It’s all about the domain name

There’s an argument which says very few people will ever type in a website address after seeing it in print. If people are going to visit your website directly from the physical world, I’d bet that 9 times of 10 they’ll just type your company name into Google and follow the link. That’s why some advertising campaigns now use slogans like “search blue widgets” rather than quoting a website address.

Nevertheless, you do need to put a website address on your magazine adverts, on your company letterheads and on your delivery vans. The problem is: what happens when a simple domain name isn’t what you want to quote? What happens if the home page for your division or your country is some ludicrous arrangement like www.[whatever].com/en-uk/endusersales ? I heard somebody on the radio the other day sounding rather folorn as he implored people to visit his website. With two lots of forward-slashes in the address he was reading out, he stood no chance.

The inadequate solution used by most companies is just to quote the main domain, and hope that anybody arriving there can find their way through to the right division or region. It’s hopelessly inadequate. But there’s an easy answer: a redirected domain.

If I was running a multinational or multi-divisional company with all its activities on a single website, the first thing I’d do would be to authorise a separate domain for each region and/or division, for use “offline”. So instead of sending everyone to a corporate-level home page, they could be sent straight to the home page of the relevant region and/or division. It’s quite simple to do, and you’d end up with domains like [whatever]-uk-sales.com. Anyone typing that into their browser would be invisibly sent to www.[whatever].com/en-uk/endusersales, with the added advantage that the new divisional domain sounds so much more relevant to the customer.

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