Spell Test Your Domain Names IRL First

June 13, 2019

Finding the right domain name can result in a time-consuming process. One could easily waste days typing their favorite word combinations into the browser bar. Any spreadsheet app can organize the nomination process making things at least manageable, but eventually choosing just one, final domain name can lead to drama, especially with more than one ‘decider ‘ in the room. So, how can we eliminate more candidates to make the decision easier? I’ll give you my top method…test IRL.

Real life testing provides you the necessary clues to refine your domain name selection process and pick a winner with less hassle. Let’s take a closer look, using my previously doomed domain name, Megabotix. Prior to renaming my operation MicroMajor this year (2019 Q2), no one could find my website, or likely even attempted to type it in. The name uses syllables in a combination that makes it difficult to accurately spell.

Simply ask a friend or co-worker, to spell the domain name back to you. (Of course, they can’t peek at the written version first, so avoid sharing the list!) This one test will expose any potential issues that might occur when transmitting your all-important brand name. In fact, just the process of imagining yourself asking people to spell the name back to you will expose implicitly confusing names. Resist the urge to keep those names on the list.

Let’s take ‘Megabotix’ for instance. The ‘ix’ ending makes this domain name choice poor. People I asked, often hear ‘Megabotox’ or report back ‘Megabotics’. One person that I asked even misspelled ‘Mega’ as ‘Maga’ O.O Good grief! Don’t paint yourself into obscurity with the first brush stroke, you need a name that comes back 100% accurate EVERY time on the first utterance. Even if your name feels simple or dumbed-down, not as extravagant, web2.0, or whatever vain excuse…if it performs better in the accuracy test, I say go with it.

Survey a few friends and improve your chances at selecting an ‘easy’ name, by revealing overly complex spellings early in the process. You may only need to ask one person. The exchange might go something like: “Hi, would you mind helping me decide on something? I need to test a company name.”

Above all, resist the urge to pay thousands of dollars for a domain name. Some advanced gurus will swear that each service has a perfectly fitting name, which creates some sort of magical, hypnotic effect. Don’t fall for it. The name represents 1% or less of the effort that goes into a successful website. Regardless, that small percentage seems pretty important, so make it easy to spell! Of course, that’s far from the only tip for a strong domain name. If you can take advantage of alliteration all the more merry.