Some of us know the feeling. You have a domain name in mind, it’s catchy but unique, it’s easy to remember and will attract thousands to your site. You’re about to register the domain name and lo and behold, it’s already taken. We all know that having a is important especially if you have a brand or an online business because it helps to improve rank and build credibility. So what to do now?
The first step is to try an alternative extension. The .com extension may not be available but there are other alternatives like .net, .co, .info and .biz that you can consider. Of these generic top level domains (gTLDs) the most popular is the .co which started out as the extension for the country Colombia. Websites like vine and WalMart have opted for the .co extension.
Another good way to come up with an extension is to become patriotic. Opting for a code top-level domain (cTLDs) is specific for each country. If you live in Canada for example, check out if it’s available as a .ca, in Japan it’s .jp, .uk for the United Kingdom and so forth. One of the big advantages of going for the cTLDs is that Google ranks websites that use local extensions for searchers in the area. So if you own a flower delivery service in Canada, Google.ca will give your site a good rank for Canadian searchers.
Add A Keyword
If your preferred domain name is not available for the .com extension and you don’t want to use the alternative extensions, why not try adding keywords that explains what you do. For example, if your company is called “Delicious Cakes” why not go for the deliciouscakesandpastries domain to make it clear that you do not only sell cakes. This gives you a domain with your company name and it also helps inform clients what you offer.
If you’re a local business you can add a location to your place so for the above example, it can be deliciouscakesboston or deliciouscakesnewyork. Choosing to put your city will increase your search rankings for people searching in that city.
Deliciouscakesnewyork or deliciouscakessanfrancisco is too long to type especially if the searcher is on a mobile device. Help them out and increase your chances of snagging that domain name by abbreviating it. So the above examples can be deliciouscakesny, deliciouscakessf or deliciouscakesnj.
Make an Offer
If you really want that domain name, contact the owner and make an offer. Just like any other property, you can approach the owner of the domain and tell him that you would like to buy it. Tools like Domain Tools will help you know who owns a certain domain name.
If it’s for sale, buy it. In instances like the domain is being used by a well maintained or popular website the chances are slim. However if it is just reserved you can always offer to buy the name from the owner. Look up online classified ads, contact the owner of the domain, bid on sites like ebay or employ the assistance of domain name brokers.