Domain Names for Fundraising – 12 Epic Tips
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Using a custom domain name is one of the best ways to increase your ability to raise money online for a worthy cause. However, simply creating a unique URL will not necessarily provide you with the anticipated results unless you take steps to ensure that you have chosen the best possible option for your fundraising campaign. With this in mind, we have gathered 12 tips that will make it easy for you to make the right choice, and this will lead to an increase in donations.
1. Choose a Name That Is Easy to Spell – One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it is time to choose a URL is selecting a name that is difficult to spell. Additionally, you should make sure that your selection can be typed easily without causing a lot of potential typos. Keep in mind that certain words are commonly misspelled, so it is definitely a good idea to avoid them. After all, if your supporters attempt to access your page and receive an error message instead, they are more likely to simply move on to something else than to try to figure out what they did wrong. Therefore, you need to make the entire process as easy as possible by providing a URL that is simple and easy to spell. If you consider the name of each website that has become extremely popular, you will quickly see the importance of going the simplistic route so that you can capture the attention of the widest possible group of people.
2. Make the URL Easy to Remember – Creating an easy to remember URL is just as important as ensuring that it is easy to spell. This is due to the fact that people need to be able to recall your crowdfunding domain name even if they have only heard it once. The absolute best way to make this necessity become a reality is to choose a hyper relevant name that anyone involved with the cause with instantly be able to connect to. For example, if you were raising money for an individual named Jane Smith, you could choose janesmith.com and be confident that all of her friends, family and coworkers would be able to easily remember and spell this URL.
It is common for people to complicate things by putting hyphens and other unnecessary additions into their URL, so you should avoid doing this if at all possible. Keep in mind that adding unnecessary extras will make the name harder to remember, and you need to avoid any complications that could stand in the way of your cause receiving enough donations to become fully funded. Therefore, you need to carefully consider which URL name will be easy to spell, easy to remember and extremely relevant to your specific cause. Selecting a name that meets all of these needs will greatly increase your odds of hitting your goal, so make sure that you take this aspect of crowdfunding very seriously.
3. Keep the Name Short – Another vital aspect of capturing the attention of donors is to use a URL that is short. After all, no one wants to type out an extremely long name, and forcing people to do this will increase the likelihood of typos. Additionally, search engines provide you with a limited amount of space to share important meta information, and the length of your URL will have an impact on how much of this data is picked up. This one fact alone makes it extremely necessary to keep the URL short because search engines can be instrumental in directing potential supporters to your page. Therefore, if you would like to collect donations from people around the world who are not even connected to your cause, you need to be cognizant of the way that search engines work.
As previously mentioned, there is a specific method that has been utilized by the world’s most popular websites. For example, Facebook.com is easy to spell and remember, and it is also a short URL. All of these factors combined helped the website become noticed more quickly when it was in its infancy. Although a donation page is never going to achieve the level of daily views as a site like Facebook, there is absolutely no reason for you to miss out on supporters simply because you failed to choose a short domain name. In other words, following the proven techniques that have been incorporated by major sites can help dramatically boost your online presence, and this will lead to a higher level of awareness and a study stream of financial contributions for your cause.
4. It is Nice to Have a .com – Purchasing a .com extension is a great idea because .com is so much more prevalent and therefore easier to remember. However, there are several other extensions that will work, and they can sometimes be bought for a much cheaper price. For example, you can choose .net and typically get a discount, and there are also some extensions that are well-suited to fundraising such as .org or .io. Additionally, if you are raising money in a specific country outside of the U.S., it might be a good idea to select a country specific extension such as .jp for Japan. Unfortunately, this approach is typically more expensive than a .com, but it could also be much more effective at capturing the attention of a local audience.
If you are having difficulty deciding which extension to utilize, it is important to note that you can actually select more than one and have some of them set up to bounce to your page. In fact, many websites do this to help ensure that everyone will be able to locate them. For example, if you enter google.net into your browser’s URL bar, you will be redirected to the google.com homepage. Choosing this method is expensive, so we do not necessarily recommend it. However, we did want to let all of our users know that it is an option.
