How to Choose Your Online Store's Domain

  • We are going to explain how to choose the domain for your online store and address common concerns to help you make the best decision.

  • When you seriously consider setting up your online store, you inevitably come to a point where you have to choose the domain for your website. This decision is much more significant than one might imagine because it has implications on many levels.
    That is why we wrote this article: to help you choose a web domain that works both for marketing and branding, as well as for SEO positioning on Google and other search engines.
    Ready? Let's get to it.
  • What is a web domain?

  • Do not worry, we are not going to get technical, but iti s worth briefly explaining what a domain is.
    Domains are a way to make the Internet more usable for humans. Machines connect to each other using numerical codes called IPs, but it is much easier for people to remember words than numbers: that is what a domain is; a textual name associated with an IP.
    To manage and "translate" that numerical code, it us necessary to use a Domain Name System (DNS), which does the dirty work transparently for the user.
    Domains are the central part of URLs, which have the following structure:
    • Protocol: you can find pages that start with http or https, as in the case of eCommerce, where it is especially important to opt for the second protocol, since it uses encryption to make communication more secure.
    • Subdomain: this is something like a second-level domain used for organizational purposes. For example: you can have a subdomain for the blog, so the URL would be
    • Domain: as we have already mentioned, it is the name of our website for humans.
    • Extension: also known as TLDs or top-level domains, these are the letters that go at the end of the web address. Sometimes they are geographical indicators (.es, .cat, .it, .pt...) and other times they have to do with the nature of the content or the institution behind it (.edu, .gob, .net)
  • The Importance of the Domain in eCommerce

  • As we have said, it is quite important to choose the right domain for our online store.
    On the one hand, it needs to be as close to our brand as possible so that users can easily find and remember us when they see it on our communication.
    Moreover, a well-chosen domain with a suitable extension conveys greater trust and authority to those who see it.
    Last but not least, if we want to have some organic visibility in search engines, the domain is one of the most powerful signals.
    It crucially influences how the algorithm perceives our relevance. It is also very important for link building because the external links that our page receives are largely evaluated by the TLD of the linking domain.
  • Clarifying Frequent Doubts About Domains in eCommerce

  • We have explained what they are and why they are important for our online business, so let's move on to resolve the main doubts that you usually raise when we talk about web domains.
  • #1 - Should I use a .com domain for my store or a local one?

  • This is a good question. Generally,  .com domain is considered the generic use on the Internet, which means it is perfectly useful at all levels (including SEO) for all countries.
    If you are going to sell within the borders of one or several countries, the national TLDs are also very valuable, although they can limit you when internationalizing the business. Therefore, the ideal is a .com.
  • #2 - Should I buy all possible domains?

  • It is not necessary to acquire all the TLDs, but I do recommend that you protect your brand by securing the .com and the national ones corresponding to the countries you are going to work in.
    Then, there are a number of domains that are much less relevant, things like .biz or .info that have an almost spammy component to search engines and users. Those, except maybe for .net, you can avoid.
  • #3 – Where do I buy the domain for my eCommerce?

  • There are different portals dedicated to the sale of domains, but it is also an operation that you can carry out through your hosting service.
    In any case, all have a search engine that will tell you if it is available for registration or not and will allow you, if affirmative, to carry out the management.
    Be careful with super offers. Many times, behind a very economical provider in the first domain registration, we find quite high renewal rates. It is something you should make sure of before hiring.
  • #4 – What should the ideal domain for an eCommerce look like?

  • It is best if it is not too long, does not contain strange characters, and does not abuse hyphens. Often it is a good resource to visually separate two words, but it is not really necessary.
    I would also recommend that it includes your brand, logically, but that you do not insist on forcing the inclusion of a business keyword. Google frowns upon domains like, to give you an example, These appear to be seeking to "force" positioning in an unnatural way.
  • #5 – The domain I wanted is not available

  • This happens frequently.
    Sometimes the competition has beaten us to it, but other times it is owned by a domain broker, people or companies who buy these resources to trade with them. If this is the case, you can make an offer and reach an agreement.
    If you cannot get it, you should check alternative extensions, such as the .online extension, or the .shop extension for online stores.
    Another option is to broaden the range of possible names and look for a variant that meets the criteria of brand and ease and is available. Starting with a good domain name is ideal, but it should not be a barrier to getting started.
  • #6 – Do I renew the domain annually?

  • The most common is to do it this way, but if you trust in the trajectory of your project you have the possibility to hire it for a longer period of time.
    Why do this? Well, because in the long run it is cheaper, you avoid scares and oversights by not renewing when due, and, moreover, Google finds it really interesting that you do it this way.
    In a way, we can say that it legitimizes the project.
  • #7 - Can I move my store's domain to another provider?

  • Of course: the domain is yours (as long as you pay for it and it is not expired). You are free to change providers whenever you want, you just have to manage it with your hosting.
    It is usually a fairly simple task that takes a few hours to be active, but it does not have a great complication beyond following the instructions.
  • We hope we have clarified your doubts and questions, but we are here to help you with whatever you need. Do you already have a clear idea of how to choose the domain for your online store?

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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