Your domain name (URL) is going to be the pathway for a customer to reach your eCommerce store. It is the phrase, the name of the brand, the one thing that enables others to know you, to visit your store and to recognize you when the name presents itself. Google, it is quite the name for a company, but because of saturation and growth of the e-world, finding a great domain name is becoming increasingly difficult.
For most people, the brand name comes first and only then does the domain name follows. Unfortunately, we often see businesses giving up on finding a domain name that includes their brand name directly, as all the domains have been long sold – and many abandoned by the original buyers, there is nothing else to do, but to wait in line and hope you'll one day be able to purchase it.
The Brand, The Keywords & The Extension
Technically, keywords and the domain extension (.com, .org, .net, etc,.) should not matter, but because they offer ‘some' SEO benefits, it is worth taking into account all three. Your domain name should reflect your brand name (or what you sell) clearly and loudly, and the domain extension should be any of the three mentioned above.
This is important because majority of online customers are used to these domain extensions, and anything else begins to feel unsafe and offputting, unless you're using a country specific domain name, for building an online store in that specific country; then, of course, it is perfectly fine to use a country specific domain extension.
Lets take for example a brand name of Hemp Products Ltd. I don't even need to check whether the domain name HempProducts.com would be available or not, I already know intuitively that it won't be available, at least not for any of the three major domain extensions. This is the current state of domain market, and it is something we've got to deal with, and overcome at the same time.
5 Steps Towards a Good Domain Name
Although we're very limited in the availability of good domain names, we can try and utilize the following methods for finding good domains that will end up sticking and working well.
- Short and Sweet: Try and use as less words as possible to describe your brand and/or the products that you're going to sell. What you need to do is engrave the domain and brand name in your customers head, so make it short and memorable – no matter how hard it might prove to be.
- Personalized Domain Names: If you operate from within a specific (large) area like New York for example, try and utilize the NYC at the end of your domain name. So, for example, if the domain name you want is HempProducts.com; try purchasing HempProductsNYC.com – which is guaranteed to have a higher success rate. Be specific and personalized if need be.
- Pre-Purchased Domains: You can always take out your life savings and try to go for a premium (otherwise known as pre-registered) domain name that will cost anywhere from $200 to $200,000. It is all up to you of what it is you require. The advantage here is that these domain names will usually have age attached to them.
- Avoid Symbols: Your domain name needs to be at least two characters long, and can’t contain symbols, such as $ # or @. For example, if your business provides tracking services for the stock market you’re not allowed to use $tocks.com.
- Re-Buy the Domain: I've done this one time before. I needed a domain name for my own personal blog, and I happened to notice that the domain I want had been registered already, it didn't however have an active homepage, so I got in touch with the domain owner and settled a deal for $100 to buy the domain off of him. Try this, it does work in some cases.
You can see that there are a few things to pay attention to, but nothing that could prove to be as difficult as rocket science. Online eCommerce platforms like Shopify will gladly help you out with setting up your own domain name, registering it and even coming up with the idea. (if you ask nicely!)
Domain Name Generators for Online Stores
Essentially, any domain generator is going to be ‘great' for generating a domain name for your newly founded business. I've got two that I've relied on in the past, and I know that many others do as well. If you know of more, please suggest them in comments as we will appreciate that a lot.
Domainr helps you hack together special and unique domain names by the word that you've submitted. This is a pretty cool tool to use if you're really desperate to find some kind of domain combination that would reflect the name of your brand, and what you're about. It is easy to use, and you also get instant whois information displayed. In some cases, the domains you find taken are often bought many years ago, and might be available for sale through direct contact with the owners.
NameStation is more on the serious side of things, and will help to come up with both long and short length domain names to suit your business needs. It requires of you to signup first to use the service, but the platform itself is so rich and extensive in features – it is worth every second to take the time and create a new account.
You'll get access to a domain finding dashboard that will let you filter out specific needs and desires for your domain name, as well as provide access to a dictionary; within which you can perhaps find alternative words to use for your domain name, as to make sure that you get one at all.
Domain Name is a One-Time Thing
We will wrap this up by saying that buying a domain name for your online store / brand is a one-time thing, and will require a bit of patience only during the time of searching and purchase. After, you can begin focusing on developing your website and moving onwards. It takes time for a new domain name to settle down, and not just in your own head – but customers too!