Is your domain name easily readable?


Posted by alan in Advertising, Domains on December 1, 2009
Speeding van with long domain name

Did you get the website?

Now more than ever, every successful business that advertises needs an easy-to-read, memorable name. The reason is simple: People are bombarded by myriad ads from all sources and the only way to get customers is if your ad stands out, or is easily memorable. Something unique may make the potential customer notice your business, but if they forget the domain how will they find your website? Where does this apply? Everywhere. Your domain is displayed on billboards, television, car and truck graphics, newspaper and magazine ads, business cards, and anywhere else you write your contact information, as well as heard through various media. The last thing you want is for a potential client to forget your website and go to a competitor. What can help with this?

Shorten your domain name

Finding a good short domain name can be quite a challenge, especially for one and two-word .com domains. Some have, therefore, decided to use domains with an unnecessarily high number of words for their website. The domain name may be keyword-rich (www.autoimportsautoexports.com) or contain the entire business name (www.atlantaautoimportcompanyinc.com). While this may work, there are some pitfalls. A long domain will almost certainly be forgotten because of there being too many words. In addition, many words tend to run together and make it difficult to even read. How short should your domain be?

Unless two of the words are a phrase (“web designs” in dreamwebdesigns.com) you should try to keep the domain under three words, if possible. You may be able to abbreviate your words (Federal Express to “FedEx”) or remove unnecessary endings, like “inc”, “company”, “solutions”, and “group”. You may have to search to find the right domain or even buy the domain from a reseller, but it may pay you back many times. Long domains also have a small chance at true success. Case in point, out of the Alexa top websites by traffic, only about a third have more than one word and the average length of the domain without the top-level domain (.com, .net, etc.) is about 6 letters.

Remove the “www”

As was discussed in the previous post, the “www” is entirely optional for the domain name on the Internet. The same applies to ads, and even more so because of the need to economize advertising space. Do not worry about your site not being found. All webmasters should have a system in place to redirect all “non-www” requests to the “www” version, if you wish to keep this in your domain. Not having the “www.” at the beginning of your domain advertisement let’s the potential customer focus on the domain name, and not the extra 10-syllable “du-bu-yoo du-bu-yoo du-bu-yoo dot” phrase.

Capitalize the first letters or words

Having all lowercase letters, as well as the “www.” prefix, makes the domain more difficult to read in many ads. A very simple way to make the words stand out is to capitalize the first letters of all words in the domain name. For example, “AtlantaAutoGroup.com” is easier to read and more memorable than “www.atlantaautogroup.com”.

Do not forget typography

Having proper typography will also make the difference in a memorable domain. The font chosen has to be readable and simple. Contrast has to be great enough to see the letters clearly. Proper use of white space, or negative space, can make the words more readable as well. Care must be taken when advertising on a surface that is slanted, such as a rear car window. Normal text can be so distorted by the angled surface that it can be impossible to read.

Join Dream Web Designs in coming articles as I discuss more on how to improve you online business.

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One Response to “Is your domain name easily readable?”

  1. Katie Patel says:

    domain names should be as short as possible and easy to remember, i alway use Godaddy when signing up new domain names`’`

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