Does a domain name affect SEO and what’s a name worth? The answer is yes and well, quite a bit when it comes to the SEO of your website. Your domain is crucial to your online presence in addition to housing your brand, content, conversion funnel, and items.
Along with the advancement of search engine algorithms – which are now far more sophisticated and less dependent on information that is spoon-fed. SEO recommendations for domain names have changed throughout time. We’ll talk about domain name SEO best practices in this blog post to help you launch your website successfully.
Domain name selection
Thankfully, the days of website owners and companies being able to rank on just the basis of keyword stuffing or keyword-matching domain names are long gone. electricianinswansea.co.uk, bestrestaurantswansea.co.uk or howtotrainadog.co.uk are no longer relevant and so is an SEO technique to be avoided in Swansea. Google’s EMD (or exact-match domain) upgrade was introduced back in 2012, thus ending the practice of black-hat SEOs purchasing EMDs and utilising them to rank thin, low-quality websites.
A top-level domain
So we have covered the question ‘does a domain name affect SEO?’ The answer was yes. But what about the section that follows the name of your website or brand? This is known as the top-level domain. So, for instance, google.com’s top-level domain (TLD) is .com. There are several top-level domains available today, including those for personal websites (.me), United Kingdom websites (.co.uk), and government websites (.gov).
The TLD you select will represent how you want users to discover and understand your company. A serious company won’t want its website to be hosted on a .biz because it doesn’t appear professional. Web users are aware of these subtleties, and trust is crucial to ranking as well as user click-through rates to your site.
A smart place to start would be to look at your competition and see which TLDs they are using. Additionally, consider your target audience and how you want consumers to perceive your brand. If your brand is creative and unique, you might wish to choose something other than the conventional .com or .co.uk domains e.g. .swansea or .together.
How to determine your domain's worth
When we discuss the worth of a domain name, we could essentially be discussing two separate topics. What worth does a domain have in terms of money, first, and then in terms of SEO, second? Let’s start by discussing monetary value.
How much is the value of your domain name?
The financial worth of a domain can be determined using a variety of tools.
However, the primary elements that can raise the sale price are as follows:
- What is the domain’s age?
- Does the domain have a history of backlinks? Has that domain ever been home to a website?
- Do the domain’s keywords have any potential business relevance?
- Has the domain ever been manually penalised, or are penalties still being applied to it?
- Are there websites all over the internet that reference the domain? How are they being received?
- Is the domain large or profitable enough to be desired in the future?
Sites like GoDaddy offer quick domain appraisals and can handle the brokerage of a domain sale for you, taking into account all of these aspects.
How well-trusted is your domain?
Let’s now examine a domain’s SEO value:
Depending on every SEO tool you use, a different set of metrics and criteria are used to calculate domain authority, domain rating, and other domain-related metrics.
Domain metrics often include things like age, HTTPS (security status), the IP of sites connecting to you, the amount and quality of backlinks (DoFollow vs. NoFollow), organic traffic, organic search ranks, and the topical relevancy of backlinks as well as the cadence of link acquisition.
To obtain an indication of where your website stands, it’s helpful to enter your domain into each of SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs as they each have their domain metrics. The better your website scores – usually out of 100 – the easier it will be to rank compared to a domain with a low authority score.
The domain authority IS NOT a ranking factor, it is vital to remember this. It’s just a statistic that SEOs and website managers use to gauge a domain’s strength and authority. How many backlinks you have, where they come from, the authority of the sites connecting to you, the IP of the sites linking to you, the topical relevancy of the backlinks, and the cadence of link acquisition are some of the factors that DA or any equivalent measure takes into account.
However, backlinks ARE a ranking component, thus acquiring high-quality links should always be a part of your SEO plan.
Best practices for domains
- Keep your domain brief, succinct, and memorable so that users can type it in and remember your brand.
- Use a keyword or your company name instead of the EMD.
- Select a TLD that is appropriate for your company, the material it will host, and its intended audience. When designing a website for a given country, TLDs should always be taken into account.
- Avoid utilising numbers and abbreviations as much as you can because they make domains more difficult to remember and are open to user interpretation.
- Check the authority and history of any domain you intend to purchase using tools. Verify the sentiment, history, penalties, and quality of the backlinks.
Send a message to our SEO Swansea crew if you’re considering creating a new website and wondering ‘does a domain name affect SEO’? We’d be pleased to go over how we can help.