Domains aren’t only for website addressing purposes. Website design companies can also utilize them for search engine optimization. There are three ways your company can use domains for SEO. First, you can buy a new one and build your website and SEO ranking from scratch. It may be the cheapest and safest route to obtaining a SERP spot, but it’s also, perhaps, the longest way to do so.
Purchasing existing domains is the second way. If your website design company has come across a domain that’s perfect for the SEO goals of your business, but it’s currently in active use, you can buy it. Just find out who the owner is and make a bid.
The third way is to use expired domains. You can buy one from expired domain databases, like Spamzilla.
Read on to learn more about expired domains and how they can help you rank your website design company in the SERPs.
What Are Expired Domains?
To maintain the ownership of a domain, you have to pay an annual fee. Domains aren’t issued without a deadline, so if the owner fails to make the payment within the specified time, they’ll lose ownership rights. That being said, an expired domain is basically a domain that was registered by an organization, a business, or an individual, but wasn’t renewed before the end of the registration period. It’s also possible that it was deliberately terminated because of violations and other issues. If a domain expires, it means it’s once again available for re-registration.
How Expired Domains Help In SEO
One of the most effective and untapped ways to accelerate a website’s SEO performance is to leverage expired domains. Check out the ways they can improve a website design company’s ranking in SERPs below.
Allow Website Design Companies To Build A High Authority Site Right Away
Expired domains can have the power to push your company’s website higher in the search engine results pages if you’re building one. What you need is a high authority expired domain to achieve that.
SEO and SMM or social media marketing can be time-consuming. If you want to create a website that can start ranking high in Google or other search engines’ results right away, host it on the best expired domains. You can make such a strategy more effective by adding optimized and relevant content.
Check which keywords does the domain actually rank for to have an idea of how valuable your website would be once hosted on it.
Transfer “Link Juice” To Your Main Website
You can build a mini-site using an expired domain for the sole purpose of linking to the website of your company. This method is known as a private blog network. PBN utilizes the expired domains to set a few different websites up and link them to one main site. The goal is the transfer of the “link juice” from the expired or old domain to your company’s main website through backlinking. In the SEO world, backlinks are contributing factors to your SEO score in different search engines.
When utilizing the PBN method, it’s important to add two or more sites to achieve domain diversity for building backlinks. You can also add some new content, such as a few blog posts or articles. Make sure they’re relevant to your company’s industry for the websites to look more natural.
Compared to writing many guest posts, a private blog network builds backlinks faster. Guest posts may be subjected to rejections. With PBNs, however, everything is under your control.
Keep the relationship among the mini-sites properly concealed by not using similar IP addresses. Also, don’t host them on the same server. Following this won’t only make them look like several unrelated sites, but also ones that are organically linked to your main website.
If you’ve never heard of the term link juice and why it’s relevant to expired domains, don’t worry, everything you need is coming right up:
What Is Link Juice?
The term ‘link juice’ is chucked around a lot in the world of SEO, but what does it really mean?
Link juice describes the value and authority that’s passed from one site to another. You see, no link is treated equally. This means Google values a link from a well-established domain higher than they would a forum.
It is really critical to your Google rankings, and it is also the best way to establish brand awareness and develop your credibility.
Link juice is an important way of measuring how users and websites owners interact and value your site.
It is dependant on the following factors:
- Website authority
- The website is linking to web content
- Web topic relevance
- Anchor text
At one point, it didn’t matter how you built your links, all that mattered was how many links pointed to your site.
Luckily the penguin update stopped people from being able to use spammy link building strategies to boost their site.
Now, you have to use concrete backlink strategies if you want to succeed.
Using an expired domain with high authority is one of the backlink strategies you can use to bolster your site.
By chucking a redirect on an expired domain pointing to your site could give you the boost in link juice you need to rank.
White Hat Alternative To The PBN Method
PBNs can be effective but risky. White hat alternatives to private blog networks might be a better approach if you’re more risk-averse. The downside is that this method requires a bigger time investment because you’re going to perform outreach. The good news is that it has practically zero penalty risk.
