About SEO and Domains: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must if you want to reach the top rankings on search engine result pages (SERP) and gain organic traffic.
Many factors influence SEO success, including domains, page speed, and content. These factors and strategies continue expanding as search engine algorithms become smarter, which can be overwhelming to keep up with.
This article will provide you with the most essential information about SEO and domains to help you build your strategy. We’ll cover important tools, examples, and recent updates from Google.
Using Brand Names Affects SEO Ranking
Brand names can increase trust and make people click when the site appears in SERP.
An example is when you search for a term. The first result is from a brand you don’t know about, while the second belongs to a website you’re familiar with. In this case, you’ll most likely click the second and stick around because you trust the brand.
Since Google recognizes user behaviour, it may prioritize the website on the second result whenever it meets your search queries.
Therefore, it’s important to buy a domain name that is brandable and unique so that people trust your website and you can improve your ranking. Check out Hostinger’s domain checker tool to see if your desired name is available or not.
SEO and Domains: Page Speed is Crucial for SEO
Google introduced Core Web Vitals in May 2020, metrics that score webpage loading time and determine the user experience (UX). These metrics include loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
As a result, websites with a good score in Core Web Vitals will likely increase their rankings since Google prioritizes UX.
Helpful tools to check your website’s Core Web Vitals are PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix. These tools will provide you with a score and detailed suggestions to improve your site performance.
Content is the First Important Factor for On-Page SEO
Quality of content is one of the key factors in Google’s search algorithms. The algorithm will prioritize websites with the most reliable sources, meaning they show expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) on a specific topic.
There are specific criteria that make quality content, such as:
- The content provides original information and insightful analysis.
- The content involves evidence from the expertise and shows the background of the author.
- The content’s headline is descriptive and helpful in summarizing the content.
Age of Your Domain Matters
Spammy sites usually register and drop domains quickly. Therefore, domain renewals can indicate that the owners still maintain them.
Note that domain age doesn’t only refer to how long you own the domain but also how long Google has indexed your content for. A tool like Netcraft can tell you when Google first indexed the domain.
Choose Domains for Users, Not Search Engines
Picking a user-friendly domain name is an essential part of long-term SEO success. It refers to a name that is memorable, credible and has less competition.
For example, a domain name like Levi.com will be more effective than generic domain names like buyjeans.com and buy-jeans.net. It’s because Levi represents business identity, which helps distinguish it from other brands.
Relevant Keywords in Domains Boosts CTR
Relevant keywords in your domain name help people know what your site is about even before clicking it.
However, it’s better to keep your brand name in the domain. Google sometimes considers exact match domains like buybluewallet.com spam unless you can satisfy user intent and provide search engines and users with excellent content and UX.
An example of a good exact match domain would be hotels.com. This domain name is relevant for users searching for hotels. The website also offers related information on hotel reservations and travel guides.
Use Relevant Content to Link to Other Websites
Using external links is an excellent SEO strategy. It can make your content more valuable because the link acts as a reference resource. If the website you link to notice you, it may refer you back and form a good link building.
However, link out to only relevant and trustworthy websites to maintain your website quality. Consider checking the website authority using a domain authority (DA) checker to ensure trustworthiness. Generally, DA between 50 to 60 is considered good.
Write for Humans First, Search Engines Second(SEO)
Old SEO methods like keyword stuffing are no longer applicable. Recent Google algorithm prioritizes users, meaning useful information will win over content that has too many similar keywords.
Therefore, understand search intent before creating your content to match users’ needs. They can be searching for information or purchasing a product.
Don’t hesitate to use natural language in your content, as Google is getting smarter – it’ll notice the intent behind search queries even if they’re conversational and complex.
Pay Attention to Domain Extensions
Domain extensions refer to the last part of a domain name, like .com and .net. With many options available, people can be confused about which TLD leads to higher rankings.
Whatever domain extension you choose doesn’t affect your ranking unless you use country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), like .uk and .ca. These domain extensions can influence your ranking within the geographical level.
For example, if you have a .uk domain extension and your users are searching from the United Kingdom, your website can be in a higher placement.
Web Analytics Tools Help
Web analytics tools, like Google Analytics and Mixpanel, provide data about your website visitors. These include user behavior, demographics, and traffic sources.
Knowing these metrics helps you understand your visitors in order to create a better UX. For example, knowing what country your visitors come from will encourage you to target more local keywords for that country.
Meta Descriptions Increases SEO
A meta description is a summary of a page that shows in the SERP. With targeted keywords and compelling descriptions, it can improve search visibility and click-through rates.
To have a good meta description, keep it up to 156 characters because Google will cut a description longer than that.
Also, identical meta descriptions won’t signal problems to Google since the Panda algorithm was released.
However, try to keep it unique to make your site more appealing to users. If you have many pages on your site, consider leaving it empty, as Google can generate meta descriptions from the page content.
Structure URLs Simply
There are various ways to use URLs, from including dates to numerics. However, URLs only should have up to 2 keywords and folders to make them SEO-friendly, as anything more than that will be hard to read.
A rule of thumb is using descriptive names like www.example.com/shop/top/blue-tshirt instead of long strings like www.example.com/home/shop/itemnumber-1234ab.
Conclusion: SEO and Domains
SEO helps increase website authority, drive traffic, and improve customer experience. Yet, there are many aspects to think about when building SEO strategies that can be overwhelming, especially for beginners.
To help you begin with, here are the essential SEO elements to focus on:
- Domain name
- Page speed
- Content and keywords
- Web analytics
- Meta description
- URL structure
There’s no single most effective way to reach SEO success, but we hope the list above can be your guide and bring positive results for your website.