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What role does the domain name play in SEO?

What role does the domain name play in SEO

The first decision before launching a new website is choosing the domain name. It is particularly important to find the right name because it is the basis for the rest of the website. Choosing the right domain name not only determines the main address where visitors can find the website but also plays an important role in search engine optimization (SEO).

How to find the perfect domain name and what influence it has on SEO is shown in the following article.

What is a domain name?

The domain name is the address that users of a web browser used to navigate to a website. Whenever a name such as faz.com is entered in Firefox or Chrome, Faz is the domain name of the website. This may seem simple at first, but there are also some main components and subsets of domain names that need to be understood.

Top Level Domain (TLD)

A top-level domain is the part of the domain that users see at the end of the domain name. The most common in Germany in the area of ​​companies, private individuals and SEO is of course .com and the second most used ending is .com. Many users are also familiar with TLDs such as .net, .org, and .eu. The top-level domain says something about the website, e.g. B. in which country it is based (.in, .au), whether it is a business website (.biz, .co), a non-profit organization (.org) or an educational institution (.edu).

root domains

All pages on a website have unique URLs built on the domain. The part of the website that stays the same for all pages is the root domain. It is the unique domain name combined with your TLD. So for hosttest the root domain name is hosttest.com.


If the website consists of several different parts, subdomains can be created as subdomains. These share the same root domain, but they can indicate that they belong to a specific subset of the site by prefixing the subdomain name to the root domain. For example: blog.yourdomain.com or shop.yourdomain.com. When ordering web space, you should also pay attention to the server speed of the provider.

8 tips for the perfect domain name for SEO

A good domain name for search engine optimization starts the day you register your domain, but it goes further than that. The following 8 criteria should be considered when choosing the perfect domain name for SEO:

  • Domain with industry keyword
  • No keyword spam
  • The appropriate TLD
  • Catchy and easy to remember
  • Short and on point
  • Single domain name for entire website
  • use subfolders
  • Customize all URLs

1. If possible, choose a domain that contains an industry keyword

Search engine algorithms have a complicated process to figure out what a particular page is about. While no one knows all the details of how it works, we do know that the algorithms pay attention to what words are used in some key parts of a webpage and give some weight more weight to some parts than others. The URL of the page is generally considered to be a part of the page that is given a lot of weight in the algorithm’s calculations.

A website that includes its most important keyword (keyword) right in the domain name can get an SEO boost as a result. But because of this, many of the most obvious keywords targeting a specific industry will likely already be taken – either by competitors or by domain investors who are charging a hefty price for it.

2. Don’t stuff the domain name with keywords

SEO shortcuts don’t really exist because every time people abuse a technique that delivers seemingly simple results, Google changes the algorithm. In the past, buying a domain with a keyword like cheap-flowers-delivery.com could be a shortcut to getting a ranking for that term. However, this domain does not sound particularly serious to the customer.

Google also doesn’t want brands to buy rankings. The results are more useful to users when the sites at the top actually deserve those spots. This means that while choosing a domain with a keyword still has some SEO value, overdoing it by website owners can negatively impact your rankings. The history of a domain also reveals how well or poorly it has already been used. It is also possible that some domains have already been penalized by Google Sandbox. The age of the domain also plays a role in the decision.

3. Pick a strong TLD

If you find a good option for a domain name available as .in or .com, this is your best bet. These TLDs are the easiest for consumers to remember and enjoy slightly more recognition than most. The .eu extension has become more and more established in recent years but is not one of the most popular extensions.

However, the TLD has no direct impact on search engine optimization. If the domain name is found with another TLD that fits the brand better than a less relevant option, don’t rule that one out.

4. A domain name that is easy to remember

The golden rule of search engine optimization is that while search engines matter, people matter even more. The best domain name for SEO is one that visitors can easily associate with a business and remember when they want to come back. Before choosing a domain name, customers should be considered. Will the domain name be intuitive to them? Will they be able to remember it the next time they want to find you online?

5. The domain name must be short and simple

While long-tail keywords can be useful for some aspects of an SEO strategy, they are ill-suited to domain names. Too many hyphens impede direct access. The best domain names are short, simple, and clear. By following this rule, you can choose a domain name that’s easy to remember and doesn’t require too much typing.

6. Reach the website under a domain

Anyone who splits their website across multiple domains has to work all the harder to gain authority for each of those domains. To get the best SEO results for the time invested, it’s best to focus everything on one domain name. This includes deciding on a version of your domain name. In this way, canonical tags can then be used and the selection of the version that is preferred when building links to the website remains consistent. Depending on the business model, a multi-domain strategy can also make sense in exceptional cases.

7. Know when to use subfolders and when to use subdomains

As previously described, a subdomain is a subcategory under the root domain for a specific part of the website, e.g. B. shop.yourdomain.com. Search engines treat subdomains as separate websites for SEO purposes. When a blog is set up as a subdomain, any backlinks that the blog posts receive will boost the authority of your blog but not the rest of your site. Therefore, subpages are often a better choice in SEO.

8. Customize all website URLs

Many of these tips come into play on day one when the domain name for the website is chosen. This is important for any new website that is about to be launched. So if you create a new website, you shouldn’t be satisfied with the automatically generated URLs (yourdaomain.com/63652803.html). Rather take some time to create unique URLs (yourdomain.com/unique.html) that are relevant to the site.

Conclusion: domain name and SEO

While a domain name is important, it’s only the first step in getting rankings for relevant keywords for your new website. Other factors also play a role, such as server speed, links, history, tools such as Google Sandbox, or the age of the domain. This makes expired domains particularly interesting from an SEO point of view. Therefore, once the appropriate domain name has been found, a comprehensive ON and Offpage SEO strategy should be worked on to build authority for the website. Every SEO success that can be achieved strengthens the domain in the eyes of the search engines and ultimately helps to increase sales and success!

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