Considering a new domain name extension but worried about how it will impact your SEO?
In 2012, ICANN released what are known as “new top-level domains (nTLDs)” to enhance innovation, competition, and consumer choice in domain names.
Examples of nTLDs that you may be familiar with are .ONLINE, .STORE, or .TECH (There are over 1200 options!)
Is it possible to rank on Google with a new domain extension?
Many site owners are concerned that these new domain name extensions will negatively impact their SEO efforts.
Is that true or just an urban myth?
Here’s what Google has to say about it…
“Overall, our systems treat nTLDs like other TLDs (.com and .org, etc).” – Google Webmasters Blog
In fact, Google itself uses nTLDs for new businesses that sign up for Google My Business – [Business Name].business.SITE
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Here are a few examples of brands with new domain extensions ranking at the top of a Google search:
www.louder.ONLINE – SEO and Content Marketing Agency
www.emirates.STORE – Official Online Store of Emirates
Emirates has two websites – it hosts its commercial website on a .COM and its merchandise website on a .STORE. When you do a Google search for “Emirates Store”, guess which website shows up as the first search result?
www.ces.TECH – Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
In short, YES, it is 100% possible to rank on Google with a new domain name extension.
Of course, that doesn’t make it easy…
How do I rank on Google with a new domain name?
All new domain names, whether they’re using new extensions or not are starting from the same point when trying to rank on Google search results.
To improve your visibility in search engines, you need to understand and implement the ins-and-outs of best practice SEO.
SEO, as you are probably aware, is a complex and multi-level topic. But here are two key areas where domain names on new domain extensions will impact your performance.
Technical: Keywords, Backlinks, and Anchor Text
Technical SEO is, well… Technical.
It’s a complex web of site optimization, backlinks, design, keywords, scripts, loading times, and all sorts of other factors.
Backlinks from reputable websites are commonly recognized as one of the most impactful elements affecting where the pages on your site rank.
But all backlinks are not created equal…
The text used by another website to link to your page, the “anchor text,” determines the link’s relative strength in Google’s eyes. If the anchor text exactly matches your URL and the keyword you are trying to rank for, it will have a more significant effect on your SEO performance.
Keyword-rich domain extensions have the benefit of being more descriptive than .COM’s or .NET’s. For example, if your domain name is “www.executivenotebooks.STORE,” and the anchor text of a link to your website is “executive notebooks store,” you get optimal value from that link.
By having the exact-match keyword in your domain name it increases the chance of securing on-topic and highly optimized backlinks that will improve your rankings.
Psychological: Processing Fluency
As marketers, we like to believe that we’re in control. That the tactics we use will create a logical and predictable reaction from prospective customers.
Unfortunately, a large portion of consumer behavior is irrational and based on emotions and cognitive biases.
“Fluency” is one of those biases. The concept is explained in detail in this video by Moz:
What’s the punchline?
Cognitive fluency bias will influence the way people interact with your business. When it comes to your brand and domain name, this plays out in numerous ways.
Essentially, your brand will be more credible, trustworthy, and likely to induce action from a potential customer if it is:
- Easy to pronounce
- Short and intuitive
- Avoids unnecessary extras such as numbers and hyphens
New domain extensions such as .ONLINE, .TECH, .STORE, or .SPACE establish instant recognisability with users. Without looking twice, they know if your business is a “store” or a “tech site.”
It also becomes a part of your brand identity, rather than a hard-to-understand extra. You’re not “www.learnpiano-123.com” anymore; instead, you are “www.learnpiano.ONLINE.” For anyone that wants to “learn piano online” your domain will resonate immediately.
In combination, the pronounce-ability, memorability, and simplicity of your domain name can increase clicks and conversions from search engines.
If you’re looking for an SEO-friendly domain name, then you may like to consider an nTLD.
New domain extensions help with the technical aspects of SEO, by aiding the acquisition of relevant backlinks, as well as the psychological component of SEO, by making your domain easy to pronounce, descriptive, memorable, and trustworthy.
Get started with your new domain name TODAY while there are still lots of great options available.