brand seo

Domains and Their Impact on SEO

The most important part of starting a business website is choosing the right domain name. With so many top-level domain (TLD) options to choose from, the process is complex and often confusing. The following offers advice on how to buy SEO domains.

The Difference Between TLD and SLD

A TLD is always to the right of the dot, such as com, net or org. A second-level domain (SLD) is always to the left of the dot and is the name chosen by the site owner. For example, “Google” is an SLD, and “com” is a TLD. Search engines treat all TLDs equally, which makes the choice of SLD very important.
Choosing an SLD

brand domain nameLike many other things in life, selecting the right domain name is often challenging. Most people put a great deal of thought into naming their children and businesses, and the same is true for domains. Another level of difficulty is that many names are already taken. In some cases, the issue is not availability but how a name will impact a business and its SEO. These factors should be considered in the naming process:

Targeted keyword. Using a keyword as part of a domain name does not help as much with ranking as it did in the past, but it is still a strong relevancy signal. Google and many other search engines still show keywords in bold when they appear inside domain names.

Branding. Some businesses have the same keyword and brand name, but others do not. When this is not possible, brand should be the first choice for a domain name. This is because Google places more value on brand names than keywords.

Relevancy. The domain should always send the correct message. Visitors will understand the purpose of a business or website when the domain name reflects the relevant industry or niche that is being presented.
• Short length. Research has revealed that the average domain name length in the top 50 websites is six characters. This means no more than one or two words, and hyphens should be avoided if possible.

Choosing a TLD

brand seoBetween the years 1985, when TLDs first became available, and 2013, there were only 260 extensions available. In recent years, the list has expanded to 500, and it is expected to number 900 very soon. This makes choosing the right TLD more difficult. The following tips will help:

Targeted location. If a business wants to target a specific country, using a geographical extension, such as “.au,” is the right choice. Google will rank the domain according to country, region and locality. Using the location in the SLD is not recommended because Google may not see it as a country target, especially when a generic TLD like “.com” is used.

Specific industry. Food bloggers can use “.food” to target the right audience. A marketing firm can use “.marketing” to bring in business. Both search engines and people will have a clear understanding of the website with an industry-specific domain name. It is important to note that once an industry TLD is in use, the focus of the website or business cannot change later.

Dot com. This extension is still used by 75 percent of websites. It has 20 times more value than “.org” or “.net.” Even if an industry or geographical extension is used, a “.com” counterpart should be also be purchased when it is time to buy SEO domains.

How Domain Names Affect SEO

Google utilizes 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. Domain names are only one part of this process and have very limited effect on SEO. Having the right domain name offers other benefits:

Managing reputation. A properly spelled and relevant domain name is a powerful tool for gaining authority. Buying all of the counterparts to a domain name, including negative ones, goes a long way toward protecting online reputation.

Signaling relevancy. Even though using a keyword in a domain name will not increase ranking, the search engines still see it as being relevant and will bold the word, making it more visible.

Reaching the correct audience. A geographical domain extension targets the right location for the best results, especially with the improved local search from Google.

The Internet Marketing Team has the experience and the tools to help businesses buy SEO domains. Call 888-518-3718 or visit the website to see available options.

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