Domain and website – the two most popular terms are not only interconnected but also are the foundation of an SEO-friendly website. Without either of them, you cannot establish your internet presence or showcase your target audience that you are accessible through the web as well.
We all know that a domain is required to launch your brand, but did you know that its extension can impact the SEO ranking of your website? Surprising right? When you decide to launch your website, you may come across different domain extensions. Even though a domain name can be different from your brand name, numerous domains could hinder your SEO campaign if not used correctly.
Interested in knowing more? Continue reading this blog as we tell you how does a domain extension matters in SEO.
Legacy VS New Domains: Which Ones Are Better? Do They Affect In SEO Ranking?
➢ Why Is Domain Extension Important?
Domain extension also referred to as Top-Level Domain (TLD), is a fundamental element of your website. Through this, you can embark on your online journey.
Choosing the wrong or complicated domain extension can be the reason for the downfall of your brand’s reputation, as it showcases your brand’s first impression and credibility while illustrating what your brand/services/products are about.
A good domain extension equates to the success of your website. For instance, two sites are listed at the top of the search query. The first one ends with .com or .org, and the other ends with .zip or .review. Which ones do you think web users are likely to open? Of course, the first one.
Because web users recognize and trust these domains. Unlike the alternatives.
Remember to get a domain extension that gauges credibility and represents your brand’s identity.
➢ Which Domain Extension To Choose?
There are multiple types of domains, i.e traditional and new domain extensions, such as gTLDs(Generic top-level domain), CCTLDs (Country code top-level domain), and STLDs (Sponsored top-level domain), to choose from, but the primary focus is always on the domain name that comes after the Subdomain and before the Top-level Domain (TLD).
.com domain extension is the most desired choice among business owners launching a website. But this domain extension has often been taken due to its undeniable familiarity among web users. In such cases, owners launching a website tend to register the domain on the other extension.
Also Read: What To Do When Your Domain Name Is Taken?
You can always choose the new or custom TLDs in events when .net, .co, .org, and so on, domain extensions are also unavailable. At present, there are 1400+ custom TLDs available for usage, and below are a few examples of them-
- ➔ .net
- ➔ .org
- ➔ .clothing
- ➔ .blog
- ➔ .tech
- ➔ .store
- ➔ .online
As there is a long list of custom choices, you can go for anyone that reflects your brand’s purpose while giving a unique identity. Plus, a custom domain extension gives a better understanding of your business/services/products. For instance – if you choose a domain extension like www.jewellery.store, users can easily comprehend that you sell jewellery online.
In fact, the custom or new TLDs can become a conversation starter and give a fresh take to your business. For example – you can register a domain extension called www.filteredaroma.coffee, which will promote your brand name. At the same time, more people can learn about your services because you have narrowed down your niche through the new TLD. Every time a user searches for coffee, your business will appear at the top of the search results.
Besides enlisting your business on the generic or custom domain extension, you can also select to list your business through the ccTLDs, such as .in (India), .ca (Canada) or .dk (Denmark). Picking the ccTLD will show the search engines that your business belongs to a particular location and ensure you get visitors from the specified country, state, or dependent territory.
Considering that you know the importance of domain extension and which you should choose for your business. Let’s give a detailed understanding of how domain extensions can influence SEO.
Can A Domain Extension Affect On SEO?
➢ Does a .COM Domain Extension Benefit in SEO Ranking?
If you have already purchased a .com domain for your business, you have indirectly increased the search value of your business on Google. Over the years, the .com domain has gained solid industry growth and trust, which is why most web users tend to click on a website with .com.
In turn, these clicks provide a knock-on effect on the SEO, and your website gradually reaches the top of the search results.
However, the .com domain isn’t enough. You must follow certain practices to ensure your targeted traffic is driven on your website.
A simple, memorable, short, and easy-to-pronounce domain name will have a positive association with your business among your target audience. Create a creative, catchy, and brand-friendly domain name without using numerals, spaces, symbols, unusual spelling, longer sentences (15-20 characters are recommended for use), and non-standard characters such as the Swedish å, the German ü, and the Romanian ș.
You can even make your domain name keyword-rich, as it is a critical component of SEO that can promote your website’s growth on search engines. Choosing high-quality keywords are advised as they don’t cause any unfavorable effect on your site’s ranking.
All in all, you can always go for a .com domain extension or any other TLD, ccTLDs, and gTLDs, as they all carry an equivalent effect.
➢ Can You Choose ccTLD Domain For Online Business?
