Your domain name is part of your company’s identity. It should play an integral part in your branding strategy. In this article, we will identify how to choose the best domain name for your WooCommerce store.
You can start with a list of five to ten keywords that communicate what your WooCommerce store is about. You can then narrow it down, choose to add a prefix or a suffix, use them to make compound words, or make a new word.
Brand is not an SEO ranking factor but it has a positive influence on your SEO and reputation. At a glance, your customers should be able to connect your domain name to the nature of your business. Having a relevant domain name will also benefit you in defining your target market.
Set your e-commerce business apart by having a unique and creative domain name. Avoid having your website domain name close to another brand’s name. A sure recipe for disaster is when users confuse you with another popular site.
Intentionally going with a domain name similar to a popular brand in an attempt to deceive users can land you in jail. Same goes for intentionally misspelling a popular brand’s name. The practice is known as “typosquatting” and it is illegal. In fact, Facebook recently won $2.8 million and gained control of over 100 domains in a typosquatting case. You could also be charged with fraud or copyright infringement. Also, even if the popular brand does not catch wind of your site, intentionally misspelling a popular brand name can direct your traffic to the popular brand. Just check out the image below. A unique domain name will do wonders to your branding as it sticks into your customers minds.
Keep it Simple, Short and Memorable
Choose a domain name that is easy to type and easy to remember. Don’t use hyphens, numbers, slang, and odd misspellings. In Alexa.com’s top 500 sites on the web, some of the top most popular websites have domain name lengths of 6-7 characters on average: Google, Youtube, Amazon and Linkedin, to name a few. From this data, it does appear that domain length matters.
Be wary of using keywords in your domain name and then linking to it using anchor texts. Your website may be flagged for having anchor text manipulation and unnatural links.
Difficult-to-remember and hard-to-pronounce domain names would most likely rank low in search engines. A simple, short and memorable domain name is a great help with word-of-mouth marketing. It also fits well on any online or print form of marketing.
Tools to Help You Choose
There are now many tools online that you can use when you’re stuck or don’t know where to start in searching for a good domain name. Here are tools that can help you jump-start your domain name brainstorming session.
Domain Typer helps you search for domain names. It displays popular domain name extensions like ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.co’, ‘.info’, and ‘.mobi’. It also displays prices should you need to compare.
If a domain name is not available, it displays links to its registration information, website and page ranking. It also has a domain hack section where you can select unusual combinations of your keywords.
Lean Domain Search (formerly Domain Pigeon)
Aside from the search option, Lean Domain Search gives you some examples to help you get started. You can sort the results and even add search term filters. It shows ‘.com’ results and it shows you the popularity index of your keyword by domain count.
Wordoid is a more intelligent tool that sparks your creativity in getting a unique name for your domain. Just remember to not overdo it. Simple names are easier to remember.
What if the Domain I Want is Not Available
You did your brainstorming and you have decided on the perfect domain name for your WooCommerce store. But upon checking, you find out that the domain you want is no longer available. You can try the alternative solutions below.
Just Come Up with a Different Domain Name
Discretion is the better part of valor. You may think you are smart by using the same domain and just using a different domain extension like .net or .co. However, you may just end up sending your hard-earned traffic to the other domain. Put on those thinking caps and think of another domain.
Create an Offer
One option is to find out who the registered owner is and create an offer. This is especially advisable when the domain is registered but not being used. Just visit the actual address or use a tool like WHOIS to get information on the current registered owner. Send them a message and ask if they would consider selling the domain name. Most domain registrars offer services wherein they contact the domain owner in your stead. This is worth a try if you really want that domain.
If you decide to get in touch with the owner yourself, try to make your request sound casual. Don’t act too interested as you could get an overpriced offer.
Monitor the Domain Name
If your WHOIS lookup shows that the domain registration is expiring soon, waiting it out might be a viable option. When the domain is back in the open market, grab it. However, do note that certain domain registrars give domain owners ample time to renew their registration. The domain may not appear on the market on the actual day that it expires.
Avoiding Overpriced Domains
It is difficult to gauge the exact value of a domain name because it’s all about demand. Some domain names are really just expensive and there’s not much you can do about that. You can just build your not-so-popular domain’s reputation from the ground up. Many domain registrars provide discounts and offers so you can save a few bucks on that. If the domain that you want is being auctioned, you can join the auction and get it very cheap if you are lucky.
Background Check on Domains
Buying a domain, especially used ones, can be a nightmare if you don’t do your research. If you have decided to buy a used domain, don’t buy that domain yet unless you’ve done the following.
Check its Registration History and Reputation
Check the site ownership registration history. Use Whois Domain Tools to look up ownership information, ranking, traffic, SEO and more. The frequency of change in its owner or host speaks about its reputation and stability.
Avoid buying domain names sold numerous times in a short span of time. It might have a negative reputation from search engines that can be a nightmare to solve. To avoid this, use sandbox checker tools such as Pixelgroove and Search Engine Genie.
Analyze Link and Content History
You can use Internet Archive to check domain name’s content history. To check a domain’s reputation, google ‘site:yourdomain.com’ (without the quotations). You can also do a regular search to bring up all mentions of the domain name.
Be on the lookout for spammy illegitimate links. Check for Google red flags like bans and penalties. Make sure to also check the domain name’s Google cache date, including the text only version.
Do a thorough examination of its back-links. If you find anything shady, it might be a good idea to back off. While Google now gives website owners the ability to manually remove or disavow links, this isn’t something that you’d want to be doing. Save yourself from a lot of headache and go with a domain with a good rep.
To Sum It Up
A domain name is your online store’s identity. You can be successful with your branding and online business with a good domain name. You just need to carefully choose a domain name that is unique, relevant, short, simple and easy to remember. You also need to do a thorough background research to make sure you are not buying a domain with a bad rep.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Or did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.