Today, I'd like to share a couple of URLs I've seen displayed on TV commercials, which I believe are confusing for the intended audience. There's no point in advertising your website if the folks you're trying to attract aren't going to be able to find you using the web address you gave them.
So, if you're going to be publishing your web address on TV, in print media, on signs, or on business cards, here are a couple of mistakes to avoid.
The first example shown above is for a retirement investment website. It's a great website, actually. It's too bad that so many people in the "zone" will never find it. The target demographic is people within five years of retirement, and many of whom who still probably do not know that you AREN'T supposed to put SPACES in between the words on web addresses. If they type the URLs as you see them in the ad, they'll get an error. At least they can find the site easily using a simple Google search.
I can't even say that much for the next example, however. This is an upcoming made-for-TV movie about a real-life news story. The advertising department thought they would get creative, and make the title of the movie look like a URL. Did they just spend a few bucks, and actually buy a domain name that would work? Oh, no, they just made up a URL.
Yes, most of the people in their target demographic (young women) will know the//craigslist.killer is not a real web address. I was only about half paying attention when I saw the commercial the first time, and actually checked to see if ".killer" was a new domain extention, like ".me" or ".co" (it isn't). Unfortunately, typing this URL or the name of the movie into a Google search will yield more results about the original news story than about the movie.
So, don't make these mistakes when displaying your URLs. Instead, try separating distinguishing the parts of your web address by color, or by delineation, or by strategic capitalization of words. You can even get cute, and make your "dot" a yo-yo. Just make sure that if people who actually want to visit your site, they'll be able to do so by typing in your web address as they see it published.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.