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If you’re setting up a new ecommerce platform, your choice of a web services/hosting provider and domain name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Many people are unaware of the impact the web hosting service and domain name has on SEO for your ecommerce site. Your professional SEO service providers should be called in as early as possible in order to build a strong site SEO-wise starting with these two aspects. This article delves into the impact of choice of web hosting service and domain name on search engine traffic and leads, as well as providing easy and actionable tips for choosing the right name and service.
Domain Name Selection
It is important to choose your domain name wisely as this sets the way for your ecommerce business to pervade every area of the online landscape, including your search engine marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing.
In order to maximize organic and paid search traffic, the following are the most important elements to consider:
Ensure Uniformity for Consistency
It is needful to have some consistency as far as your domain name and business name are concerned. Your domain name should relate to the official business name, which reinforces the weight of the brand and creates trust with everyone that encounters the business in various platforms. What’s more, your users will be able to easily integrate your brand in their memories. Therefore, choose a short, relevant and easily memorable name which fits your business’s persona.
Use Your Keywords in the Domain Name
Keyword targeting is still a useful tool for search visibility, particularly organic search. If you’re looking to influence/attract more people, you’ll need to rank highly in relevant search results. Therefore, ensure that your business name and hence domain name includes your most important keyword/service-explaining term.
If for instance your business deals in dresses for plus-size women, you want this to feature in the domain name in some form. Synonyms can also be used, but ensure that your most important search term is accounted for.
Improve Local SEO for Lead Generation
You may be wondering just how a domain name factors into lead generation for your business. To put it simply, building trust in your brand through domain selection can turn visitors and users into potential leads. Users will turn to what they know and trust when they have a need you can fulfill. Our internet landscape is filled with multinational signals. The ‘.com’ is a popular domain that is desired by many. However, you should register your business with the most valued domain in your region e.g. ‘.au’ and ‘.co.uk’. This is especially important if your business can serve users in multiple countries.
Other domain selection tips:
- Ensure that your domain name is easily memorable. Experts have defined a brand as the sum total of how an organization or business is perceived by a person. Therefore, to have lasting influence on the perception of your audience and potential customers, you need something that sticks fast in their minds.
- You need an easy to spell domain. You also want to ensure that there aren’t any misspellings. If possible, avoid intentional misspells and hyphenations except where they’re related to the brand e.g. “Eazy Safaris”.
- The top domains in the world have no more than nine-characters in their name. Short domains are to be desired, limited to one or two words. If you have a longer name, see how best to shorten it to nine characters or less.
- Finally, you want a distinctive and unique domain, just like your business name should be. You don’t want to be confused for a competitor, even if they’re in a different region. Be sure to take time to research a business name before registering it.
Once you have your domain name, the web hosting service and package is the next decision to name. The web host is the sole engine that determines your online availability to clients. Web hosting also has an impact on ranking, as low availability/up-times will cause a decline in your rankings.
What’s more, your e-commerce web host will determine how fast your site will be and directly impact user experience. These are two factors that search engines take seriously in their search ranking algorithms.
Whether you’re using a dedicated host, Linux, Windows, VPS or shared hosting servers, there is a distinct set of features necessary to maintain a high performance level and good user experience. These are some of those features, in order of importance.
That server uptime tops this list is something that needs little explanation. The advantage that ecommerce stores have over their bricks-and-mortar counterparts is the fact that customers can visit the shop round-the-clock. The typical industry standard is to have 99.99% server uptime. If users cannot access your business, it defeats your very purpose for existing.
Content Delivery Network and Page Load Speed
Research has shown that just a second’s delay in page response can reduce the rate of conversions by up to 7 percent. More than two seconds’ delay can increase this to as much as 40 percent and even more.
Page loading speed is determined by the bandwidth and RAM of your web host. If your business can afford it, you can simply get a dedicated server and have that done with. However, most small to medium businesses cannot afford this. Instead, getting a Windows or Linux virtual server from a well-referenced provider is cheaper and quite effective.
Versatile Payment System and Security
As an online sales service, your customers’ data—credit card information, login information and purchase history among others—must be secured from unwarranted access. In addition, make shopping easier by integrating versatile payment gateways that allow as many payment options as possible. You should analyze the security of such payment gateways from time to time.
Web hosting is vital to certain signals that eventually impact search engine rankings. Your domain name is an important part of brand building as well as creating trust and loyalty among your potential and existing clientele. It is difficult to change your domain name once the business is established, so it’s better to ensure it is done right the first time.