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I'm making a full page ad and have a short link that users will hopefully enter into their browser to learn more and place a purchase. It is a generic top level domain, but pretty short, then has a few letters after. It looks like:

site.vision/usx

Note, it's not really site but it is a four-letter quasi-word (pronounceable) and really is .vision.

I've seen many link shorteners used in this way. For example, Amazon uses a.co along with random alphas about 6 or 7 characters long. I'd love to pick up a really short domain like that in the .com or other very well knowns, but that's not going to happen, so I'm left with the gTLD.

The problem is that when I see site.vision/usx it's not immediately apparent to me that it is a web page, so I've resorted to adding http:// or www. before it. Naturally, all three work and lead to the web page, so technically all are a valid option to use, but I'm wondering which makes it more apparent that it is a web page and that users are expected to type it in?

I almost always don't leave the URL in isolation on the page, using the common formula

[Do some action] at site.vision/usx

or listing with other contact options like

Phone: (123) 456-7890
Email: name@site.vision
Online: site.vision/usx

I find that less computer adepts persons will assume (or clarify on the phone) " Dot com?" because they are apparently unaware of the .vision gTLD, leaving me usually saying something like "Name at site dot vision. No dot com, just name at site dot vision." This makes me feel stupid for obvious reasons.

But in print, site.vision looks like a typo to me. http://site.vision and www.site.vision look like domains, but which is better? Is there another option I'm not thinking of, other than using a different domain name altogether?

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    Could you use a web/globe icon? – bendataclear Jan 29 at 13:56
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As a techie, http:// (or, I hope, https://) makes it unambiguous, but – from my (informal) experience – often isn't used in mainstream media. Trying to put myself in a non-techie's shoes, I think www. as a prefix is sufficiently associated with "the web" that most people will recognise it as a web-address, and so may be the best.

However, unless someone finds some prior research, this could be an opportunity to test this yourself: have your ads use variants like:

  • site.vision/promo

  • http://site.vision/offer

  • www.site.vision/shop

where the three variants after / will allow you to track which format does best.

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Could you use a web/globe icon?

Something like:

Web icon

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