A successful ecommerce website starts with a good domain name also known as a URL (‘Uniform Resource Locator’), and good branding based on your product, category and positioning. I recommend that the first step you take when selecting your domain name is to include your main keyword or key phrase and then brand it. Unless you have a few hundred thousand dollars to brand your website each month, then do your best to build a brand from day one, by adding a great, memorable and recognizable logo to your domain name. This does not have to be costly, but remember that a good domain name, nice logo and great sales and support will stand you in good stead.
3 Quick Examples from Websites I Used to Own:
1) CarAudioPlus.co.uk – where ‘Car Audio’ = key phrase, and ‘Plus’ = Brand
2) iPodCarKitDirect.co.uk – ‘iPodCarKit‘= key phrase, and ‘Direct’ = Branding
3) InCariPod.com – a perfect domain name as it is a top key phrase in itself and also great for branding
‘A few online marketing ‘gurus’ will tell you that it’s not important to have your key phrase in your domain name, but in my intensive testing, this advice is wrong’
Why You Need to Use your Main Keyword in Your Domain Name:
1) Your website will be easy for customers and prospects to remember, if your main industry product phrase is within your name, especially if it is short and succinct.
2) The second critical reason for having your top keyword, or key phrase in your domain name is all about incoming links, especially free or (natural links). Links (real name hyperlinks) are the Holy Grail when it comes to SEO, and getting above your competitors in the search engines. Links are detailed later on in the book, but essentially the more links pointing to your website, the better.
People may link to your website—because they deem it a good resource for their website visitors—from blog, forum and social site chatter. If you follow this tip and place your key phrase in your domain name then you will automatically get good high quality links. This is because people linking to your website will frequently use your website name in the link text itself. This text in the link—what people click on to get back to your website—is called the ‘anchor text’. Search engines often attach more importance to a link if the anchor text is directly related to the theme of your site via a relevant keyword, which is the case when your domain name, containing the keyword, is included in this anchor text.
Selecting a Domain Name.
It’s tough when selecting a domain name, especially if you want a .com, .co.uk or other top level domain (TLD), for your particular country, as many have already been registered. When creating a name do your best to keep it as short as possible—3 or 4 words max—and make it memorable. Use your keywords and branding as detailed above, and if you are using more than one word—and where feasible—look at using a theme like Coca-Cola, Audio Assault or Tom’s Taxis. These are highly recognizable and memorable!
I can make two recommendations on where to buy your domain names: US based, or internationally, buy them from GoDaddy.com. Based in the UK, buy them from 123-reg.co.uk. When you have registered your domain name, you can then forward the ‘Name Servers’ to where your website is hosted making your website live. This ensures you remain in full control of your domain name now and into the future. It is essential you retain full ownership of your domain name at all times.
Domain Name Sellers:
- GoDaddy.com: www.godaddy.com (US and Global customers)
- 123 Reg: www.123-reg.co.uk (UK customers)
Select a reputable host for your website to ensure you get good bandwidth, good load speed, maximum uptime and visibility. You need your website to stay live and online 24/7/365. The company that designs your website may even provide hosting, which many companies do. However, ensure their support response is rapid if your site ever goes down, or if you need help with something else site-related.
Research and read customer reviews online for good ‘uptime ratings’ to get some feedback, prior to signing up to any specific company.
Hosted ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ Ecommerce Websites.
When taking out an SAAS ‘Software as a Service’ ecommerce store such as BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce, or Shopify the hosting is provided with the ecommerce website and contract. So essentially it’s hosted on their servers, good or bad.