The role of a domain name in SEO

The role of a domain name in SEO

If you are an entrepreneur who conducts online marketing activities, you have certainly heard a lot about SEO. It is crucial for the visibility of your website on the Internet, but it is not that simple to position a website: you need a lot of time, skills, and patience. Today we will discuss a little bit about the relationship between domain and SEO. In this article you will learn, in particular:

  • What is positioning and what is a domain,
  • How a domain can affect SEO,
  • How to choose the right name for your website,
  • And is the name of your store really that important?

What is positioning?

Let’s start with the basics and remind you what SEO is all about. Positioning is a number of different activities that have one goal: to increase the position of your website in the search engine. To achieve this a number of conditions must be fulfilled, both technical and content related. The faster the website loads, the more efficiently it works and the more valuable articles it offers to users, the higher it will be ranked by Google’s algorithms.

It is worth remembering that positioning is not a simple task, but a long-term process that requires consistent work and quick response to rapidly changing trends.

What is a domain?

Let’s start with the basics and remind you what SEO is all about. Positioning is a number of different activities that have one goal: to increase the position of your website in the search engine. To achieve this a number of conditions must be fulfilled, both technical and content related. The faster the website loads, the more efficiently it works and the more valuable articles it offers to users, the higher it will be ranked by Google’s algorithms.

It is worth remembering that positioning is not a simple task, but a long-term process that requires consistent work and quick response to rapidly changing trends.

What is a domain?

It’s a unique web address that directs you to the right place on the web. A domain actually replaces the IP address, which is a series of digits that are difficult to remember. It consists of a name (this role is usually played, for example, by the name of a company or brand) and an extension.

Extensions can be:

global (.com., net. or .org),

national (like Polish .pl or Spanish .es),

functional (com.pl, net.pl),

regional (wroclaw.pl).

In Poland, the most popular extension is of course .pl, followed by .com and .eu.

There are also other extensions, e.g. industry-specific (.fitness) or even company-specific if a given company has them. So as you can see, although it’s a typically technical element, often the extension can initially direct the user to what they will find on the website – so it also serves a certain informational role. Therefore, considerations of entrepreneurs in the form of “com or pl domain” are definitely not unjustified.

First of all, a domain (e.g. regional or national) pre-assigns your website to a specific location, which affects the visibility of your website in that area. This is why, when you search for products in Polish, you are unlikely to see stores from Germany or Denmark. Of course, without a country extension, Google will also know what area you operate in, but the .co.uk suffix can help them further.

So when it comes to choosing a domain extension, it’s best to be guided by the nature of your business and your target market. If you plan to operate only locally, your domain extension can also be regional. However, if you are planning to open up to a new market, think about an extension suitable for it as well.

Domain name and positioning. Does it have any influence?

A lot is being said about the impact of different elements of a website on its SEO. The relevance of sales funnels, the intuitiveness of website navigation, and the quality of blog posts are analyzed. But what about the address we type into the search engine bar? Does it have any meaning?

In general: yes, a domain name can have an impact on SEO, although today it is rather small. A few years back it was indeed recommended that the domain name should include the keyword of a particular audience (e.g. “shoes” or “chocolates”), but today, after another algorithm update, this practice is often abandoned.

However, a keyword domain can have a positive impact on your company’s image. When your products are sold under shoes.co.uk or kayaks.co.uk, it is a sign to the customer that the brand has been around for a long time – otherwise it would not have managed to occupy such a popular name.

However, if you don’t have this option, you can easily decide on a branded domain, with the name of your brand or company. The shorter and easier it is, the better! Keep in mind that there is a fee to register most domains, and what domain represents your business can make a big difference.

Other aspects of the domain that affect SEO

There is something that has a much greater impact on SEO than the name of the website itself and that is its history. The longer a domain has been on the Internet, the better it is evaluated by Google’s robots and the higher it ranks in search results. In this way, the algorithm rewards websites with great seniority, assuming that their “age” is accompanied by usefulness and valuable content.

