Whats in a Name?

Very likely one of the most important decisions you will make in your store’s development is the selection of a domain name.  Your domain name will be your calling card, brand and synonym for your business name.  Defiantly not something to be taken lightly.

While I would advise against pumping your brand /company name in things like page titles, there is a very long reaching value to marketing your brand in your domain name.  While your brand name very likely does not carry any search volume or notoriety yet, you cannot exclude your brand from your development.  If you for example go with a keyword rich domain name and fail to register your brand of company domain names and derivatives you may find yourself with a traffic sucker in the future.  Certainly for the traffic sucker or domain flipper there are valid reasons for registering domain names like your business name.  How would it suit you to have a spammy Ads page at a domain name which seemingly represents your company?  This WILL happen if you do not register them.

Since this is such a big decision we have some pointers below to help you make a solid domain name choice for your store.

  1. If the .com and .net versions cannot both be registered to you then move to another name.
  2. If you are going with a keyword rich domain name… Dashes are NOT required most of the time.  Google and other search engines will pull or stem these keywords from other connecting letters as long as there is enough volume in the keyword’s search volume.  If you want to know for example, whether Google stems your keywords simply search for that keyword by itself and look to see that Google has bolded it in urls or domain names.  If you find it anywhere in the url in the search query, then Google knows this word.
  3. Plan on registering a few domain names.  Misspellings, product based, brand/company names, and your second choice/runner up domain name as well.  This is like an insurance policy for your company.
  4. Domain names as a rule are now required to be 3 or more characters.
  5. Skip the dashes and underlines.
  6. Shorter is better and snappy is awesome!
  7. The terminology should be natural.  If you are looking to register “store4u”, then you would also seek to register and redirect “storeforyou”, “store4you”, and “storeforu” in both the .net and .com versions.  Again, do not become easy pickens’ for traffic suckers.
  8. Avoid “my”, “your”, etc and other pronoun based domain names suggested by tools.  These will only send traffic to the name that does not use the pronoun as users will frequently forget these.
  9. Register your main name (at least this one) for more than one year, as the search engines tend to favor the investment with a small bit of trust score.
  10. If you are in the US your REALLY need to have the .com, it is the most common and recognized tld extension.
  11. Avoid very hard to spell or commonly misspelled words, unless you register those misspelling also.

Domains that are easy to remember will fare better in all of your marketing campaigns.  If a shopper is using email or a social media type venue to convey your “Great” store to another… You might want them to type is right, as this is not only a top notch referral, but very likely to be a good old fashioned organic backlink as well.

There is no arguing the fact that there is some ranking value in a keyword rich domain, it is not however enough benefit to lose the ability for users to remember your domain name.  Just like anything else… Balance.

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