The meaning of a domain name can be considerably more than you realize when it comes to SEO.
Your domain name conveys information about who you are, the services you offer, and your brand's positioning online. Your internet presence may come off as friendlier or less friendly to enquiring human visitors, depending on what you decide to register.
The cost of SEO increased to $80 billion globally in 2021, indicating the fierce rivalry for excellent domain rankings nowadays. More than ever, achieving top SEO rankings is important, particularly when it comes to your domain name.
Domain SEO affects practically everything on your website, including your content, landing pages, and even your products. Understanding how your domain name influences page rankings and online traffic is crucial to your brand's success.
Let's start with the definition of domain SEO and work our way up.
What is domain SEO?
The technique of optimizing owned domains to make them more accessible to human users and search engines is known as domain SEO. To build the ideal digital identity, choose a short phrase, an optional subdomain, and a top-level domain (TLD).
Domain SEO is not the same as webpage or URL SEO, contrary to popular belief:
- Webpage SEO is the process of optimizing your digital online content, which includes prose, graphics, and associated buttons.
- URL SEO focuses on improving title tags, link anchor text, and web address parameters.
- Domain SEO aims solely to improve the name of your registered domain.
It is ideal to employ domain name SEO in conjunction with other optimization efforts, such as on-page, off-page, and technical techniques. The more effort you invest in developing a focused, refined domain name, the simpler it will be to progress other SEO methods.
Does domain name matter for SEO?
The length, keywords, and extension of a domain name are all important components of an SEO strategy. People and search engines will be more interested in a domain name that is trustworthy, focused, and straightforward.
You could think that domain names are less significant than other aspects of SEO. Consider the websites www.cheap-discounted-jeans.net and freeshippingforlife.biz. Neither of these areas exudes confidence.
The names of these locations may make you more inclined to suspect them of being scammers. Customers, as well as search engines, are well aware of this.
Steps for picking an SEO-friendly domain name
The easiest strategy to select your next SEO domain name is to think about keywords, shorter lengths, and simple or shortened terminology. While you may not find yourself on Google's first page overnight, you will be anchoring your site in best practices from the start—and receiving many advantages as a consequence.
Here are four practical suggestions for choosing a domain name that is search engine-friendly.
Choose the right keywords
Over time, the significance of using keywords in a domain has changed. Throughout the early 2000s, it was used by hundreds of thousands of e-commerce firms and was once a staple of search indexing on websites like Google. Even with today's condensed SEO for domains, keywords still have a role to play.
Nowadays, domains can receive search engine boosts without explicitly including keywords in their names. However, adding a notion or two to help people understand your brand isn't necessarily a terrible idea.
Giulio Fashion, a high-end clothing company, effectively uses the phrase “Giulio fashion” in its domain name without coming across as spammy or weird. The inclusion of “Fashion” complements the business Giulio nicely, defining expectations and assisting users in finding what they're searching for. Another example of a company using keywords to increase relevance is Sabo Skirt (saboskirt.com).
Remember that a fantastic domain name doesn't always have to be entirely centered on keywords. Try to select a domain name that contains no more than one or two keywords, or use a brief acronym to capture the essence of your business.
Opt for a short domain name
The length of your domain name has little bearing on its ranking in search engines, notably Google. It may, however, and will, have a substantial influence on consumer memorability.
In any situation, think about coming up with a domain name that stands out without overwhelming your audience. Keep in mind that a domain name will be worth more the shorter it is.
Strive for domain name simplicity
Karl Ulrich, Wharton's Dean of Entrepreneurship, conducted an extensive research study that examined the empirical evidence of online domains, including their market success. According to the findings, the most efficient naming schemes were clear and straightforward:
- Every domain name character after the seventh reduces traffic by 2%.
- Addresses with fewer characters and no hyphens avoid traffic fines.
- The repetition of vowel and consonant sounds results in a lower rank.
The takeaway for entrepreneurs? The simpler your domain name is, the better it will perform.
