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Domain Extensions

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TLD and SLD

TLD – Top Level Domain is the main domain name around the web. Today, we have tons of TLDs to choose from but very few of them rank well globally. The main TLDs that rank well globally are: .com, .org, .net

SLD – Second Level domain is the domain name that we usually purchase at Godaddy or Namecheap. For this site’s URL, seo-hacker is the SLD. To highlight it further, this is the SLD: https://seo-hacker.com

How do I choose my SLD?

One of the hardest things in life is to name stuff – name a business, name a newborn child, name a car, and yes even coming up with your domain name, not to mention the fact that most of the names that you have in mind are already taken.

For others, the concern does not just lie with the availability of the name, but how it will affect the SEO and business in general.

For that, take these considerations when thinking of your SLD.

1. Target your keyword

While placing your keyword in your domain name doesn’t boost rankings (not how it used to be), it’s still helpful to do this for relevancy signal. If you notice, Google and other search engines still bold keywords appearing in domain names.

2. Use your brand name

There are cases in which the brand is not the keyword. There are companies who are lucky enough to have the brand name as the target keyword, or the target keyword as the brand name, but for some names where it’s really not possible: choose brand over keywords.

The truth is Google values branding more than keywords.

“Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool. Brand affinity is clearly hard-wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it’s not going away.” -Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman

3. Make it relevant

It’s important that your domain name communicates the right message. People will have a better understanding of what your website or business is all about by making your domain name relevant to your niche or industry.

4. Keep it short

According to a study, the average length of top 50 most popular websites have 6 characters in their domain name.

So, one or two words is good enough for a domain name.

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How do Domain Names and Extensions Affect SEO

Now, the real question is how these will affect SEO.

There are about 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, and domain name is only one of them; thus it has very little to no effect with the site’s SEO. However, having a well thought SLD and TLD will definitely help in many ways.

1. Reputation management

If you have a good domain name, meaning relevant and properly spelled, your reputation and authority will definitely increase.

Also, getting all the counterparts of your domain name will help protect your company from a possible reputation damage, such as when someone buys other extensions for your company such as .sucks, and .bad.

2. Relevancy signal

As I mentioned earlier, even if putting your target keyword on your SLD or even choosing industry specific TLD will not help with boosting your rankings, search engines can still use it for relevancy signal by bolding keywords that appear on domain names.

3. Reach the right audience

Using a geo-specific extension will help you reach the right audience. Especially now that Google is improving its local search.

 


 

How to choose the best TLD?

From 1985 to 2013 the number of TLD extensions only grew to 260, but just last year, it drastically expanded to almost 500, and foresee to grow to more than 900 in the coming years.

With tons of available extensions, it’s hard to identify which one to use.

To guide you with choosing the best TLD, take these tips into considerations.

1. Target location

If you are targeting a specific location, let’s say the United Kingdom, then using an extension (or geographic suffix) “.co.uk. is the best thing to do.

Having a geo-specific extension will help you rank for specific countries where people are inclined to choose local link – Google will also give out local results.

It’s also recommended that when you’re targeting a specific location that you make your TLD geo-specific, than just putting the location on your SLD or Website Name. Because Google may not see you targeting a specific location (even if the location is in the website’s name) if you’re using generic top level domains (gTLDs) such as .com or .org.

2. Industry specific

With so many TLDs available, you can even make your domain name industry specific. For example, if you’re a marketing company, you can use .marketing. If it’s a food blog, you can use .food.

The good thing about this is that people, as well as search engines, will have a better understanding of what your industry is all about, that’s why you also have to be careful when using an industry specific extension. Be sure of what your industry is, there’s no turning back once you choose that particular extension – you can’t be a food blog today, and decide months later that your industry is handicrafts and still use the .food extension.

3. The .com extension is still widely used

75% of all websites are using .com, and is 20 times more valuable than their .net and .org counterparts.

So aside from using a geo-specific or industry specific extension, it is highly recommended to always buy a .com counterpart.

If these tips still aren’t enough, I’ve written a more in-depth guide on Choosing the Perfect Top Level Domain.

Top-level domain suffixes ideal for companies, ventures, and businesses.

.accountant

When you’re an accountant, networking is job number one. To attract potential clients, you need your online presence to serve informational, marketing and promotional purposes. Register .accountant domain names to add a recognizable and relevant signifier to your web address.

.accountants

Accountants is a domain made specifically for the thousands of accounting professionals working around the world. This domain promises a great Return On Investment for CPAs, accounting firms, tax professionals and others who work with numbers.

.agency

This domain brings to mind assembly lines and sterile labs, which makes it perfect for manufacturers, technology companies and any business with “Industries” in its name.

.associates

Attorneys, accountants, design groups or any firm with “Associates” in its name will find a memorable web address in this new domain.

.attorney

.attorney is a judicious choice for lawyers, law offices and legal services firms that would like to identify their websites with the legal profession. Pair it with the name of your city, practice area or legal specialty and you’ll have a web address that speaks volumes

.capital

This domain is a savvy choice for investment funds, financial service firms, mortgage companies, wealth managers and any business with “Capital” in its name. It tells prospective clients at-a-glance you work with money.

.center

.center makes a great web address for everything from research organizations to community buildings — anywhere people gather to learn, grow or simply be together.

.auction

.auction is the perfect venue for virtual auction houses that offer items for bid on the web. It also promises high-value web addresses to all the auctioneers, appraisers, brokers, auction houses and escrow companies that fuel this booming industry.

.bargains

This domain offers attention-grabbing web addresses to clothing outlets, travel agencies, discount stores and any other business that specializes in quality goods or services at discount prices.

.boutique

Whether you sell Italian shoes, designer fashions or top-of-the-line electronics, .boutique will get you the attention you deserve online. Use it to give your website an air of exclusivity.

.cheap

Turn this popular search term into a traffic-driving web address. Whatever you combine it with – tires, flights, diamonds – shoppers will know they’re in for a deal.

.claims

.claims was made for insurance agents, adjusters, attorneys and anyone who files and processes claims for clients. Not only does it describe what you offer, it’s easy for clients to remember – even when they’re standing in the middle of a noisy intersection.

.coupons

All signs point to increasing consumer demand for the convenience of online coupons – including everything from printable grocery store coupons to digital savings codes. Use .coupons to pull together the best offers on the web or for a companion to your main site that features all your company’s latest discounts.

.deals

A place on the web for those who dish up the discounts we crave. Use .deals for a site that pulls together the best coupons and discount codes on the web or as a companion to your main website that’s dedicated to flash sales.

Company branded TLDs that generally cannot be registered by the public.

.center

.center makes a great web address for everything from research organizations to community buildings — anywhere people gather to learn, grow or simply be together.

.charity

When you register .charity, it lets you stand out online by clearly stating that you aren’t here to make money — your goal is making lives better. Forget about profits, mergers and acquisitions. With dot charity, it’s all about making a real-world impact for those who need it most.

TLDs designed to serve the medical and well-being industries.

Top-level domains devoted to universities, colleges, and higher learning. Must prove

Suffixes devoted to the creative arts and media production.

Domain extensions for dining, cooking, restaurants, and beverages.

TLDs for representing the service industry.