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Old 05-17-2005   #1
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Promoting a Site with WWW or Not?

This topic is not really search engine marketing directly related but I wanted to get your thoughts on a post dannysullivan just made where he said:

Quote:
I've personally never promoted sites with www, if I can help it. I just like the shorter URLs and have the backup that if people guess and add them, the domains will still work.
I normally make the decision of putting the www before the domain name on print materials (cards, stationary, print ads, online banner ads, and so on) depending on if it makes the layout look nice or not.

Do you have a rule of thumb for this?
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Old 05-17-2005   #2
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I think the www quantifies the address as a website for a lot of people - the same people who will automatically enter the www no matter what (even for subdomains).

In terms of business stationery or promotional material, I think it works like bold highlighting and causes the reader to focus on that element, much like (0044) or +44 would for phone / fax numbers and @ does for emails. I'd perhaps go to the extent to say that the www part is thought of as a definable character rather than a load of letters. Perhaps more applicable to mass market material rather than stuff with an IT focus for example.

My personal preference is to have the www - I think the www and the com nicely encapsulates the domain name / brand.

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Old 05-17-2005   #3
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Interesting that you bring up this point

Quote:
Perhaps more applicable to mass market material rather than stuff with an IT focus for example.
When I read the topic that's exactly what I thought of - the target market.

Mine is far from the IT crowd on some product sites, but I watch the search terms diligently, and I've got people typing in "green widgets com" or WWW GREEN WIDGETS - including either the www or the com when searching. It's more often than you'd expect also that they'll use all caps. It seems some think the www or .com is part of the way you search for a site.
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Old 05-18-2005   #4
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I should say that if I were doing print material to an audience I thought wasn't web-savvy, I would very likely use the www. It's a shorthand way to me to say "Hey, this is a WEB address." There are still plenty of people out there who assume every site has to start that way, as well.
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Old 05-18-2005   #5
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Interesting side issue from this - do you think making email addresses spambot proof has any impact on non-savvy users?

me (at) mydomain.com

I know it's very basic for everyone here, but do you think there are a group of users who don't equate that @ = at?
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Old 05-18-2005   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marketing Guy
but do you think there are a group of users who don't equate that @ = at?
I think so.
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Old 05-18-2005   #7
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I think most understand @ = at, purely because tellling someone your e-mail you'll say "at". What I think would confuse a lot of non tech people is what you need to do to actually e-mail that person.

A lot of (most?) people want to click on an e-mail address and have it send. Copying and pasting isn't a natural thing for them, and nor is retyping. I suspect if it were a long address or difficult to spell and unless someones highly motivated (like a complaint) then a lot of people just wouldn't bother.
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Old 06-02-2005   #8
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Hi there! I'm new to this forum. I'm taking an e-maketing course to learn more about the wonderful world of internet marketing.

I would have to agree that non-techie people need to be spoon fed. If non-techies are your target market things like email links need to be more straight forward.
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Old 06-03-2005   #9
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To www or not to www?

When talking about promoting to the search engines I always use the www. I also implement redirects so if someone types in my domain without it they are forced back to the www version.

When talking with someone, I never say www. but for printed material I definatley use it.
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Old 06-04-2005   #10
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We use the www prefix in our print, TV and audio advertising. As has been stated people have the association with it, and the more savy are just used to it.
We also redirect all variations to the www.domianname.com version for solidity in the search engines.
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Old 06-05-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
We use the www prefix in our print, TV and audio advertising. As has been stated people have the association with it, and the more savy are just used to it.
We also redirect all variations to the www.domianname.com version for solidity in the search engines.
Ditto, for reasons already stated... plus, www.domain.com generally creates a hyperlink from emails and web pages without http.

But domain.com by itself doesn't create a hyperlink... and http with :// is more likely to be mistyped, particularly by non-techies, than is www.
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Old 06-06-2005   #12
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I agree with the two last posts. I also use the www for linking purposes and because it works as a "frame" for the domain. This is especially useful in press releases.
This may sound strange to you guys but there are still people out there that get confused if they don't read (or hear) the three W's before the domain name. I've had to say "Yes, I mean WWW.mysite.com" a lot before so now I always use the www.
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Old 06-06-2005   #13
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Lots of peoples are unfamiliar and not much knowledge of Internet. Mostly people use prefix www either online or print.

My personal preference is also to have the www either for web promotion or printing purpose.
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Old 06-06-2005   #14
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Two things:

1) My parents, both get such pleasure out of reciting website names...always starting with "W-W-W". For some strange reason, it brings a smile to their faces. FYI, they have no idea what they are doing after emailing and "using" the internet for 3 years now.

2) At a wedding this weekend someone told me a story about how he had just taught his mother about Ctrl+C and Cntrl+V. Can you imagine life without them or without Cntrl+F? Many people have no idea these shortcuts exist.

I think we all take for granted that most people understand "the basics" when most of them do not.
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Old 06-06-2005   #15
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I remember back in the BBS days when you would try and get the newbies to type in format C: into the command line.... amazing how many did!

Thinking back, damn we were cruel!
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Old 06-07-2005   #16
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I've had the same experience with the WWW smile. There has to be a reason..
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Old 06-07-2005   #17
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Like most of you seem to agree with, adding the www usually is for the benefit of non web/computer-savvy individuals. I also think having the www does frame the url well and it looks good in print. The only time I don't like the www is when I'm trying to refer to a website address at the beginning of a sentence. Www.whatever.com doesn't seem right, and neither does starting it as lowercase. So I either word the sentence differently, or just put it as Whatever.com is blah blah blah.
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Old 06-07-2005   #18
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I tend to drop the www and the .com when starting a print sentence. Domainname has all you need blah blah... so long as you drop the ww.domainname.com in a couple of headers it is okay.
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Old 06-09-2005   #19
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I think it's also worth making sure you allow for typos in your url - in particular, check if your site works with urls such as ww.sitename.com or wwww.sitename.com etc. - it can sometimes be difficult to see where you've gone wrong in a url with all those w's, and this may reduce a little bit of frustration for your visitors. If you have access to subdomains, you can set ww. and wwww. to point to your main site to get this to work.
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Old 06-14-2005   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roblewis100
I think it's also worth making sure you allow for typos in your url - in particular, check if your site works with urls such as ww.sitename.com or wwww.sitename.com etc. - it can sometimes be difficult to see where you've gone wrong in a url with all those w's, and this may reduce a little bit of frustration for your visitors. If you have access to subdomains, you can set ww. and wwww. to point to your main site to get this to work.
Thats a good point. I never thought about setting up the subdomains for ww. and wwww. Odd, but a good idea.
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