SEO, or search engine optimization, is a way of directing traffic into your site. It plays a role in your website content, but also in your domain name. When you are choosing a domain name for your site or to build your domain portfolio, the first thought that comes to your mind is what kind of name to use. Domain names play an important factor in SEO and the success of your brand. While length and keywords still play a factor in it’s importance, there are changes that need to be considered in combination with these other factors.
A while ago, exact-match domains were a popular method of attracting traffic to a site. An exact-matchdomain uses exact keywords to match your site. For example, if you website was about selling blue cars, an exact-match domain would be sellingbluecars.com. In 2012, Google decided that this was unfair way of using SEO and ranking sites because people were strictly relying on their domain names while providing weak content on their site. They called it the EMD update, which made it almost impossible to reach high rankings solely based on a domain name.
So how do I optimize my domain name?
Because of these changes, SEO’s role in domain names has shifted to include your brand. In order to gain the most out of SEO for your domain names, it is essential to use a combination of both your brand name and a keyword. Using your brand name helps search engines and visitors distinguish you from competing sites – this is what makes you unique from the rest. The process of having your brand name mentioned or any occurence tied to it is called brand signals. Brand signals play a factor in how your brand name ranks on search engines and how it is remembered by potential visitors.
If you are looking to combine both your brand and a keyword to create your domain name, find keywords that rank highly. You will need to do research on the keywords that you are considering to make sure your competition isn’t high, you are choosing keywords that people are looking for, and your are choosing keywords that rank highly on search engines. I use Jaaxy for my keyword research because it gives an extensive overview of each word, but there are other sites that work well depending on what you are looking for.
Should I consider new extensions?
With the addition of new domain extensions such as.xyz, .club, and .online, it is important to consider their role in SEO. Search engines such as Google rank new extensions equally to extensions such as .com or .net, outside of other factors. But because SEO takes many variables into factor, it is also vital to consider how actual people will react to them.
Because they are new, visitors might find them suspicious or inauthentic. This does not mean that they should not be used at all. Since SEO considers all factors in their rankings, using quality content and a quality tools will be important to make sure that the new extensions do not have a negative impact on your site.
Domain Name and Domain Flipping
Much like your own domain name, it is important to consider SEO’s role in your domain portfolio. I have mentioned how having a niche for your domain portfolio boosts the chances of selling faster and selling higher in this article. Using domain names that are in line with your niche and your brand will bring in more potential clients when it comes to selling your domains. It is also important to consider keywords and brand names if you are hosting your domains to maximize SEO.
SEO not only helps with website content, but is also important to consider in all aspects of your site, including domain names. It’s important to remember to use domain names that are short, brand specific, and that use keywords. From my own perspective, I still like to use the older extensions because people are still comfortable with them. However, newer extensions provide the same opportunities and new opportunities for those that want to use them. Considering all these tips will help you decide what domains to use to boost SEO.
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