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MARKETING
Voice Over URLs: 8 Mistakes To Avoid,
And 6 Steps To Choosing Your Web Address 


By David Goldberg
Owner, Producer & Coach, Edge Studio

A voice-actor called and said, "Go to www.MarksVoiceToYou-dot-com."

... So I went to: www.MarcsVoiceToYou.com but nothing came up.

... So I tried: www.MarksVoice2U.com but nothing came up.

... So I gave up.

The level of your voice over success can be partly attributed to your website address (URL). Sound strange? Think about it: If a prospective client cannot get to your website, you'll likely lose that client!

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

Your business card says your website is www.lOvoice.com. The problem is that the first two characters appear to spell "ten," when in actuality they are a lowercase "L" and capital "oh".

2. ALTERNATE SPELLING

Tell someone your website is www.VoiceOverForYou.com, and they may visit www.VoiceOver4U.com.

Or if your website is www.JayDoesVoice.com people will probably visit www.JDoesVoice.com.

Or if you're trying to be clever and have www.KidzTrax.com, people will probably visit "www.KidsTracks.com."

3. BAD MEMORY

You want casting agents to remember your URL. So you get www.VoiceOverForYou.com, but they may remember www.VoiceOversForYou.com (with an "s" in "Overs").

4. CAPITAL / lowercase 

Which is easier to read: www.christieinthebooth.com or www.ChristieInTheBooth.com?

5. EXTENSIONS

If your website ends with .org, studies indicate that people still go to .com. So buy numerous extensions.

6. COMFORT

Want a prospective client to know you're a professional? Then spend the extra $10 for www.FranksVoice.com rather than www.CableCompany.FreeWebsite.com/FranksVoice.

Likewise, process your email through your website, so it is Frank@FranksVoice.com rather than FranksVoice@gmail.

7. WHAT'S HIDDEN

Is there another way to read your website? For example, www.genitaliavoices.com (GenItaliaVoices). Or www.voicesexchange.com (VoicesExchange).

8.  SIMILAR-SOUNDING CHARACTER MISTAKES

You've heard people clarify letters by saying, "That's F as in Frank." Well if your website has unclear letters in it, like www.FMSB.com be prepared to do the same. For example, say, "That's FMSB as in Frank's Microphones Sound Beautiful," otherwise they'll visit www.SNFP.com.

6 STEPS TO CHOOSING
YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS

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 on-line tester).

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 remember. THE URLs 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.

STEP 6. Lastly, purchase the most common extensions (".com", . "org", and so on) for, at minimum, your real URL and preferably for the variations, as well. Remember: website addresses only cost around $10, so if one more client can find you, the extra expense is well worthwhile.  

ABOUT DAVID ...
 
David Goldberg is a voice-over producer, coach, and the owner of Edge Studio, a major voice-over recording studio and voice-over education company based in New York City, with additional studios in Fairfield, CT and Bethesda, MD. Edge Studio offers a large variety of in-person and telecourse workshops, and frequently casts voice talents who have trained and produced demos there. It has produced or recorded more than 13,000 voice over projects spanning all genres, including for major clients like Disney, VW, Microsoft, National Geographic.
 
Discount Offer: www.voiceoverxtra.com/edgestudiodiscount.htm

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Comments (10)
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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