ranking?
We can see that even this component can be broken down into three parts.
www – Subdomain
Example: Domain name
com – Top-level domain or extension
We prefer to treat www, the most popular subdomain option on the internet, and the domain name as one entity under the name “top-level domain”.
Google recently released a list of ranking elements with more than 200 entries. The domain name is not currently included in this list, except for top-level domains that designate the country of origin of the website. This can greatly impact search results.
Google’s list also includes important mentions such as click-through rates, bounce rates, dwell time, and more. Your choice of root domain can have a significant impact on these factors. Let’s examine these factors in more detail.
The Extension You Choose
Domain extensions can give your website a lot of authority. Recent estimates show that there are more than 1000 options. Recent research shows that 53% of active websites use the domain extension ‘.com’. This was created to identify for-profit entities. You can consider this the best option. The following are other top-level domains we have at our disposal:
.net is now available to everyone, initially intended for internet service providers
.org is now available to everyone. Originally intended for non-profit organizations, it’s now open to all.
.info is an open extension that’s usually used for informational portals
Depending on your website’s primary purpose, the original purpose of these top-level domains may help you to brand. We have recently seen the popularity of personal domain options such as ‘.me’, which offer many interesting keyword plays and branding options for companies. This route is a great option if you’re looking to stand out, or if you prefer something more trendy.
Brandable Domain Names
Even if they use the same SEO guidelines, popular websites rank higher than newer sites. Google uses so-called brand signals to rank pages and website authority to determine their ranking. While many factors will determine how successful your company is as a brand, it’s important to focus on the brandable name.
- Keep it simple and concise
- Make it easy to remember
- Standing out from the rest
- Present a brand-empty vessel (as Apple did before it was founded)
- You can be completely inventive (like Google).
The Length And Structure Of The Domain Name
It’s not just about the bendability of your website. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible to access your website. Keep in mind that the domain name should be between 6-14 characters long, be easy to spell and pronounce, and not use repeating character sequences (e.g. ‘jjjohnson.com), nor any complicated, inaudible combinations of characters (e.g. ‘cgxzzy.com’).
Also, you should avoid using special characters, hyphens, and numbers. You may need one if you have to. Instead of using ‘4-seo.com, you should prefer using ‘forseo.com.
Use The Keywords In The Domain Name
This is the opposite approach to creating brandable keywords for the website’s name. Google does not rank keywords in domain names, but using them in your website’s name can help your audience find what you do and increase the bounce rate and dwell times of your pages. This route is not recommended. Keep the name short and use two to three keywords.
The keyword-rich domain names were once a key SEO tool. However, such pages were often linked to low-quality content and their importance has slowly diminished. Using too many keywords in your domain name can make your website more visible.