• Will Domain Extensions improve my Business’ SEO?


What if I told you that the sole choice of your domain name could drastically change your business’ SEO?

Say goodbye to the .coms, .nets and .orgs — these Top Level Domains (TLDs) could become a thing of the past. The Internet is now facing the emergence of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) like .company, .tools, and even .dental.

There’s a lot of debate on what these gTLDs could mean for businesses. To understand how these domains affect your SEO, we need to start with the basics and always remember the primary purpose of registering a domain: to gain an online presence in hopes of being found when searched for.

What is a TLD vs a gTLD?

A TLD is a domain name that is part of the Domain Name System. These top three TLDs tend to be the most reputable, and therefore most popular, when people are looking to register a domain.

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org

Other TLD’s include .tv, .edu, and .cc among many others.

A gTLD is a generic top level domain that consists of 3 characters or more. Within the past year, an abundance of gTLDs have become available to purchase. Some of these include:

  • .guru
  • .tools
  • .company
  • .club

What to keep in mind when purchasing a new domain

When purchasing a domain there are a few things to consider. According to Google’s Matt Cutts, there are two strategies to focus on when deciding on your ideal domain name.

  • Focus on a brandable domain such as ‘Twitter’ where viewers could come to recognize your domain name and share it easily.
  • Move in the direction of a keyword-rich domain such as ‘AutoBodyRepair’ or ‘BuyCarsNow’ to capture exact search results.

The strategy you choose really comes down to your goals and what you’re looking to accomplish as a business owner. If you go the route of a keyword-rich domain, gTLDs stand out from the rest all while having the potential to improve your SEO!

What do gTLDs mean for my business and SEO?

A study was conducted analyzing a new gTLD, .company, and the SEO rankings spoke for themselves. The extension .company became available to register on December 17, 2013 and was on the first page of search results in under a year. The domain EstateSale.company ranked 5th for the keyword “Estate Sale Company” but is not even within the top results when searched for just “Estate Sale.”

The researchers analyzed multiple gTLD extensions examining factors such as cost-per-click and page rank. Across the board, they concluded that all of the gTLD extensions increased in keyword rank.

Why are these domain extensions changing?

If someone searches for ‘Auto Body Repair’, the EMD (Exact Match Domain) of that search would be autobodyrepair.com. Pretty simple, right? But if you use a domain like .company, you could stand out as a new super EMD when someone types in “Auto Body Repair Company” propelling you past your competitors on old .com domains.

When you’re one of the first to jump on this opportunity, it could prove very valuable to your business. However, some wonder if these extensions really will have a long-term impact on search results or if it’s just another digital trend to keep the world on their toes.

What to keep in mind if you want a new domain extension

With all of this excitement, let’s try not to stray far from SEO fundamentals. Websites ending with .com, and .net, have always been known to web users as the most trusted and most common domains. While the emergence of these gTLD extensions has illuminated the possibility of an increased keyword ranking, they have also left others skeptical that Google may not recognize or reward these gTLDs significantly enough to make a difference.

Not so sure about these new gTLDs? Don’t panic. Your website’s SEO is affected by much more than just your extension, and there are plenty of ways you can boost your rank organically.

What’s really important to keep in mind for your business’ SEO:

  • Optimized content (is your website providing the right answers to your web viewers?)
  • Back linking (where and to what webpages is your domain sending your web viewers?)
  • Blogging (are you updating your website’s blog with fresh and useful content?)

By paying attention to these “top level” SEO practices, you can stay on top of your SEO game whether you chose to purchase a new gTLD or not.

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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