Pick a trustworthy domain extension
There is little doubt that the.com TLD is the most desirable extension of all. It is now the most trustworthy domain extension in the world, and it is 33% more memorable than any other TLD. While the usage of.com will not give any search engine benefits, it will demonstrate your credibility to customers, boosting your ranks naturally.
If you don't have access to the .com domain, all is not lost. Extensions such as .co, .us, and .net continue to gain audience confidence. According to this Growth Badger study, you should avoid any generic top-level domain (gTLD) that was released after 2015, such as .frogans, .moda, .olayan, and other less familiar market phrases.
Performing a competitor domain name SEO analysis
Before you buy an SEO-friendly domain name, you should look into the domains used by your primary rivals. A competitor domain name study helps you to have a better understanding of your competitors' market position, ranking, and perception. The study may be used to assist you to choose before purchasing a domain name.
Unlike site audits or content evaluations, a rival domain name SEO study requires only a few simple inquiries. By asking these questions, you will be able to walk through rival domain naming selections and determine how they may have influenced their web rankings. These insights may be used to select domain keywords, phrases, gTLDs, and lengths that are superior to those used by rivals.
- How easy and memorable is the domain name? Is it limited to 14 characters?
- Consider the domain's distinctiveness. Is the corporation the only owner of all domains with identical gTLDs to safeguard against imposters (for example, swimsuit.com, swimsuit.net, and swimsuit.biz)?
- Is the domain trustworthy? How does it fit with their brand?
The more you learn about your rivals' domain SEO, the better judgments you may make about the domain name you want to buy.
If you don't want to go through the trouble of manually reviewing rival data, systems such as Moz.com may give a full analysis that ranks sites based on keywords, spam, and other factors. If you have a huge number of competitors to sort through, this is a smart place to start.
How to improve your domain name SEO
Understanding the factors that boost your domain's SEO status will assist you in developing a winning plan. Once you've acquired a domain name, you'll want to keep improving your search engine optimization criteria.
The greatest strategy to boost the SEO of your newly bought domain name is to focus on adding value, establishing backlinks, and providing positive experiences through strong branding.
Create valuable content
One of the most useful things you can post on a website is content. Highly researched and interesting content is a wonderful way to build increasing your authority and drive visitors to your website.
Begin by developing SEO-friendly web pages, landing pages, and blog posts. Always give value to every piece of writing you create, and never use plagiarism or black hat practices to increase the pace with which you create content.
You might also publish the following types of content on your domains:
- Case studies
- White papers
- Yearly reports
- Statistic round-ups
This content will not only give evergreen SEO value to your domain, but it will also have the ability to earn organic backlinks.
Source domain backlinks
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that connect to your domain. These are significant for two reasons: they attract visitors from one site (yours) to another (yours), and they help to establish your brand's relevance and authority in comparison to rivals. A recent study found that 91% of online pages with no domain backlinks got no organic search traffic.
Being an authority in your area is the greatest strategy to get backlinks for your domain. One of the most effective methods is to provide actionable information and well-written text. To generate interest, you may also reach out to other companies or websites that could be interested in collaborating with you or providing roundups or affiliate content.
Backlinks from a single website in mass are frowned upon by Google's search algorithm. It is preferable to rely on organic links as much as possible, rather than a black hat or sponsored techniques.
Elevate domain name branding
Your domain name is more than just letters on a computer; it provides visitors with a glimpse into who you are and what you do. Domain SEO is heavily reliant on user signals, which means that the more positively your domain seems to visitors, the better it will perform online.
Use your domain name to offer users a sense of your brand's voice and tone. Branding domains are those that are more focused on branding than keywords, yet all registered domains should aim to combine both parts appropriately.
There are a number of great examples of this:
- Manscaped.com In two syllables, it communicates all you need to know about the company: a humorous yet high-fidelity store for all things male hygiene.
- Cettire.com is a high-end brand whose naming standards speak for themselves. A clever wordplay establishes the tone—and voice—of the company.
