Skip to main content

Direct Navigation

Matt Bentley recently wrote an article in MarketingProfs.com about direct navigation:
Simply put, direct navigation is when a user directly types a Web address into a browser.
Whatever your product or brand name, you can acquire a generic domain name conducive to direct navigation. Bentley gives several examples, including "books.com" redirecting to Barnes & Noble's site.

Bentley enumerates three ways you can exploit the fact that people use direct navigation:
  1. Redirect from the generic domain to your main site.
  2. Set up an informational or education portal at the generic domain that contains links to your main site.
  3. Use the generic domain as your brand.
Option 3 is simply a bad idea. Generic or descriptive names make poor brand names, as I have repeatedly mentioned.

Option 1 has its pros and cons. It does direct interested prospects to your site. But it does so at the price of distracting from the brand name. You want customers to remember your brand name. Allowing them to type a generic name instead gives them a crutch that makes it less likely they'll remember or bookmark your brand name.

I have recommended option 2 to clients. Option 2 has the benefits of option 1 (albeit with a little more burden on the prospect) without distracting from the brand.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Henry Ford's "Faster Horse" Quote

You may have heard the ( apocryphal ) Henry Ford quote: If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "a faster horse". Over at the On Product Management blog , Saeed gives his take on this infamous quote. He "hates" it, and gives some compelling reasons. Saeed is spot on in his explanations. Personally, I think the quote is great, but it's a matter of interpretation. The valid point of the quote is not that it's a bad idea to facilitate a conversation with your market to better understand it. The valid points are: You must ask the right questions to get valuable answers. You must interpret the answers thoughtfully - often outside their direct meaning - to glean reliable information. Asking questions is not always the best way to "listen" to your market. (E.g., sometimes pure observational studies are more reliable.) Nonetheless, I find the quote is helpful to combat "armchair product management" in the

Stop Validating and Start Falsifying

The product management and startup worlds are buzzing about the importance of "validation". In this entry, I'll explain how this idea originated and why it's leading organizations astray. Why Validate? In lean startup circles, you constantly hear about "validated learning" and "validating" product ideas: The assumption is that you have a great product idea and seek validation from customers before expending vast resources to build and bring it to market. Indeed, it makes sense to transcend conventional approaches to making product decisions . Intuition, sales anecdotes, feature requests from customers, backward industry thinking, and spreadsheets don't form the basis for sound product decisions. Incorporating lean startup concepts , and a more scientific approach to learning markets, is undoubtedly a sounder approach. Moreover, in larger organizations, sometimes further in the product life-cycle, everyone seems to have an opinio