The Domain Name Association (DNA) recently commissioned Web Traffic Advisors, with supporting analysis from Kevin Rowe of Rowe Digital, to conduct an independent study, Hidden Benefits of Relevant Domain Namesto answer the following question:
Can domain name extensions, especially meaningful or relevant domain name extensions (e.g. .Club, .Online, .Rocks, .Today), have the same opportunity as traditional or more generic extensions (e.g. example .Biz, .Com, .Info, .Org)?
The answer is yes! Businesses that want to compete for search engine visibility, either organically or through paid search, are finding that they can do so with keyword-rich domain name extensions. By using a relevant domain name extension that more directly matches (to the left and right of the dot) frequently searched descriptive terms, you can boost search rankings. To see the full infographic and report summary, visit here.
The main takeaway is that keyword-relevant domain name extensions are on par when it comes to organic search performance. Additionally, relevant domain name extensions required fewer inbound links to rank in the first search pages than their traditional and more generic .Com and related counterparts based on the case studies and keywords reviewed. .
This finding is a pretty big revelation from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, as there has been years of speculation and even research around the idea that having the keyword in the search engine ‘url itself is useful. While there has always been plenty of evidence that points to this conclusion, it has been a bit difficult to confirm that a keyword-relevant domain name extension would also help in search rankings.
Many marketers preferred to stick with a traditional domain with a keyword to the left of the dot, such as healthinsurance.com, rather than a domain name extension like health.insurance with keywords. on both sides of the dot. However, the study confirms that keyword-relevant domain name extensions perform very well without having to build the same number of inbound links generated by keyword-rich web pages, content, and social media.
So how is it possible that new relevant domain name extensions can rank so well for high volume keyword searches and also have visibility for related modified terms? Here’s why:
Good rankings can be achieved by domains with relevant extensions with lower “domain authority”, which is a rating system developed by several technology companies serving the industry that is used to measure relative number and quality links pointing to a website’s domain name from pages on other websites. The relevant domain extensions in the study had low domain authority, an average of 4, but they ranked with almost equal results to more established domains with much higher domain authority. As a result, unique and relevant domain name extensions frequently rank on the first pages of search results alongside .Coms, which has a domain authority average of 33, according to Rowe Digital Research.
This means that relevant domain names have the opportunity to rank well in categories with less overall domain authority and inbound links than traditional extensions vying for those top pages.
Collectively, the research looked at four case studies that form a sample spanning different industries, including business-to-business, retail, sports and entertainment. Each competes for very high volume keywords that marketers target and search professionals bid on for paid search.
For example, Seo.Agency, one of four case studies (see figure below) is unique because the domain name extension itself is made up of very competitive keywords. According to the research, Seo.Agency was able to establish strong relevance for this term and maintain its ranking on the top three search pages with only 30 qualified keywords, attracting eyeballs for the 2,000 searches performed each month. The rankings obtained for the search term phrase “SEO agency” put it on exactly the same ground as the top 10 “paying” sites and other agencies generally ranking in the top five for that specific keyword search or those very close. relevant, such as “SEO agency New York”, for example.
Although all SEO agency related websites in different top level domains compete very well for terms related to SEO agencies and SEO companies (see figure below), they earn their ranking through different strengths.
Seo.Agency has 26 inbound links and derives its ranking strength from its keyword-relevant domain name. Other domain name extensions related to “SEO agencies”, such as Clutch.co and Topseos.com, generate more inbound links (10,188 and 31,106 respectively) content, web pages and social media to rank in the same top search placements.
According to the study, Seo.Agency saves about $3,000 per month in pay-per-click advertising (the keyword phrase “SEO agency” costs about $25 per click through “Pay-Per-Click” in Google AdWords ).
Another example, Diamonds.Pro, can compete with websites that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for paid search placement in search engines.
The study found that the keywords Diamonds.Pro ranks for would cost US$236,000 per month based on the estimated 114,000 organic clicks if the brand purchased the clicks using Google AdWords.
However, by providing useful content to people engaged in the diamond buying process, Diamonds.Pro also ranks well for many additional diamond-related search terms. The domain garnered almost 1,000 external links from other websites, which means “two for one” value from an SEO perspective, gaining both relevance and authority, or “trust.”
Today, there are over 1,000 domain name extension options. This creates the opportunity to add meaning and relevance to both sides of the point, which can lead to profitable and organic rankings. So if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on an ad campaign and want to add a unique eye-catching domain name right to your URL, a relevant domain name extension might be just the thing to add to your marketing strategy. digital marketing.