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The importance and the role of a domain for SEO
Marco Gouveia
Digital Marketing Consultant and Google Regional Trainer
The importance and the role of a domain for SEO
When you start an online project, it is common to come across a wide range of issues that can be decisive for its success. Among them is certainly the doubt about which is the most suitable domain for our website, since it is, among many others, a factor that will affect the positioning of our pages in search engines.

The position in which the pages of a website appear in search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., depends on the relevance and authority that their algorithms attribute to them - and this, as we know, can be optimised through SEO.

For those less familiar with the term, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. 

In a generic way, SEO refers to a set of techniques implemented online with the aim of increasing the visibility of a website in the organic search of search engines. Normally, we concentrate our efforts on optimising for Google's algorithm, as it is the largest search engine in the world.

Now, although the ranking factors that derive from the choice of domain are not much addressed, which is why its importance is often underestimated, this decision can influence the positioning of the pages of a website in search engines, so it should be highly considered.

What is a domain?

A domain is a name through which a website can be accessed. All websites are hosted on servers that are identified by a certain IP address and this address can be seen as the server's "address", differentiating it from other servers. 

The addresses are represented only by numbers, however, this format is not easy to memorise and it would be very complicated to access the websites only through it. Therefore, the domains were created, which are a "nicer" name for a certain site to be more easily identified. 

Domains have a very significant impact on SEO, being one of the key factors of any project on the internet. Therefore, to register or buy a domain, there are some factors to take into account, among which I highlight the domain extension chosen. 

The choice of extension to use in your business can influence its image, as well as the way the website is processed by search engines.

Associated to each domain there is always an extension that, many times, is associated to a certain country. For example "pt" (Portugal), "es" (Spain), "co.uk" (United Kingdom) or "de" (Germany). 

These types of domains are used to geographically target a particular site, making them more relevant in terms of local SEO. 

There are also more generic extensions, for example ".com" or ".net" which do not have any specific country associated. 

How to choose the most appropriate domain extension?

Besides the image that it transmits to users, the way a website appears in search engines can be influenced by its domain ending. 

For example, for a search made in Portugal, the ".pt" domains will be privileged by search engines. 

By contrast, for a search in Spain, domains ending in ".pt" will tend to have lower priority than domains ending in ".es".

A country-specific domain adds SEO value for local and national companies that want to reach only this audience.  

That said, if you plan to sell a product or service to the national market, you should definitely register a domain with a ".pt" extension. 

On the other hand, if you wish to appeal to an audience from another specific country you should consider using the respective domain. For example, if you want to sell your products with special emphasis on the Spanish market, you could choose to register a ".es" domain. 

In any case, you should choose a name rich in keywords and also provide quality content, in order to rank better in the organic search results of search engines.

Why should you choose a .pt domain?

.pt offers a domain registration service that meets the market standards of reliability and quality. Thus, a .pt domain conveys security and reliability, helps position your business geographically and even improves your local positioning in search engines. 

Furthermore, it is a bet on Portuguese identity, contributing to the country's digital dynamism.

Today, the registration time of a domain is very reduced and not subject to complicated administrative procedures. Without wasting time, and if the whole process is complete, you can have your domain online within 2 hours.

Please note: the articles on this blog may not convey the opinion of .PT, but of its author.
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