How to rank an xyz domain above .com domain

Your TLD's doesn't matter in SEO .com = .xyz

Like every business owner, when we were launching A&B, we went looking for a .com domain and like many business owners, these days ended up not finding it. We had two choices:-

Pay the domain owner (squatter) crazy amounts of money to buy it from them.
Go for a geographical TLD like .in or .co.in.
Become adventurous with a domain like .xyz

Option 1 was out as we did not have too many $$$, Option 2 was out as it would restrict us in case of a future expansion, so we had pretty much no choice 🙂

The below story is how we fought our .com obsession, and not only adopted newer TLD like xyz but also outranked .com domains.

The first thing you need to step in the Digital World is a website, where you can land your users. And obviously, a unique domain name is needed for users to remember and visit your website.

A lot of times what happens is the domain with the .com variation you want to buy is already taken and you are left with the option to go ahead with some other name or compromise with your TLD (Top Level Domain).

But do you know xyz as a TLD exists?

A lot of Webmaster and business owners are hesitant to try a new TLD because of a lot of reasons. One of the major is: SEO of the website depends on a lot of factors and your domain name is one of them and that’s the reason webmasters are scared to invest in it.

By the end of this blog, you would be convinced that using an XYZ domain is no different than the other gTLD’s

Before we get started let’s introduce you to the person who was responsible for the emergence of xyz domain in the year 2014. Daniel Negari is the CEO of XYZ registry and one of the youngest registry operators in the world when asked about his view on xyz TLD and why it should exist? He told, “you end the alphabet with X, Y, Z, why not end domain names the same way?”.

Like you are not getting a domain with a .com TLD just because it’s on auction which indirectly impacts the freedom to use the internet for this reason xyz TLD came into the existence ..!! You may also see big brands launching on xyz. eg. MIT (Engine.xyz), the co-founders of Skype (Starship.xyz), etc. You can check out a full list of xyz domain live around the globe here.

Do you know how many websites in the world use a xyz TLD?

“In November 2015, xyz reached 1.5 million domain name registrations. As of January 2016, xyz was the sixth most registered domain name on the Internet. As of June 2016, xyz was the fourth most registered global top-level domain (gTLD) name on the Internet, after .com, .net, and .org”

-source: Wikipedia

This implies the use of the xyz TLD is going upwards. In fact, Google itself chose this domain for their parent company Alphabet Inc.

A strange thing happened in our case: Moz OSE didn’t use to show any metric for xyz TLD, even to the limit that the tool showed DA, PA as just 1 for Google’s parent company abc.xyz
We tweeted Moz & Rand Fishkin with the issue and they were very astonished to figure this out. Even John & Rand had a fun time in the comments when John said, “It implies Google doesn’t consider Domain Authority in their rankings”

 

But the good bit is Moz has now updated their OSE to Link Explorer Tool, it now recognises most of the TLDs.

Do TLD matters to Google?

For SEO’s even a hint of a ranking factor can make or break the deal for them. The most commonly used TLD in the world is .com with a 46% stake.

There was a time when Google used to consider .com as the preferred TLD for ranking websites in their search engine. But the story has changed completely now. Google has officially mentioned a number of times that TLD doesn’t matter and they crawl almost all the TLDs that are present in the current system. In 2015 John Mueller wrote this blog on How Google processes all the new TLDs in search rankings.

Actionable Steps we took to rank www.aandb.xyz ahead of other .com domains.

1. Optimised Page Speed with the score of 99/100:

The first thing we started with the work for our website was page speed improvement. Though page speed is officially a ranking factor in mobile searches, we emphasised on this point since 2016 and knew very well that the speed of a website impacts rankings in search engines to an extent. We used PSI Tool to work on the website speed and we had a goal in common with the dev team that the optimisation score should be at least in 90’s out of 100.
The result: we improved and optimised the load time of all the pages on our website with a minimum score of 90.
Here’s the screenshot of PSI score of our home page:

   

2. Revamped Website Design

We worked a lot on revamping our website design as the older version was not that good and interactive. so we planned for a new version of A&B. Started with including an attractive video in the first fold which includes what we are, what we do and our office space. See how kick it is here.

