Call it url as in Earl or U-R-L; it makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is that it is a marketing tool you should not marginalize or overlook. The URL, if you didn’t know is a web address. Technically, URL stands for unique resource locator. These days the URL for a product is more valuable than the trademark. Speaking of which, if you have the trademark on something, you should obtain the URL for it as soon as possible.

Easy Access

If you have the main website for your company but you have a unique product or service that is exclusive and worthy of branding, buy the URL with that product or service name. Link it to your main site and link the main site back to the particular service, product or event. Your marketing will be so much easier when you do not have to tell people how to navigate through your site, or give out a 50-character URL as it appends to your main site to see information about your stellar new product.

What’s In a Name?

Be careful with names. You might have a snappy name and have a very clever graphic and you are very proud of both. Now put all the words together. Read it. Does it spell something different than you meant it to? On your business card you can use capital letters to signify where each new word starts but don’t expect your clients to type it in that way.

Imagine if you have a creative writing company and you want to use the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Smoosh it together: thepenismightierthanthesword. Read it. Oops! Words number two and three become a new word. It’s now a URL that Viagra wants. Your options are to choose a new name or buy the URL with hyphens between the words. Hyphens can get tricky. You are expecting people to remember them and if they misplace them or forget one, they will have a heck of a time finding you.

You can use .org if you are a nonprofit and .com or .net otherwise. A more complete list includes: .net, .org, .biz, .bz, .eu, .info, .us, .mobi, .pro, .co, .tel, .tv, .co.uk, .us.com.

If you have a killer name, buy the site with more than one suffix to protect it. It is easy to “point” URLs to other sites and the registrars usually offer that for free.

Potato(e)

Do people commonly misspell your name? Some words are tricky to spell, for example, ie or ei, -ary or -ery, -er or –re. If you have a clever play on words, some people might not ever understand. Buy the misspelled word URL too and have it point to your main site. It’s another $20 dollars or so. Some registrars offer bulk discounts when you are registering URLs. Look for those. There is really no reason to spend more than $20 for a new URL. If you are trying to buy an existing name, that’s a different story. My favorite registrars for service and value are Dreamhost, GoDaddy and Hover.

After you secure your URL, use it to its fullest extent to market your product or service.

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