One of the most important first steps for an ecommerce business is choosing a domain name. Your domain name is one of the first things potential customers will see in search results. It’s what satisfied customers will pass on to their interested friends. It provides a quick way to tell searchers what your business is all about. So how do you choose a domain name? Here are a few basic tips:
- Consider purchasing an existing domain. When you register a new domain with no history behind it, you have to start from scratch in terms of domain trust. With an old domain you have some trust built in. Plus, many of the more desirable domain names are already in use.
- Use industry keywords, but don’t over-stuff with them. Get your team together and come up with a handful of keywords related to your product/service. Brainstorm variations on domain names using one, maybe two of those keywords in any one variation.
- Keep it simple. You don’t want your domain name to be so long no one will remember the entire phrase or even want to type it in. You should also make sure that it’s easy to type, and is spelled like it’s pronounced. Stay away from numbers, hyphens and homonyms. Also, make sure that the name you choose isn’t similar to an existing site.
- Brand it. Ideally you’ll have a unique domain name that you can begin to develop a brand presence around. Think about combining a keyword with something that uniquely identifies your business—perhaps either a location or brand term. LendingTree.com is a good example of this.
- Make sure the .com is available. When typing in the domain of a website that they’ve been told about or vaguely remember, most people will automatically assume it’s a .com.
- Check on trademark. You don’t want to register a domain and ramp up your site, only to be slapped with a lawsuit by a company whose brand territory you’re infringing on.