How is the SEO of your website affected by your choice in domain name? Is it better for your SEO to have a single or multiple domains? Does it matter if you have .com, .co.uk, .ltd or a different domain extension entirely? All of this is answered in the latest instalment of our T-Time web series, which you can now watch below.
In this SEO T-Time show:
- Does domain name help SEO?
- Is one domain or multiple domains better for SEO?
- Which domain extension is best for SEO?
Does domain name help SEO?
(01:00) The short answer to this question? Not really.
The longer answer to this question: SEO is not just about improving your site’s ranking on search engines, it’s also about attracting more traffic to your site. If you have a domain name which is keyword rich for a particular topic or service, then it might result in a better organic click through rate (CTR), but there’s no guarantee.
From Google’s perspective, your domain name simply doesn’t matter. This was not the case historically – if you go back to the start of the 2010s, websites with what are known as ‘exact match domains’ sent a strong signal to Google that they were the most relevant website for keywords. This led to single businesses snapping up multiple domains, even if they weren’t particularly relevant.
For example, an accountancy firm in Portsmouth with the domain name ‘accountantsinportsmouth.co.uk’ may have also purchased ‘accountantsingosport.co.uk’, ‘accountantsinhavant.co.uk’, ‘accountantsinwaterlooville.co.uk’ and so on. Fortunately, domain name is no longer one of Google’s major ranking factors.
Is one domain or multiple domains better for SEO?
(03:52) Let’s say that you’re an eCommerce store that sells children’s toys – should you have multiple domain names such as ‘toysfortoddlers.co.uk’, ‘toysforpreteens.co.uk’ and so on?
Remember that, from a technical SEO perspective, there’s no real benefit from having several exact match domain names. But if a user is searching ‘toys for toddlers’ then they may be more inclined to click through to your site as a result of your domain.
However, it is important to bear in mind that having multiple domains can pose a serious threat to your domain authority. If you are creating three or four different domains, then you’ll have to work three or four times as hard to build up your domain authority, as well as your brand recognition in general.
Practically speaking, we would recommend using a single domain for your site, but if you provide a product service within your business which is removed enough from your primary products or services then you may have a case to justify having multiple domains.
Which domain extension is best for SEO?
(06:04) You may have spent a lot of time fretting over whether your website should end in ‘.co.uk’, ‘.com’, ‘.org’ or a different domain extension entirely. However, Google has categorically stated that there is no favouritism on their part in terms of which domain extension you use.
There are some things to think about from a brand perspective – the lesser-used domain extensions such as ‘.info’ are considerably cheaper to register for and, as a result, they have been used for a lot of spam websites.
On the flipside of that, if Amazon changed their website to ‘amazon.info’, would they still have as much brand credibility? Of course they would. If you’re a small business and you obviously don’t have as much brand equity as an online giant like Amazon, we would advise paying the extra money for a more-recognisable domain extension.
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Do you have any further questions about your domain name, or technical SEO in general? Let us know in the comments, or click below to speak with one of our specialists and find out more about our bespoke SEO training courses.