Do Domain Extensions Affect SEO? Here’s What You Need to Know

As a digital entrepreneur, your website is more than just an assortment of HTML and CSS files. Your website is your storefront, where people can go to learn more about you and even conduct business with your company. Like any good business owner, you put work into keeping your storefront immaculate and impressive.

Yet, it doesn’t matter how much work you put into your website if nobody visits it. Whether you’re promoting a podcast or a new company, you need an SEO strategy.

The top result of any Google search gets 33 percent of search traffic; how can people find you if you don’t rank high on Google?

There’s a lot that goes into an SEO strategy that most people don’t realize, though. There’s more to optimizing your website for search traffic than just starting a blog with the right keywords. It involves everything, including your website’s domain.

Keep reading below to learn how your domain affects your SEO strategy, and how choosing the right one can help you get more traffic.

Which Domain Matters Most?

When you decide to start a website, the first step is to think of a name. Your website’s name should be recognizable and unique, but it also has to be available. There are fewer and fewer unique URLs available to be purchased.

To get around this, some people have begun changing their top-level domain. If the name someone has in mind for their website isn’t available with a ‘.com’ or a ‘.org’ domain extension, they sometimes divert from traditional extensions entirely.

Deciding to use non-traditional domain extensions can impact more than just your search rankings. It can affect your business as a whole. Keep reading below to learn whether you should keep your business name in your URL, even if it means registering as something other than a ‘.com.’

Only a Few Domain Extensions Rank Well

When Google delivers its users their search results, it organizes them according to several different factors. One of those factors is how much Google essentially trusts the website. And different things can affect what Google thinks of your website.

One of those factors is your top-level domain. Google takes domain extensions into account when deciding how to sort search results. And ‘.com’ websites usually take the top spots.

This is because ‘.com’ domains are usually established and trustworthy. People reflexively put ‘.com’ at the end of a URL because it’s what’s used to represent an established company. People trust ‘.com’ companies more than .’co’ or .’business’ companies. It gives an aura of professionalism, which attracts traffic and in turn boosts rankings.

Second-Level Domains Help People Recognize You

Although it may be important to have a ‘.com’ domain, it’s also important to have a URL that reflects your company. You want your URL to be something people can remember and is associated with your brand. If it’s not, you may never be able to establish an audience, since people won’t be able to remember who you are.

If people can’t remember who you are, your website’s traffic can plummet. And a website that doesn’t get high amounts of traffic won’t rank highly on Google. That means securing a recognizable URL is more important than most people realize.

Yet, since there are so many websites on the internet, finding one that people will remember can be difficult. You may need to change your brand or try to transform your URL into an acronym of your company’s name. There are several ways to make your URL work for you — you just need to get creative.

Discoverability vs. Familiarity

Choosing the right URL and domain for your company is a careful balance between making yourself more discoverable and recognizable. You want to stand out from the crowd of other companies and attract an audience. Yet, you want that audience to be familiar with you when they return to your website.

You need to remain consistent with your brand and the content you post on your website. At the same time, you need to try and diverge from the rest of your industry in an online environment that’s rapidly changing. Keeping pace with your industry while maintaining an audience will require a URL consistent with the rest of your brand.

There are a variety of ways to do just that. You can invest in this automated solution that will help you keep constant IP addresses, so you can build a network of URLs for your company. Or, you can change your brand so that it’s easier to find top-level domains that work for it.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that your website should strive balance being both familiar and being discoverable. Finding the right domain is just one part of achieving that balance.

Domains Can be Exchanged

If you’re having a lot of trouble finding a domain name for your business, you may need to step away from the domain registry. There are entire businesses dedicated to buying and holding attractive domain names for a profit. The domain that may be right for you may be with one of these businesses.

Try going to the domain you want to purchase as if you were going to any other website. Then, look to see if the website says that it’s for sale or not. If it does say that you can purchase it, then all you need to do is contact the owner and negotiate a price.

However, a lot of the time a website may be abandoned with seemingly no way to contact the owner. Yet, there are steps to free up an abandoned domain. You just need to file a report that the website is abandoned and then wait for the registry to make it available.

After that, you just need to be ready to swoop down and pick it up as soon as it’s available to be purchased.

Domain Extensions do Affect Your SEO

Your SEO is a cornerstone of your entire marketing strategy. Without a good SEO strategy, your audience may never be able to find you and your website may dry up without traffic coming to it. And one of the cornerstones of your SEO strategy is your domain.

A good domain means more than just having a good business name. It also means using the right domain extensions and getting people to naturally trust you. If you’re using an obscure domain extension, people may be put off by your business.

There are lots of ways to get your audience’s trust though, and to market yourself effectively. To learn about them, just keep reading here. Our website is always updated with the latest news and information on how to effectively run your web business so that you can learn how to rise in your industry!