To URL or not to URL

That is the question! For those of you who don’t know, URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator. Simply put, it’s the website’s address. The URL for this site is www.hotdogmoneyonline.com. If you want to know all about URLs, check the Wiki. I am not a computer science professor, nor do I want to be!

When you start a new blog, you won’t have your “own” URL. If you host on Blogger, your URL would be www.YOURWEBSITE.blogspot.com. You will have a sight and you will be able to have your site recognized by search engines. If you want a “professional image, however, your own URL is a must. A blog without it’s own URL is like a 1989 Chevy Malibu running in the Indy 500: you’ll get around the track-you just won’t go as fast and you won’t look as good!

The two biggest benefits of having your own URL are branding and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Branding is what sets you apart from everyone else on the web. If you have a catchy URL that readily identifies what your website or business is, it can only help with branding. Take my Hot Dog Truck website for instance. The name of my business was “The Hot Dog Truck.” Not very original, but that’s what everyone called it anyway! Having my business AND my website share the same “name,” increased the brand awareness for both. The Hot Dog Truck is easy to remember, so folks knew what to look for. Look at Campbell Soup (you know what that is), their website is Campbellsoup.com; Crest toothpaste is Crest.com; Toyota vehicles can be found at Toyota.com. Get the picture? The right URL to match your business reinforces and increases BRAND AWARENESS. Your website’s URL should do the same thing.

SEO is another reason why your own URL can benefit you. Search engines crawl the web looking for keywords to match up to search terms. There are many ways to be found by the search engines, the right URL is one of them. Google “Hot Dog Truck” and see where my site sits. Top of the page, baby! I also rank “above the fold” on Google with this site for a number of other search terms for other reasons we will get into in another post. Having the right URL doesn’t guarantee you’ll be on page one of a Google search, but it helps. Even when my sight was in it’s infancy, the URL got my site recognized faster. Guess where Campbell Soup, Crest and Toyota sit on the Google search page? Number one, baby.

Now I’m not saying you can’t have a successful blog without an URL. There are many blogs I read that still have .blogspot or .wordpress URLs that are quite successful. It becomes a matter of risk and reward. An URL from GoDaddy.com, the World’s No.1 Domain Name Registrar , costs less than eight bucks per year. If your blog can’t make eight bucks over the course of the year, then you are doing something wrong! If you spend nothing else on your blog (you won’t have to), the worst thing that can happen is you are out eight bucks and you can brag to all your friends that you have your own URL!

So I say, get an URL for your blog. DO IT NOW!