The question of what to name your osCommerce store iis always a big one. When selecting a Domain name, most people think in terms of their business name, personal name, or a word or phrase that has meaning for them. What they don’t think about is how that name will work for the osCommerce site’s SEO. Does the name have anything at all to do with the site, or is it completely unrelated?
Have you ever wondered why a company might be willing to pay millions of dollars for a domain name? The domain name business.com was purchased for $7.5 million in 1999, and was recently thought to be valued at more than $300 million. Casino.com went for $5.5 million and worldwideweb.com sold for $3.5 million. What’s so important about a name?
Where SEO is concerned, the name of your web site is as important as many of the other SEO elements that you concentrate on. Try this test. Use your favorite search engine to search for a topic, perhaps “asphalt-paving business.” When your search results are returned, look at the top five results. Most of the time, a web site containing those words will be returned in those top five results, and it will often be in the number one slot.
So, if your company name is ABC Company, but your business is selling nutmeg graters, consider purchasing the domain name NutmegGraters.com, instead of ABC Company.com — ABC Company may not get you in the top of search rankings, but the very specific nature of your product probably will. And both the content of your osCommerce store and your domain name will attract crawlers in the way you want. Using a domain name containing a keyword from your content usually improves your site ranking.
A few more things that you should keep in mind when you’re determining your domain name include:
1. Keep the name as short as possible. Too many characters in a name mean increased potential for misspellings. It also means that your site address will be much harder for users to remember unless it’s something really startling.
2. Avoid dashes, underscores, and other meaningless characters. If the domain name that you’re looking for is taken, don’t just add a random piece of punctuation or numerology to the name to “get close.” Close doesn’t count here. Instead, try to find another word that’s relevant, and possibly included in the list of keywords you’ll be using. For example, instead of purchasing www.yourwebsite2.com, try to find something like www.yoursitesubject.com.
3. Opt for a .com name whenever possible. There are lots of domain extensions to choose from: info, biz, us, tv, names, jobs. However, if the .com version of your chosen domain name is available, that’s always the best choice. Users tend to think in terms of .com, and any other extension will be hard for them to remember. Com names also tend to receive higher rankings in search engines than web sites using other extensions. So if your competition has www.yoursite.com and you choose to use www.yoursite.biz, chances are the competition will rank higher in search results than you.
Again, it’s important to realize that domain naming is only one facet of SEO strategy. It won’t make or break your SEO, but it can have some effect. So take the time to think about the name you plan to register for your osCommerce Templates store. If you can use a name that not only reaches your audience but also lands you a little higher in search results, then by all means purchase it. But if no name really seems to work in the SEO strategy for your osCommerce store, don’t get discouraged. You can make up for any domain-naming issues by implementing solid keyword strategies, tagging strategies, and other elements of Organic SEO.