In the e-commerce ecosystem, your website is the epicenter of your online presence. It is the first thing online users see on Google when searching for your brand.
When establishing their online presence, many online retailers don’t focus enough on choosing web hosting and a domain name. These are immensely important factors that can maximize your online exposure and provide better user experiences.
How a Domain Name Impacts Your Online Store
You’re probably familiar with the popular Latin proverb nomen est omen. In ancient Rome, people believed that every person’s destiny is in their name. Names shape our future personalities and preferences. In psychology, this theory is known as nominative determinism. Established by Carl Jung, it claims that we naturally gravitate towards the professions that match our names. Just look at the examples of Sara Blizzard (a weather girl), Lord Brain (a neurologist), or Usain Bolt (the greatest sprinter of all time).
Names are strongly related to people’s semantic systems, determining how they perceive the notions around them. In the digital space, your domain name is the first thing your users will see on Google, telling them who you are and what you do. We can freely say that a domain name is your brand’s online identity.
Let’s see how a domain name impacts your ecommerce website’s online presence.
1. Helping your SEO
SEO is not an optional practice anymore. If you want Google to index your pages and display them in the SERPs, you need to have a solid SEO strategy. And, the way you will name your ecommerce website plays an immensely important role here.
- Implement keywords into your domain name. Since you will use important keywords in your meta descriptions and your pages, inserting a keyword into a domain name might give your rankings a slight boost.
- Choose local TLDs if you’re targeting local audiences to generate more qualified traffic and leads to your site.
- Exact-match and keyword-heavy domains are not necessarily important for your rankings. In fact, they can get you penalized. It’s more important to invest in the quality of your site, instead of focusing on Google’s spiders. That’s why choosing a brandable domain would increase your online authority and help you drive organic and relevant traffic.
- Choose subfolders over subdomains. A subdomain looks something like this blog.example.com, while a subfolder would be www.example.com/blog. Google perceives these kinds of addresses differently. Subdomains are observed as independent websites, while subfolders are a part of your website. Logically, the latter choice will strengthen your SEO efforts.
2. Driving Brand Awareness and Customer Loyalty
Before BlackBerry was launched, numerous name options were proposed for this popular smartphone. The idea was to come up with a powerful name that would position the product as fresh, innovative, and fun. One of the naming options was StrawBerry, but it was rejected because its pronunciation was slow. The BlackBerry name seemed like a logical choice, as it is faster, easy to spell, and brandable. It soon evolved into a global and authoritative brand everyone was familiar with.
That’s what brand awareness and brand recall are all about. When building your ecommerce website, you want it to stand out. The idea is not only to attract people to visit you and purchase, but to inspire them to come back again and again. Your website name should be easily understandable, credible, and memorable.
Your domain name should inject your brand values into your website and boost your overall brand consistency in the digital sphere.
- Use your brand name as your domain name. This way, when they’re googling you, your site will be the first thing your customers will see.
- Choose easy-to-remember domain names. Avoid hyphens, numbers, misspellings – anything that may confuse your audiences and point them to the wrong website. Your domain name should be authentic, short, and simple.
- Choose a playful and powerful domain name that reflects your brand values. For example, abbreviations like mssg.me are popular because they’re straightforward, fun, easy to remember. It’s the phrase “message me,” but without vowels.
3. Personalizing your Brand
While many businesses still invest in .com domains because they seem more trustworthy, keep in mind that Google treats all domain extensions the same. For you, it’s a perfect opportunity to choose a more creative option that will target the right audiences. Today’s customers prefer brands that are authentic and that have strong personalities. Therefore, you should first determine how to personalize your service and build stronger customer relationships by picking a domain name.
Let’s take the example of the .me domain, a country-code TLD that has gained global popularity over the past few years. Its power lies in the fact that it has the same meaning in numerous languages, including Montenegrin, Spanish, and English. For you as an online retailer, it’s important to have a strong call to action that would turn your leads into conversions. That’s exactly where .me can help. There are many brands that already do that, including Incourage.me, Themify.me, or See.me.
Why Hosting Is Important to your Ecommerce
You probably know that there are several types of hosting, such as shared hosting (you’re sharing server resources with other users) or dedicated hosting (you have an entire server for your needs). So, before you invest in hosting, you need to know what your requirements are.
Now, here is how choosing hosting impacts both your SEO and user experiences.
1, Maximizing Page Load Speed
Website speed is one of the most significant ranking factors, telling Google how user-friendly your website is. Above all, it heavily impacts user experiences. Stats say that the majority of users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, while a 1-second delay may result in a 7% decrease in conversion rates. This is why you need to choose a hosting provider that offers multiple hosting plans. The idea is to scale your plan up, as your ecommerce site grows and its needs rise.
2, Consistent Uptime Rates
For online customers, time is money. They don’t want to waste their time on sites that don’t work. To buy from you, they want your site to be up and running consistently. Downtime caused by poor hosting will harm your brand reputation, user experiences and, of course, result in a great loss in revenue. Fortunately, you can choose a provider that will reimburse for any unplanned downtime issues.
3, Securing Data
As an online retailer, you’re storing a bunch of sensitive customer data. Therefore, online data security should be your No.1 priority. Now, you’re probably using data encryption, cloud backups, strong passwords, etc. to keep the data safe. But, hosting can also help here a lot. Always look for providers that offer security monitoring services, vulnerability scanner, automatic backups, and firewalls. They should also have a 24/7 customer support and provide actionable help whenever you need it.
Choosing a domain registrar and a hosting plan is critical for both your SEO efforts and user experiences. When chosen carefully, they will boost your industry authority, enhance user engagement, contribute to brand recall and, above all, maximize your revenue.
If you run your online store on Shopify, you do not have to deal with hosting individually, as Shopify provides this. You only have to buy a unique domain if you would like to (if you don’t want to use the myshopify.com ending).
Hope this helps!
Guest-blogger at Syncee. Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmarkblog.com.