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Does Your Domain Affect SEO?

Posted on 10/10/2019 at 02:00 PM

In short, yes, your domain does affect SEO and where you show up in rankings. At some point in the life cycle of your business, you will likely be choosing a domain name if you would like to have an online presence. Whether you are a new company building a website or adding a spin-off business, it is important to keep SEO in mind before you commit to a domain.

How to Maximize SEO Benefits for Your Domain

To maximize SEO benefits, your domain name must say what your business is about and be recognizable. It is crucial for your domain to mention your brand. If a user is searching for your business, you want them to easily make the connection to your website. The easier a user can visit your website, the more likely they are to return for further searches or shopping. If they can simply type in “yourbrand.com”, this saves them extra clicks, and thus lowers the barriers to entry. In addition, since they know exactly what they are looking for, your website’s bounce rate is lower, which is one of the indicators in Google’s algorithm that they are showing the user the results they want to see. The next time a search is performed, your website might rank a little higher. Using your brand in your domain name is an effective way to cement yourself in your customer’s minds.

Keep It Simple

Imagine you are selling products inside your store, Bob’s Auto Parts. At the register, a customer asks for your website to look up another product or learn more about your business. Your website’s name is “bobsautopartz3.com”. If you say this out loud, the customer might get confused and never make it to your website. Do you spell out three? Is it a “z” or an “s” in parts? Our tip is to keep it as simple as possible. No funky spelling, no numbers, the easier to pronounce and remember the better. If your chosen domain name is already taken, consider adding your location, such as “bobsautopartsames.com”, or using an acronym if that makes sense for your business.

Domain Extensions

Your domain extension is what goes after the main body of your name, most commonly “.com”. According to website.com, “Your domain extension has no effect on your search results ranking. The only exception is country-code top-level domains, such as .us, .ca and .uk. These domain extensions will significantly affect your website’s ranking on a geographical search level. For example, if you have a .ca domain extension and your users are searching for your website from a Canadian city, then your website will be given a higher placement.

But while the domain extensions have little to no significance, there is a psychological effect that cannot be ignored. Users are most familiar with the .com, .net and .org domain names.  These domain extensions project more trust and credibility than other extensions. Extensions like .biz and .info are, unfortunately, often favored by spammers. In order words, choosing the wrong domain extension could associate you with low-ranking websites. People will be more skeptical about clicking on your link. This could negatively impact your SEO.”

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Keywords play an important role in getting users from the search results to your website. However, it is best to keep keywords to a minimum within your domain. Too many keywords can make your website look fake and detract users from clicking, such as “cheapautorepairshopinames.com”. It is important for your keywords to clarify your website’s goal and align well with the rest of your content and business, ex: “bobsautorepairservice.com”. All in all, be tactful about the keywords you choose to use within your domain, if any.

Check to See if the Domain Has a Negative History


Many domains have been previously owned and used by other websites, and if you end up purchasing one with a history of spamming tactics, such as link farming or keyword stuffing, then it’s possible that Google or other search engines may have penalized the website, even blacklisting it completely from search results. This negative history can be transferred to your website and make it that much harder for yours to rank.

For that reason, it’s important to make sure that the domain you decide to purchase has a clean history to avoid headaches and the additional costs that can come with cleaning up a spammy domain.

For more information, check out our previous blog post about how a domain can affect you negatively and ways to spot a spammy domain.

The key to an SEO-friendly domain is to meet your customer’s expectations and keep it as simple as possible. If you are looking for domain help, or to improve your existing website’s SEO, contact the experts at Global Reach!

Tagged As: Domains

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