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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?

5. Extensions

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.

6. Professionalism

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. 
--------------------
ABOUT DAVID
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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Comments (20)
David Goldberg
3/5/2022 at 4:16 PM
Hi Bruce, terrific question. A few thoughts -

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
Bruce McCready
3/3/2022 at 6:42 PM
Most people I talk with use their full name or full name +VO.com. However, since most people misspell and/or mispronounce my last name, I'm leery of doing that. I was thinking of just using my first name: bruceVO.com or since I have a low voice, I was wondering about the wisdom of a name that advertises my voice like deepResonantVO.com or deepResonantVoice.com. Any reason why I should or shouldn't use one or the other?
M Miller
1/12/2022 at 12:37 PM
Thank you for this invaluable advice! One poster noted below: "As a general rule, I've always heard that the best thing for a VO to do is to first go for their name as their URL." This appears to be the case when I look up successful VO websites. Do you agree? If I did this, I'd have to use my middle initial, which makes it harder to remember. Any thoughts? Should I go with something more memorable but that only uses part of my name, like MillerOnTheMic? I appreciate this so much!
Sherry L Morisch
7/9/2021 at 8:36 AM
As a digital marketing professional new to the VO industry, I agree with most of the content in this message. It's helpful for people new to the industry.

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.
Patricia
6/1/2021 at 4:05 PM
Excellent points made here! Everyone considering VO should read FIRST. I am mumbling HerVoiceWorks to "look" for mistakes. I think I nailed it!
Larry Justice
4/23/2018 at 10:33 AM
The timing of this article is perfect since I am in the process of setting up web address and email.
Thanks
Larry
Anna Wright
12/7/2017 at 7:15 AM
It's great.
Cathy Sirvatka
10/3/2017 at 1:24 PM
Just saw this now, though it was published years ago. It's still really good advice. Only one debatable item is #4 Capital/Lower Case. That's more of a marketing thing than a URL setup. If you get www.christieinthebooth.com, as long as you are with a reputable hosting company, www.ChristieInTheBooth.com will work too. No need to try to purchase it that way; in fact you can't. But it's an excellent point to notate it that way on your bizz cards, etc. Also, seeing what other words may pop out at someone as in #7 What's Hidding is excellent advice!!
Rony Joseph
8/28/2017 at 3:33 PM
will be delighted to be your student
Marilynn Warren
5/12/2017 at 4:41 PM
This was all GREAT advice for a novice like myself......thanks so much......I am trying very hard to learn all the best ways to break into a Voice Over Career and need to do it quickly as I am somewhat elderly....thanks again
Howard Ellison
10/28/2016 at 6:01 AM
Yep! Devil's in the detail. And how about URL tech strings full of zeroes, o's, ones and ells, fives and esses. They're prone to error, especially working from a small screen. Here in UK, even the simple six-digit postcode is similarly compromised, and that was devised in the era of handwriting: all the more reason to anticipate such tripups.

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….
Sam Hairston
3/7/2016 at 3:02 AM
I am truly happy to be signed up to receive and explore information from your site to help me learn and grow my voice over business. I am new as of Oct. 2015 and overwhelmed with how much you need to know and just how competitive this business is. I have learned so much since signing up with you and the Edge Studio. Thanks for the material you share.
Nicola Redman
6/12/2013 at 1:59 PM
Well put. So simple but so easy to make mistakes. I went for my name www.nicolaredman.com plain and simple. So far so good.
Margaret Reed
6/4/2013 at 5:33 PM
Brilliant advice! You're the best! Thank you, David.
IAN WRIGHT
1/25/2013 at 4:34 PM
Very practical advice, David. Thank you.

Regards,
IAN in South Australia
Jessica Fields
11/27/2012 at 3:01 PM
Thanks for this article! I wish I'd read it before I purchased and built my website. I have a quick question for you - apparently there's another Jessica Fields who is a (quite successful) jewelry designer, so JessicaFields.com was taken. I chose to hyphenate and go with Jessica-Fields.com - how do you feel about this? I've already invested quite a bit of time and energy into this website, should I start another one with a different URL? :/ Thanks again!
Chris Thom
8/9/2012 at 8:29 PM
I would also recommend checking out one of the many domain suggestion sites that are out there. You just plug in certain keywords that you would like to have & it comes back with a bunch of suggestions and tell you if they are available.
JAY LLOYD
8/6/2012 at 6:03 PM
Well done and well thought out, David. But, I think you missed a BIG point: Searchability. Beside your name and/or your business name, it should obviously have something in it that alludes to voiceover. Or is it VoiceOver? Or maybe voiceovers. Or Voice-Over. Or just VO? Get the idea? There are some tough choices. So, think about any way prospective clients might search for you: Name. Nickname. Slogan. Your business name. Generic words like "voiceover". Or "announcer". Or "recording studios". Or "voice talent". You could drive yourself crazy, but it's worth thinking thru.
Inquisitive
8/6/2012 at 11:13 AM
Great advice!

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.

Cheers!
Mike McGonegal
8/6/2012 at 11:03 AM
Well put, David! As a general rule, I've always heard that the best thing for a VO to do is to first go for their name as their URL.

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'...

-Mike
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