It’s one of the struggles we all must face when running a business in the digital age. You come up with the perfect idea, and fantastic business name, design a logo, and start all of the paperwork. Then you go to register the domain name online and what happens? Your perfect domain name is taken. Do you give up on it at that point? How about modifying it with dashes or picking some random extension and registering that instead? These are questions we’ve all asked ourselves when running into this problem. And trust me, if you’ve been in the online business world long enough you have surely been here before! Honestly, none of these solutions are really that great. After all, your domain name is a big part of any SEO campaigns you run, and it will affect your performance. If you make a misstep with your domain name, it can negatively impact your SEO in the long term. Thankfully, there are some great alternatives you can consider when in this position.
Try to purchase it – This is a very simple tip, but most people never actually consider it. Sure, it’s not going to be the cheapest route. However, buying the exact domain name you want is a way to assure you’ll get it. If you don’t think you’ll have enough money to purchase your ideal domain name (we can’t all own WebHosting.com) or your ideal domain name is already developed, then you may need to consider making some small changes to it and seeing if those names are available for sale as well. Otherwise, you can always consider purchasing an expired domain that’s relevant to your business as well. Simple perform a WhoIs Lookup on the domain your interested in, see who owns it and then contact the seller.
Add a verb to your domain – This is an extremely popular method for getting around a domain name that’s already been registered and there are two big benefits to the technique. First, you can still use your brand name in the website URL itself. Second, you don’t have to revert to registering different TLDs. Verbs like “get” and “try” are popular choices as additions to domain names. One great examples would be Pocket, who uses GetPocket.com.
Add your country to the domain – Are you familiar with the Nissan domain name lawsuit? Back in 1994, a company named Nissan Computer Corp registered the domain Nissan.com. It was ran by an entrepreneur named Uzi Nissan who had used the business name since back in 1980. Then in 2000, Nissan Motor sued Uzi Nissan with an obvious goal of taking the Nissan.com domain name. Needless to say, the infamous car company didn’t end up getting the domain and if you visit Nissan.com today you’ll see it still goes to Uzi’s website. So, what did the Nissan motor company end up having to do? They added “USA” to their URL and can be found at NissanUSA.com.
Use a domain hack – Domain hacks have become a creative way to use alternative TLDs to make a word or phrase. These types of domains have a high novelty factor which makes them easy to remember. A great example is WordPress creator Matthew Mullenweg’s blog: Ma.tt. One major downside to domain hacks is that they’re hard to say out loud. Imagine telling someone go to “Ma dot TT.” But, not every domain hack faces that issue. For example, Visual.ly is easy enough to spell and say. Domain hacks definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you have a trendier brand, try them out.