When you’re buying a new domain name, a key factor to consider is the selection of the domain extension.
Back in the day, there were a few new domain extensions such as .COM, .ORG, .GOV, .NET, etc. However, this has changed now.
Today, there are over 1500 meaningful, and keyword-rich new domain extensions available.
Choosing a domain extension that’s best for you from this large pool can get a tad confusing.
After all, even with so many options, why is .com still the undisputed leader among all the domain extensions?
Are the other new domain extensions not as good?
Is there something that differentiates them?
Does your choice of domain extension affect the SEO (search engine optimization) of your website?
I’m sure all of these questions must be going through your head. But fret not. I’m going to answer them all.
So, let’s dive right in…
New Domain Extensions: An Introduction
Domain names have two parts: a top-level domain (also known as the domain extension or TLD) and a second-level domain.
So, if your domain name is [yourbrandname].store, “.STORE” is the TLD or the top-level domain extension and “yourbrandname” is the second-level domain. Together, they form your complete domain name.
Usually, domain names include the name of a brand or the name of a particular product or service being promoting.
So, when you’re choosing a domain name for your website, you’ll find that there are a number of top-level domain extensions available now. These top-level domains include .STORE, .TECH, .SPACE, .ONLINE, .WEBSITE, .SITE, etc.
Most of these domain extensions are industry-specific, keyword-rich, and are significantly more meaningful than legacy domain extensions.
This gives you the choice to pick a domain extension that’s best suited for your business or your industry. As well as your rankings on search engines
Does Your Domain Extension Affect SEO?
Officially, the Google Webmaster Central Blog confirms that it doesn’t take the domain extensions into account when it comes to the website rankings.
This means that the search engine will treat www.brand-namezz.com the same as it will treat www.brandname.store.
However, what will impact the search rankings of these two domain names is audience perception. This is why knowing how to name an online business is crucial.
The domain name www.brand-namezz.com comes across as spammy and doesn’t appear to be a credible website. However, www.brandname.store is simple, straightforward, and meaningful.
How your audience reacts to a domain name and website plays a crucial role in how well that website ranks in results of search engines.
Since .COM has been around for decades, most good domain names on it are already taken. This makes it difficult for you to get a domain name that’s short, simple, and devoid of any hyphens or numbers.
Basically, it’s difficult to find a domain name that doesn’t look spammy.
However, new domain extensions can help make your domain name more industry-specific and meaningful.
Having keyword-rich top-level domains along with great content can benefit you even more.
For instance, there are many new domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, and .ONLINE that have started rising in popularity.
Ones like .ONLINE could help with your branding efforts too. In fact, I’ve purchased a domain called “shane.online”, one of the most popular new domain extensions available today, from .ONLINE Domains.
New top-level domains such as .STORE are exclusively meant for ecommerce websites and online stores. When you have the word “store” in your domain name, it tells your audience exactly what your website is about.
This, paired with high-quality content can help you build a credible online presence. Especially on various search engines.
How Do New Domain Extensions Such As .STORE Help Your Search Rankings?
It’s essential that you deliberate well before selecting your domain extension. This is because changing your domain name later can be a strenuous process that will not only be expensive but it’ll also cost you all your SEO efforts.
When it comes to SEO, new domain extensions are just as good as legacy ones. In fact, domain extensions such as .STORE and .ONLINE may affect SEO in a positive way. They offer that extra credibility that benefits SEO in the following ways:
1. On-Topic Backlinks
For a given topic, almost any domain name can rank on the first page of search results. The deciding factor is the quality of content and the kind of backlinks the website has.
When it comes to backlinking, one of the most important aspects is the anchor text on which the link is placed.
And when it comes to the anchor text, its relevance to the backlink matters a lot. The greater the relevance, the most positively it can affect SEO.
So, how do new domain extensions come into the picture here?
For instance, say you’re starting a website that sells Halloween goodies with the domain name www.halloweengoodies.store.
When this domain name is backlinked with anchor text, “halloween goodies store”, it immediately establishes a connection between the text and the link, thereby, making it relevant.
Such branded backlinks can help you rise in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Consider the example of one of the top airlines, Emirates.
Emirates uses www.emirates.com for their main website and www.emirates.store for their merchandise website.
When a user is looking for merchandise, the .STORE website shows first in the search results before the .COM website because the domain name, www.emirates.store, is deeply associated with the keyword “emirates store.”
2. Better User Perception
Using meaningful domain extensions such as .STORE also helps with better user perception.
While all websites stand the chance to rank well regardless of the domain names, the way the users perceive your website in the SERPs determines your click-through rate (CTR).
So what are the factors that the users consider?
They look at the title, meta description, and the URL. The URL is the key here as searchers may not open your website if the URL appears to be that of a spammy website.
For instance, if your domain name is www.secondlaptop.store, it looks less spammy than www.buysecond-handlaptopz.com.
Since the new domain extensions are still relatively new, your chances of finding a great domain name — one that is short, simple, and meaningful — are much higher.
This will save you from registering domain names that have odd spellings or hyphens, which can make them look spammy.
3. Keyword Rich Domain Name
One of the biggest advantages of new domain extensions is that they help you rank for a particular keyword with ease as the domain name itself can become a keyword.
As mentioned in the above Emirates Store example, the brand name and the entire domain name are the same.
Similarly, it would become easier for www.halloweengoodies.store to rank for the keyword “halloween goodies store.” This can help you drive a lot of traffic to your website.
These are simple yet effective ways to ensure that your domain name helps your SEO efforts.
4. Voice Search Friendliness
The popularity of voice search is soaring, and for good reason. Conducting a voice search takes less time than text searches.
And that’s not all.
It even offers faster results. A user doesn’t even need to look at the phone or the device in order to get the answer.
A good domain name can help you do well in voice searches. Domain names that are clear and contain the right keywords can improve your website’s chances of getting picked up by voice search assistants.
To make sure that your website’s domain name is voice-search friendly, you should pick a domain name that:
- Is short and simple
- Doesn’t include numbers, hyphens, or incorrect spellings
- Contains relevant keywords
For instance, let’s assume that someone is looking for content related to your website.
Between www.free-softwarez4u.com and www.freesoftware.store, which website do you think will be easily comprehended by a voice search assistant?
Ready to Choose Your Perfect Domain Name?
Your domain name has a big impact on your online presence. In fact, your domain name is often one of the first places consumers meet your business.
And that’s exactly the reason why it’s important to select a domain name that not just reflects your brand’s identity but also helps you create a long-term brand.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect domain name:
- Make sure it’s relevant to your business and industry
- Consider choosing a new domain extension such as .STORE or .ONLINE
- Be mindful of any copyrights or trademark infringements
- Keep your domain name short, simple, and meaningful
Do you have any questions about how new domain extensions affect SEO? If so, let me know in the comments section below.