Clear and simple wording in your website names and titles :: Go!
This blog post series focuses on the words needed to develop a website on your very own. And that’s not just about words in your paragraphs and product descriptions.
You know how back in the day, people’s surnames were what their profession was? John Baker did indeed make bread, and Peter Smith was likely a blacksmith. It made getting to know someone pretty easy, I bet. No need for those annoying conversations, “So Ms Christopher, what is it that you do…?” That would be entirely unnecessary if my name were Alex Wordsmith.
Never mind. We all carry-on.
Website wordy matters start as you decide on your website or business’s name and domain name. Then comes a title and maybe a catchy second tier tag line. That’s what this post is all about. And the key message for these components of a website’s wording is KISS. Keep It Simple Sexy. (I’m not a fan of calling people stupid.)
You probably don’t need me to tell you that a business name is an important aspect of marketing and a big decision to make. A good one really can make or break into the mindset of your target audience and make for an easier time in all your promotions later on.
I will tell you something honest. I know Monk script is a silly business name. I chose it because I was getting all philosophical and deep and meaningful and clever and creative. I picked it because I could tell a story with it. About how medieval monks would transcribe ancient texts so diligently, that if they made one small mistake, they would start the whole text again. They were dedicated to imparting the meaning of the text to perfection.
But – silly me – and I know this now, the words “Monk script” don’t necessarily suggest, “Work with me, I can help you with your professional writing”. Instead, it says “What the?” Because of this little creative blunder, I now have to explain myself every time I say “I own a small business called Monk script”.
If I had my time again, I’d choose something with the words “Professional Writing” and maybe “communications” or “consultant”. It’s a little more to the point.
So, the first lesson for you – is your business name simple and easy for people to translate in their busy worlds? Can you choose one that is? Make sure to check out if someone else has the same name – even if they’re overseas, it can become a bother when promoting online, especially with Facebook pages.
If you’re stuck with a business name like me (I am happy to be stuck with it, mind you, it is very me) – you might consider what you’re willing to do to make it a bit clearer for people to understand what you’re all about. We shall see the catch phrases and the tag lines below, but other ways of making your business’s offerings abundantly clear are with a logo, or you might come up with something more innovative.
A clear business name is one matter, and then there’s the domain name for your website. A domain name is the URL you purchase that you direct people to from your business cards, email signatures, social media platforms and the like.
Let’s trust Wikipedia for a more scientific explanation.
“A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name. Domain names can also be thought of as a location where certain information or activities can be found.”
I bought www.monkscript.com as I wanted it to be exactly as my business name. So in choosing your business name, make sure you check that your business name is available as a domain name too. This is how your business name relates to building a website.
While you’re starting out, especially if you have a blog, you could always host your website’s words on a template website such as Wix or WordPress or SquareSpace or Weebly. That will mean you have a website URL domain name that looks like this: www.wordpress.monkscript.com
It doesn’t come across as professionally as a hosted domain, but it does have your exact business name in the domain name.
You might be wondering why this matters?
I feel that consistency matters with people online. What potential customers and clients are looking for when they buy from you, are checking you out as a potential coach, photographer or yoga teacher, is that you are legitimate and authentic. Consistency settles people’s minds that you are dedicated to what you do. The more you can be consistent with your titles, words, voice and other branding elements, the more you will come across as complete and ready for a conversation or a sale – making the person on the other end feel confident about handing over their money or picking up the phone to learn more.
We’ve covered business name and domain name words, now so what about titles. Wouldn’t they just be the same as your business/domain name?
Well, yes, they totally could be. But there is an opportunity for you to add more to your name or url here.
You could call it a title. You could call it a tagline, you could call it whatever you like, but there’s opportunity for more wording – perhaps in your website’s header – to further hit home what your website is all about.
I wrote about the importance of clear messages in titles and tag lines a few posts back. You can check it out here.
I use a tagline/title line with Monk script to be clear that I help people with writing, editing and proofreading. It reads “Monk script – a boutique writing, editing and proofreading firm.” It has three keywords relating to my services in it: writing, editing and proofreading.
I could even improve that to: “A professional writing support service also offering editing and proofreading”. It makes the abstract “Monk script” make more sense and doesn’t isolate the reader to that cry of “What the?” and running away from the scary-makes-no-sense website zone.
Eyeswide Imaging. That’s the name of a great little business owned by Mia Peronis. It’s a catchy name and people are learning what it’s all about but would you immediately say “Oh, that’s got to be a videography service”? Maybe not everyone would. So Mia’s added to her homepage: “Eyeswide Imaging is a Videography and Photography business” Boom. A nice abundantly simple tagline. Five gold stars for you, Mia.
Sorry if this sounds like I’m talking about the bleeding obvious, but I have to tell you, the number of times I’ve seen confusing homepages is crazy. But it’s easy to fix. All they need is a simple something to clear the air and orient visitors quickly. Words do that.
A note on SEO, which might be a bit much to take in at the moment. The words you use in your domain name and titles are all part of how you are potentially found in a search online. PART of – there’s many other ways – we will get to that. But for now, your name, URL and titles should be close to the terminology people search for and also clear in telling people what you’re all about. We’ll talk more about SEO later in the series.
The take home questions for today are:
- Is your business name indicative of what it is you sell or do?
- If yes, brilliant, well done you.
- If no, can you use a title or tagline to help people understand what you’re all about?
- Do your business name and url/domain name match for consistency? Is there an option to improve that?
- If you’re starting out, can you craft a business name that’s true to what you do and offer, is available as a domain name and is backed by a catchy tag-line?
Tootle pip for now!
Next in the series is sitemaps and website menu words.