Our website was just a static one earlier, during this revamp we designed & created all the internal pages. We added the call to actions on proper places on the page to ease the navigation for the users.

We also launched our blog and created a page for case studies so that more content can be added on the website as it is visually very appealing but the room for content is less on services and home page.

The alignment of the folds on our webpage was done keeping in mind the user and mobile accessibility.

Revamping the website helped us a lot in terms of usability and gave our website a good structure, more content, and more service pages which we targeted for different keywords

3. Focused on User Experience

After the process of revamping, we managed to achieve a better user experience as compared to what we had earlier. As a result of the revamping process, we observed an increase in the Dwell time which is the time spent by the user on a website.

Adding some interesting videos, images or anything which is related to your services and make the website more informative (level of information matters whether it’s for the home page, service page or any other page). Accordingly, we managed to frame the content, video, and image to create a better user interaction.

A&B first fold video screenshot - home page

“The whole and sole motive were to make the user interact with the website which in turn increases the Dwell time and make sure the user takes proper actions in our case it was getting more digital marketing leads.”

4. Created Backlinks to our Website

Backlinks are consistently one of the most important ranking factors for the search engines and also one of the hardest things to do in SEO.

Our strategy for creating backlinks to our website was simple. It included guest blogging, content marketing for our blog articles and one benefit we had was we got links from the footer of the website which we had designed and developed.

As we are in the agency business a lot of agencies shut down in a year and we found some similar agencies which were closed permanently and had broken links coming from high authority websites. We did reach out to them and managed to get to some links.

Our main focus in this area was to build High-Quality backlinks instead of low-quality quantitative links. The result: we managed to outrank domains with more backlinks and referring domain than us. We approached the right websites that actually linked back to us.

SERP overview for the keyword "digital marketing agency in mumbai"
Here’s the SERP overview of the keyword: digital marketing agency in mumbai

5. Started with CRO

After all the aspects of SEO (on-page, off-page, technical) were taken care of, we started with CRO

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is the mechanism of increasing the conversions on a website with the current set of visitors by doing A/B tests, improving UI, UX issues, fixing and resolving bugs, etc.

The ultimate goal of any business is to increase revenue, One side where SEO, PPC, social and other channels bring traffic to the website, on the other hand, CRO helps to convert the potential traffic into customers.

The best way to start is to get in your customer shoes and see how they are experiencing the website.

A lot of tools like Hotjar, Yandex Metrica, Crazyegg etc all can help you to analyse and track user behaviours.

We personally used Hotjar and Yandex Metrica and started to look for any blockage that would hurt our conversions.

We used the heatmap and session replay feature of Hotjar to find out how the users were experiencing our website

Below is the list of bugs which we found on our website and got it fixed.

To our surprise, we found that the fonts we used were looking different in chrome, safari, and firefox which was causing a readability issue.

There was a glitch in the video on our home page and similar bugs. We also made a few UI changes for a better mobile experience.

All this helped us to improve the user experience and directly improving our conversion rate.

The Result: Our Website started to rank ahead of a lot of .com domains.

The result of all these efforts? We are still ranking ahead of the .com, .in domains and most commonly used TLDs domains. We are ranking on the first page for most of our targeted keywords and not only ranking locally but also for some keywords in the UK. We were getting leads from London because our website mentions the address of our London Office.

