Branding Your Online Store

Choosing a name for your online store

Branding your store

Every idea must have a name first… Before going live with your Online Store or Discount Store you should take special attention to the domain name name that you plan to use and make sure that it will be easy to spell and easy to remember by your audience.

A domain name can have up to 253 alphanumeric characters (hyphens “-” are also accepted), but you shouldn’t use a domain name longer than 12/15 characters to make your store a “search engines friendly” website.

So for a successful launch, your domain name choice should be good enough to “tell it all” about your business in just less than 15 characters. Then you have 50 to 70 characters to put a title to your store and between 120 to 150 characters to make a detailed description of your business in your description meta tag.

Don’t repeat words in your Store title and in your description otherwise you can get search penalties for “word spamming” and you may not get listed on top of search results. At a maximum use one singular and one plural of the same word, but no more.

Don’t repeat the domain name that you are planning to use in your title and description. Same as previous paragraph,  may be considered  “word spamming”.

The brains behind search engines are getting so paranoid with fresh contents and duplicate content penalties, that in many search instances they are no longer considering your description and your keywords meta tags, they go and look straight into your website contents to map your site. So you may launch your website without using these popular meta tags and wait till you get listed on search engines to see what shows up as a description of your website. Then you can include a description meta tag if you don’t like what search engines are telling about your online store.

Of course a dot com domain name extension should be your primary choice. As you probably know over one thousand new domain extensions are in the process of being launched during this year and 2015, but dot com’s are still the internet kings and are still considered a safer option to launch a new website. If you are still interested in one of the new domain extensions (new GTLD’s) avoid cyber squatting on someone else’s traditional GTLD, this can bring you unexpected copyright issues.

Choosing and hand registering a brand new .com domain name shorter than 10/15 characters that really “tells it all” about your business can be a real challenge, but it’s worth the effort. It’s all about money: a new dot com has a yearly fee of around USD10 per year (list price). Instead if you opt yo buy a preregistered .com you should be prepared to make an investment of hundreds or thousands. In a previous post we talked and displayed a couple of great tools that can help you find unregistered dot com domain names.

Get a free domain with a web hosting, quick shopping cart or website builder purchase.

When searching for a new dot com, you can see suggestions of alternative names that use hyphens and/or numbers embedded within the domain name, and this may sound as a good choice, but please don’t forget your customers: will they remember how to type in a domain name such as this example: my-2-offers-4-u.com?…Definitely not. So keep searching.

One last advice: consider using at least one word in your domain name that is directly related to your online store: i.e. if you are selling web hosting services, try to include the word “host” or “hosting” in the domain name of your choice. This is called an “exact match domain name”, because your future customers looking for such a service will probably use one of these words as their search arguments. Make sure you are not using a copyrighted or trademarked word or part of a brand, simple words  may be already copyrighted. Take a look into TESS (The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) and search for the term or word of your choice. If not trademarked or a request was rejected then you can use it.

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