How important is the domain for SEO?

Veröffentlicht: 23. February 2021

Keyword domain yes or no? A discussion that has been going on for many years. Let’s get to the bottom of it: How important is the domain for SEO?

What is a domain?

The domain is the address of a homepage – i.e. a unique and unambiguous name for your website.

The structure of the Internet address is divided into three main components: the third-level domain, also known as the subdomain, the second-level domain (SLD) and the top-level domain(TLD).

If we look at the example http://www.name.de, the following allocation results:

“www.” forms the subdomain. The second-level domain is “name” and the top-level domain is the domain extension “.de”.

The “.de” is a country name, but there are also other endings such as “.org” or “.com”.

But why exactly is the domain name so important for the search engine optimization of your website?

Importance of domain names for SEO

The choice of domain for your own website can be decisive for your Google ranking.

If you want to see your website at the top of the search engine rankings, the web presence of you and your company plays a crucial role. And the trademark of this presence is your domain, because it is the first impression users get of you.

First and foremost, there are two different types of domains: keyword domains and brand domains.

Keyword domains

As the term suggests, a keyword domain is characterized by a relevant keyword within the domain name.

This gives the Internet user a direct link between their search term and your website. This makes it subjectively more likely that your website will also provide answers to their questions.

Advantages

This direct reference of the search term to your website definitely has a positive effect on the CTR, the click-through rate, of your site.

This in turn indirectly improves your ranking and directly improves your organic visitor numbers.

However, it is no longer the case that you can achieve a good ranking with a keyword domain alone.

Google has been testing the content of exact match domains for relevance and added value for many years. This means that the importance of the number of keywords contained in the domain tends to decrease.

However, if the content is relevant and correct, Google will of course rate your keyword domain as good.

When using keywords, you should not only pay attention to the domain, but also in general with regard to SEO, how big the competition is and how strong the competition is for a particular keyword.

In areas with less competition, a domain name with keywords can definitely pay off and positively influence your ranking in search engines such as Google.

This also applies to regional search engine optimization, for example. If you combine your domain with your keyword and the name of your region, you increase your chances of reaching the top of the Google rankings.

Disadvantages

With keyword domains, it also often happens that the name is already taken or many similar names with the same keywords exist, so that the uniqueness is missing and your website does not really stand out with a unique selling point on Google.

Summary

Keyword domains can speed up the ranking process, but.

this only works if your site is as good & relevant for a keyword. So the domain alone is not enough.

Brand domains

Here, too, the name already reveals a lot about the structure of the domain, because it is about the use of your brand name.

If you use the name of your company in the domain, you directly convey to the user what they can expect.

Another plus point is that a brand domain has a positive effect on your image . A unique name that includes your brand is not quickly forgotten by visitors and thus strengthens your corporate identity.

A small example: Behind which address do you suspect a reputable, “real” company and corresponding service?

logo-erstellen-online.de or canva.de?

Summary

A brand domain is easier to market

Domains with your brand name are probably the better choice for a comprehensive marketing concept (not just SEO).

Does the top-level domain make a difference?

In addition to the domain name, the question arises as to which domain extension is suitable for your website.

Meanwhile, new generic top-level domains are treated by search engines such as Google in the same way as established TLDs such as “.com”.

Accordingly, it has no influence on your ranking whether the ending contains a keyword or not.

However, country names are an important point for a domain extension. Google rates your website according to added value. For example, a domain ending in “.de” is more relevant in Germany than a .se ending.

Domain holder

As with search engine optimization in general, your trustworthiness, including that of the domain owner, plays an important role.

The easiest way to avoid having your domain name penalized or identified as spam is to make your domain information publicly available.

Although it is also possible to set up privacy protection for Whosis queries, this does not necessarily support your trustworthiness. Openness and honesty pay off here.

Age of the domain

In addition to the factors mentioned so far, you should also consider the age of the domain, as this also has an indirect influence on your SEO success.

With the help of the Netcraft tool you can find out when a Google crawler identified your domain for the first time.

Why is age important?

This is again about trust, because if your domain has been established for a long time and is characterized by good quality and helpful content, this is an indication of the trustworthiness of your website.

It’s not just about the age of the domain itself, but much more about how long the website has been known for its added value.

If your domain can maintain trust for a long time, you will see success in your search engine optimization.

Tips for the perfect domain

  • Your website domain name should be distinctive and authentic.
  • The choice of domain should always represent you and your website and not be made at random.
  • Pay attention to the competition for both keyword domains and brand domains to avoid similarities to assigned domain names.
  • Write your domain for the user and not for SEO, so you can meet expectations.
  • Avoid many hyphens, numbers and umlauts, as these make it difficult to enter them correctly and thus reduce the number of hits.
Hannes Kaltofen

Hannes Kaltofen

Gründer & Geschäftsführer

Seit über 7 Jahren in den SERPs unterwegs. Dank SEO konnte Ich das Affiliate Marketing, Blogging und Agenturgeschäft kennelernen und helfe Unternehmen tagtäglich bei ihrer Sichtbarkeit.

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