When buying a new domain, there are lots of factors to think about. Find out all of the important details about purchasing a new domain in this article.
There are now well over 300 million domains worldwide (Source). So, if you decide to buy a new domain, this will become the basis for one of many billions of pages that are available on the world wide web. However, before you buy your own domain, there are a few things you need to consider. Trademark rights are one of the most important things you need to think about, but there are also a few factors that could impact your SEO. Here, we have compiled all of the important details required for a domain purchase, including a useful checklist.
A "domain" is the common term used for the domain name. Originally, a "domain", or an area on the internet, was composed only of an IP address. However, as it would be too complicated for daily internet use to enter an IP address in the search bar each time, there are domain names consisting of letters and digits. These are assigned to exactly one IP address via the so-called Domain Name System (DNS). Domain names in the DNS are managed by registrars in different countries.
A complete domain consists of three "levels":
To use a domain name, it must be registered with the respective registry. This is usually done through a web host who registers the domain for you. To create a website on your domain later, you need "web space". This is basically storage space on a server that can be reached using the internet and your domain.
Purchasing a domain can be compared to purchasing land for building. The domain is the basis for the website you will set up there later on. Before buying a domain, you should always pay careful attention to the following aspects.
In most cases, the domain corresponds to the brand name or company name of the buyer. Since your domain name will later be accessible worldwide through your website, you should make sure your domain name corresponds to a registered brand name, contains a protected term or is very similar to a trademark.
This is how you do it:
For choosing your domain name, the purpose of the web project that will later be linked to it can be important. Do you want to create an information website or an online shop? Does the site focus on a region or is it an international one? For an online shop, the word "shop" in the domain name may be useful, but a news page could include the term "news" in the domain name. However, this is mostly a matter of taste.
The domain name is only part of your new domain. It also contains a domain extension. Before you make the purchase, you should consider which extension makes sense for you. If you are selling goods or services in an online shop mainly in the UK, the domain extension .uk is recommended. If you want to sell your products or services internationally, the generic top-level domain .com or .org makes sense. When choosing country-specific domain extensions, it is particularly important that you are aware of any relevant requirements.
The costs for a domain can vary considerably. Highly coveted domain names can easily cost several thousand dollars.
When selecting a domain name, keep in mind that not all characters can be displayed correctly, in particular special characters or letters with accents.
For a long time, certain domain extensions were considered an "insider tip" for SEOs. In fact, top-level domains have no influence on rankings, as John Mueller explained in the FAQ on the new TLDs introduced at that time. Furthermore, according to Mueller, keywords do not play a relevant role when it comes to the rankings of TLDs:
However, John Mueller has emphasized the relevance of country-specific top-level domains. They give Google important information for geotargeting. Thus, a domain with a .de ending in the German version of the Google search will rank better than a domain with the same content with a .fr extension.
John Mueller commented:
In addition, it must be added that it is of course more likely that a user from the UK will click on a domain with .uk in the search results rather than a .de domain, for example. Thus, when geotargeting, Google clearly focuses on user behavior and user needs.
However, this does not prove whether certain domain extensions such as .info can increase the click rates in SERPs with regard to information pages and thus become an important indicator for users.
In summary: The domain extension is not really relevant when it comes to the ranking of generic TLDs. However, Google can use country-specific TLDs for geotargeting the website and thus, better assign the page to a country-specific Google search.
Anyone who buys and registers a new domain will primarily use their company name. Your domain name becomes part of your brand name. At the same time, it does not matter whether you use special keywords in the domain name when it comes to your ranking. It is more of a marketing decision whether your domain name should contain keywords or not.
For example, certain keywords in the brand/domain name can provide a higher recognition value for users, for example deliveroo.com.
However, keep in mind that you are limited with a keyword domain as far as the offer is concerned. For example, if you set up an online shop for sofas and name the domain sofa-shop.com, you are limited to this product. If you want to expand your range later on, a less specific name would be better.
Also, keep in mind that relocating a domain when renaming is very time-consuming, depending on the size of the website. Besides an increased effort for marketing, this could negatively affect your rankings.
The purchase of a domain is not a decision you should make on the spur of the moment, but one that needs to be well thought out. In addition to the legal aspects, marketing-specific considerations also play an important role here. Additionally, you should focus your domain on the market in which you are going to be active. You cannot directly influence rankings through the selection of a domain name. However, the click rates in the SERPs can be increased with certain domain extensions or keywords relevant to your target group.
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Published on 07/09/2018 by Philipp Roos.
Philipp is an extended member of the Ryte family and supports Ryte with the latest SEO know-how and digital marketing news.