Most people who have their mind set to starting their own online store usually begin with an idea of which types of products they want to sell, they’ll then begin the process of researching what they’ll need in order to get their online store launched and operational — what shopping cart software to use, where to get hosting, how to process payments, order fulfillment options, and so on. Then, when they’ve pretty much worked everything out and have a good idea how they’re going to implement their online store, they then turn their attention to branding aspects, such as choosing a name for their business and deciding on a domain name to attempt to acquire for their site. But, is this the best way to obtain the optimum online domain name? Is acquiring an optimum online domain name even important anymore?
Some in the SEO game will tell you that obtaining an optimum online domain name for your website is no longer important. It is true that it’s not nearly as important as it once was when it comes to enticing the major search engines in to giving your website a high ranking on their search pages — there was a time, not so long ago, when having a complete search string that someone entered into a search engine pretty much guaranteed you a spot on the very first page of search results — if not the very first spot of the very first page. So, if your domain name was, let’s say. “highqualitywidgets.com”, and someone entered into Google the phrase: “highquality widgets”, your site would probably be listed first, or quite close to it.
Choosing the optimum online domain name was a rather simple matter then. You simply logged into Google Adwords and used their keyword research tool to look for long tail keyword terms related to what you were selling on your online store that people were searching for with high regularity. You then simply went and registered that term as your domain name, if it was still available. And, in doing so, it pretty much guaranteed you at least a respectable amount of highly and very valuable organic search engine traffic.
It doesn’t work like that anymore, unfortunately. The major search engines now use highly complex, ever changing, and varied algorithms to determine how highly a site is ranked when being returned as a result for any given search engine query. And, as such, having the search term being matched exactly in the domain name of the site no longer ranks highly among the things the search engines look for. However, just because it’s not as important as it once was doesn’t mean that it’s no longer important at all.
Even though a highly targeted domain name doesn’t have the power it used to have to push your site up into the higher positions of the search engine results, the major search engines still do not entirely ignore it — it’s still one of the things major search engines use to calculate what sort of a position your site should hold, it’s just that among all such criteria search engines now use, the specific targeting of your domain to an entered search query isn’t given as much weight as it once was. But, more importantly than that, regardless of search engine ranking, studies have shown that people are up to 20% more likely to click on a link in a list of search results if they see a significant portion of their search query reproduced in a site’s domain name. So, while the major search engines might not place as much importance on targeted domain names, people surfing the internet still do. For these reasons it’s still fairly important to obtain the optimum online domain name for your online store.
So, when trying to decide whether you should spend much time and effort in attempting to acquire the optimum online domain name for your new online store remember the above. Despite what some self-proclaimed ‘SEO guru’ might be telling you, getting a well targeted optimum online domain name that is related to the specific types of goods that your online store will be trading in, while it may no longer be absolutely crucial, is still, nonetheless, not at all unimportant.