The lazy man's guide to creating a merchant site URL part 1

Experience tells me that having an incredibly witty tagline does wonders for a brand. It can account for an increase in popularity or its demise. A friend once asked, "when you drink coke, do you unconsciously say AHHH after one swig?". See how powerful brand association is? Brand association isn't limited to commercials, tagline, imagery, etc. If you have a home on the net, it also applies to your website and more importantly, your URL.

URL or Uniform Resource Locator is your address on the world wide web (much similar to the address of your physical store). When a customer wants to know what's the latest product or service of your business, they simply have to type your URL. Your choice of URL or domain name is vital to your exposure on the net. Just imagine a physical store without an address - how can your customers find you?

Forget me not
With the number of sites numbering to almost 70 million, how can one create a URL that is:
  • easy to remember/catchy
  • acquires better traffic (and subsequently, higher conversion rate)

Before you start brainstorming with your partners, heed these few useful tips in creating your URL or domain name:

Acquire a dotcom
  • When choosing a domain name, make certain yours has a dotcom extension. What for? Commercial businesses use a dotcom (.com) and dotbiz (.biz), organizations use dotorg (.org), while educational insitutions use dotedu (.edu). By far, dotcoms are leading the popularity race. It has also come to recent attention that having a dotcom raises the legitimacy and reputation of a company in the Internet market place.
  • If you've got money, try to acquire other extensions as well, and this includes international extensions (, .ph etc) In the past, some big companies were too slow to snap up dotcoms, which were then bought by a few Internet savvy individuals. A few years later, these dotcoms increased in popularity and (ouch!)price tag. On the other hand, while some are lucky to have acquired their choice dotcoms, some had it bad. A telecommunications company in the past had to wage a legal battle over ownership of a dotcom. The defendant (current owner of the dotcom) used the site to flame the company and caused pretty much a lot of bad publicity for the said company. The telecom company eventually won the case but the damage had already been done. You can buy up other extensions for future use, or for your own brand protection.

Short. Short. Short.
Everybody has a nickname - long names such as Alexander Joseph is shortened to AJ, while Mary Kate can be called MK. What does this say? Mankind likes to shorten things - short cuts, fast track - and this includes your URL. Shorter URLs are looked upon favorably than long ones - easier to remember, easier to write down. Aside from long urls, avoid difficult to spell URLs and as much as possible, try to avoid dashes and other odd characters for your URL (like underscores "_"). Imagine a friend talking to another friend. "no mate, the URL is theDASHquickDASHbrownDASHfox..."; if you can't say it properly over the phone, chances are, your domain name is too long or too complicated.
Continue this article here:
The lazy man's guide to creating a merchant site URL part 2
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