New TLDs and SEO

A lot of new top-level domains have been created over the past year or two, and more are on the way. For example, .lol, .dog and .movie are all launching this month - creators of funny dog videos will soon spoiled for choice!

The popularity of newly-established domains such as .brand, .london and .wales may have you wondering if you ought to get with the times and snap up one of these snazzy new TLDs while the iron is hot. In particular, a lot of our clients have asked if using a more unique TLD will help their website's rankings on Google and other search engines.

Or, to put it another way...

Will a new TLD help my website's SEO?

The short answer? No - Google themselves have said that the new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) do not have any special advantage over the ones we're more familiar with:

"Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search."

So that's Google's position on the matter (the above quote is taken from the official Google Webmasters blog). Unfortunately, it looks like your choice of TLD won't have much of an impact on your website's keyword rankings; for example, your cookery blog won't have any more chance of conquering the foodie SERPs if you change your URL from to Sorry about that.

However, this doesn't mean that purchasing yourself a new gTLD is completely pointless. The really good thing about some of these new gTLDs is that they give users a little more information about your site than the ultra-vague likes of .com and .org. For example, it's impossible to guess what kind of website might be from its URL alone, but we can reasonably assume that is owned by a Welsh company, or that belongs to a musician or band.

And that can be useful for search engine bots as well as for humans. Let's say you own a second-hand car dealership in London called Marvellous Motors Ltd. Your customers are Googling 'used cars London' and you want to show up on the first page of results for that term. Purchasing a domain name like will make it more obvious (both to human users and to Google's spiders) that you're a London-based business, and this may well improve your chances of ranking locally.

The new TLDs may also come in handy if you share your brand name with somebody else from a totally different field. Imagine, for instance, that you've just opened a new pub called The Branch & Blossom, but - shock horror! - it turns out that there's a popular indie-folk band by that name already. Anybody attempting to Google your new business will end up on TB&B's SoundCloud page or browsing a list of their upcoming gigs, and since they're already using the domain name you wanted (, you're going to have to pick a different one instead.

So what'll it be? Your instinct might be to simply pick the closest available domain to what you originally wanted ( or, but it may be a better idea to register or instead. This will let everyone know that you're a bar, not a band, and people searching for your business will find it easier to spot which Branch & Blossom website is the one they're after. This also works if you're on the other side of the equation; newly-formed bands can use TLDs like .music or .rocks to differentiate themselves from established businesses who share their name.

So while an unusual TLD won't necessarily help you to scale the SERPs, there are other ways in which it can help you. If you want to make your website's URL more descriptive of who you are and what you're about, using one of the many new gTLDs that have been available recently may well be a good choice for you.

Of course, if you already have a website with a standard TLD (such as .com or .uk), it would be foolish to discard your established URL in favour of a trendy new domain name with no history. This will break any links to your current website, and erase the reputation that you've built for yourself with the search engines (they put a lot of stock in domain age and history!)

Instead, we recommend using 301 redirects to ensure that users and bots trying to reach your old domain are automatically sent to the new one instead; this will allow you to switch to a nicer domain name whilst retaining all the positive SEO 'juice' that you accumulated before the changeover.

Need help with registering a new domain name or setting up your company's website? Contact Designer Websites for assistance!
Doctorcall logo
Doctorcall Medical Services are among the UK's leading private medical groups. Established in 1989, Doctorcall was the first visiting doctor service in the UK, although they now offer many other services besides (including sexual health tests, physiotherapy treatments, occupational health checks, and cosmetic treatments such as Botox®).
If you've never heard of Doctorcall before, here's a brief introduction:
Doctorcall first contacted Designer Websites in late 2014. Their website at that time was a self-made Wordpress solution, but what they needed was a professional, bespoke business website to represent their long-established brand in the best way possible, and we were the company tasked with delivering this.
Here are some of the features that Doctorcall requested for their new and improved website:
  • Fully integrated Qinec booking system
  • Ecommerce system with online payments powered by Sage Pay
  • Mobile-friendly responsive design
  • Blog engine to allow Doctorcall's staff to post news and updates

What happened next?

