Domain Factors That Affect Your Website SEO

Website Domains are digital real estates that can never be lost, nor can they be carried away. They can forever stay on top of Google’s search rankings with quality SEO.

Let’s drill down into some best SEO practices that can turn your website domain into an imperishable digital asset.

SEO Best Practices for Website Domains

1. Domain Age: Your domain age only slightly affects your website SEO. If your website is 10 years older than your competitor's 1-year-old website. Google will rank you high. However, if your competitor maintains better SEO health than your website then it can rank first in one year.

2. Keyword in Domain: Relevant domain name can give you a higher number of clicks. However, websites with unique brand names in their domain can also rank higher with quality SEO.

3. Keyword as First Word in Domain: Keyword as a first word in your domain name, rather than in the middle or end, improves SEO.

4. Domain Registration Length: Domain that is paid for many years proves its legitimacy to Google. Still, domain registration length is not a direct SEO ranking factor.

5. Domain History: Your domain history leaves a great impression on Google as it includes your website ranking, traffic, link building practices, content history, list of penalties. You can check your domain’s history through Wayback Machine’s free tool.

6. Keyword in Subdomain: Using a keyword in your subdomain accelerates traffic.

7. Exact Match Domain (EMDs): Exact match domains don't always rank high. Initially, Google rolled out an algorithm update to penalize EMDs as a sign of spam. But then Google realized there were lots of quality websites with EMDs and made changes to its algorithm. Thus, EMDs can become successful only with the right level of SEO.

8. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Keeping your WHOis data public or private doesn’t have any effects on SEO rankings. It adds to your website’s credibility.

9. Penalized WhoIs Owner: It is vital to check if the WHOis owner is penalized or not before buying a domain. You can check the domain's WHOis through GoDaddy’s free tool.

10. Top-Level Domain (TLD) Extension: TLDs are not a direct SEO ranking factor. Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) like .ca, .au, .us, etc., influence how your audience sees your brand. A ccTLD is the best way to show search engines what your target country is so that it can help you get relevant traffic. Further, Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) indicate that your website is neutral without any geographic destination. gTLDs (.com, .org, .net, etc) are popular and can invite global users.

11. Domain’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow: Trust flow (TF) is not a Google ranking factor, however, it indicates the trustworthiness of your website i.e. number of links you get from trusted sites. Citation flow (CF) on the other hand is a ranking factor and CF indicates the popularity of backlinks. You can check TF and CF using majestic.com’s free tool.

12. Domain’s Authority (DA): Domain’s authority is not an SEO ranking factor. DA is an SEO metric that indicates how rankable a domain is. Check your domain’s authority through this free tool.

13. Domain’s Usability: Keeping your domain easy to type and easy to remember increases its usability. Domain names that are easier for humans are also good for search engines. Avoid the use of hyphens, numbers, hard to spell words in your domains.

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