Artists should register at least two domain names. I’ve given this serious thought and concluded that proper domain names are essential to your online marketing strategy. Here are Clint Watson’s domain name rules for artists.
1. Register Only .com domains
If you register .biz, .org, .net or any other extensions besides .com, people will forget and will use the .com extension anyway. An exception: if someone else grabbed YourName.com before you, then go ahead and get yourname.net.
2. Don’t use hyphens, dashes, numbers or abbreviations.
These are too confusing and people forget them anyway.
3. Register YourName.com
Your domain name should be your name. If you attend a gallery opening and meet a potential collector you want an easy to remember domain name. The prospect already has your name. It’s a piece of cake to tell him to visit your web site if you can say, “It’s just MyName.com.” If the person is interested in your artwork, he will remember your name. If your name is also your web site address, he will automatically remember your web site. The other important reason for registering your own name is to improve your search engine ranking. If someone types “Clint Watson” into Google, my site will likely be the number one result if my domain is “ClintWatson.com.” (And actually it is number one although I was forced to register the nasty .net extension). The search engine benefit is especially true if you’ve done your other search engine strategies correctly.
4. Register YourNameFineArt.com
If you can’t get YourName.com, then YourNameFineArt.com is a good second choice. It retains your name in the address, so you will still enjoy the search engine benefits as outlined above. Plus it has the added benefit of having “Fine Art” in the address. As an artist, those are also terms that you would like search engines to associate with you. YourNameFineArt.com was originally my first choice for domain names for artists; however, it is a more cumbersome to tell people in a social setting (which should be one of your primary marketing strategies.) You’ll always be reminding people not to forget to add “FineArt” to the end of your name, that’s why you should register YourName.com too.
5. Register any other name you wish
I personally believe in using yourname.com as an artist, but if you have some other branded trademark or a dba that you feel is important to use, then register a third name.
There you have it, Clint Watson’s domain name rules for artists. Sure, registering more than one domain name costs a bit more money, but domain names are dirt cheap these days. Plus, if you host your web site with one of my services, FineArtStudioOnline.com or MyStudioSite.com, we pay for one of your domain names anyway.
That’s my view, I’d love to hear yours.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic