Buying domains for SEO

Are You Benefitting From Buying Domains for SEO?

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The topic we will discuss today is whether buying a domain name and pointing it toward your website is a good tactic to improve SEO (search engine optimization) or not.

SEO depends on multiple factors, so it’s not easy to pinpoint, and there seems to be a lack of conclusive proof that this method helps in SEO.

There are some experts who still recommend this tactic to this day, but I do not. I think there are benefits, yes, but not in the way that you are made to believe.

Domain: What’s that?

In the context of the Internet, a domain refers to a unique, human-readable address used to identify a specific location on the World Wide Web. It is a recognizable and memorable name that helps users access websites, web pages, and other online resources.

Domains are hierarchical, with the most specific part (the domain name) appearing first, followed by the broader category or type (the TLD).

So, think of a domain as a street address for a house. A street address tells the home’s location, and a domain tells the website’s location on the internet.

Example 1

Image Source: serpninja.io

Example 2

Image Source: moz.com

Let’s understand this with an example:

You want to visit a website called “abc.com.” In this case, “abc.com” is the domain. The “.com” part resembles a street name, and the “abc” resembles a house number. 

So, when you type “abc.com” into your web browser, it knows exactly where to find that website.

The whole address/URL can be broken down into:

• Protocol: The most common protocol used for web addresses is HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), the more secure version. HTTP transfers data between a web server and a web browser, allowing users to access web pages, images, videos, and other online resources. HTTPS is an extra layer of security on top of HTTP, which encrypts the data transmitted between the server and the browser, helping to protect against eavesdropping and tampering by third parties.

• Domain Name: The domain name identifies the website or server hosting the resource. It consists of one or more parts separated by periods (dots). For example, in the URL “www.abc.com,” “www” is a subdomain, and “abc.com” is the primary domain.

• Subdomain: A subdomain is a part of a more significant domain name in the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. It organizes and navigates within a website or a larger domain.
Subdomains create separate sections of a website, hosting different services or applications or directing traffic to specific locations within a domain. They provide flexibility in website organization and navigation.

• Top-level Domain (TLD): A top-level domain (TLD) is the highest level in the internet’s hierarchical Domain Name System (DNS) structure. It is the part of the domain name that appears to the right of the last dot, indicating the type or category of the domain. Common examples of TLDs include “.com,” “.org,” “.net,” “.edu,” and “.gov.”

How do you buy one?

Purchasing a domain is a relatively straightforward process. 

1. Choose a Registrar: Popular registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google Domains, and others. 

2. Search for Available Domains: By using the registrar’s domain search tool, you can check the availability of the desired domain name. Enter the domain name you want to purchase and see if it’s available. The registrar may suggest alternative options or variations if your preferred domain name is already taken.

Image Source: GoDaddy

3. Choose a domain name: Once you’ve found an available domain name that you like, add it to your cart and proceed to checkout.

4. Choose Your Registration Period: Select the registration period for your domain. Most registrars offer options ranging from one to ten years. 

5. Provide Contact Information: During the checkout process, you’ll need to provide your contact information, including your name, email address, mailing address, and phone number. 

Image Source: GoDaddy

6. Review and Confirm: Review your order and ensure everything is correct, including the domain name, registration period, and pricing. Make any necessary adjustments, and then proceed to payment.

7. Complete the Purchase: Enter your payment information and complete the purchase. 

8. Manage Your Domain: After purchasing your domain, you can manage it through your registrar’s online dashboard, which includes updating contact information, renewing your registration, and configuring domain settings such as DNS records and domain forwarding.

Domain registration fees are typically recurring, so you’ll need to renew your domain registration periodically to maintain domain ownership.

Does buying extra domain names really help?

No, it doesn’t. Some might agree, some might not, but if you look at the numbers, it’ll be clear that there is minimal to no benefit to it.

Protecting the brand

Purchasing multiple domains similar to your business or services helps in keeping your brand identity protected.

Let’s understand this with an example:

Say your business is “ABC Electronics,” and your main website is “abcelectronics.com.

Now, purchasing more domains similar to your website will:

1. Preventing Cybersquatting: Cybersquatting involves registering domain names similar to established brands with the intent of profiting from their trademarks or selling them back to the brand owner at an inflated price. By proactively acquiring variations, misspellings, or common extensions of your brand name, you reduce the risk of cybersquatters registering those domains and exploiting your brand’s reputation or confusing consumers.

2. Expanding Internationally: Acquiring country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) or region-specific domain extensions support your international expansion efforts by signaling local relevance and cultural alignment. Having localized domain names (e.g., .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany) helps establish credibility and trust with customers in specific geographic markets, facilitating market entry and growth opportunities abroad.

