Nowadays, many business owners are just starting to build their website. That said, they're also wondering how the domain name they choose will affect their business in the future. Today, domain names play a vital role in businesses.
They are basically your company's online name and address through which consumers can find you. That's why it's very important to take your time when choosing a domain name for your business.
So, do these domain names also affect marketing strategies, more specifically SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? The short answer is yes. Although not a major ranking factor, all things considered, domain names do have an impact on your online visibility and credibility.
It's important to understand that SEO is not just about optimizing your website for search engines but it's also about what consumers see or find when doing their online search. With that in mind, here are a few ways your domain name affects your SEO, as well as a few best practices for choosing a domain name.
As mentioned before, domain names can have an impact on your online visibility and credibility. Your domain name can say a lot about the website or the company behind it at first glance. Therefore, a relevant domain name will tell both Google and your consumers what your website is all about.
While search engines will poke at your website to discover just how authoritative it is, consumers, on the other hand, will look at the domain name to determine whether or not your website is worth visiting. Therefore, before we proceed any further, let's break down the entire domain name and highlight the importance of each individual component, shall we?
Here's an example of a website address or a URL if you prefer: https://kenkarlo.com/
- HTTPS – Also known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This shows whether or not your website is properly secured. Google doesn't rank websites without security well and consumers generally avoid them as well.
- www– The World Wide Web prefix is a common sight. URLs without the "www" are also known as the naked domains. This prefix is not mandatory but there are technical advantages to not using a naked domain.
- "kenkarlo" – This is your domain name or the name of your website/company. It's also known as SLD (Second Level Domain). You normally obtain the name from your hosting provider and it should highlight something relevant about your website/company. For example, you can use a relevant keyword or a brand name for your SLD.
- ".com" – Believe it or not, this is the most important factor of your URL. The "dot" extensions are known as TLDs (Top-Level Domains) and they tell a lot about your website/company. We'll discuss their importance in more detail a bit later.
Choosing the right TLD
TLDs are crucial for your domain name. As mentioned before, TLDs can tell a lot about your company/website to both consumers and search engines.
Search engines will regard TLDs when indexing and ranking your pages while consumers will determine your credibility based on the TLD alone. For example, a personalized .me TLD is a country code domain that's both popular and well ranked on search engines. Here are a few examples of other TLDs and their importance.
- The popular TLDs – These are the most common and the most popular TLDs on the Internet. TLDs, such as .com, .info and .org are the top three with .com being used by 75% of global websites.
- Country code TLDs – These TLDs highlight the specific location or country for your business. For example, TLDs such as .us, .au, .uk, etc. represent the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom respectively.
- Industry-specific TLDs – As their name suggests, these TLDs highlight the specific industry or nature of your business. For instance, the .biz, .food, .marketing, .edu, and other TLDs
Importance of SLDs
Your domain name or SLD is the first thing consumers see. If the name sounds appealing to them, they're most likely to visit your website. The best practices for choosing the right SLD suggest you have two options to choose from.
One is a keyword-related SLD, the other is a brand name SLD. So, which one to opt for? In essence, both are equally good.
For example, keyword domains don't have a lot of ranking power when it comes to SEO but they are SEO-friendly nonetheless. In other words, such domains work well with other SEO activities, such as anchor texts and matching context with page content.
They can bring in more organic traffic for your website as well. On the other hand, if you're building a brand or planning to do so, choosing a branded domain name may be a better option. The main reason is that a branded domain will make your website more recognizable and easily findable online.
The right domain name will affect your SEO in some ways. Although ranking power of domain names isn't significant, it shouldn't be disregarded, regardless. Your target audience, however, is a different story and they will have a close look at your entire URL before they decide to visit your website.