While domain names play a role in search engine optimization (SEO), it’s not as big as you think. Besides your domain name’s age, authority, and history, search engines also look at your site’s on-page optimizations, backlinks, and more to determine search engine rankings.
Learn more about how domain names impact SEO now!
What is the importance of domain name in SEO?
The importance of domain name in SEO is minimal because search engines use hundreds of factors to determine search results rankings, like backlinks, page speed, and keyword usage. However, optimizing a domain name for SEO includes choosing an easy-to-read domain name that uses .com, .net, or .org.
How do domain names impact SEO?
Even though domain names affect SEO in a small way, it’s important to understand how domain names impact SEO. That way, you can choose (or purchase) a domain name that meets your needs as a brand and as a brand practicing search engine optimization.
While Google has stated that domain age doesn’t matter in SEO, many SEOs feel domain age does matter. The logic is older domains tend to have a higher authority than younger domains, like someone who has practiced SEO for ten years being more experienced than someone practicing SEO for one year.
Domain authority (DA) is a metric created by Moz, an SEO software platform that SEOs use to measure the strength or authoritativeness of a domain. Typically, websites with a higher DA have an easier time ranking for higher competition keywords than those with a lower domain authority.
For background, domain authority is built by attracting backlinks from trusted websites.
Your top-level domain (TLD), which refers to your domain’s ending, like .com, .net, or .org, can also impact your domain name’s SEO. One belief is using a country-specific domain extension, like .au for Australia, will benefit your rankings in that country.
On the other side is the belief that using a familiar top-level domain, like .com, .net, .org, will benefit your search engine optimization by using a TLD familiar and trusted by searchers, which could impact your click-through rate (CTR) in search results.
Some SEOs also believe your domain length impacts your SEO, with longer domains hurting your SEO and shorter domains helping your SEO. Our observation is this ranking factor relates more to readability and memorability for users than length.
The history of your domain can also affect your SEO.
For example, purchasing a domain previously used as a link farm can prevent your business from seeing a return on investment (ROI) from your purchase because search engines see that domain as spammy and untrustworthy. That’s why it’s vital to research a domain’s history before purchasing it.
Your domain’s name, from apple to google, can also affect your SEO. Concise, memorable, and easy-to-read domain names will typically perform better because they focus on the user and not outdated SEO tactics like keyword stuffing.
How to choose a domain name for SEO
You understand how domain names impact SEO, so are you ready to learn how to choose one?
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Use an on-brand domain name
Sure, your business sells widgets and could purchase widgets.com, but you’ll often find more long-term value in choosing a domain name that represents your brand, like google.com in the case of Google, because it helps users build awareness and recognition with your brand.
Domain names based on your brand name are also less expensive (unless your business is Hotels.com).
Pick a shorter vs. longer domain name
Shorter domain names have some benefits over longer domain names, including:
That’s why — if possible — choose a domain name with fewer characters. If you have a longer brand name, you could opt for a shortened version that uses your acronyms, like acme.com for Advanced Construction Meter Engineers.
Use a recognizable domain extension
We also recommend picking a recognizable domain extension, like one of the following:
Choosing an unfamiliar domain extension can influence user perceptions of your website. Sometimes, this can lead to hesitation in the search results, resulting in lower CTRs (and subsequently rankings) for your content.
Investigate the domain’s history
Before purchasing a previously owned domain, you’ll want to research its history.
In most cases, the seller will provide access to its Google Search Console property upon request. Here, you can see if the site has any penalties, which can indicate serious issues with its search engine optimization practices.
Besides the seller, you can also reference domain name system (DNS) tools to see any places that have blocked the domain. If the domain is blacklisted, this indicates some less-than-stellar practices by the site owner.
Improve your domain name’s SEO with SEO experts
Go beyond choosing an effective domain name for SEO and start optimizing your website for SEO with a team of award-winning experts. With our experienced team, you’ll have an A-Z solution for growing your rankings, traffic, and sales through on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.Complete our contact form today to learn more!