The retail industry has been flourishing over the past several years, and due to the still ongoing health crisis, more retail businesses are either moving online or complementing their in-store business with that online presence. Customers crave more convenience than ever before, meaning that having your products at their fingertips (quite literally) is no longer a matter of choice, but need. If you were to stay focused on your physical store only, you’d lose much more business than you would be able to anticipate.
On the other hand, there is no longer any exclusivity to owning a website, or an online store. With millions of active websites at your customers’ disposal, yours is likely to be overlooked and forgotten if you don’t put in enough effort to build a memorable presence. That starts with what kind of domain name you choose to represent your store online. This is among the very first steps you need to take when entering the world of ecommerce – so let’s tackle your selection process and single out the most vital factors to keep in mind.
Choose a shorter and simpler name
If you’re only just starting a company and you’re setting up your online store, it makes sense to first go through a thorough discovery process to define your brand identity. Only then can you actually look for names that represent your business properly, no matter the format. If you already have a physical store and you are moving your sales online, then you might be in for a bit of work. Perhaps your store’s name isn’t available in its exact form to match your domain name.
When that’s the case, you shouldn’t merely pile on more words that mean something in your niche, but actually try to find a shorter, simpler version that will help people remember the website. It also reduces customer effort when they want to look for your brand and search for it online, or if they use voice assistants to browse your store. In either case, choosing a short, meaningful domain name helps you build the right reputation from day one.
Personalize your domain
As we’ve mentioned earlier, competing against millions of websites in the online realm makes it all the more difficult for your store to stand out. This is why your choice of domain name makes all the difference, as your small business can get more visibility with the right level of personalization. To achieve that, you can use a .me extension with your name, and give your online store a more humanized feel, making it far more relatable.
Alternatively, you can transform your domain name into a call to action (or CTA), in order to inspire people to get in touch with you or buy from your website. That can be achieved by matching a simple verb with this .me extension, creating a phrase such as “buy.me”. Either way, such an element of personalization will help your brand stand out in this oversaturated digital world.
Balance keywords and brand relevance
Here’s a bit of hard truth for you: SEO relevance doesn’t accumulate overnight. The purpose of ranking is to help search engines recognize businesses that have had enough time and effort to earn that credibility and their top position. Adding a bunch of industry-related keywords into your domain name won’t ramp up your ranking. On the contrary, search engines might see it as spammy and prevent your site from climbing the digital ladder.
It’s fine if you want to add a single phrase or word that reflects your business offers. Many people with small businesses will often use their own name and then attach a relevant term such as “apparel”, “sports”, or “snacks” to help people recognize your product before they enter the site. So, make sure that your domain name is a match to your brand name, but avoid overly forced keyword implementation – search engines will see right through it.
Know what to avoid
Together with best practices in choosing your domain name, there are certain things you should never do. Take, for example, the introduction of symbols and unusual characters into your website’s address, such as @, &, or numbers that aren’t spelled out.
While it may seem original to use one symbol in your domain name, rest assured that your busy customers won’t appreciate the added effort. If they need to remember which symbol you use, or how you use numbers, they’ll be far more inclined to visit your competitors’ stores. Not to mention that voice search with such symbols would be far more difficult!
Every business wants Pepsi-level recognition without the time it takes to earn it. If you run a small, new business, or you have a larger retail operation that sells internationally, you need to pick a domain name that will resonate with your audience while at the same time reflecting your brand purpose. Keep these factors in mind when you choose the domain and the extension for your business. It will help you position your retail business more easily and build up your presence over time.