How To Market Your Domain Name To Get More Visitors
Displaying your domain name correctly on marketing materials, social profiles and other areas is very important. Professionalism counts for a lot on the web and can mean the difference between no clicks or a stream of daily visitors.
In this article I will share some techniques and tips for properly formating and sharing your domain name. Your domain name can be a valuable marketing tool. Continue reading to see how.
[Image: Daniel Morris, Busy, October 21, 2006 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike]
Marketers should make efforts to use good textual design and capitalization for readability when including their domain name in advertising materials.
An attractive font, typically sans-serif, should be used along with good character spacing and large size for readability.
The beginning of a URL (http://www.) should not be included in ad copy because it distracts from the domain name. It is better to have the keywords read first. The domain extension should prove enough for consumers to recognize a URL.
- Large, attractive font
- Remove http://www.
- Capitalize each word in the domain
- Make it a focal point, if not the center of attention
It is also important to practice the same techniques when marketing your website with Google AdWords and other text and link based advertising. There have been case studies (PDF) proving that generic domain names with relevant keywords receive more clicks.
If you are using your domain name as your brand then it should be represented well in your logo design. This is particularly important if you do not use a .com domain name, which is the most widely recognized and is often assumed.
I believe that businesses which display the full domain name within their logo design, such as Amazon.com and Diapers.com, have a great advantage in direct navigation traffic. That is those visitors who type the domain name directly into their browsers regularly.
Direct navigation traffic can come in from many sources such as business cards, banners, flyers, letterhead, and word of mouth. It is often undervalued because it is hard to track, but represents a lot of opportunity for new leads and repeat visits.
Every person on Twitter has the opportunity to display their full domain name alongside their biography. With the new site design, the characters of the URL are not restricted, but it may still be advisable to remove the www. portion of your URL so that your domain name can be read immediately.
This will also make sure that your domain can be seen clearly on all Twitter clients including mobile, which still restrict the character count of your website address.
A clearly visible domain name with relevant keywords will bring in more clicks on Twitter. This is particularly effective when following like-minded people. Your URL is included within the new follower email notice sent by Twitter.
On Facebook we can feature multiple website URLs within our profile info page, but I wouldn’t recommend going overboard. Too many choices can be a turn off. Only include your most important web properties. Your first link is likely the one that will receive the most clicks.
Did you know? You can also add a clickable link to the about box directly below your profile or fan page photo. Simply include http:// before your domain and it will automatically become a hyperlink. Unfortunately, the link text is still black and does not feature the typical underline. So, what I do is additionally write “Please visit my blog…” or “Click ->” for further instruction.
When sharing your link around the web, be it comments on blogs, forum posts, articles or blog rolls, you should first think about how you want your domain represented. One of the foundations of SEO is having targeted keywords within link anchor text. So, in some cases it may be best to leave out your domain extension in preference of your keyword phrase.
You should never use full URLs when writing web copy, unless that is the only way to place a link on a certain platform. Use HTML to create a link to your website using keywords, as in these examples:
- <a href=”http://www.dotsauce.com/”>DotSauce Domain News</a>
- <a href=”http://forum.dotsauce.com/”>Domain Name Questions</a>
Be sure to use a variety of anchor text keywords and phrases over time.
Your domain has infinite possibilities in both folders and sub-domains. You can control what is left of the dot.
One of the most important things to remember regarding sub-domains is that you should decide whether you will include the www or go without. Once you have chosen, stick with it and encourage others to use the same method for linking to you. You can then define your URL display preference at Google Webmaster Tools. Doing so avoids any chance of content being indexed multiple times.
Sub-domains should be as concise as possible, preferably using just one word. Adding unique areas of content and resources on sub-domains can strengthen your brand and reach on search engines.
URL shortners are somewhat of a trend right now as many popular publications look to capitalize on the masses of traffic being driven by social status updates.
Instead of promoting the domain of the shortening service when links are shared you can instantly have your brand recognized and credited.
To create your own URL shortener you can use a WordPress plugin or subscribe to a service (Bit.ly Pro) to manage your URL shortener and stats.
Would you rather promote GMail or your own business name? Not only is it professional to have your own domain as an email address, it’s also easy and virtually free if you have an active web hosting account.
I recommend setting up an email on your domain that forwards to your GMail address. You can then configure GMail to use your default reply-to address. This way your real GMail address will be hidden and secure. Your branded email address will appear seamlessly to those you email.
To do this in GMail, go to Settings (top right) > Accounts & Import > and click the “Send mail from another address” button.
This is some of the best free marketing your domain name will ever get and you may not be taking advantage of it. For email signatures, make sure to include the http:// portion of your URL so that all email clients will convert it to a hyperlink.
Below your salutation and name, type out your full URL and feel free to use proper capitalization of words for readability. You can additionally add a line or two of text describing your website or business.
To sum up these techniques, when marketing your domain names you should strive to
- Be professional
- Be readable
- Be clickable
- Be proactive
Work on these points and your domain name will help to deliver more traffic to your website.
How do you market your domain name?
If you have any website marketing tips of your own to contribute, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear how you gain visitors or how you use your domain as your brand.
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