All other tactics outside the PBN method take almost the same amount of time to execute. It’s also possible to outsource your outreach efforts. You can even create procedures to make the process more straightforward. That being said, the time investment required in white hat PBN alternative shouldn’t cause too big of a concern to your company if you’re taking this route.
So, what do you have to do to make the white hat alternative work? If you already have a high-quality and relevant expired domain, then, extract its backlink profile. Next, find contact information for the quality link opportunities. Try to reach out to the linker and let them know that they’re linking to a dead website. If they respond, pitch them the idea of replacing the existing link with a link going to your company’s main site.
Redirect To Your Website
A 301 redirect also makes it possible to transfer an expired domain’s link juice to your existing website even without setting up a mini-site. Simply redirect the old domain to the website of your company.
For example, if the expired domain you’ve purchased is gadgetzen.com, you can redirect to your main site, gadgetninja.io. Remember that in order to achieve the purpose, the domain name should be in a similar industry.
It’s essential to choose an expired domain that has many backlinks and has maintained a high SEO value over the years. Using 301 redirects, you can transfer the ranking value to your company’s existing website. People are more likely to purchase an expired domain for this purpose.
Make It Possible To Bypass The Sandbox Period
Google inhibits new websites from actually performing well in organic searches until they establish authority, trust, and age. It’s called the “sandbox effect”. If you’ve ever tried starting a niche website, you probably already have encountered it before. It’s where expired domains get in and become of great help. This is more of a strategy rather than a link acquisition method. It’s not foolproof, yes, but it’s effective.
It can take months for your new website to get traction. You can bypass the sandbox period by starting a website for your company on an aged or expired domain.
Domain Name Keywords
Keyword domains are still in demand in the market. Keywords are one of the things that people take into consideration the most when they want to buy a domain. If an expired domain contains the keywords that most Internet users search for in your industry, it becomes precious to your business’s SEO efforts.
Before purchasing an expired keyword domain, however, take note of conflicts with trademark registrations. Search for the domain name through WIPO or the World Intellectual Property Organization database to avoid domain conflicts.
Things To Consider When Buying An Expired Domain
It’s essential to do some research before purchasing an expired domain. Here are the five things to consider:
Age Of Domain
One of the things you should check is the age of the expired domain. You’ll not want to purchase one that’s expiring after only a year or two. The older a domain, the better it is since search engines, like Google, place higher preference on them and think they’re more trustworthy.
Remember that you’re buying an expired domain to boost your website design company’s SEO ranking. That said, invest in an expired domain that was once housed in a website that belongs to your industry. You’ll want to show both search engines and users that the old domain brings traffic to your website from your target customers’ market.
Quality Of Backlinks
As already mentioned, high-quality backlinks are one of the most important reasons why people buy expired domains. Make sure to skip domains with low-quality backlinks that look spammy. Use a backlink checker to know how valuable the backlinks of an expired domain are before acquiring it.
An expired domain should also have a solid ranking performance for the specific keywords you want your website design company to rank for. Ask any level-headed search engine optimization consultant, and they’ll tell you that the traffic that a high-ranking expired domain receives goes a long way in boosting your website's SEO.
Whether in page, domain, or both, the expired domain you want to repurpose must give off an essence of authority. They’re known as page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA), and are essential metrics on site performance. You should root for expired domains with PA and DA scores of between 60 to 80.
Don’t buy a domain if you can tell that it was used as a link farm. Use Wayback Machine if you want to see how the website that once housed the domain used to look. If it was utilized for spam purposes, forget about it.
Check Google Bans
An expired domain that was banned from Google won’t have any value to your website design company. Use a Google Ban Checker before purchasing one.
If you’re really serious about making meaningful gains with your website design company’s SEO efforts, there’s every reason to consider buying expired domains. You can build a high-authority website out of it and boost your main website’s ranking by utilizing it for backlinks, among other things. Consider the expired domain’s age, relevance, backlinks quality, ranking performance, and authority to make sure it’s worth the investment.