Top questions to consider when selecting your URL
- Is your URL easy to read quickly?
- And when someone does scan it, do they take away the correct message?
- Can you tell someone your URL without having to write it out or spell it for them?
- Is the URL free of acronyms or initials?
Let me show you some reasons you should consider the above questions.
A former client of mine originally suggested a URL similar to this one: inrealestatemgmtco.com. The intention was for the URL to read as, "Indiana Real Estate Management Company." But it took me way too long to figure out what they were going for when I first scanned the suggestion. And it seemed like it would be a bear trying to tell someone the URL. "Check me out at my website! It's I-N-Real-Estate-M-G-M-T-C-O .com!" Trust me, broadcasting a URL like that one will get old fast. I found a live website with a similar issue.
You should also avoid a double entendre at all costs. WhoRepresents.com connects searchers to talent agents and representatives; potentially great if you're a model looking for a new agent. And they make it very clear in their logo that it is WHO Represents (with clear color and type differentiation). But... they lose control of the message when it's simply a URL: www.whorepresents.com. That could be read as an inappropriate type of website. There are many many examples online of websites that meant well, but read wrong.
You should also seek to make telling your story as easy as possible. If audiences have trouble finding you, sharing you, or understanding you at a very basic level (your URL), they're not going to have the energy to plow through the core of your message.
.COM, .NET, .CO
I recommend most of my clients select a .com address. It's the predominant ending to a URL and if someone is trying to recall your URL, it's the first they're likely to try. There are storytelling reasons why you might go with an alternative ending, but if you do, be sure you're clear on what that decision adds to your story.
When I chose Shorewood Studio as my company's name (and ShorewoodStudio.com as its URL), I knew that ShorewoodStuidos.com was in use elsewhere on the web. That was something I considered before moving forward. It's entirely likely that a few potential clients or readers will land on a furniture maker's website in their first attempt to get to me. I ultimately decided that the Shorewood story was important enough to keep it as is (and that people would very quickly figure out I wasn't a furniture maker).
Keep it short. Keep it simple. Not only because it's easier to say and write to your audiences, but also because it's quicker to people to scan in a an internet search. Plus, shorter URLs do give you a slight boost in search engine rankings and help you optimize your site.