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I’m a gamer … I love playing games like World of Warcraft, or adventure ones like Skyrim, or Diablo – and the first thing you need to do every time you start a new campaign is… choose a name.

I’ve tried everything but far out… It sucks.  All I want to do is get in there and play – but nope… I’m stuck overthinking the choice going through all the alternatives and usually resorting to using a name generator

So, if you’re stuck choosing a name for your store it’s ok.  It’s totally normal!

Here are my suggestions for helping you choose the perfect store name

If you’re using the cloud hosted Drop Gecko software to build a store, you don’t actually NEED to buy a domain name.  However, I like to get domain names for my stores – because of two reasons:

1) With Drop Gecko you can use your own domain name, so that when people visit your store they have no idea they are visiting a Drop Gecko powered store, making it look like you’re a huge online company that’s already invested thousands of dollars into development on your store (when actually, you’ve just followed a few steps!)

2) When your store gets big, you don’t want to discover that someone else already owns your domain name – and effectively, the brand you’ve worked at to build.  Getting the domain name means YOU own it and you don’t need to worry about rebranding or having someone cross with you later.   This means you can build it bigger knowing that any future income is going to stay in your pocket.

So let’s dive in and learn a little bit about branding and how to get the best bang for your buck!

Choosing your domain name is a long term investment.  So take your time to choose something that is going to be SEO friendly and drive traffic back to your site – and reflect the idea you want your brand to convey.

Tie Your Domain Name in with Your Brand

Whenever I’m choosing a domain name I keep the following factors nice and strong in my mind:

– Choose something that is fairly flexible
If you want to maximise the latest ‘fidget spinner’ trend, but your name is something like ‘Bob’s Auto Parts’ then it’s going to be a little trickier to do and to potentially sell later …

– Select something thats visually easy to brand
I’m a very visually motivated person, so when I’m thinking of the name I’m already thinking and planning what I would love the logo to look like.  Then, you can plan out colours and all those great bits that really pull a store together and make it feel nice and cohesive

AND… make sure you say it out loud, and/or show it to someone to check you haven’t overlooked something obvious.

One of the funniest branding stories I still remember was done by Frank Kern who set up a site called Pen Island – purchasing the domain name PenIsland.com … which doesn’t translate or look like the same thing when spelled out in all lower case letters!

So, while choosing a domain name that matches your brand is recommended, keep reading to avoid any potential SEO or naming convention disasters.

Picking a domain name: Keep it As Short As Possible

Think about how you will want to market your website in the future. Choosing a domain name on which you build a business is a long-term investment. Think about how you might use this domain name months or even years from now. In looking at many of the big name brands, you’ll find that the shorter your name, the better. The shorter your name, the more memorable. The shorter your name, the less it costs to print it on material. There are a lot of benefits to a short name, some difficult to even predict.

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How do you whittle down the character count, then, especially if your brand name is something like “The Best Bunches of Botanicals?” You remove all unnecessary verbiage. For the most part, this includes words like “the” and “my.” Ideally, you’d produce a site domain like this: www.bunchesofbotanicals.com. You domain name can be up to 67 characters. Try to keep it below 20.

Note: Many stores also buy common extensions of their domain to protect the brand, including the .net, .biz and .co versions of their .com domain. Also, think through potential misspellings and buy those domains, too. You can then redirect those links to your homepage. This is especially recommended if you brand has an uncommon spelling.

Tap into Linguistic Psychology

Use correct spelling, avoid hyphens and try not to use numbers in your domain name. Weird spellings can throw people off. Unless you’ve built strong brand awareness and name loyalty (i.e. Nike, Adidas, Osh Kosh B’Gosh), stick with words people know. You can play a bit on the psychology of language here, too. There are sounds in every language that spark our brains to associate either positive or negative emotions. These are called word connotations and they can be positive, negative or neutral.

Now, just because a word has a positive definition doesn’t mean it have a positive connotation. Just think about all the hubbub surrounding the word “moist” for example. Let’s try a quick game so you can see just how much connotations play into our daily conversations.

Read the sentences below. Can you identify the words that have a negative connotation?

  1. Bedford is an uppity neighborhood, but the rents are cheap.
  2. On my flight to Los Angeles, I sat next to this babe. She was absolutely stunning.
  3. Every morning my neighbor takes his mutt to the park. It always barks loudly when leaving the building.
  4. You need to be pushy when you are looking for a job.
  5. Bob is quite vocal at every staff meeting. He always speaks his mind.

Answer Key: 1. Uppity; 2. Babe; 3. Mutt; 4. Pushy; 5. Vocal

When choosing a domain name, this is your opportunity to be mindful of how people will both consciously and unconsciously associate your brand. This doesn’t mean that you have to choose words with positive connotations. Check out all the goodness Nasty Gal is doing. Both of those words have arguably negative connotations, but the brand plays on these unconscious associations to bolster loyalty in women in their late teens and 20s.

 

Conclusion: Why You Should Take Care Choosing Your Domain Name

This is the third time this sentence will show up in this article, but it is incredibly important: choosing your domain name is a long-term investment. Be sure to purchase your main domain for at least five years if possible. This is the ranking factor that helps search engines and see you as a more reputable and trustworthy business.

Finally, don’t rush into this. Do some keyword research. Talk about the name with friends and family. Write down a few different options and talk to some customers about what they like. In the end, search engine algorithms are consistently altered to better match the expectations of the humans using the engines. So, use humans to help vet your idea. Keep the domain short. Be sure it matches your brand. Include keywords if applicable to your business. And then, launch your online storefront and start making money while you sleep.

 

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