No Hurray for "Hoorray"

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I understand the whole web 2.0ish theme of creating a cool sounding company name, but that becomes a problem when it confuses visitors who accidentally type-in the domain name phonetically. This type of thing seems to happen all the time when people opt to spend money on marketing efforts rather than ponying up to buy a good domain name. It’s almost like building a beautiful home high up in the mountains of New Hampshire. Sure, the house is beautiful, huge, and there is plenty of cheap land to build a sprawling estate, but when it comes time to invite your friends, you better hope it doesn’t snow, because they aren’t making it if there’s snow.
I was reading through my emails this morning, and I received a press release with the headline “Hoorray.com Acquires “Hooray” Domain Name.” Apparently, the company thought buying the correct spelling Hooray.com was press-release worthy. According to a representative of the company,

“This is a significant step as we prepare to relaunch the 2.0 version of Hoorray later this summer,” said Robin Zieme, Director of New Ventures for Hoorray. “While the spelling of Hoorray with two r’s was not a hindrance, it will ensure that all traffic intended for our site comes our way.”

Maybe I am not their target audience, but whether the name has one “r” or two, if someone suggests that I visit Hoorray, I am probably going to type in Hurray.com, another proper spelling of that word. Yes, having a cool and unique company name makes for a less expensive domain name, but losing a considerable amount of traffic to the proper/alternate spelling of the domain name can be an expensive mistake – especially since the correctly spelled domain name will increase in value once the incorrectly spelled domain name starts driving traffic to it.
I’m old school. If I am going to confidently build an online company that will rely on web traffic for revenue, I am going to bank on its success and buy a non-confusing domain name. At least if the company fails, the domain name will still have value!

1 COMMENT

  1. Elliot, I think you bring up an important point about having a unique name. If you’re going to go for something that is hard to spell, or easy to misspell, you’d better be ready to buy as many of the misspelled domain names as you can. Cutesy spellings are just that “cute-sy”. If you’re in business to drive traffic to a site, you want to make sure your domain name is crystal clear and easy to spell. If it’s not, make sure you have contingencies in place.

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