When you’re thinking up a name for your new website or product or creation, it can be tricky. Finally, once you’ve settled on the perfect company name, there comes another challenge: finding the right domain name. Your first search may turn up with a taken domain name, or one that’s already registered but for sale at a price you can’t justify at this early stage. Before you go ahead and buy a similar-ish domain name to your brand or go for something completely different, test it. There is nothing worse than owning a domain name, putting your website on it, only to have everyone squint at your business card, mispronounce it, or fail to type it in properly. Let’s go through the best and simplest way to test any domain name.
Source Your Website’s Target Audience
From your family, friends, colleagues, and connections, determine a handful of people who are in your target audience. You only need to find about 10-20 people to get a good feel and conclusion for this test. To create your audience, consider your product. If you’re building an app, for example, who is the app for? Where will the app be offered or made available? Is it a fun trivia game or a work-related task manager? Asking yourself who needs the app you’re making will help you decide who you know that would fit into your predicted audience persona. From there, make a list of the people you’re going to reach out to alongside the best contact method for getting in touch (email, phone, Facebook, LinkedIn, in-person, etc.). Use the list to keep track of whether you’ve reached out, drawn a conclusion from the test, and so on. This will help you stay organized as you move forward with testing.
Say Your Domain Name Name Out Loud
Next, divide your target audience into two groups: one that you will be saying the name out loud to your audience and the other where you will be asking your audience to say the name out loud. You do not necessarily need to tell your target audience that they’re part of your testing stage – getting a genuine reaction is important. Say your domain name out loud to your first group and ask them to spell it out or type it into their search bar. If all goes well, then you’ve got a great name! If your target group is asking you to repeat yourself, thinking too hard about how to spell it out, or mispelling it entirely, then you’ve learned that it’s not a great domain name. For your other experiment group, show them what the domain name looks like on paper or in a browser bar. Ask this group to say the written domain name out loud. Draw similar conclusions to the above.
Choose a Memorable Domain Name Extension
There’s no doubt that having an irrelevant Top-Level Domain (TLD, or domain name extension), can cause a flurry of difficulties. Choose an extension that represents what you’ve built and it’ll be sure to resonate with your audience and also your brand. For the above example, if you’re building an app, there’s a domain name for that! The .APP domain name was released in 2018 to an absolute frenzy of excitement. It’s perfect for any application, whether on web or mobile, and tells your audience what to expect when they land on the website. A unique domain extension is a great way to inform your audience and stand out.
Hopefully, this has encouraged you to test your domain name before you buy it. This will save you a future headache of people not understanding how to spell or pronounce your domain name. Your audience has to be able to easily find you online to connect and a no-brainer company name and domain name is a great way to be memorable.
Looking for ideas? Here are some examples of ways that top marketing and branding experts are using domain extensions to enhance their brand.