We worked closely with Doctorcall to design and develop a new website that was tailored to their specific requirements. The new site went live in March 2015, and the impact of our work was visible almost immediately - the site's total traffic for April was almost 20% higher than in April 2014:
Doctorcall site traffic
An even more pronounced improvement was visible in Doctorcall's mobile stats - total mobile traffic for April 2015 was 41% higher than the same total one year earlier:
Doctorcall mobile traffic
This demonstrates the difference that a responsive, mobile-friendly website design can make - at time of writing, mobile users make up roughly 40% of Doctorcall's total visitors!
It's also worth noting just how well the Doctorcall website has been performing from an ecommerce standpoint. When developing the new site, we incorporated a shopping basket system that would allow visitors to purchase certain Doctorcall products (such as home testing kits and anti-ageing creams) over the web.
This approach appears to have worked wonders for the business - site revenue increased by almost 90% between June and July 2015!
Doctorcall revenue
All in all, our work has yielded outstanding results for Doctorcall's business. Here's what they had to say about the new website and its performance over the last few months:
"Designer Websites came highly recommended to us, and we couldn't be happier with the results of what is essentially a huge project for us. From start to finish they guided us through the design, delivery and acceptance of the ecommerce website in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
"Thanks to their clear communication and expertise, we now have a product we are very proud of. They continue to help us develop our online platform as we think of more ways to increase revenue through our web presence."
Jamie Watkins, Doctorcall Medical Services
Would you like us to design a new website for your business? Request a quote now, or give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements with a member of our team!
When it comes to web design, there are a lot of pitfalls to be aware of. Whether it's doing something you shouldn't or failing to do something you should, one mistake can ruin your entire online presence, so it's important to keep your wits about you!
Here, courtesy of our professional web design team, are five do's and five don'ts for you to bear in mind when you're putting together your company's website...
  • DO get straight to the point. The average web user prefers not to stay in one place for too long, so when you're designing your website, be sure to put the crucial details (i.e. what you offer and how to get it) front and centre.

  • DON'T put style above functionality. We've no doubt that you're an artistic genius capable of designing a web page that belongs in a gallery, but appearances shouldn't necessarily be your top priority when it comes to creating a successful business website. Instead, focus on providing a straightforward, elegant experience for the end user, and tailor your design to complement this.

  • DO be consistent. Each page of your website should have the same basic look and layout as the next, as this will give users a smooth, seamless journey through your site. Of particular importance is the site menu - if this crucial navigation element changes or moves around as users browse your website, those users will quickly get frustrated and go elsewhere. However, we also recommend keeping a close eye on less obvious factors such as fonts and branding; keeping these things consistent at all times will ensure that your company looks professional to site users.

  • DON'T use Comic Sans. This 'fun' font looks extremely childish, and it is almost never an appropriate choice for a professional business website.

  • DO stick to a simple colour scheme. Using too many colours will make your website hard to read and unpleasant to look at. Stick to just two or three colours to keep everything striking and easy on the eye.

  • DON'T forget about your mobile users. The number of people using smartphones and tablets to browse the web is increasing every day, and so it's becoming more and more important to ensure that your website looks just as good on these devices as on a desktop PC. A good way to achieve this is with a responsive design that changes to fit the screen on which it is viewed.

  • DO show off your social media accounts. The power of social media has grown exponentially in recent years, and few business can afford not to be seen on Twitter and Facebook these days. Incorporating your company's social accounts into your website is a great way to gain followers and boost your visibility; obviously, you'll want to include links to your various profiles, but you may want to go one step further by integrating social media feeds into your site's design, allowing visitors to see your latest tweets, pins and posts as soon as they arrive on your homepage.

  • DON'T stuff too much in. When designing your website, aim for brevity and simplicity - don't pack each page with dozens of images and reams of text, as this will create a cluttered look that makes it difficult for users to find the information they need.

  • DO keep analysing, measuring, and making improvments. Like great art, a good web design is never finished! After your website goes live, you should use Google Analytics and other tools to continuously monitor its performance and tweak your design as necessary. Are people clicking on that button? How does it compare with the other button on the other side of the page? Should you move it elsewhere, make it bigger, or scrap it entirely to make room for something else? These questions can be answered with the help of things like goals and event tracking, so keep a close eye on how people interact with your site and never stop looking for potential improvements!

  • DON'T use Comic Sans. Please. We know we said this already, but it bears repeating. Refer to if you don't understand the issue here.
Want us to design your business website for you? Click here to get a quote, or visit our Professional Web Design page for more information.