The entry of the 21st century also marked the rise of entrepreneurs-- since establishing a business now does not necessarily require a physical store.
The eCommerce industry witnessed exponential growth in the last few decades. In fact, in the previous seven years alone, eCommerce boomed a jaw-dropping 370% growth rate.
As more and more enterprises compete in the eCommerce landscape, the success rate is also shrinking. For eCommerce businesses, success is measured through different key performance indicators or KPIs.
Check out the KPIs you need to hit on this blogpost: 6 Gameplans to Increase Your Website's User Engagement.
A completed sale in any online store is a result of many factors at play. The same is true for lost sales. Today, we will be discussing one of the most important components of a successful eCommerce store and, ultimately, a brand.
First Impressions Last
Domain names, the words or letters we type onto the biggest bar on our web browsers, serve as the biggest business signage. Like a billboard on a highway or a sign, you can see from the parking lot. It needs to be punchy, easy to see or read, and easy to remember.
Choosing a great domain name, just like coming up with your company name, can be laborious. One must take all the time they need to weigh all options possible. Like choosing a name for your child, you are giving your company its identity. The name you choose for your company will affect how people react to your brand, and crazy as it may sound, they apply to children, too.
So, we have prepared a shortlist of Dos and Don'ts for all of you who are scratching your heads trying to come up with the perfect domain name. Put on your thinking cap; let's get to work.
1. Keep it Short and Easy to Spell
You always run the risk of people misspelling or mistyping your domain name when wanting to go to your website. In this case, longer is not better. According to DataGenetics, most websites have 12 letters in their domain names. This is considered the sweet spot when it comes to length. However, any chance you get to make your domain name shorter, you should take. Check out our favorite websites, like facebook.com and youtube.com. They are catchy and hard to misspell. Also, did you know you'll get to Facebook through fb.com?
2. Use your location
Often, when we search for a product or service, we prefer local. This could be a great advantage, especially if you are targeting the nearby area as your market. One option is on the domain name itself. Say you are located in New York, and you offer shoe repair services. You can buy NYshoerepair.com or shoerepairNY.com. Another option is to buy a domain name with a 'new' generic top-level domain (GLTD). That may turn out to be shoerepair.ny.
Check this out: Should You Get a dot-com or a new GTLD?
3. SEO It Up!
SEO or search engine optimization is a sophisticated process of any search engine (like Google) to rank the results to show the most relevant pages first.
Here's a more detailed explanation of SEO and why it matters: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to SEO.
Generally speaking, SEO crawlers (the bots sifting through millions of websites) do not consider keywords in the domain name. But having at least one industry-relevant keyword on your website will make it more clickable. Therefore, your website will have more authority, and these clicks are measured by the SEO crawlers. However, keep in mind that stuffing your domain name with tons of keywords does not make things any better.
4. Know the History (Research)
When checking if your domain name is available, there is always a chance someone previously owned it, and their license just expired. There is nothing wrong with purchasing such domain names but apply caution when doing so, as the website may have been used with impure motives. If that domain name has already been used for phishing or hacking purposes, you will carry its history with you. It can also be already banned by some search engines and IP Addresses.
There are available tools on the internet to help you gather information about a domain name. Some of the ones we recommend are who.is, archive.org/web, and safeweb.norton.com. These websites offer their services for free, too!
5. Consider playing with modern GTLDs
According to prevailing beliefs, using new GTLDs (any GTLD aside from .com) is a big no-no. Well, the times they are a-changin! For eCommerce websites, .shop is actually a good choice for several reasons. Firstly, they perform as well as their .com counterpart (well, it's all about content marketing nowadays). They are also more affordable, and since new GTLDs are 'young' (most of them were just activated in 2016, compared to .com's 1985), most keywords you like are available.
1. Don't Use Slangs
Let's keep it real, slangs are not everyone's cup of tea. Slangs only cater to a certain demographic and are most often associated with vulgar meanings. Also, slangs are not timeless. They get old. Nobody uses 90s slang language anymore.
2. Don't Use Numbers
Do3s th1s lo0k ok4y?
Some, when their domain names are taken, resort to alternating some letters with numbers. This is not the best course of action, especially if your target market is not the youngest. However, if you are already an established brand, this could work. Also, people may mistake the numerals for words and type in the word 'four' instead of the numeral 4.
3. Don't Use Hyphens
Similar to the first two points, hyphens may cause unnecessary confusion among your visitors. Separating two words with a hyphen negatively affects a domain name's legibility and memorability. It's also associated with spammy behaviors as most phishing emails have dashes or hyphens on their root addresses.
4. Don't Panic If It's Taken
If all the domain names you've thought of are already bought, don't worry because it's not yet the end of the world, or your business, for that matter. You can consider exploring other domain extensions or GTLDs, as we discussed earlier, or you can also search for the history of the domain (Do #4) and arrange a transfer of license. There's also a chance that the domain name you like is only 'parked' or bought by someone only to sell it later at a higher price.
5. Don't Wait
Is your perfect domain name available? Then strike while the iron is hot!
Did you know that every time someone checks for the availability of a domain name, it gets more and more expensive? So, if you have the funds and the peace of mind with your selected domain name, we advise you to bring out that card and type those 16 digits in. There's always a slight chance that someone may beat you to the punch.
Did this blog help you brainstorm your perfect domain name? Well, we have a lot more in store for you! Sign up below to be part of our mailing list and be an official AllThings-Insider!