Choosing a domain name for your Shopify store may be a daunting task. Let’s look at these ten tips to help you with this process.
You’ve decided to move forward with your personal e-commerce website and you have settled on Shopify as your online store platform. Picking the right domain name for your e-store will be your next logical step. If you choose the wrong domain name, you may face difficulties switching to a different name in the future. Also, the wrong domain name may have a negative impact on your brand.
We believe that choosing the right domain name is an important step in setting up your Shopify store. So here we’re going to give ten tips about choosing a good domain name. We will also provide insight about how to buy a domain name from Shopify directly or connect a new domain to Shopify.
Picking the right domain name seems to be a small thing to do. But it may turn into a daunting task as you don’t want to make a mistake. To minimize the risk of picking the wrong domain name for your Shopify site, see the below steps helpful for your decision-making. These tips are based on our personal experiences in building and developing websites over the last decade.
Pick a .com domain for your e-store
These days we have a lot of choice about domain extensions. You can go with the classic .net, .com, org. You can also pick niche extensions like .shop, .store, .online.
We decided to go with .biz for our agency site. As for all the other commercial projects, we stick with .com.
Let us explain why we recommend using .com for commercial online projects. .com remains the most recognized and credible domain name extension.
Also, Internet users are more likely to type in your brand’s name + .com rather than anything else. Over the years, the .com extension has been embedded in consumers’ minds as the most popular one.
Also, look at the virtual keyboards in your mobile device or your gaming console. Those keyboards already have a .com button! This is another sign of .com’s popularity.
Use targeted keywords in your domain name
Don’t underestimate the power of targeted keywords. A well-selected keyword inserted in your domain name will help users and search engines understand what your e-store is about.
With time, after your site has established itself as a trustworthy source offering good user experience, the keyword insertion in the domain name may help with higher organic search rankings on search engines like Google.
Here are a couple of examples about how you may insert keywords in your domain name.
- [Brand]+[Main Product] (e.g. SandyShoes.com)
- Get+[MainProduct].com (e.g. GetGroceryBox.com)
- [YourBrand][industry].com (e.g. MakeGoodHome.com)
Use modifiers reflective of your business
If you are set on using your unique brand name, you may want to add modifiers like “shop”, “co” = company, “an active verb”, pronouns “my/your” to the domain name.
- Shop[YourBrand].com (e.g. SandySockShop.com
- [YourBrand]Boutique.com (e.g. MagdaBoutique.com)
- [YourBrand]co.com (e.g. VitaPartsCo.com)
- [Verb][YourBrand].com (e.g. WearPepperMe.com)
- [My/Your][YourBrand].com (e.g. MyGreenGardens.com)
Keep your domain name short and simple to pronounce
Don’t try to jam a lot of keywords and descriptors in the domain name. Think about how you will be sharing the site’s name. Keep the domain name below 15 characters so that your future customers can remember it easily.
Your domain name should be easy to write and pronounce, too.
Think about a brandable domain name
Even though it’s easy to come up with a combination of keywords like “buycustomsandalsonline.com”, think about your brand today and tomorrow. It’s better to start off with a brandable domain name.
You may also need to do some research to make sure you’re not using a name that resembles closely another brand or e-commerce site. You don’t want to be accused of trademark infringement.
Don’t use hyphens in the domain name
We don’t recommend using hyphens in domain names. This is not just a random tip – hyphenated domains reek of spam. Also, users may make mistakes while typing your site’s name in their browsers.
Think about future expansion
Your e-store’s focus may be only about cat food today. But there are chances you will want to expand your product lines to dog food or foods for other pets. The choice of your domain name will be driven by this future vision for your brand.
We use the keyword “media” in our agency’s domain name to cover the multitude of use cases for web marketing services. We currently do paid search, shopping, SEO. The day we expand to social ads, remarketing and display advertising, we will be “covered” by “media” in our domain name.
Search for domain names with domain registrars directly
These days domain name generators are just a click away. Search for “domain name generator” on Google or Bing and you will see hundreds, if not thousands of generators.
Unfortunately, a lot of these name generating sites will try to push you to buy a domain name from their partners. Upsells may be aggressive. For instance, the Nameboy name generator will push pop-ups and pop-unders on you once you use their domain name generator.
What’s the alternative? Pick a couple well-reputed domain registrar companies and search for available domains on these sites.
When we search for new domain names we either use GoDaddy’s or Ionos’s domain name search services. Google has also entered the domain game recently and we window-shop there too. Domain name search is free on these sites. The sites will also try to convert you into buying the domain names you like. But you are at the source and are not dealing with intermediaries.
Snatch that domain name fast
If the domain name you like is available, don’t wait. Register it under your name. Good domain names sell out fast.
You still have some room to check the price for the domain on a couple of registrars. See the domain name on Domain.com, Google, GoDaddy, Ionos.
Pro tip: When you register for a .com domain, hide your personal information like name and phone address with the WHOIS privacy setting with your registrar. The majority of domain registrars provide this privacy setting for free. Giving this setting for free is the industry standard these days.
Why do this? You don’t want to start getting tens of unsolicited calls about site building, SEO, design services.
If you go with a different domain extension, like your country (.ca, .br, .de) or other custom top-level domains like .asia, .auto, the WHOIS privacy service may not be available with your registrar. Shopify, for instance, does not provide the privacy setting for such domain extensions. Just be cautious about what info about yourself or your business you leave there.
Consider buying your domain name from Shopify directly
If you don’t want to deal with third-party registrars, buy a domain name with Shopify directly. Here is how you can do this.
You can also see the step-by-step instruction in this help page.
Buying your domain name with Shopify directly has a couple of caveats, though:
- The annual price is usually higher than what you can find on other domain registrars. This is the price for the convenience.
- The domain name purchased from Shopify does not have the other free perks like free Email with some free storage.
Buying your domain name from a third-party like Google, Ionos, GoDaddy, BlueHost will involve some additional steps, like connecting your third-party domain to your Shopify store. Here is a 4-minute video to show how your GoDaddy-purchased domain can be used on Shopify.
Choosing a domain name for your Shopify store is an exciting experience. It may also be scary as you may need to get yourself out of your comfort zone. Doing research about the perfect domain name for your Shopify-based store may take some time. Luckily, you now have a number of valuable tips to start with. Setting it all up with your own hands is also rewarding. You will get new technical skills while building your online business.
Once you are all set up and need marketing to get more exposure to your Shopify store, give us a shout. We can run a free audit and provide a set of free recommendations about how to bring customers to your store.