I recently made the drive from my current residence in Florida to my home state of Ohio. I have made this trip dozens of times over the years, which in itself is no big deal. However this trip I noticed something different, the endless use of domain names on billboards.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen domain names on billboards for years. I’ve even used billboards myself, but this was different. Normally billboards have the business name as the focal point with maybe a telephone number and the domain name mentioned as an after thought. What I saw on this trip was the domain name by itself. No business name, no telephone number, just the domain name.
I find this interesting for several reasons. First of all, the variety of business’ that were promoting their websites in this manner. There was everything; adult book stores, banks, car dealers, home builders, vacation resorts, golf courses, restaurants, hotels, flooring stores, outlet malls, truck stops, like I said everything.
Secondly the majority of the billboards did not have www in front of the domain name. This shows that advertisers are finally acknowledging how consumers are becoming more internet savvy. The majority of advertisements I see and here promoting a website still use the www in front of the domain name, even though it’s been hammered into us for years and in most cases today, it is not required.
Last but not least, all of these billboards were located on the interstate. These were not placed for the local residents but for the traveler on the interstate. With the increased use of mobile internet devices advertisers are targeting the interstate traveler with advance information on the products and services located at the next exit.
This is just one more example of how the consumer shift to the internet is changing the way we do business. With products like General Motors’ On Star, Apple’s IPhone and the tons of cell phones with internet access, this trend is sure to continue.
This brings us to the domain name itself. It hammers home the point that a good domain name should be descriptive of the products and services you offer. If you owned a great hotel on the interstate with a domain name of jibberjab.com I would bet you would not receive as many visitors from your billboard advertising as the name cleanhotelrooms.com would.
Do not under estimate the importance of domain names when developing your website. You may have a great content filled website but if your domain name is not related in any way to your content, you will be fighting an uphill battle to get visitors to your website.