First impressions are important.
When it comes to optimising your website for search, your domain name plays a crucial role. And this has more to do with how your customers perceive it than how Google sees it. For a website to rank, it is important to remember that Google supports its users’ value.
The domain name and the website’s internal URLs are the building blocks of an effective website hierarchy as they direct users to the desired destinations. Therefore, it is imperative to get your domain name right as that is often the first web-touchpoint your users are exposed to.
So, the question is: Does the choice of the domain name have any impact on SEO?
In one word, yes. The choice of the domain name does have an impact on your SEO.
However, the mechanics of SEO aren’t that direct and simple. It is a complicated process and the deeper you dig, the more complicated it gets. Eons ago, your domain name could rank your website on the top. But over the years, Google has been studying its users and how they interact with the websites and basis that information, modifying its algorithm.
Today, domain name builds trust and helps you get on-topic backlinks that better the chances of your website to rank.
For instance, a website with a domain name www.mystoree-789.com can rank just as well as www.newbrogues.store for the same keyword based on the content it has. However, a user is more likely to trust the latter URL as compared to the former. Moreover, www.newbrogues.store is more likely to garner on-topic backlinks for the keyword ‘new brogues.’
New domain extensions such as .STORE, .TECH, .SPACE, .ONLINE, .SITE and more allow businesses to get contextual and keyword-rich domain names that help in establishing what they do or what industry they belong to.
For example, domain names such as www.emirates.store or www.breakinto.tech make it easier for the user to guess what the website might be offering which establishes credibility. These domain names encourage people to click on them when they show up in results. And more web traffic leads to more web traffic.
When it comes to domain names, there is no one-size-fits-all. However, here are a few ways of how new domains can actually help your website rank and add value to your SEO efforts.
A domain name such as www.yourshoestore-123x.com can also organically rank on the first page if it hosts high-quality content and the website has the other SEO factors properly optimized.
However, if a domain name such as that showed up in your results, would you be comfortable clicking on it? Chances are that you will dismiss it because it appears to be spammy.
On the other hand, a domain name such as www.blacksneaker.store gives a hint about the business, looks credible, and will most likely encourage you to click on it and check the website.
Keyword-rich and contextual domain names help in building a positive positioning of your brand that instils trust in the user. Search engines care about what people think. So, if your users approve a website, search engines will start ranking it on the first page.
A study done by Stone Temple reports that backlinks from reputed and credible websites help in improving the search rankings of a site. An important aspect of backlinks that helps in boosting the organic ranking is the anchor text (the blue, underlined, text on which a link is placed). The more connected the URL and the anchor text are, the better it is for SEO.
For example, if the anchor text ‘Brand Name Black Friday Sale’ redirects to www.brandname.store/black-friday-sale, it sends a green signal to the search engine about the relevancy of the website and the backlink.
Voice search is gradually taking over and as an online business, you must ensure that you’re prepared for it. With virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri doing the search, you must have a domain name that is easily understood by them. New domain extensions give businesses the advantage of getting domain names that short and simple which makes them easily understood by virtual assistants.
For example, if you ask Alexa (or Siri) to go to www.factory-suppliez.store, they may miss it. However, if you ask them to go to www.factorysupply.store, chances are strong that you’ll end up on the right website.
The more search-friendly the domain name, the easier it’ll be for a customer to find it. To achieve that you must ensure that your domain name is devoid of any hyphens, abbreviations, numbers, or misspellings (replacing s with z).
New domain extensions make this possible because unlike legacy domain extensions, the newer ones have a large inventory of brandable and keyword-rich domain names available on them.
Your domain name is a great communication tool for your business. The reason why a domain name is considered as a ‘digital address’ is that each one is unique, and it offers multiple functional and creative benefits including SEO.