We all know about the .com domain extension, but have you come across .ca, .uk, .us, or any other country-specific domain extensions? As of 2022, 150 million+ websites are registered under ccTLD domain extensions, becoming as prevalent as dot-com worldwide.
But why are so many business owners prefer to launch their sites on ccTLD domain extensions? That’s because these extensions separate your business from the crowd. By using ccTLD domain extensions, you can target local area and increase your reach on search engines.
For example – your website’s name is www.birthdaycake.com.uk, and if a web user searches for birthday cake in the UK, your website is likely to appear in the search results.
Plus, ccTLD also encourages brand growth and increases credibility as locals residing in the United Kingdom trusts .co.uk, and registering your business under the same domain extension is a sure-shot way to gain loyalty and divert targeted users to your site.
Coming back to your question about choosing ccTLD for your website. You may choose this domain extension when you have a country/region-specific business, as this sends a clear message to Google that you wish to target users from a particular country or region.
➢ Can We Use A gTLD Domain?
gTLDs, also known as Generic Top-level Domain, have been one of the most preferred choices among other generic domain extensions like .com, .org, and .net since the 80s. Today, 43% of websites feature gTLDS, and instant recognition is the reason for this immense popularity.
Web users can right away interpret your business & services. They can open the website and procure your services if it is relevant to their search query.
Besides the awareness, the other bright side of a gTLD domain is that you can select a desired name to represent your business. But you need to ensure the relevancy of your domain extension.
For instance – if you provide IT services and have a website on the same services with a domain extension of .travel, it won’t be relevant & meaningful, and your users will get confused about your business.
Choosing alternative domain extensions such as .app, .AI, .host, or .IO can showcase your specialization and increase visibility, credibility, and the chance your website appears in the search results.
This is our take on explaining all about domain extensions and how you can grow the ranking of your website on search engines despite the choice of your domain extensions. But the question is, what are some prominent SEO ranking factors?
Also Read: Bought A Domain Name. Now What?
5 Significant SEO Factors That Can Influence Ranking
1. Short & Relevant Domain Name
A domain name is not only a unique identifier of a business but also helps encourage the growth of your site on search engines. A short and remarkable name incorporating relevant keywords is a perfect strategic approach to drafting a perfect domain name for your business.
Make sure to keep your domain name uncomplicated without any symbols, numbers, or dubious characters that arise suspicion among your target audience. Keeping all these elements in check will boost your online presence and exhibit the potential of your business.
2. Website’s Performance
Earlier, keyword-stuffed domain names ranked on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), but today, it’s not much valuable. There are many other aspects, such as website performance, that grow organic traffic and acquire potential customers.
Make sure to keep the turnaround time of your website/page to 1-2 seconds because the longer it takes to load, the faster a user abandons your site. You can run your website through Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check the site speed. Once you get the performance report of mobile and desktop devices, work on the suggestions to improve the website speed.
3. Relevant Content
We all have read ‘content is king,’ but we say relevant content is an integral factor for the success of your business online. You need to draft content that not only ranks and converts but also solves a user’s query.
Click-bait titles, compelling headlines, well-structured & high-quality content, long-tail & industry-oriented keywords, and questions & answers are a few must-have elements of quality content.
4. Technical SEO
If you have been managing SEO for a while now, you must’ve worked or atleast about technical SEO. For newcomers, this refers to the technical side, where you perform server optimizations to crawl and index your site on search engines.
An indexing XML sitemap, eliminating duplicate & thin content issues, adding device-friendly creatives and videos on the website, enabling AMP code, optimizing the URL structure, updating the 404 page, and installing HTTPS & SSL for security is a technical SEO checklist that requires periodic audit and improvement to bring out the full potential of your site.
5. Quality Backlinks
Quality backlinks are like juice that energizes your website’s body. But if you are not generating quality backlinks, you are practically draining the energy your website needs. Simply put, a quality backlink helps increase your site’s credibility and ranking on Google.
Backlinks are an effective and long-running strategy to help direct traffic to your site. Although a handful of backlinks are relevant to your site, adding irrelevant ones can increase your website’s spam score.
Guest blogging, asking for a testimonial with a link to your site from your clients, connecting with brands & influencers to promote your products/services, creating appealing infographics & illustrations, publishing factual content, and using local citations are a few ways to generate quality backlinks.
We hopethis article gave you a clear idea of how domain extension has nothing to do with SEO. From .com to .net, to .org, and .fashion, there are multiple options out there. Choose a domain extension that adds meaning and simultaneously justifies your site’s potential.