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How Important is a Domain Name for SEO?

by Byrne Anderson
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Your domain name is not as important to SEO as it used to be, but it still is important. In the past, all you had to do was buy a domain name with the keywords you wanted to rank high on. That meant all you had to do was purchase the domain and bang you ranked high no matter what content you did or didn’t produce. Well, Google got tired of this way around creating meaningful content to rank higher and made some changes. Now, SEO is more complex than ever and your domain name isn’t the only thing that ranks you high for keywords – it’s your content. Whatever keywords you want to rank high on, you have to produce content that focuses on those keywords. That’s the way Google wants it and so that is the way it must be done.

With that said, how important is domain name for SEO? It’s still important, but not as much as it used to be. Couple this domain name with quality content, and you will rank higher in Google’s search engines. The way to do this is with blogs, website content, and landing pages. Furthermore, you’ll need to create a strong backlink portfolio and perform regular website maintenance and optimization.  When you produce meaningful content, Google’s algorithms will automatically rank you higher over your competitors.

Although SEO keeps changing, the theory behind it has not. The goal of all SEO is to provide answers to questions and the better your answer the higher you rank. However, do not underestimate the power of the domain name for providing trust, higher clickthrough rates, more attention in the search results, and more branding potential.

Creating Content to Rank Higher

To keep ranking higher in the search engines, you’ll need to create amazing, constantly updated information that answers the questions your customers, readers, and users are looking for. For example, if you sell inground pools, you can produce a blog or video series answering the most common questions pool owners have. This helps you build a reputation of trust online more than any domain name could ever do. What Google wants is for you to put in the work, to produce quality content that users will be satisfied with and even exceed their expectations. Google’s purpose as a search engine is to provide the most meaningful content to a user’s question and it does everything it can to keep doing that. Do you have that type of content on your website? If not, begin creating it and watch Google reward you with high ranking results.

In the past, all you really had to do to rank high in the search engines is buy the exact matching domain as your keywords. This just isn’t the case any longer. Google caught on to the game and realized these sites do not have the right content to satisfy the user. For this reason, content is still king.

The information here will probably make you rethink your domain name for your business. With copy as the driving force behind rankings, you can actually get more creative when choosing your domain name. Some tips for choosing a domain name include:

  • make it short
  • make it easy to remember
  • make it relevant to your business
  • decide if you want a .ONLINE domain

Some don’ts when choosing a domain name include:

  • don’t be too trendy (times change)
  • don’t forget to read it aloud (it may not sound the same in your head)
  • try to copy someone else (this could border on copyright violation)

Choosing a domain name for SEO purposes just isn’t the same as it used to be. While it affords some ranking, your overall ranking will be based on what you produce rather than what your domain name happens to be. To rank higher, be sure to constantly create meaningful content that Google will recognize and reward.

Once you choose the right domain name, it’s time to start branding your business. Again, this is where content comes in. It’s not just your products and services that need branding – it’s your entire image as a company. Keep this in mind when choosing a domain name for SEO purposes. What will eventually get you higher in the rankings is not your domain name but who you are and what you have to offer.

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