How to Choose a Great URL

Let’s start with the basics, as we so often try to do for our readers, what is a URL and why does it matter? Your URL, or Universal Resource Locator, is the address where your website will live. If you want to be successful on the web this is where it starts.

Your URL needs to be memorable, unique, and concise to best be found by your customers. Here are 5 simple tips for choosing the perfect URL for your website:

1. Be descriptive.

Choose a URL that includes some of the keywords you would like to be found for. While your company may have been named after your great-granddad and it means a lot to you, it won’t tell people what you do.

When it comes to search engines, descriptive keywords are king. Of course, if you’re a company like Uncle Ben’s or Aunt Jemima you might be able to get away with unclebens.com instead of easyrice.com – if Great-Grandpa’s not that well known yet, stick to keywords, please.

2. Check similar domains.

Make sure that the domain you choose is unique. If adding an “s” to your url is going to lead someone to your competitor, you may want to find something else.

3. Keep it brief.

Marketing space is precious, just think business cards. When you have limited space to fit all of your information you won’t want to be trying to squeeze in info@theworldslongestandmostcomplicatedurl.com.

4. Keep it simple.

Hyphens, double letters, and numbers can confuse things when it comes to web addresses. Remember that often you will be counting on people to remember your URL and to type it in perfectly. If they can’t remember where the hyphen went or if the number was spelled out or numerical, they may never get to you.

5. Don’t give up on the .com!

Unless you run a government agency or well-known charity organization, your URL should end in .com.  Most people will automatically assume that you have a .com and won’t go fishing for .org, .biz, or .gov when you don’t come up, they’ll just go find someone else to help them.

Two important notes on choosing a URL:

  1. These tips are primarily a concern if you plan to do any print marketing using the URL or if you are counting on word-of-mouth to increase your visitor count. If you will be directing traffic strictly through links from other websites then your visitors will not need to know your URL, and therefore you can go with whatever you would like, even iwantyourmoney123.biz will get them there then…but they might not stick around long.
  2. You don’t have to choose just one. If you have the funds to purchase more than one domain (this is usually a minimal fee), then multiple domains is a good option. You can have GreatGrandpaBobsWidgets.com and cheapnyswidgets.com and point them both to the same website – this is the best of both worlds!

Still not sure what your best bet is for a URL? Contact us at Buffalo Wired and we can guide you through the website domain selection process from start to finish; offering our best suggestions based on our experience what is available in the ICANN database! (What’s ICANN? Ask us! That’ll be another blog topic for the future…)

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