Domain names were once considered to be the golden ticket to the search engine front lines. However, after Google’s update regarding the exact domain match, the SEO community seems to have a divided opinion about the powers of domain names.
If you have been wondering how to maximize your SEO ranking and sales through the website domain, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss whether website names play a significant role in SEO and sales or not.
Ways to impact SEO with domain names
There are two ways to impact search engine ranking with domain names.
1. Branded domain
Some domain names are based on brands because it makes it easier for their customers to find their website addresses. These are some of the circumstances in which you can use your brand as a domain name:
- You have an established business with a recognized brand.
- You have already invested in marketing your brand.
- You have branded your business after your own name.
- You have a unique brand.
- You intend to establish your brand through the website.
If you have already established a business name, you can choose that as the domain name. This will ensure that your website is SEO friendly because your customers will use your brand to search for your products or services on the internet. A domain name with the brand on it does not require additional keyword inclusion in it.
2. Keyword domain
You can also choose a website name with the relevant keywords in it. For example, if you are a wedding photographer and wish to have a website, you can get a domain name like houstonweddingphotographer.com.
According to studies conducted by several SEO experts, domain names that include keywords rank 11% higher than branded website names. Regular branded domain names need approximately 40000 external links to reach the first search engine result page (SERP) and 35000 more to rank #1.
They also need almost 69% higher domain authority along with 22% page authority to appear on the first search result page. On the other hand, domains with keywords could reach the same goals with half the effort. These factors have revealed that domain names with keywords rank higher due to better relevance to the website and its extensions.
Some SEO experts have also said that Google does not give a lot of importance to keyword domains any longer after it found that spammers were abusing the search engine ranking algorithms. Ever since the update, many believe that keywords in domain names are not as effective.
However, according to SEO experts, keywords in website names can prove useful for search engine ranking if they get backed up with high-quality content. If you wish to use keywords in your website address, make sure you don’t use too many of them.
Choosing the right domain name
Let us examine the different domain names you can choose, and their impact on your SEO and sales. Imagine that your name is John, and you have a restaurant. You wish to start a website and want the perfect website name, which will help you rank higher on search engines and fetch more revenue. These are some of the domain names you could choose and their impact on SEO.
1. Branded domain
Let us imagine you decided to name your website johns.com. The domain name does not tell a user anything about your restaurant or the food you offer. In fact, johns.com can be about anything. The advantage is that you get a blank slate to establish your brand and define the domain name gradually for your customers and search engines alike.
However, you will have to give a lot of time and effort to do that. It may shift your focus from the other aspects of your business. You will also need to think of creative ways to associate “John” with your business so that as soon as people talk about your brand, they would imagine your food.
2. Location-based domain
If your restaurant is situated in New York, you can choose newyorkjohns.com for your website domain name. Such a web address can help you target customers in New York and increase your sales. You would still need to describe your menu and dishes through the content. However, it might make it difficult if you want to create a chain of restaurants beyond the city or state of New York.
3. Service domain
You can use johnsrestaurant.com as the domain name for your website. It will help you tell your target market that the website is about a restaurant, which may invite them to check the food and services you offer. However, you will not be able to use the domain name if you choose to diversify your business and open up nightclubs under the same brand.
Domain extensions usually do not affect SEO ranking unless it is one of the country’s top-level domains. So it would not make a lot of difference whether you use .com, .biz, .net, .org, or any other. Businesses also use domain names like .pizza, .place, .menu, and several others.
Google likes what the users prefer, so make sure that you think from your customer’s point of view when you get a domain name. There are some considerations that you must keep in mind, such as:
- It must not look like a spam site and should have relevant content.
- It should be easily recognizable and memorable.
- It should not be hard to read.
- It should sound relevant and authoritative.
- It should add to your brand and help your customers recognize your business.
A domain name can be a significant factor responsible for ranking your website higher and generate more sales. However, you should consider the aspects that we discussed and choose a domain name wisely to get maximum benefits from it.
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