Thursday, 30 August 2012

How to find the right domain for your business

When you are setting up your own ecommerce store, finding the right domain is important in allowing your customers to easily find your site, as well as helping you market your brand much easier. 

When it comes to selecting a domain name for your business, there are a number of different factors you need to consider:

Length - The shorter your domain name, the easier it will be for customers to remember, aswell as increasing the chance of customers coming across it during search engine queries. Although having a longer domain name may give customers a better idea about what it is your online store offers, it is very unlikely that they will remember the name to then enter it into a web address at a later date.

Keywords - This is probably the most crucial part of selecting a domain address. When you select a domain address, you want it to contain keywords that are related to what your business does. To find out what the most popular keywords are in search engine queries, you can use free applications such as 'Google Keyword Tool' to see which are the most popular in terms of being searched for, both locally and globally. The better the keywords, the higher your website will be placed in search engine rankings, improving the levels of traffic your site will generate. However, you need to remember that the more popular a keyword is, the more likely someone will have it within their domain name. This means that when you come to try and find a domain name that includes this keyword you may find that most of them are taken. The better a keyword is in terms of generating traffic, the more you will most likely have to pay to purchase that particular domain.

What you also don't want to do is just try and cram as many keywords into your domain address as you possibly can. The key is to try and include keywords into the address, while still having it make sense and keeping it catchy.

Think outside the box - If for example, you are setting up an electronics store, there are going to be a wide range of stores already out there meaning that you are not going to be able to get a domain that is straight to the point in terms of what it is you sell. For this reason you need to start thinking outside the box. Come up with a name that is not only related to what it is your business provides, but is also catchy and something that other people probably haven't heard of. This will not only help your store stand out from the rest, but will increase the chance of a customer remembering your name, creating brand awareness right from the start.

Get a '.com' address - You may search for a domain and find that although '.com' is taken '.co' or '.net' is still available. These are available for a reason. Websites that end in '.net', '.co' or any others apart from '.com' receive substantially less traffic. When setting up your only online store  you must ensure that you have a '.com' web address. Even if you only sell within the UK using a '' domain, you should also look to purchase the '.com' equivalent of that address as although you aren't using it now, there may come a point in the future when you expand to sell internationally and by then you may find that the domain has already been taken by someone else. 

If you are struggling to find a domain that you really want for your business, you could try using a hyphen, although I would only do this as a last resort. While using a hyphen gives you access to a whole new crop of domain names, it isn't as memorable to customers as you will specifically have to tell the customer where the hyphen goes for them to enter the the web address themselves. 

If there is a particular domain that you really want for your business but when searching for it you find that it is taken, check the lease for the domain using the "whois" feature from the domain provider to see when it expires. If the lease on that particular domain is set to expire soon, you can look to back order that domain which means as soon as it comes available you will be able to purchase it. But don't wait too long, each day you wait for a particular domain is a day when you aren't selling your products and missing out on a potential profit. 

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