Choosing a domain name for eCommerce websites can sound puzzling since there are plenty to think about.
But, did you know?
8 out of 10 customers research before buying online, and their decision depends on the company’s eCommerce website by 74%!
With the eCommerce industry growing in sales by the trillions, you’re up against other businesses worldwide.
Having an online store or eCommerce website does more than just making sales but establishes credibility and branding for your business.
Coming up with the best domain name to allow your business brand in becoming apparent and accessible is worth the effort.
WHAT ABOUT DOMAINS?
I’m sure you’re reading this article because you want to know how choosing a domain name for eCommerce websites work.
But there may be some of you who are wondering what domains are and why your website needs one for your eCommerce business.
Let’s use business metaphors to help you visualize the basic elements of an eCommerce website:
- Hosting – In order for your website to exist, you need to occupy an allocated space on a server (a device or program that stores data to allow your website to operate). This can be used for free or purchased from an online service provider. Imagine hosting as the vacant plot of land in a neighborhood (server) where you can build a store (website) on.
- Website – Inside your store there’s a lot of “features” like your product aisles, cashier, check-out counter and storage room. Your eCommerce website is basically your store inside and out, in the form of digital pages, and depending on what you want to include there could be more or less of what we mentioned.
- Domain Name – This is the easy-to-remember version of your IP address (unique string of numbers in a network that directs to your website), that you type on the browser’s address bar to open your website. It’s divided into two main parts, the second level domain (SLD) and the top level domain (TLD, often referred to as domain extension). An example is Prosperna.com where “Prosperna” is the SLD or the actual name, and “.com” is the TLD or extension. where In store jargons, it’s the address of where you are located and can be found by customers.
COMING UP WITH THE OPTIONS – 7 FACTORS TO CONSIDER
1. Generic VS. Local VS. New TLDs
As much as possible, we recommend that you acquire a “.com” (generic) or “.ph” (local) TLD, if your eCommerce business is based in the Philippines and mainly operate there.
These are the most common, affordable and popular domain extension that websites use for locality.
“.com” URLs are found to be more trustworthy by website visitors because statistics show that almost half of existing websites use this domain extension.
However, there are new TLDs that are registered in the Domain Name System (DNS) that businesses can use for their eCommerce websites.
New TLDs you can try for example are:
2. The Rule Of Thumb
After you’ve decided on your TLD, work on coming up with your actual domain name.
There are two things that you should include – branding and discoverability.
Branding is about identifying your business (in this case, your online store) with your company.
Whereas discoverability focuses on SEO and how fast it is for people to find your eCommerce website, whether it’s through search engines or platforms like social media and marketplaces.
K.I.S.S. Domain Name Recommendations:
- Limit your domain name to less than 20 ALPHABET characters, including TLD.
- For one-word domain names, don’t go over three syllables.
- For more than two-words above, not more than four syllables.
- From the way the name is pronounced or read aloud, it should be easy to spell out.
Later, we’ll share with you the common mistakes you should avoid.
3. Make It A Keyword
Following the rule of thumb, the next step is to list your ideas down.
As we’ve mentioned your second level domain (SLD) accounts for what actually appears in search engine results.
So coming up with a domain name is the same as coming up with an SEO keyword.
You’re an online store, so your name should be eCommerce-related.
When brainstorming for a name, think about:
- Being memorable like your business slogan
- How it will be associated with the name of your company, field and expertise
- If it’s related to your popular or specialized products and services
It can be portmanteaus (or keyword blends), so you can come up with something unique.
Give this article a read to give you ideas on what to come up with.
4. Put Your Customers In The Spotlight
The global market today focuses on the customer-first mindset.
Studying your target audience requires a lot of research.
Focusing your domain name on your customers should consider:
- The marketing segmentation they belong to.
- Language by region for exclusivity or universal for global reach.
- The psychological impact behind the name for customers.
- Is it positive?
- Is it powerful?
- Is it relevant?
5. Is It Available?
To maximize your SEO rankings, claim a domain name that matches your social media handles, marketplace usernames and of course, business brand.
Especially for companies with registered (or plans for) trademarks and copyrights, this is a decision to make as early as now.
Check the status of your ideal domain name and handles, as well analyze the techniques you can use to gain traction and encourage positive audience perception.
You can use these free online services:
6. The Last Straw
You’ve done everything we told you to and it seems that you couldn’t get the domain name you wanted.
Are you willing to wait for it?
You can monitor that domain with services like DomainTools – to see when it expires, when it’ll be up for sale again, if the holder decides to renew, and if there are any violations with copyrights and trademarks.
Are your chances slim?
Fear not! There are still ways you can try like:
- Adding a verb before your desired domain name
- Put the abbreviation of your country, city or location after the name
- And as the last resort (the very last), put a hyphen in between your name and/or add-on words.
Does this work for you?
Look for inspiration and create something original and BRAND NEW from scratch.
Try these FREE name generators to help you brainstorm:
7. Security Is A Must
The biggest consideration in choosing a domain name is security.
The same 8 out of 10 customers are more likely to abandon their purchases if they shop from an unsecured website.
They can check your website security through certifications like SSL (Secure Socket Layer) from the address bar where your domain is typed in.
On the other hand, domain security can also refer to the protection of copyrights and trademarks of a business, as well as your privacy as domain holders.
People may lookup domain names on databases like ICANN Lookup to reveal the contact information of domain holders.
Not only do you compromise your safety as a business owner because your physical location becomes exposed, but you become susceptible to unwanted spam through your email and phone number.
And nobody wants that.
So when you purchase a domain name from a domain registration provider or online store builder, be sure to also acquire domain privacy protection and SSL services.
WHAT TO AVOID
If you think the brainstorm list was a lot to process, always go back to your customers and put yourselves in their shoes.
So if you make any of these mistakes, you will put customers and eventually, your business into jeopardy.
Here are the struggles you should steer clear of when choosing a domain name:
- Domains too long to type
- Easy to forget because of complicated pronunciations
- Difficult to spell or words with common homonyms
- Using numerals (unless part of branding) and special characters (you can’t put these, anyway)
- Common or generic names with ZERO impact
- Unoriginal names that sound like spoofs of established brands
- Combined words that sound wrong or weird when read aloud
- Using real names that are not part of business branding
ACQUIRING YOUR CHOSEN DOMAIN NAME
Now that you’ve come up with your ideal name and it so happens that it’s available.
Congratulations! It’s time for you to have it officially registered.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Choose an ICANN-accredited domain registrar.
- Read your registration agreement thoroughly.
- Provide exact contact details such as your name, present address, active email address and mobile number.
- Make the payments.
- Renew early or on-time to keep your domain from expiring
An accessible domain name for eCommerce websites build the trust between you and your customers, all they have to do is type your optimized website URL on the address bar or the search engine.
Your branding becomes much more credible, because website visitors can view your complete contact information, online reviews and product catalog, as well as business portfolio.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.
If your business lacks an online presence, it doesn’t exist.
You have the power to choose a domain name for yourself, but it’s always better to ask for help from experts. At Prosperna, it’s our mission to empower growing businesses like yours to become digitally-enabled with the help of our Customer First Marketing And Sales engine.
Book a FREE DEMO with us and join growing companies in the Philippines on the road to success.
Technology Evangelist super passionate about helping the industries of eCommerce, SMEs and real estate in the Philippines reach new levels of success.