As busy self-storage operators, you might not give a second thought to the formatting of your web address. It is important however, to stop every now and then and consider whether any changes should be made.
As one self-storage company in Austin, TX learned, something as simple as whether to hyphenate your company domain name could impact the ability of potential tenants and current customers to find your website.
Drop the hyphen
For nine years, AAA Storage’s domain name was aaa-storage.com.
On September 17, AAA Storage moved the site to a new domain without a hyphen: aaastorage.com.
Company spokesperson Dal Anderson said the hyphen was originally included because marketers insisted that it would help the site rank higher in search engine results. That theory has been for the most part overturned, said Anderson.
“Ultimately, this URL will be easier for our customers to remember as well as insert into their chosen search engines,” Anderson said.
Hyphens and SEO
It turns out that having a hyphen doesn’t help rankings, and in most cases is unnecessary punctuation. Some say that hyphenated domains can even lower your rankings.
Alex Schenker of We Rock Your Web writes: “There are those that believe that people are less likely to click on hyphenated domains because of their association with spammy sites, and because long-lasting traditional domain names tend to be hyphen free.”
Removing hyphens also makes it easier for you or your managers to tell your customers how to access your website.
Schenker continues: “There is one undisputed argument for non-hyphenated domains. And that is when you are marketing your domain name by word of mouth…Chances are they will forget the hyphens, insert them in the wrong place, or not know what a hyphen is to begin with.”
Redirect your traffic
In case customers click on a link to the old domain, aaa-storage.com redirects visitors to the correct web address. That saves AAA Storage, which operates more than 20 facilities in four states, from losing out on any past link building to their site.
Anderson at AAA Storage said that the change was made with customers in mind.
“Our more easily accessible URL is simply the latest of our efforts to better cater to the communities we serve. Though it may seem like a minor change, those smaller details can make all the difference for our customers,” Anderson said.