Below are some of the 1st-page rankings for competitive keywords:

Keyword: digital marketing agency in mumbai- 4th Position

Keyword: seo agency in mumbai – 6th Position

Keyword: Influencer marketing agency mumbai – 1st position

Conclusion

Clearly, you can’t say that only .com and ccTLD can rank on the 1st page. The conclusion here is to focus on the 5 pillars of SEO that is

  • Code – Keep your code clean, and website accessible to search engines.
  • Content – keep your users in the first place and develop content keeping them in mind.
  • Performance – focus on speed and make sure everything loads under 3-5 seconds.
  • Links – Create High Quality, contextual links to your website.
  • Mobile – focus on user experience and optimise for mobile devices, make your website responsive and be ready for Mobile First Indexing

Do your normal SEO, definitely, Google will reward you with high rankings and don’t stress about your TLD.

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Can Country Code Domain Limit Your Global Ranking?

After sharing gen on different domain ranking factors like domain history, exact match domains let’s take you through another domain factor that influences SEO.

A frequently asked question from all SEO community, Can ccTLD limit my global ranking?  

But first, let’s understand what is TLD?

Top Level Domain

Top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last segment of a domain name or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. For example therankmachine.com, “therankmachine” is our domain name and “.com” is TLD extension.

TLD is generally classified into two categories Generic Top Level Domain(gTLD) and Country Code Top Level Domain(ccTLD)

Continue reading “Can Country Code Domain Limit Your Global Ranking?”

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Private VS Public WHOIS Data? How It Impacts SEO?

In our recent post about domains: we have written in detail about domain history & how it can impact your SEO?

But, with that, there’s also an SEO Myth whether to Keep your WHOIS Data Private or Public?

Let us take you through the Basics, of what it is:

What is WHOIS Data?

Every year thousands of organisation, businesses & Individuals creates their online entity in the form of Websites, social media profiles, etc. For creating a website, the first step is registering your domain: while registering the domain each individual has to compulsory provide their unique and personal information like name, contact number, address etc. This information is referred as WHOIS data information. Your registrar asks you to fill all the required personal information under ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.

An individual or legal entity wishing to register a domain name under a generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) may do so by using an ICANN-accredited registrar.

Continue reading “Private VS Public WHOIS Data? How It Impacts SEO?”

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Domain History: Does it Impact your SEO Rankings?

Before jumping to the importance of domain history, you need to understand the difference between new domains, auction domains and expired domains

You plan to build a website for your business and the first step for it is registering your Domain. You go to the domain registrar of your choice and find the availability of your domain. Wolla! you got lucky, the domain name you decided is available and you buy it. So the domain that you registered now is a “New Domain” with no history.

OK let’s change the storyline. You are still planning for online business and your SEO consultant asks you to buy an old aged domain, to rank fast in Google.

Now, an Old Aged Domain basically means A domain which was registered earlier by someone, which has over the time built authority & links, & Google trusts them more often. But for some reasons the owner did not pay the yearly registration fees of that domain, because of which, the registrar puts the domain in auction & if it is not sold there then it gets expired.

Continue reading “Domain History: Does it Impact your SEO Rankings?”

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Does Keyword in Your Subdomain Name Affect SEO?

What are Subdomains?

Subdomains are basically a subset of the main domain.

If we take blog.therankmachine.com,

Then “.com” is a TLD or a first-level domain,

“therankmachine.com” is a second-level-domain and

“blog.therankmachine.com” becomes a third-level domain.

Webmasters occasionally refer to subdomains as third-level domains.

Example: If your domain is https://www.example.com

Then your subdomain will be https://blog.example.com

“blog” here is a subdomain of “example.com”. At the same time, “example.com” is the root domain or “blog”

Suppose you have a global website, which delivers product to most of the nation. But to manage the website on just a single domain will be quite hectic. So, the solution for this can be creating a subdomain for each country, that way you can manage the subdomains of each country easily.

Continue reading “Does Keyword in Your Subdomain Name Affect SEO?”

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Does Domain Registration Length Affects SEO Rankings?

Domain Registration length

What is Domain Registration Length?

Domain Registration Length means for the number of year’s, the domain renewal amount paid in advance to the Registrar, You can pay for at least 1 year & maximum 10 years. For every domain bought, you have to pay a yearly renewal amount.

