Here is one of those updates for all of you, where we need your help.
When we opened this site at the end of 2007, we were focusing more on Canadian artists and crafters, but slowly the site became an international venue, and as of today, we have a lot more sellers from US and other countries, than from Canada. We love being so diverse, so we definitely want to position iCraft as an international venue.
For the past few months we've been reviewing our site from technical (coding etc) stand point and fixing SEO related problems as we were trying to increase site's traffic. One of the unfortunate things that we've learned from our SEO expert review is that while our domain name iCraftGifts.com is helping us with the positions on Google Canada, its working against us on Google.com. Basically, it's like swimming against the current. We need to work extra hard to achieve good positions on Google.com.
Our SEO expert strongly recommends moving the site to .com domain. However, the name iCraft.com is not for sale, so we have two choices now:
- Switch to a domain name similar to iCraft, like http://iCraftGifts.com (which we've purchased already)
- or Pick a brand new domain name and then re:Brand the site
We are going to move the site to .com domain for sure, as our main goal is to improve rankings on Google and to increase the traffic on the site. However, we'd like to hear everyone's input on this issue, before we make any changes. Pros & Cons for using iCraftGifts.com
The name has iCraft word in it and many people know us under that name. We could optimize the site for word iCraft, so when people search for us by iCraft, we'd always come up first.
We could still use iCraft in our communication, as a short form. This is actually not uncommon when the business name and the domain name don't match one to one - Bank of Montreal is using bmo.com as their domain.
iCraftGifts reads like a meaningful phrase I Craft Gifts
and has two valuable Keywords related to our site's theme in the domain name - "Craft" and "Gifts". It's not significant, but still helpful from SEO perspective.
However, this name is longer and not as catchy as iCraft.Pros & Cons for Picking a Brand New Name
If everyone hates iCraftGifts.com, we'll start brainstorming new names and will probably hire a branding firm to help us with choosing a good name, if we won't be able to find something suitable. So that might take some time.
In the past, some people commented that focus on Crafts
turns away artists and suggests something of a low quality. Anyway, we are not married to "Craft" in the domain name. Site's focus really is Handmade Gifts
, so we could choose something completely different.Just to clarify what this move means to the site:
- There will be no disruption to the site during the transition to the new domain.
- It will take just a couple of day's worth of work for us to complete this transition.
- All current page rank will be transferred page by page to the new domain, so the current rankings for all pages will be preserved.
- There might be a deep in traffic in the initial 2-3 weeks, while Google will be re-indexing all pages. But it's a small price to pay for the potential long-term gain.
- In some strange way, the move to the new domain will be beneficial to the site as a whole, as it will force Google to visit every single page on our site and to re-evaluate it. Because we've done a lot of clean-up on the site prior to this move, we actually want Google to re-index all our pages asap. We'd love it if all sellers also updated and optimized their individual pages before we switch to the new domain. That would definitely boost everyone's traffic. If you are not sure what page optimization is please follow our current Bootcamp, where we are discussing this exact topic.
- We will start seeing improvements in traffic in about 2-3 months thereafter.
- People would still be able to use our current domain name iCraftGifts.com to access the site. We'll always keep it! We'll simply redirect it to the new domain.
- You wouldn't have to reprint all your business cards to update your store URL, as it will still work. It will be just redirected to a different domain. Eventually, you'd probably want to update it, but only if you were going to print new cards.
This is an important issue that we want to resolve as soon as possible, as in some ways, its holding us back. Please vote on those two choices described above and tell us what you think. We want to make sure that you guys are happy with the site's name, whatever we end up choosing.
As always, really appreciate all your help!