How Domain Names and Extensions Affect SEO

When creating your first website, one of the hardest choices you have to make is choosing the right domain name and extension for your website. Many sites and business owners often get confused about which domain name they should choose, for example, .net or .com.

Why are domain names so important?

There are over 200 Google ranking factors to help gain higher rankings on search engine results, and a domain name is one of them.

In this post, we will share how your domain name and extension may affect your Search Engine Optimization results as well as ranking. We will also share a few essential things to take into consideration when choosing an SEO-friendly domain.

Read: Tips for choosing a killer domain name

What is a TLD?

TLD stands for Top Level Domain, is one of the highest-level domains on the internet. A TLD is a part of a domain (SLD) which follows after the (dot) symbol. For example, for the website, “.com” is the TLD.

There are two types of TLD available on the internet, generic TLDs such as .com, .net, and country-specific TLDs such as “.us”, “”, etc.

As of June 2019, the root domain contains around 1500 TLDs, and the number is continuously growing. The primary TLDs that position effectively globally are actually: .com, .net, .org, .edu, etc.

What is an SLD?

SLD or Second Level domain is your website’s name. For example, for the site, “TopOnlineStoreBuilders” is the SLD. You can easily register your SLD or domain name with GoDaddy or NameCheap.

How to choose the best TLD for your website?

Before 2013, the number of TLD extensions were below 400. Gradually, this number is increasing. Along with lots of readily available extensions, it is tough to identify which one to use.

That’s why we have created a few points below that will help you to understand how to choose the right domain extension for your website.

  1. Target the area

If you are targeting a specific area, for example, Italy, then the extension “.it” will work best.

Possessing a geo-specific domain extension will aid you place for specific countries where visitors are driven to select nearby website link, not to mention, this way, search engines like Google will distribute local area results.

It is additionally highly recommended that when you are targeting a particular place that you create your TLD geo-specific, then just placing the area on your SLD or Website Name.

  1. Specific Business

With a lot of TLDs readily available, you can use any domain extension that suits your business. If you are an advertising and marketing business, you may use .marketing. If you want to run a food blog, then you can use .food extension.

The benefit regarding this is that individuals, along with internet search engine, will certainly possess a much better understanding of what your industry is all about, that is actually why you additionally must take care when utilizing a business details extension.

Read: Why registering multiple domains is good for your business

  1. Most popular domain extension 

According to w3techs, more than 47% of all total websites are using the .com extension, and also far better than a .net and .org.

If you don’t want to use a geo-specific extension, we highly recommend getting a .com domain extension.

How to choose the best SLD for your website?

One of the toughest parts for creating a website is to choose the right name for your website. Maybe, you have chosen a name for your website, but you find it the name already registered, which can’t be registered again. That’s why you need to be careful while registering a domain name.

Here are the few tips listed below when thinking of your SLD.

  1. Use your keyword

While adding your keyword in your domain does not enhance rankings, it is still useful to perform this for relevance sign. If you see, Google and also other online search engines still vibrant keyword phrases seeming in domain names.

  1. Utilize your brand name

There are scenarios in which the brand is not the search keyword. Many website owners are lucky enough to get their brand name as a target keyword or vice versa. If the names are not available, it would be better if you select brand name over keywords.

  1. Make it relevant

While choosing a domain name, make sure it discloses the right message, for example, a domain “” clearly says that the website sells flowers online in Chicago. Folks will undoubtedly have a much better understanding of what your site or organization is all about by creating your domain name relevant to your specific niche or industry.

  1. Make it easy to remember and short

You also need to choose a domain name that is easy to remember as well as short. In most cases, one or two words is good enough for a domain name.

How do domain names and domain extensions affect SEO?

Now, the question is whether domain names affect SEO or not. Domain extension has a profound effect on your SEO. However, having the right SLD and TLD will help you in many ways.

  1. Your site’s reputation

If you have the right domain name, meaning appropriate and also correctly spelled, your online status, as well as authority, are going to enhance undoubtedly.

  1. Relevancy

If you add your keyword into your domain name, it won’t help with boost your ranking on Google but, it may be used for relevancy sign by bolding keywords that show up on domain names.

That’s it. Now, you know how domain names and domain extensions affect SEO. Which domain extension is your favorite and why? Do let us know in the comment section.

About the author: Sidney R

Sidney is an editor and copywriter for Top Online Store Builders, covering topics ranging from starting an online store from scratch to all aspects of ecommerce marketing and cyber-security. When not writing, Sidney can be found hiking, traveling or surfing.

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