Webmaster says Search Engine gives more preference to the domains which are registered for a long time. Because domains which are bought for spamming web are generally registered for not more than a year.

What does Google say?

Officially, Google’s Matt Cutts has declined by saying: To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use length-of-registration as a factor in scoring(for SEO). If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, Matt says: “My short answer is not to worry about that very much. Not very much at all, in fact.
Danny Sullivan had asked about this recently because there were some registrars that were sending around emails…that said: “Did you know that Google gives you a bonus in ranking if you register your site for 3 or more years?”. Just to clarify, that’s not based on anything that we’ve said.
My short answer is make great content, don’t worry nearly as much about how many years your domain is registered for. Just because someone is sending you an email that says “Google does” or even may use this in ranking, it doesn’t mean that you should automatically take them at face-value.
What makes a really big difference is the quality of your site, and the sort of links that you have pointing to you, not “Is my site registered for 3 or 4 years, instead of 1 or 2 years?”

Continue reading “Does Domain Registration Length Affects SEO Rankings?”

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Do Keywords in Domain Effect SEO?

According to Google, it does not matter whether you use a keyword or no in your domain.

In September 2012 Google rolled out an update. Matt Cutts tweeted about it.

Matt Cutts Statement

After this Update was rolled out:

High Position’s study indicated that the “average EMD ranking went from #13.4 down to #26.6,” and the “average top 10 EMD went from #3.2 down to #11.9.”

SEOmoz data shows that EMD correlation with ranking has dropped from 0.34 in 2010 to 0.18 in 2012.

But wait, keywords in the domain still matters. We agree that it doesn’t give the boost it used to in 2010-12.

But here are some examples that are going to blow your mind:

These are some competitive keywords where using a keyword in the domain is ranking them higher.

Continue reading “Do Keywords in Domain Effect SEO?”

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Do Exact Match Domains Still Work in SEO?

Hey SEO Folks

Today our Topic of Discussion is, Do Exact Match Domain Still Works in SEO?

While this ranking factor still works for Local SEO, but you cannot just rank a website a website using EMD’s.

Many people have doubt on this topic and there are many discussions available where some, agrees to it & some don’t

Well, today we have covered up all in this Post.

We’ll start with the:-

  • Definition.
  • Google’s Official Statement.
  • Our Research on using Brand Name.
  • Does EMD Still Work?(with proof)
  • Conclusion.

So, at the end of this Blog, all your doubts will be cleared.

Let’s get started.

Continue reading “Do Exact Match Domains Still Work in SEO?”

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Keyword As First Word in Domain

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Hey SEO Folks,

We are back with a New Topic, or Myth(as some says):

Should we Put Keywords as a First Word in Domains?

This seems to be a weird Question, like how does it Matter?

But believe Me, it can Boost your Rankings.

There are some debates, whether Keyword as a First Word in a Domain is a Ranking Factor or not?

We agree with this Opinion as this Ranking Factor is not mentioned anywhere, and no Biggies(SEJ, SEL, Moz) have given an Indication of it in any of their blogs.

But does that mean, that we should Totally Ignore it?

Continue reading “Keyword As First Word in Domain”

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Is Domain Age – An SEO Factor?

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Question: Is Domain Age an SEO Factor or Not?

The simple answer to the Question is: Yes, Domain Age is a Ranking Factor & Google cares about your indexed age.

As Matt Cutts stated:

“Domain age does play a role, but a small role & it’s not a very strong ranking factor as compared to others.

The main Problem associated with buying Old Domains is you have to find out with what it was associated before? Because domains that get Expired may have to be used before for the purposes of Gambling, Spam, Illegal Content, Adult Websites etc.

So, if Search Engine finds out the Profile History of the expired domains, then your Website will never Rank.

Here’s an Amazing Thing:

We have done a full research & have given practical examples for the Topic which will clear all your doubts.

Continue reading “Is Domain Age – An SEO Factor?”

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