5. Avoid Sub-Domains – Some people choose to utilize a sub-domain so that they can still get the name of their choice even if it has already been taken, but this will actually lead to a lot of confusion, and it will hurt your ability to meet your goal. Therefore, you always want to stick tool room URL such as DonationsForMike.com. If you find out that this particular URL has already been taken, it would be a very bad idea to choose donations.forMike.com as an alternative method of locking in the name that you had in mind. Instead of this creative approach leading to the results that you are looking for, it will simply end up pushing the majority of your supporters to the DonationsForMike.com page. The reality is that most people will not remember to type the extra period, so you should always make sure to avoid making this URL mistake.
If you have already purchased a sub-domain, it is a good idea to purchase an additional URL that people will actually be able to remember. Once this new URL is in place, you can have your original sub-domain and the secondary URL bounce traffic to the same website. This will enable you to continue getting hits from any outreach that you have already performed with the sub-domain, and it will also help you market your campaign more effectively moving forward. After all, you need to remain focused on driving traffic to your page all times, and this will become very complicated if you rely on a sub-domain. Replacing it with an easier to remember URL will help you begin dramatically increasing traffic, and you will also experience a boost in donations.
6. Do Not Use Special Characters – As previously mentioned, you should avoid using hyphens in your URL because this will inhibit your supporters’ ability to properly remember what to enter into their browser’s address bar. You should also avoid all other special characters, including numerals. For example, a name such as 1-DonationsForMike.com is only going to confuse people, and this will prevent you from achieving your goal. In this scenario, the host of the fundraiser might feel compelled to utilize hyphens or numerals if they are unable to acquire the exact name that they were looking for. Unfortunately, this is a big mistake. Instead, it makes a lot more sense to simply choose a different relevant URL that is actually available.
A good rule of thumb is to carefully consider what you would be able to easily remember and type if you were accessing a site that you were not directly involved with. As soon as you put yourself in the position of your supporters, you will be able to easily understand why you need to make the URL as simple as possible. Always remember that anything you do to complicate matters will reduce the amount of money that you collect online, and this is counterproductive. As long as you keep your most basic and critical goal in mind at all times, you should be able to avoid making a catastrophic mistake that will have a hugely negative impact on your ability to raise money for a worthy cause.
7. Do Not Get Too Creative – Creativity is definitely a good thing in most aspects of life, but it is possible to become too clever while selecting a URL. For example, Twitter originally started with the name twittr.com. This was a cute and clever alternative, but it ultimately proved to be too confusing. Due to this, the company made the switch to their current URL: twitter.com. Keep in mind that your goal is to make your URL as memorable and easy to access as possible for all of your friends, family, coworkers and other supporters. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your URL name as simple as possible if you truly want to raise a lot of money.
We recommend discussing your ideas with at least one other person so that you can get some feedback on whether or not your desired URL is actually a good choice. If the other person tells you that it is difficult to remember or spell, you should listen to them and choose a more simplistic option. The best way to make sure that you get viable feedback is to consider consulting with someone who is not as educated or Internet savvy as you are. After all, you want your campaign to be able to reach out to a diverse group of supporters, and you do not want to let something like being too clever stand in the way of helping a person or organization in need.
8. Do Not Be Afraid to Select Two to Three Words – Having a single name for your URL such as Google can be great, but the odds are high that you will not be able to find an appropriate available option for your cause. If this is the case, the next best thing will be to string two or three real words together that are all relevant, simple to spell and easy to remember. For example, the previously mentioned DonationsForMike.com is the perfect example of a unique and relevant UR: that states exactly what your campaign is all about. As an added bonus, specifically mentioning the person you are raising money for in your URL can help increase awareness, and it will also make it much easier for people directly involved to remember the address for your page.
Another benefit of choosing a name such as DonationsForMike.com is that it will immediately set certain expectations for your page, and this will help new visitors quickly determine the exact purpose of your campaign. Telling them in the URL that you want them to make a donation for Mike is likely to increase the amount of visitors who click on your page with the intention of making a contribution. Additionally, anyone who knows that you are hosting a fundraiser for Mike will have a much easier time remembering a URL that specifically states what you need from them. With all this in mind, it can definitely be a good thing to select a URL that includes two to three relevant words that have been put together to create an easy to remember phrase.
