The domain name you choose for your online store will contribute to search engine optimization, branding and other marketing efforts. If you come up with a memorable name, direct site traffic could increase as a result.
In addition, a domain name can make your store more reputable. When you have a storefront registered under your own domain, customers are more likely to assume you're a legitimate business owner with competitive products. Branded websites are one of the most trusted advertising resources (1).
Keywords: Your domain name should reflect your business, whether it's the name of your store or the product you sell. Conduct keyword research to locate keywords and phrases likely to lead customers to your store. Names like WebMD and Careerbuilder are successful because they give visitors a good idea of what the site is about.
Look at similar domain names: Research other websites with similar domains. Determine if any of them are competitors or if they're popular websites that could easily be confused with yours. Avoid naming your website after others with high traffic volumes.
Make sure it's easy to type: Consider how easy it will be for users to type in your domain each time. While some browsers may eventually save the address for easy access, not all customers use such features. If possible, eliminate hyphens.
Easy to remember: You want to make sure customers can easily remember the domain name so they can find it again. Try not to use numbers, which are difficult to remember and can be confusing when read aloud. Memorable domain names are often short, with two words or fewer. Also keep in mind that some of the most memorable domain names, like Google.com or Twitter.com, use distinctive, unique words. Portmanteaus combine two words to create a new and memorable phrase, like Groupon or Pinterest.
Pick an extension: Seventy-five percent of domains are .com, according to Smallbusiness-domain.com (2). In addition, .com extensions tend to be more valuable than .net or .org, which implies that visitors also tend to favor .coms over other extensions. To ensure customer trust, it may be wise to go with .com.
Check the the availability of the name on social media: Social media marketing will be easier if you can have the same name across platforms. See if your desired name is available on Twitter, Facebook and any other social platforms you plan to use.
Avoid copyright infringement: Visit Copyright.gov to make sure your desired domain hasn't been trademarked by another company. Even if they don't own the domain, using it under their trademark could result in a fine.
Find out if your chosen name is available: Use a tool like Domjax to research the name you've chosen. This search engine will also tell you when a domain will expire and where it was purchased from.
Find a domain host: There are many resources to purchase your domain name. Godaddy.com is one of the most popular. Others include Dreamhost, name.com, and Namecheap. These domain registrars can be used to register domains and work with BigCommerce.
Consider registering similar domains and extensions: Some businesses choose to purchase other extensions and redirect them to a main page to ensure they don't lose potential traffic. If there are common misspellings of your domain name, registering these will also increase traffic.
Don't let it expire: If it's possible to sign up to have our domain name automatically renew, it's a good idea to do it. Otherwise, set up a reminder to make sure you can keep the domain name you've initially chosen.