I previously wrote about how Internet addresses can help to promote our brands. My main points in that post were that we are becoming more accustom to typing Internet addresses without www and that this behavior helps marketers to focus more on their brand. On printed materials this becomes more relevant today. As a basis for my points look at the construction of these two equivalent URLs:
Many marketers have already started to use the shorter format for publications and direct Internet addresses such as mysite.com/page. If its not already your standard for URL publication it should be. Here’s why:
- It’s shorter. Shorter to read. Shorter to type. Shorter = easier. Shorter = simple. Simple is better.
- www is not technically necessary. Www was originally setup for technical reasons and for consistency in URLs. If it’s technically possible to work without the www, why include it?
- People speak without saying www. Why? Its not natural. It takes longer to say it.
- The .com (or .extension) at the end of the characters signifies to the reader that it is an Internet address.
- The context of the message indicates to the reader that it is an Internet address. Phrases such as “please visit” or “for more information visit” signify a location.
- The address bar in the browsers today is also a search engine entry point. Because of this, many Internet users don’t type a fully qualified URL because its not necessary.
- It puts the primary focus on your brand because the brand is the first element listed in the address instead of www.
- In print, marketers are often constrained for space. This could be due to physical limitations or cost implications. Less words helps to ease these issues.
- Remember when marketers told you to type “http://”? Why don’t they do that anymore?
- Omitting the www makes your web address feel more human and less techy.
In short, for print materials, I recommend to print the web address without http:// and www. Focus on your site and brand. Save the ink, and make better use of white space. People see and know what you written based on context and the ending domain (.edu, .org, .com, etc.) There are some technical items to be aware of with this setup related to search engine rank and domain name resolution. So consult your network administrator and search marketer.