I have a real hate on for crappy website addresses. In general, radio works great with your website. Tagging commercials with your web domain is a great way to cash in on an interested listener. It also saves you time in your precious 30 seconds of copy to deliver a really good message. Why is that? Well, if you have your web address in there, there's absolutely no reason to mention your phone number or your street address. Actually, it's usually never prudent to include your phone # or street address these days! The numbers take up a lot of time, and nobody ever listens to them (or even tries to remember them.) Those who realize this are the lucky ones! You can spend whatever time you saved from deleting that from your advertising on actually engaging your listener. To be completely candid, I don't always think mentioning your website is a great idea either. Nowadays, everybody knows to "Google" you if they're interested in your business. So, it doesn't really matter if you mention your site. Even when people know a website off by heart, they still use Google. How many times have you seen someone go to Google to type in amazon.ca? They know the website, and they still type it into Google! I've even seen people type Google.com into Google!!! I'm not saying that this is smart behaviour. I'm just saying that it happens.
Difficult or confusing websites are even worse. I'm talking about sites that need to be spelled out to listeners. Let's say you run a furniture store called "Excyte Furniture." Lots of companies like to misspell their names these days. They're not thinking about how hard it'll be to direct people to a site like that. But, this example gets more difficult. Someone else already owns excytefurniture.com. So, you opted for excyte-furniture.net. Yikes. Not only will you have to spend time informing people that "Excyte" is spelled with a "Y," but you'll have to pray they can remember a weird extension like .net. Plus, you put a "dash" in there. Yargh!!! It's an uphill climb and you don't even have a commercial yet!!! The worst part is still to come. How many listeners will you accidently send to excitefurniture.com? You definitely don't want to be sending customers elsewhere.
Many businesses have difficult URL's like these. Is your company easy to find online? Be honest. If not, that's no problem. You can try using a redirect website. That's a fancy way of saying, "go buy a new web domain that's easy to remember, and forward it to your current site." I'm a big fan of redirect websites. Here's why...
- Web domains are really cheap ($10/year!!!) Buy lots! If someone may accidently end up at one domain while searching for you; own it. As for myself, airsupport.com is long since taken. So, I do have a slight disadvantage by using the Canadian .ca extension. But, I also own airsupportradio.com & airsupportcreative.com. They both redirect right back here. You may want to consider buying extra sites. You may also want to own them in multiple extensions (.ca, .net, etc)
- Your redirect website can be more memorable to a listener than your official website. Business owners will always try to get their companies name in URL form (or as close to it as they can get.) And they should! But, it may not be the best way to get people to find you. Let's go back to an example I used last week. You run a Barbeque restaurant and your website is www.mrgryllsbbq.com. It's going to be complicated to explain that "Mister" is spelled "Mr," and that "grylls" is spelled with a "Y." By the time you explain which way to spell "barbeque" nobody is listening to you anymore. Actually they never listened. Since you spent 15 seconds explaining your web address, you couldn't deliver an interesting enough message to actually entice people to listen. Crap! Websites can ruin everything eh? Well, that's why a redirect website can be so great! Let's say your business is in Edmonton. Maybe you'd be better suited to using a website like bestmeatinedmonton.com. Or edmontonmeatsweats.com? There are no shortage of ideas. Just buy one, and redirect it to mrgryllsbbq.com. I guarantee you, any website with a little character & colour in the name is going to be 100x more memorable to your listeners. This also brings up the main thing I love about this technique...
- You can link your website to your branding campaign. If you're running a memorable branding campaign, it will be really easy to think of a complimentary website domain to match. Take a listen to these furniture store commercials I just wrote. They're a good example of attaching a good branding campaign to a redirect website.
What website would a listener be more likely to remember? excyte-furniture.net or furniturefuneral.com? A good redirect website will only make your brand stronger. The listener will still end up at "excyte-furniture.net."
You could actually extend this brand outside your radio advertising as well. Maybe your delivery trucks could be made up to look like hearses! Pasted across the side would be a decal that reads "furniturefuneral.com." I guarantee you get some traffic to your website. All from being more interesting, and using a redirect website. Next week, let's talk more about extending your branding message outside of your advertising.
One last tip that always bugs me. Never include (www.) in your advertising. Your website will work without typing that in. Trust me. Cool? Cool.
Let's talk again next Wednesday!