So, you’re ready to take the plunge into online sales? Congrats!
If this is a brand new store, you’ll need to think carefully about what your new domain name will be. Finding the perfect domain name (that hasn’t already been taken!) can seem daunting but it’s easier than you might think. Follow our steps below and use domain name generating tools, such as Domainr to check for ideas and availability.
1. Do your research
Before you start to put together your domain name, put some time aside to think about what your key product area is and what your customer will search to find you. Once you have some basic ideas you can do a quick search on Google to find any other related keywords. Having a keyword in your domain name is a great way to not only tell your customers instantly about your store, but it can also help you to rank highly in search engine results.
2. Make it easy to type and spell
It might seem cool and unique to spell or format your company name differently to the obvious spelling, but this can be a nightmare for your customers. Word-of-mouth recommendations are vital for new ecommerce stores, but no one will find you if they don’t know how to spell your domain name. This is especially important for new stores in competitive industries as it’s unlikely that you’ll rank highly in search results straight away. For example, try to avoid:
- “z” instead of “s”
- “u” instead of “you”
- “2” instead of “to”
3. Don’t stray too far from your existing brand
If you already have an existing brand presence or a brick and mortar store, try not to choose a domain name which is too dissimilar from your current brand name. It will be a lot easier for you to mix your existing store with your ecommerce store if you choose a similar name.
4. Short and sweet
Keep your domain name short and simple to make it memorable. Try to stick to one to three words rather than a full sentence. If your ideal domain name isn’t available, try using variations and synonyms before adding additional words.
5. Choose the right domain extension
Where possible, I’d always recommend choosing the .com domain extension - it’s the most popular domain extension by far and will likely be the extension a customer tries first when searching for your store. There are many new domain extensions available (.expert, .plumbing, .market - the list goes on) but remember that these can be confusing for shoppers. If you choose to use a new domain extension then also purchase the .com version as well and 301 redirect it to your chosen domain. This will prevent you losing any traffic or sales from anyone accidentally adding “.com” to the end of your domain name.
Image source: www.names.co.uk
6. Avoid dashes and numbers
It can be tempting to add dashes / hyphens and numbers to your domain name, but (similarly to point #2) this can cause confusion when saying your domain name out loud. I think we can all agree that “myecommercestore.com” is easier to explain over the phone than “my-ec0mm3rce-store-123.com”.
7. Add country/city/area if very specific
If you’re wanting to only target one specific country, city, area etc then using that keyword in your domain name can help you rank highly for local searches and make it clear to your customers that you supply to them. For example:suffolkwallpapersupplies.com
However, only choose this option if you are sure that you won’t want to expand your store’s reach in the future. Having an area in your domain name may discourage shoppers and make it harder to rank in search engine results if you choose to start targeting more cities or countries.
8. Avoid copyright
Before you decide to take the plunge and purchase a domain name, double check that the one you’ve chosen doing contain any copyrighted words or trademarks.
All set? Great! Purchase your domain name online and download the latest version of OpenCart to get started with your new ecommerce store.
Do you have any extra tips for how to choose a domain name? Add them to the comments below!