9. Do Not Search for the Name Until You Are Ready to Make a Purchase – There are an extensive variety of domains available, but it is also a very competitive business. In fact, research has proven that simply searching for the name that you have in mind will bring it to the attention of people and companies that like to register domains with the purpose of selling them at a profit. Therefore, it is vital to avoid searching for any names that you have in mind until you are prepared to make a purchase.
A good rule of thumb is to choose at least two or three URL names that would be suitable for your campaign so that you do not need to spend a lot of time going back and forth throughout this process. Instead, as soon as you are ready to commit to a name, you can take your list and begin searching for each one in order of preference. The first one that is available should go instantly into your shopping cart to prevent anyone else from buying it. Following this tip will save you a lot of time, effort and money. After all, no one wants to keep starting over by needing to pick a new name for their page’s URL, and you can easily avoid this problem by steering clear of searching for any domains until the day that you have the money available to move forward with a purchase.
10. Do Not Forget to Set Up an Alias – Most people forget about setting up an alias for each of their domains, but it is a very important part of driving traffic to your page. Essentially, a URL alias exists with the sole purpose of helping people find your page even if they forget to type www. For example, if someone simply types in DonationsForMike.com without preceding it with www, they could receive an error message if you do not have an alias set up. Fortunately, as soon as an alias is in place, you will no longer need to worry about this potential complication. Instead, people will be directed to your page regardless of whether or not they entered www into their browser’s URL bar.
Many hosting companies that provide sites and domains take care of this step for you, so it is easy for people to forget that this is necessary when they are simply buying a name that will become attached to their DonationTo page. If you are uncertain if the provider that you have purchased the URL from has included an alias, you should definitely reach out to them for assistance. If an alias is not part of the purchase price, make sure that you take the necessary steps to get an alias set up so that you do not miss out on any donations.
11. Purchase the Name for More Than One Year – Although your fundraiser might be scheduled to end in less than 12 months, research indicates that domains that have been registered for more than one year have increased credibility. This is important because search engines will rank websites more highly if they have longevity in place via being owned for more than a year. In other words, if someone does a search on Google for a fundraiser about your cause, your page will be listed higher in the results if you lock your URL in for at least two years. There is typically a significant cost reduction for buying two years at once, and this will make it affordable for you to take advantage of this ranking criteria.
Keep in mind that medical causes can require fundraising for an extensive period of time, and medical conditions can also return after a period of being dormant. Therefore, if your campaign is related to medical expenses, it makes good sense to purchase the URL for at least two years regardless of search engine tactics. After all, getting everything taken care of from the onset will make the process of spreading awareness and raising money go much more smoothly. Due to this, we encourage you to register your URL for a minimum of two years so that you can take advantage of all of the benefits that are associated with making this decision.
12. Buy a URL from a Simple Seller – You have many different options when it comes to purchasing a URL, but it is best to rely on a simple seller because there is no reason to overly complicate the process. With this in mind, we always suggest turning to iWantMyName.com when it is time to buy a URL. This company provides the most basic and simplistic place to find and purchase domains, and this makes them the perfect fit for people who want to get their crowdfunding page up and running very quickly.
Choosing iWantMyName.com will provide you with several perks such as an extremely simple search feature that will help you determine whether or not your preferred URL name is available. Additionally, the company offers high quality tech support, and they also make the process of integrating your URL into your DonationTo.com page extremely easy. It has been proven that having a unique URL makes it much easier to host a successful campaign, so it is definitely worth your financial investment.
As you can see, putting all 12 of these tips into action can help you dramatically simplify the important process of choosing a custom URL for your fundraiser. After all, giving people an easy to remember and spell URL that is highly relevant to your cause is one of the best ways to help drive traffic to your page. Keep in mind that you cannot simply rely on links to give you the results that you are looking for. Instead, you also need to be able to utilize word of mouth, and this works best when people can easily remember the address of your fundraiser. Therefore, we highly recommend that each of our users take advantage of the opportunity to integrate a custom URL into their page so that they can increase traffic and the total amount of donations that they receive before their campaign ends.
Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Do Fundraising for Medical Expense, How to Do Medical Fundraising, How to Do Fundraising and Follow Up With Supporters, How to Not Give Up, How to Ask Businesses for Fundraising Help, How to Fundraise in 5 Steps
Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!
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