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Killer URLs or URLs that Kill Business

By Charlie Cook.

Kathy was moments away from buying a URL (web address) for her business, but in a last minute of doubt she called me to make sure it wasn't a big mistake. In the online marketing forums she had visited, Kathy had read that you should pick a distinctive URL for your web site to get peoplesŐ attention.

After great deliberation she finally had selected the following URL. The site URL Kathy had selected, but hadn't yet purchased, was, www.everythingbutfleasthatsneeze.com. I am not making this up. She wanted a distinctive, attention-getting URL and she had succeeded. Was it the right one for her business? Should you use the same strategy in choosing a URL for your business?

Your URL can either attract or repel prospects and clients. It can reinforce your brand name, or communicate your marketing message.

Unless you or your brand have national name recognition - or you plan to spend millions to marketing your web site, naming your site after your self or just using initials can be a mistake. Most prospects won't know or be looking for your company name.

It is true many companies use their principals' names and it's easy to find them, once you know them. If you're trying to attract prospects, people who don't already know you, your names won't mean much, or tell someone looking for a particular service, what you do.

Your primary interest is getting the attention of prospects. You could pick a URL that includes the attention grabbing word "sex" but this wouldn't attract the kind of clients most service professionals want or small business owners want. You want to draw the right kind of attention and pull in qualified prospects.

The best way to do this is to describe the problems you solve and the solutions you provide. A weather service for surfers might name their site, www.surferweather.com. A network of photographers for people who want a digital photo to use on their site or to submit to an online dating service uses the URL www.lookbetteronline.com.

Using a URL to describe what your business is about serves as a prompt to prospects. When they think of the task they want to accomplish, your URL comes to mind.

What can you do if you already have a company name you don't want to relinquish and a URL to match? Your existing clients may already know your URL and have it book-marked. Keep it and add another with a succinct marketing message.

Let's say your current URL is www.jonesanmurray.com. You can leave this URL and your site as is and just add another with the same content but a different URL. To help your existing clientele learn your new URL, change all the internal site links; when people come to your original site, they'll link to the new one.

If Kathy had an online flea market her URL might have worked but she was trying to sell a book on how to buy a home, a topic with a huge potential audience. Her initial choice of URL www.everythingbutfleasthatsneeze.com might have attracted attention but it wasn't going to help her reach home buyers who might purchase her book.

Your web URL is like a mini marketing message. Take advantage of this opportunity to describe what you do succinctly and you'll attract many more qualified prospects and paying clients.

2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Guide, '7 Steps to Grow Your Business' and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can use at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com

Tags: E-commerce and Internet



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