Friday, February 22, 2008

www.PokerNationUSA.com

???

OK URL-ers, gather 'round. Christine Korza has offered up her URL as a case study for us.

The story begins about a year ago with a new retail store and a dream of online and offline riches. Here's some background straight from the source...

"I tried to find the best balance between available domains and good viable and marketable names for the store... My store does 3 different things with regards to poker so I wanted also to have a non-specific name that I could expand later as well.... I am slightly breaking a rule by having USA at the end of my URL but I felt the sacrifice was worth it to get a memorable .com domain instead of a .info or a .biz... Poker is overserved online and underserved in bricks and mortar retail... If nothing else, the 'USA' at the end does make people think I'm a larger, more successful store than I actually am."

When I asked Christine if she considered renaming her store Poker Nation USA to match her URL, she said, "I'd rather have something that rolled off the tongue. Typing 3 more letters isn't a big deal but adding 3 more syllables is."

It's certainly hard to argue with Christine's logic here. Poker is one tough category online. What do you all think? Did Christine make the right call? What would you have done differently? Is this a Good or Bad URL?

6 comments:

seocontest2008 said...

H...mm.....

i would have put USA in the store name as well. How will a customer know that Poker nation's URL is Poker nation USA?
Difficult one!
I would still give it Good url vote on balance.

My Life In A Cube said...

I like the sound of "Poker Nation USA." It rolls off the tongue. Should use it for both the URL and the company name.

Michael Daehn said...

Those darn domain squatters ruin it for us honest business folks.

Based on the scenario I think you made the best choice available. Good call...

Mark Alves said...

The Web site itself emphasizes the company's local roots in Phoenix (e.g., "Why [you should] buy local" section; "Phoenix" appears in all the title tags) so I can understand her decision not to add "USA" to the official name.

Once you're on the site, though, the helpful mixed-caps URL we saw on the sign degrades into alllowercase within a small graphic at the top of the page. Keeping the mixed caps and displaying the URL in plain text on the site would help visitors, be they human or search engines.

Art said...

Bad branding, you are losing a lot of customers by not saying USA. You should be congruent with your message, and it is not. Poker nation in phoenix az? no one will search for poker nation to begin with. I would suggest to put usa into poker nation. At least it brands, since if people hear poker nation, they will go to poker nation. So there cant be no word of mouth since, there is no usa present. I think this is case where over thinking got the best of the idea.

Christine Korza said...

Thanks for the feedback here. I do agree on the url in the banner. I will ask my designer to change that ASAP. I have been careful to make sure everything else (newspaper ads, business cards, etc) include the word-capped URL -- this was one oversight.

Adding more words to my title tag will be a high priority for me. I have done very well getting high placement with my keywords, great response and traffic from my Google Ads, and I already have the site home page up to a PR5.

I spent a LOT of time with various names and there is just nothing out there with "poker" + noun. My theory at the moment (which shows in my referral keywords) is that if they try pokernation.com and get a squat site, they will google "poker nation" and find me on the first page and be on their merry way.

Thanks very much for the feedback.