web domains--short and sweet, or full name?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by MikeSeb, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    If this is the wrong spot for this question I'm sure the moderator will put it where it goes.

    For those of you who have websites and are actually hoping for them to be found :smile: , what are your opinions re domain names?

    I am revamping my website (not yet live) and trying to decide which of three domain names to use. Choices are:

    mikesebastianphoto.com: currently the one I use
    mikesebphoto.com: less typing, easier to spell, no full name in domain name
    michaelsebastian.com: my whole, "proper" name, more typing, harder to spell (for some!)

    The plan is to choose one and then point the other two towards the primary choice. I'm wondering if the -photo suffix is redundant; however, my full name is a lot to type.

    Currently, googling variations of my name turns me up pretty decently near the top of the page; the "mike sebastian" variant seems to do the best--it's been in the longest use. Using either first-name variant + last name + "louisville" or "photographer" finds me high on the page.

    What do you all think? Does it really matter? Am I obsessing overmuch about this? (probably).

    And in case anyone is wondering...easily 90+% of the work on the site is film-based.

    Thanks gang!
     
  2. luckycharms

    luckycharms Member

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    It seems to me like your name would be the easiest to remember- something like "mikeseb" seems more easily forgotten or confused unless it's something you go by professionally. I am a big fan of full names, since it is memorable and clearly tied to you (as opposed so something like "dark syde imagez," which doesn't exactly scream professional either but could definitely be a bad Flickr watermark). If you work as "Michael Sebastian," I would stick as closely to that as possible.

    This is my gut instinct though- I am sure there are others on here with more years of practical experience than I've been living.
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Here's the dealio from my ubermarketing buddy. 99% of the traffic will come to your website through links. From a marketing perspective it is far more important that they remember your name. Use your name.
     
  4. wogster

    wogster Member

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    I sent you a PM on this.
     
  5. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

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    Mike I would go with your real full name..

    michaelsebastian.com

    thats what I did..(Sort of!) Keep it simple and direct so that people that are not sure of the address can even guess it and find you if they know your name. Once you become the MAIN Mike Sebastion because of the power of your work, you will jump right to the top of the google list!


    I agree with J about the most hits comming from links thing. Recently I got a bunch of hits from Argentina and tried to figure out why! Then I did some research on my pags stats software and found out that some guy had put a link to my page and one of my photos on his blog (probably in Argentina). The other place I get lots of hits from is a Russian blog that posted a link to my page, check out the links if your interested. Once you post your stuff online you will find it sort of starts a life of its own independent of you.

    http://buy-books.ru/blog/gerry_yaum-thai_life.html

    http://adncultura.lanacion.com.ar/weblogs/merle/index.asp

    www.gerryyaum.com
     
  6. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Gerry, appreciate your thoughts--and the rest of you too.

    Your post illustrates my "dilemma" (all life's conundrums should be so minor!): you misspelled my name ("...Once you become the MAIN Mike Sebastion...")!

    All those vowels just trip folks up. Or it's Sabastion. Or Sebastien. Sigh. :smile:

    michaelsebastian.com it will be. I'll post a link once I'm live--hopefully by week's end. In the meantime, my signature links are defunct.

    I have a lot to learn about SEO and other exotic fields of knowledge.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just googled Michael Sebastion. First thing up? "Did you mean Michael Sebastian?"

    No worries.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Good advice from Gerry, just how much do you want to "Pay" Mike :smile: I'm just registering your Domain name now :D

    Ian
     
  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    @ian: scoundrel! "Millons for defense, not a penny for tribute!..."

    @jbrunner: thank god google is smarter than I am, and far less neurotic. I really need to get out more. Friggin' weather is killing me.
     
  10. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    Keep it simple, easy to remember. Another vote for using your name.

    www.mergross.com
     
  11. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Easy for you to say, you of Two Syllable Eight Letter name fame!

    Try my six syllables and 16 letters on for size!

    :smile:
     
  12. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Why not 'MSPhoto', reckon you'd get quite a few hits with that! :wink:
     
  13. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    True, but I would most likely remember your full name before recalling some shortened version.
     
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  15. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I like how easy it is to tell people to go to dennispurdy.com when they know I am Dennis Purdy. They don't even have to make a note.
     
  16. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    would love to have that domain; it's for sale at $1700!

    Think I'll pass!
     
  17. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    OK, the site is live at michaelsebastian.com.

    There's a blog, too. 'Cause god knows there aren't enough folks spouting opinions and writing about boring crap already.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
     
  18. Tori8x10

    Tori8x10 Member

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    I don't need to know how to spell your last name correctly, I like your site so much I bookmarked it, I suspect many others will do the same. Really nice work! Makes me very anxious to get my site up and running. Good luck to you!

    Tori
     
  19. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    You have some really fine work. I especially like the b&w abstracts.

    In the "about" portion, the link to mikesebastianphoto.com did not work for me. Perhaps this is related to the new domain name.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Merg Ross
     
  20. Solarize

    Solarize Member

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    When picking my domain name, I went with www.clportraits.co.uk - purely because I could not imagine anyone spelling Ciaran Lee (my name) correctly. So initials, along with a pointer for the type of work that the site features (portraits), to me at least made sense. As someone else has mentioned, getting links back to your site will do most of the work. Now that I'm getting hits here and there, typing in my name with photography, photographer etc will point to my site as well.

    Ciaran-
     
  21. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Michael, your website is beautiful. I think just sticking with your name will make it more memorable to people. What did you use to design the site?
     
  22. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Thanks for the hive fives everyone. After a year spent trying to DIY the site, I gave up in frustration. All that time wasted in web design, which I can't do, instead of making photographs, which I'd rather do.

    I went with A Photo Folio, after looking at just about every template-based site out there. I liked their clean, functional designs better than anyone. There's some Flash, but none of the whirling, blinking crap that I find so distracting. I can highly recommend these guys, based on service and quality--at least so far.

    @Merg: do you mean you had trouble with one of the email links? That's the only quirk I've noticed so far; some of the nav links at the far left of the homepage have to be "refreshed" occasionally by reloading the page.
     
  23. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    Mike, my mistake with sloppy copy and paste. The link works fine.

    Well done, hope the site brings good things your way!
     
  24. phc

    phc Member

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    For what it's worth, I use my full name as my URL. My stats show that I do get a number of people who access the site "direct", which I guess could mean from a bookmark, but most of the visits come from referrals. Even from the APUG!

    I think sticking with your name, or whatever name you trade under, is the best bet.

    Cheers, Paul.
     
  25. phc

    phc Member

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    Just had a look at your site, Mike. Good portraiture.

    I did have a problem flicking through the pictures as the "images and text © Michael Sebastian" overlaps the "next image" arrow at the bottom of the page.

    Cheers, Paul.
     
  26. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Paul, I've shortened the copyright statement, which I hope helps.

    Also, did you notice that you can hover the cursor over the image you're looking at, and get big orange left or right arrows, or a cluster of blocks that lets you look at site thumbnails?

    Easier to navigate than with the tiny arrows at the bottom.