How to link to your site in your off-line materials?

Most of the companies when their online presence matures start to have pretty complex sites. As soon as they describe in complete way your company offerings and info to all key audiences (customers from various segments, investors, job seekers, media, etc) the site gets more and more difficult to find the right information quickly.

If this happens to you – you need to decide on what kind of web addresses to present in their off-line materials. Url of company homepage is less and less reasonable. You need to be more specific – build marketing url. Address that is easy to type in and memorize and leads directly to relevant page. Couple of ideas on how to approach marcom url and their pros and cons follow below:

build keyword into your domains
You add keyword within domain, right before your company.com name. Example: autos.yahoo.com. It has couple of advantages. The address is easy to read and short, it’s usually pretty easy to memorize. The main disadvantage is that if misspelled – visitors are out of your site. They don’t see your company message but rather nasty browser message about wrong domain.

add keyword after your domain
Example: www.apple.com/ipod. Pros: address is still pretty easy, when customers misspells something, there is good chance that she stays within the site. Cons: more difficult to say (on radio or voice-over in ad), you need to communicate “/” between domain and keyword.

promo code
I’ve seen it on ibm.com site but they abandoned it some time ago. On the company homepage you prominently present entry box with message “Enter your promo code here”. Customer that enters promo code are redirected to promo page. Pros: very short to communicate in ads, Cons: not everyone is used to it, might be confusing for customers, entry box can be missed.

My personal favorite (and I think most popular out there) is the keyword after company domain (the apple example). Do you know other approaches? You see other pros and cons of the ones above? Your comments are welcome!

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2 comments so far

  1. Borca Alin on

    Hy. It is a very interesting ideea about promoting the website using the keywords after the domain name.
    Other proposal of mine, is using the subdomain name as a keyword, of course this is for bigger websites. something like let’s say: mail.yahoo.com
    This is probably an exagerated example because they are a huge company. But this was the ideea.
    See you!

  2. pawel on

    Thanks for comment and proposal. It’s indeed used by many companies. Drawback that I see there is that if someone misspels domain name – they got DNS error from the browser and they won’t find the website at all. With misspelled keyword after correct domain – you got 404 error but within the site so you are closer to the page you wanted.

    Thanks for feedback!


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