But beware: if a domain has been penalized by a search engine in the past (e.g. filter or ban), its history will definitely not work in its favor and its visibility may be severely limited. So if you are planning to buy a domain from the aftermarket, be sure to find out what its web history is like. Tools such as Google Search Console or Archive Wayback Machine that allow you to “travel back in time” will be helpful here.

For a domain that someone else has used before, it’s also a good idea to check its current link profile. This is actually all the links on the Internet that lead to your website. If there are many of them and they are high quality, the algorithm will consider your website trustworthy – if not, the website may be more difficult to position.

Of course, in addition to the age of the website itself, its actual content and technical prowess are also extremely important. It is through the combination of these two elements that a website can become truly user-friendly.

What kind of domain? How to choose a domain so that you do not regret it.

Choosing a domain is important, and the name of your website or online store name matters, so it’s a good idea to consider this decision well at the beginning (especially since later changes and possible content migrations can be a time-consuming process). So what should the ideal domain name be?

Unique

This is all about mitigating the risk that your potential customer will end up on another company’s website (in the worst case: your competitors). Also, make sure that your name does not infringe on another company’s rights, especially if the name has been officially registered as a trademark.

Simple

That’s the bottom line! After all, your website name is your brand’s web presence of sorts. It’s good that it’s easy to remember and, if possible, clearly related to what it contains.

Short

Practice shows that the optimal length is a maximum of 15 characters. It’s not just about the ease of remembering the website address (which we’ve already written about above), but also about linking to the website more gracefully, without having to shorten the link or make it smaller in graphics.

Available

This aspect seems obvious, but it is worth repeating (if only to make you tired): before buying a domain check if it is free and if it is not confusingly similar to an existing domain. If your competitor has a website under the domain bikes.pl and you buy bikes.com, it will be very easy to make a mistake.

It’s best to check the availability of your website on an ongoing basis – that way you won’t pay too much attention to the names that eventually turn out to be taken. You can do it easily because most of the websites offering domain registration have a proper search engine. If someone else has already registered the domain, the search engine will probably suggest similar names and show you the available extensions.

Appropriately written

While the size of letters does not matter in terms of the Internet domain, it is worth paying attention to diacritic signs. In the case of the Polish language, these are all letters such as ą, ę, or ż. Although they are allowed in domain names, we do not recommend you to use them in your website address. First of all, it is commonly accepted that addresses do not contain them, so it is not difficult for users to make a mistake; secondly, by choosing them you make it difficult for foreign language clients to reach your website.

Also, try to avoid hyphens. They are not very welcome and are rather associated with forum SPAM than a company providing quality services.

Well sounding

If you decide on a name consisting of two words, make sure that their combination in the website address will not sound bad. History already knows cases when two – seemingly innocent words – were combined into funny, strange, or even vulgar words.

How much does a domain cost?

We have already told you how a domain affects SEO and that the name of your website or online store does matter. However, how much can such a domain cost? As usual in such cases, the answer can be only one: it depends!

Prices depend on the type of domain, but also on the company that sells such a domain. Registration of a domain is usually a cost in the range of a few to several dozen PLN, while its renewal (usually paid annually) – even to several hundred.

It is worth remembering that paying for a domain is actually more like renting it than owning it. As long as you pay for it, you have the exclusive right to use it. When you stop paying for it – you will lose this possibility. So if your business relies heavily on online activities, you cannot forget about it.

Summary

An own domain and a website are the basic elements of the functioning of your company on the Internet. They provide you with your own space on the web, which – properly used – can not only multiply your revenues but also affect brand recognition and its position in the industry.

The domain name does not have to contain specific keywords. It is much more important that it refers to the type of your business in a natural way, so it is best to use the name of your company or brand.

And remember: even the best domain name will not replace professional SEO. This is what will make your website jump to the first positions in the search engine and make the traffic to your website explode.

There are rumors in the SEO world that a domain has no effect on a website’s SEO. In this post, you will find out if this is true or just an internet legend…

Domain and positioning. Find out if these factors affect each other!

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Category: SEO
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