VOICE OVER MARKETING
Voice Over URLs: 8 Mistakes To Avoid.
And 5 Steps To Choosing Yours.
Note: Nearly 10 years ago, the author wrote a feature for VoiceOverXtra on this topic - which has since become the most accessed article in our entire library of VO how-to articles. The following is a thorough update of this advice - and comments to the original article remain since they are informative, too ...
By David Goldberg
CEO (Chief Edge Officer), lead vocal director,
personal vocal coach, Edge Studio
A voice actor called and said, "Go to Marks voice to you . com."
So I went to www.MarcsVoice2U.com, but nothing came up.
So I tried www.MarksVoiceToU.com, but nothing came up.
So I gave up.
If a prospective client wastes time getting to your website, you'll likely lose that client.
Sometime later, I learned that "Marc" is with a "C," "to" is the digit "2," and "you" is spelled out. And too late for Marc to get the job.
Following are 8 common mistakes that, when fixed, will send more casting professionals to your site. And following that are 6 steps to choosing a URL.
8 URL Mistakes
1. Ambiguous Characters
If your URL is www.lOvoice.com (with a lowercase "L" and capital "oh"), clients may visit www.10voice.com (with the digits for "ten").
2. Alternate Spellings
If your URL is www.VoiceOver2U.com, clients may visit www.VoiceOverToYou.com. Or if your URL is www.JayDoesVoice.com, clients may visit www.JDoesVoice.com. Or if you're trying to be clever and have www.KidzTrax.com, clients may visit www.KidsTracks.com.
3. Alternate Tenses / Pluralities
If your URL is www.VoiceOverForYou.com, clients may visit www.VoiceOversForYou.com (with an "s" in "Overs").
4. ALL CAPITAL / all lowercase / Or Title Case
Which is easier to read: www.christieinthebooth.com or www.ChristieInTheBooth.com?
If your URL is www.YourLuckyVoice.org, clients may visit www.YourLuckyVoice.com (with a ".com" extension) because studies indicate that people reflexively go to ".com" extensions.
Which looks more professional: www.CableCompany.FreeWebsite.com/FranksVoice or www.FranksVoice.com? Spend the extra $ to get a dedicated URL.
While we're on this, spend the extra $ to get a dedicated email address that matches, such as Frank@FranksVoice.com rather than FranksVoice@yahoo.com.
7. Alternate Pronunciations
If your URL is www.genitaliavoices.com, clients may question your integrity. This is actually "Gen Italia Voices."
Or if your URL is www.voicesexchange.com, need I say more? This is actually "Voices Exchange."
Or if your URL is www.penisland.com, need I say more? This is actually "Pen Island."
8. Similar-Sounding Characters
If you tell clients your URL is www.MBVO.com, they may visit www.NPVO.com. If you must have a URL like this, then clarify the characters – for example, say, "That's M B as in Mother Boy."
5 Steps to Choosing Your URL
STEP 1. Find 10 URLs that are appropriate (as mentioned above) and available (visit a domain seller, such as www.GoDaddy.com, and use their online checker).
STEP 2. Show these 10 URLs to 10 people who will be candid with you. Ask them to quickly read each URL out loud. Cross out any URLs that two or more people mis-read.
STEP 3. Speak the remaining URLs to another 10 people. Ask them to write out each URL on a piece of paper after you say it. Cross out any URLs that two or more people misspell.
STEP 4. Speak all remaining URLs to another 10 people. Ask them which one(s) they would most easily remember. THE URL THAT MOST PEOPLE REMEMBER SHOULD BE YOUR URL.
STEP 5. Tell 10 people your new URL and ask them to tell you every way it could be misspelled, changed, misheard, or remembered incorrectly. THEN PURCHASE ANY OR ALL OF THOSE VARIATIONS.
David Goldberg is owner of Edge Studio, an international voice over company that advises, educates, and records voice actors, celebrities, politicians and media personalities - in virtually all languages and all spoken-word applications. The company is fueled by an extensive team of voice over casters, producers, directors, engineers, language experts, educators and admin. And you've likely heard Edge Studio's work in commercials, corporate presentations, educational videos, talking apps, talking smart devices, animated productions, video games, guided tours, audiobooks, documentaries, audiobooks, cartoons and film. Edge Studio LLC's corporate office is at 115 West 45th Street, Floor 8, New York, NY 10036.
Telephone: 212-868-EDGE (3343)
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First, this article on URLs was just updated, so reading it again may shed more light. Hopefully you find it helpful :)
Next, I agree that your URL should be something other than your name (due to variations in spelling). And yep, I also agree that branding your uniqueness in your URL is helpful, identifiable, and novel. So great idea.
At the end of the article is a 5-step process to selecting a URL. Want to give that a shot?
David Goldberg, CEO (Chief Edge Officer), Edge Studio
One point I will make, is that while you may want to buy all of the domains, I'm not on board with just wasting money on that type of purchase. Maybe it was a great idea when this article was first written, but I'm not convinced that this is really something necessary in today's marketplace. Use.com, .co, or .biz and you should be fine.
Did I get my website right? No, now you make me think about it! It's howardellison, while my email is ellisonvoice - which of course is more descriptive. Oh well. And that's an O not a zero….
IAN in South Australia
I noticed about 10 years ago on GoDaddy, maybe they have changed by now, that when I shopped for open URL's using their on-line tester, some one bought up one of the url's I was shopping for. Notably, at the time, my name. I had to wait one year for it to be released back on the market. The only thing I could think of is that because I waited to buy it, someone was searching to see what .com addresses were popular in the GoDaddy on-line tester to buy, and bought it up hoping I would contact them and buy it from them at their higher price.
I was in my early 20's and wanted to think about the purchase before committing. I kept punching in my name on a daily basis for a week... what can I say? Lesson learned.
A way around that was to search directly in the search engine browser. That way there is less of a chance of a buy out on the address you want. That is, just in case you want to think about a purchase before you buy and some one is watching the URL address inquires on a siet like GoDaddy. I usually recommend this practice to all of my students as they open their first freelance business.
Just something to think about.
While it is easier for some of us than others (my condolences to all the John Smith's out there), it does indicate a level of professionalism and allows you to stand out more than say, 'voice4u.com'...