Choosing a Good Website URL

What's in a Name?What’s in a name? You’ve heard this phrase before and probably have your own opinions. Online, your name is everything. It’s your brand, your tagline, your value proposition, and your marketing tool. Choosing the right URL can pay off more than you can even know when you’re just starting out. Take a name like Facebook. At first, I thought this was the dumbest name on earth. My friend told me about it and I said, “The Facebook? You gotta be kidding.” Then I realized how smart it is. Not too crafty, but it is catchy. It’s straight to the point, and you can get a good idea of what it’s about just from the name.

To Be or Not to Be…Descriptive
Although you don’t need to be too descriptive in choosing your website’s URL, it doesn’t hurt. The more you can describe your brand or service in as little as two short words the better. (think ‘Face’ and ‘Book’). By choosing a descriptive URL, you immediately tell visitors what your site is about. They don’t have to try to understand the purpose of your site. Also, for those who are interested in search engine rankings, the URL plays an important role in ranking for specific keywords. More on that in another post.

Make it Catchy
A catchy domain name is important too. You want people to be able to hear it, get it, and want to repeat it. A name like Squidoo is fun to say and is a good conversation starter. If people like your brand name, they’re going to share it. It will be linked to on their blogs, they will post it on Twitter and Facebook, and word will spread fast. So coming up with a fun and funky name is a real bonus in making your marketing efforts pay off.

Easy to Say, Easy to Share
One challenge I had with my first official ‘brand’ (GoGlobe) was that everyone I talked to thought I was from Google! Not that I didn’t want to be associated with the Internet’s number one company, but it didn’t help me get any members or sales. So take care to make sure your catchy tagline is phonetically unique and easy to pronounce. Considering the importance of word of mouth, you can’t afford for people to say it wrong on a regular basis.

Bottom line is that a URL is not just your address on the web. It is an important marketing tool that can help or hurt your website traffic, search rankings, and repeat busines. By making it easy to say, descriptive, and catchy, you will make it easy for users to share your website/blog with their friends and family, while helping your site rank on search engines. In the Web 2.0 universe, the conversation is key. You can either be the center of attention, or left out in the cold. Start with a great URL and your website has a good chance of making a splash!