Starting an online store can be a great way to either grow your audience or get a product off the ground. ECommerce is so useful for the modern business landscape, in fact, that sales here are expected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2021. That’s a lot of money, and 2021 isn’t all that far away. As such, getting on top here sooner rather than later is an absolute business essential.
The trouble is that there’s a whole lot to consider when it comes to putting stock online. Suddenly, you’ll need to understand HTML, social media, and pretty sophisticated website design. With all this going on, it’s easy to overlook one seemingly straightforward aspect of your online store - your URL.
Too often, business owners make the mistake of rushing through this seemingly small aspect to get to more important matters. They settle for the ‘[yourbusiness]12345.com’ suggestions just to get past the rigmarole. And guess what? That simple mistake can cost their entire online standing. Think about it; Amazon wouldn’t be where they are if their URL was an endless stream of numbers. Consumers simply don’t care enough to remember complicated web names, especially with the online market now saturated to such an extent.
To bring this point home, we’re going to consider exactly what damage a poorly chosen URL could do to your online reputation.
If nothing else, a poor URL choice makes you difficult to find. And, when there’s always another, easier online store waiting to steal your custom, that’s a fatal mistake in itself. Let’s say that a customer hears about you from a friend, or that they see one of your advertisements/social media posts. These are excellent opportunities for conversion. Or, at least, they would be if finding your site was as simple as typing in a URL of your brand name. If, however, your URL is different or consists of your name plus random numeric sequences, then why would they bother? The best lead creating tactics in the world don’t make it worth a consumer's while to move mountains to find you.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is perhaps at the heart of online success. By helping you to rank higher in searches from reputable sites like Google, this is about the best shot you’ve got at creating organic leads that can bring fantastic boosts to your profit margins. Various techniques help towards success here, including content creation, keyword application, and, as you can see from this shopify seo checklist, a well-thought URL. Let’s face it; top search engines are never going to back a URL that screams ‘unprofessional’ the moment customers see it. Instead, they’re guaranteed to favor simple URLs with the most professional finish that looks good on their ratings. If your URL doesn’t include your brand name or keywords, then it’s possible search engines won’t even recognize your relevance a lot of the time, while will again impact your ability to appeal and convert. As simple as that, your SEO efforts to go to complete waste, and your website right along with it.
A relevant URL is a good URL. Without your even needing to explain, a domain name like this will let consumers know who you are, what you offer, and maybe even how it can benefit them. This may seem like a lot to ask from a few simple words, but a wise choice here really can achieve all that. And, it can go a long way towards growing your audience as a result. By comparison, a poorly selected URL will struggle to achieve that much-needed relevancy. Instead, it may leave consumers confused and frankly uncertain about who you are or what you do. And, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this could soon cost you their custom, considering that the market is so saturated. Consumers don’t have time to work these things out anymore, and nor should they have to!
In the eCommerce world, and business in general, brand consistency matters a great deal. Online, especially, this is the thing that will link your social media accounts to your webpage, and help you to transfer audiences from your various online platforms. In other words, staying consistent across the board is the thing that brings all your hard work together. And, yet, a bad URL will let you down here, too. Ultimately, you need your name to be the same across your online sphere. And, a URL that isn’t just your simple brand name compromises that. Social media followers may then fail to convert or even find you elsewhere at all, and content lead creation is also liable to go out the window. This will cost you a great deal, and it’s a sure way to hand business straight to your competitors.
Choosing the ideal URL isn’t easy, but it is a step you need to take if you’re to stand any chance at thriving in the eCommerce market. While it may seem like a point you can get away with rushing, then, taking your time here is fundamental to success across the board.
Admittedly, a lot more hinges on your success here if you already have an existing brand name to consider. In this instance, you’ll have to think about the best ways to incorporate a website, even if your name itself isn’t available as a URL. Instead of numbers, a dash or similar can work well here.
If you’re starting a new store, then there’s really no excuse to get URLs wrong. In this instance, merely tackle your URL first. Even if you have to change your planned bran name a little to fit into a domain that works, taking care of this first means that you can still achieve the relevancy, consistency, and other benefits that a well-thought URL can bring.