What Is a Domain Name “Radio Test” from a Newbies Perspective?

By William Cuva / July 20, 2017
Domain Radio Test

The "Radio Test"  is the ability to spell the domain after hearing it from any media source (i.e. radio, tv, podcast, video, the internet, etc.).

In other words, does your domain and business name sound as they are written?

The term "radio test" gets its origin from hearing a domain name on the radio.

Are you wondering if anyone still listens to the radio?


Well the radio test not only applies to the radio and other outlets such as:

Word of mouth, that is when you are shopping at Wal-Mart and tell someone about your new website.

Talking about your new website on a podcast.

It is imperative that your domain can pass the radio test with minimal effort to receive the most value for your domain name.

It is difficult for customers and clients to find you if they have trouble spelling your business name when they are searching for you online.  

You have to ask yourself if you heard the name would you be able to spell it or remember the name at all before you decide on purchasing the domain name?

Domain Radio Test

Source: howtomakemyblog.com

A lot of times you can cross off domains when you think about the pros and cons when you are deciding on a name. 

Although fancy domains are popular with some startups, in some cases people who leave out vowels on their domains do not pass the radio test.  ​

These types of domains can irritate customers, which equals problems for your brand.

Let's act out a "radio test" scenario​

Imagine that you are walking down the street listening to your favorite song on your iPhone radio station. 

Your song is over, and if you are like me, you are annoyed by ads.  Anyway, an ad comes on for hiking boots that provide the most amazing comfort while you are hiking.

You are so excited because you have been searching for comfortable hiking boots since the beginning of time. 

So that annoying ad was useful after all!​

Nevertheless, the ad reaches the end of its spiel, and the radio announcer tells you how you can buy these great boots online. The radio announcer says really fast,  “If you want these amazing hiking boots, visit our store at Hiikiauboots.Vegas”

Um, when did I turn on a live auction station?  Now please tell me who in the world can spell that or remember that name?

You are so mad because this ad was out of the blue, you called it into existence, and then you can’t even remember the stupid name! Ugh!

I understand being distinctive and memorable, but couldn't they have at least made it easy to spell or even pronounce the name?!?  I am a potential client on a walk, and I should be able to easily remember the business name that was announced on the radio. 

I'm not trying to be picky, but there are so many brandable domain names that this company could have chosen for their business. ​

 But they thought that they were unique and clever with this domain name.  But little did they know that they just lost some revenue by trying to be fancy and not take into consideration that people will have a hard time remembering or even spelling their name.

I swear that I am not trying to be picky!

But, choosing a business name such as "Hiikiaububoots.Vegas" is not a good idea.  As I stated, I believe in being unique, but I would suggest that you be unique without making the name difficult to spell.  

The company could have thought of YourHikingBoots.Vegas, BrownHikingBoots.Vegas or any name that was short, sweet and to the point.

Yet, they went the unusual route and came up with a name that could cost them revenue in the long run.

A lot of business owners don’t know to consider a domain name test when selecting a domain name for their business. ‘

For the most part, emotional ties are what most business owners use to determine their business name or domain name.

How can this "radio test” make a difference to my business?

Well, the radio test is based on the person hearing the name and being able to spell it without seeing it spelled. Therefore, if a person can’t spell your business name when they are searching for it on the Internet, you are leaking valuable sales, and that is something that your business can’t afford if you are seeking success.

In fact, Name Ninja released an analysis stating more than 68% of the startup domains failed the Radio Test, meaning the names are not spelled the way the way they sound. 

Your name is an extension of your brand, and it can tighten the value that you provide, or it can distance you from your value by having a name that people can’t spell upon hearing it. You have one chance of making a first impression.

Many customers don’t know anything about your company, but a great name that passes the “radio test” can make a great first impression and open doors. On the other spectrum, if you have a weak name, then consider your sales out the door.

A name that passes the “radio test” can differentiate your company from the rest of the market, create buzz which equals more sales.

As Andrea Rowland writer from Godaddy says, Be memorable. There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain name that’s catchy and memorable is essential.

A name that doesn’t pass the “radio test” can limit your opportunities, neutralize the work that you’ve done to position yourself in the market or worst case having to rename your business which can cost you a lot of time and money.

Domain Name Selection Tips​

You have some options when you are considering a name for your business:

Use the founder's name (Kraft Foods)

Describe what you do (Hawaiin Airlines)

Describe an image (Nike)

Make up a word (Yahoo)

Does it sound good over the phone

Does it convey your message?

Creative business name ideas should be easy to pronounce

According to Tech Donut - Don't underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned brainstorm. If they can spare the time, get everyone in your business together in front of some whiteboards and scribble down all the domain name ideas you can think of.

Whenever you think of a domain name, say it out loud and see if it makes sense. If the name quickly comes out of your mouth, then it is acceptable.

Do you have a dictionary handy?  If so, you can use your dictionary to create a domain name that is short and to the point.  Your creative mind will work wonders.

A good name is something that can be mentioned on the radio or over the phone without having to explain the name.  You can always ask your friends to spell the name to see if they can spell the name easily.

Using a name that is too long or difficult to remember, spell or pronounce is setting your business up for failure.

Moreover, people will make a quick decision based on their first impression of your business name. 

All things considered,  there have been companies that have gone down the drain because they chose a domain name that wasn't associated with their business.

Domain names are deleted or left to expire because they did not serve the intended purpose for the person who registered the name.  Therefore, make sure that you test your domain names before you choose those names that will represent your blog, brand, website or online business.