Case Study: Domain Name Strategy
Hyphens in domains are problematic when it comes to earned media, online or off. A perfect case
in point presents itself to me today.
As I posted minutes ago, yesterday I gave a radio interview to a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio for the Future Tense program about citizen journalists’ role covering the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
At the end of the interview, the reporter cited this blog but omitted the hyphen: "David Erickson runs estrategyblog dot com." I don’t fault the reporter; it is entirely too common for people to omit hyphens from domain names when they cite them. It’s just an inherent danger that you have to live with when you use hyphenated domains.
People usually go to search engines if they want to find out more about something they discovered offline. So, in this case, if they wanted to read this blog, they’d either search for my name or the blog’s name as they heard it: estrategyblog.com.
If I don’t already have that domain in place, then it’s likely people will be frustrated when they try and find me.
And I did not have the domain in place, so I’m very likely losing a lot of potential readers. And the Future Tense audience, because it is technology focused, is very likely to like this blog.
Here’s how I’m addressing the situation:
1) I bought the estrategblog.com domain and I’m having it forwarded here (as of this writing, the forwarding has yet to take hold).
2) I’m writing this blog post and seeding it with the keyword estrategyblog.com in the hopes of it showing up quickly in search engine results (and blogs do tend to show up faster than web sites).
If you’re planning a new web site or domain take these things under consideration. If you want a hyphenated domain, chose one that also has a non-hyphenated counterpart and put the forwarding in place.