I don’t know if this branding strategy makes sense to anyone but me but when I first reserved my Twitter name, I puzzled over how I could tie it into my brand. After all, 15 characters isn’t much. If my domain name (keepupwiththeweb) had been 1 less character, I could have chosen that as my Twitter name. Of course that wasn’t the case. So I reserved KEEPUPWEB as my Twitter name and decided to make the best of it.
Being the analytical person I am (and being prone to “what-if” scenarios), I started thinking what if someone tried to go to www.keepupweb.com. (It could happen.) I’m always guessing on what I expect a company’s domain name to be. (It’s a little like clicking on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” box when I go to Google.com.)
I decided to go to my domain registrar (I use GoDaddy) and reserve the domain name keepupweb.com. I figured domain names are cheap. It may catch some traffic and it would prevent anyone else from reserving it. What’s one more domain name anyways? After reserving it, I went into my domain manager and set up a 301 redirect to permanently forward it to keepupwiththeweb.com. I then started using my Twitter user ID as my ID on every social network site I join.
It turns out that there’s another benefit to having keepuweb.com as a URL. Sometimes when I tweet, rather than using a URL shortener, I will direct people to http://keepupweb.com. It’s really not much longer than a shortened URL and it’s part of my brand. Also, some people are intimidated by shortened urls because you don’t know where you’re going til you get there.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any stats from Google Analytics to tell me how many people are coming to my site through KeepUpWeb.com because there’s no easy way to track traffic from a forwarded domain. (Please tell me if you know an easy way to do this.) I’ve been told that there are some techie hoops that I could jump through to find out but I’m honestly just not that interested.
So, my question to you is have you (or anyone you know) reserved your twitter user ID as a domain name and forwarded it to your website? Do you think I’m wasting money or do you think it’s a good idea? Have you used 301 redirects for your website? As always, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.