3. Protecting Product Names: If your business offers distinct products or services with their own brand identities, purchasing domain names that match or closely align with those product names can help protect their intellectual property and market positioning. By securing domain names for each product or product line, you safeguard against potential trademark infringement, brand dilution, or unauthorized use by competitors.

4. Easy to Remember: Investing in domain names that are easy to remember, spell, and type enhances user experience and brand recognition. Memorable domain names are more likely to stick in customers’ minds, increasing brand recall and driving repeat visits to your website. Short, catchy, and descriptive domain names are particularly effective for building brand awareness and fostering customer engagement.

5. Geo-Targeting: Companies with a presence in multiple geographic regions purchase extra domain names with ccTLDs to target specific markets or audiences. Geo-targeted domains help localize content, optimize search engine visibility, and enhance the user experience for regional audiences.

6. Keyword Optimization: Some businesses purchase names containing relevant keywords or search terms related to their industry, products, or services. Keyword-rich domains can potentially improve search engine rankings for specific queries and attract targeted organic traffic to the website.

7. Future Investment: Some businesses view domain names as valuable digital assets and invest in premium or generic domain names for potential resale or future development. Premium domain names with high commercial value can appreciate in price over time, offering a potential return on investment.

Marketing Campaigns

With the help of multiple domain names, you can create dedicated websites or landing pages for specific marketing campaigns, promotions, or events. 

 Here’s how a marketing campaign can be beneficial:

1. Dedicated Websites or Landing Pages: Each domain name can create dedicated websites or landing pages specific to marketing campaigns, promotions, or events. These dedicated pages will then focus exclusively on the campaign’s messaging, offer, or theme, providing visitors with a personal and targeted experience.

2. Targeted Audience Segmentation: You can target particular audience segments using different domain names. For example, if you have distinct customer personas or target markets, you can create separate campaigns with unique domain names that appeal to each segment’s interests, preferences, or demographics.

3. Personalized User Experience: Dedicated websites or landing pages allow you to personalize the user experience based on the campaign’s objectives and target audience. You can customize the content, imagery, calls-to-action, and offers to align with the campaign’s messaging and goals, enhancing engagement and conversion rates.

4. Campaign Performance Tracking: Each domain name serves as a unique identifier for tracking campaign performance metrics, such as website traffic, conversions, and engagement. By monitoring these data separately, you can assess the impact of different marketing initiatives and optimize your strategies accordingly.

5. A/B Testing and Experimentation: Multiple domain names enable you to conduct A/B testing and experimentation to optimize campaign elements such as headlines, visuals, copywriting, and calls-to-action. By creating variations of landing pages or websites with different domain names, you can test various approaches and identify which resonates most with your target audience.

Redirects and Forwarding

• Redirects vs. Forwarding: Redirects and forwarding are two methods to achieve this goal. Users are automatically redirected to your main website’s URL when they enter an alternate domain name. Conversely, forwarding involves displaying your main website’s content under the alternate domain name. Both methods serve the same purpose of directing traffic to your main website.

• Technical Implementation: To set these up, you typically configure the domain settings through your domain registrar or web hosting provider’s control panel. You can specify your main website’s URL to which the alternate domain should be forwarded. This process is straightforward and does not require significant technical expertise.

Conclusion

Let’s say you buy a domain in order to use its backlink profile or domain authority for your website. Before 2014, this would have been a good tactic to help your website rank high, but Google became a domain registrar back in 2014, and because of this, it now has access to the history of ownership of domains.

But what does history have to do with how you use the domain?

You see, Google will compare to see if there’s any resemblance between the old domain pages and yours. In doing so, Google determines if the domain was solely bought to gather backlinks or not. It helps prevent manipulation from users who buy them just to leverage their backlinks profile.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, domain names are important, but not for the reason you think.

FAQs

Is buying domains good for SEO?

Not exactly. While it has no direct impact on SEO, there are other benefits that you get from buying domain names, like marketing campaigns, redirects forwarding, and more.

Is buying expired domains good for SEO?

No. Whether it is expired or new, purchasing domains is not going to help you rank your website highly. The most you can do is try to drive traffic through that domain.

Does domain name affect SEO ranking?

Yes, domain names can have an impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings, although their influence is just one of many factors that search engines consider when determining how to rank web pages in search results.

What is SEO friendly domain name?

An SEO-friendly domain name is concise, relevant, and brandable. It includes keywords related to your website’s content but prioritizes easy pronunciation, spelling, and memorability. Opt for a recognizable TLD like ‘.com‘ and ensure the name doesn’t infringe on trademarks. Aim for a length of two to three words, excluding the extension, to make it user-friendly and easy to type. A well-chosen domain enhances search engine visibility and user experience, contributing to your website’s success.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

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