- AloYoga.com a domain held by the women's yoga clothing business Alo— is playful, quick, and deliberately modern. It expresses Alo's brand image and personality.
SEO-friendly domain name examples
Learning by doing is an excellent technique to approach domain name SEO. These successful ecommerce domain examples are fantastic examples of strategy, length, and branding, whether you already have some inspiration or are seeking domain name recommendations.
- Gymshark.com: Gymshark is a two-syllable term that is incredibly brandable and easy to remember. To facilitate worldwide traffic, this relatively short domain name is divided into many subdomains. This is an excellent SEO strategy for firms with a global presence.
- Colourpop.com: This domain is memorable, specific, and simple to recall. There are no hyphens, digits, or other unusual spellings, which makes it easier for visitors to return to the site.
- Beeinspiredclothing.com: Because of the precise brand name and.com extension, users may locate Bee Inspired Clothing in a flash. The domain reportedly has over 15,000 backlinks, which is advantageous for SEO, according to Ahrefs.
Do I need to change my domain name for SEO?
Although domain names impact SEO, they aren't always a crucial component of your strategy. In reality, a changing domain name might perplex other bots and search engines that are trying to crawl through your website, which would have a temporary but detrimental effect on your SEO. Your total web traffic may suffer as a result of updated domain names making it harder for returning users to discover your site.
You should only consider changing your domain name for SEO if:
- You've previously thought about renaming your website or company.
- You want to use 301 redirects to maintain past SEO.
- Your current domain is either ambiguous or difficult to reach.
Keep in mind that your domain name does not always play a role in search engine results. However, updating or rebranding it without adhering to best practices may confuse both visitors and search engines.
Domain SEO tools for creating a winning strategy
The finest domain names did not arise quickly, and selecting a domain that adheres to the best SEO principles may take much longer. These tools may assist you in weighing your alternatives before registering a domain name online.
- Shopify offers domain registration, domain search, and hosting for your future digital identity There's also a way to learn who owns the domain when it was registered, and when it expires.
- BlueHost based on the keywords supplied searches for available domains This is useful if you need to acquire a domain name right away, but it does not provide any information lookup functionality.
Domain authority tools
- Ahrefs provides a useful authority checker for determining the strength of any presently registered domain name. It may be used to keep track of any connecting websites or backlinks.
- Prepostseo.com is a free online tool that lets users assess the authority of different URLs inside the same domain. This is ideal for domains with a big number of pages to manage.
- Web.archieve.org allows you to examine a domain name's past before registering it, ensuring you don't pay for anything with a bad history or lingering SEO penalties.
Domain monitoring tools
- Domaintools.com domain monitoring service that watches both owned and unowned domains Keep an eye out for expiration dates, status changes, and other things that may influence domain SEO.
- Domain Rank Tracker allows users to search for the top 50 keywords that lead traffic to a certain site, allowing them to track changes over time.
- Brand Monitor safeguards your domain name against fraudulent actors and lookalike sites that may harm your rankings and SEO outcomes.
Putting domain SEO into practice
Domain names are online digital identities that tell the world who you are, what you do, and what visitors may anticipate from you. While the name you choose will not necessarily affect your search engine results, it is a good idea to choose short, memorable, and highly relevant terms that will place you in the same league as today's top businesses.
With a little time and forethought, you can select an SEO-friendly domain name that will continue to benefit you long after registration.
Domain SEO FAQ
SEO is affected by domain names. The appropriate keywords, spelling, and length may make or break customer views or impact search engines. Choose your new domain name while keeping all the best practices in mind.
While .com domains are more trusted by humans and search engines, alternative domains may be ranked highly with the correct approaches and optimization strategies. Concentrate on coming up with a high-quality name that avoids difficult spellings, hyphens, and spammy keywords.
According to Statistica, the most frequent domain extensions in the world are .com, .ca, .org, .ru, and .net. All of these extensions are free to use but bear in mind that each has its own set of meanings. Domains ending in.com suggest commercial usage, whereas.org denotes organizations or charities.