6 tips to try when the domain name is already taken / not available!

You’ve heard of IKEA, right? 

Who would have thought a wacky name like that would have been synonymous with a furniture giant? 

Let’s look at a few more! 

MyntraAJIOEverpret?  SenreveHäagen-Dazs? Kodak?

A brand’s name is an identity in itself! It’s what defines it! As wacky as the name is, the audience will envision the services provided with the name of itself! 

However, often what you have chosen might not be available as a domain name and this is important because your website’s name depends on it! 

For example, you want to start selling authentic Indian jewelry and have come up with the name “India Jewels” 

When you head over to a Godaddy or any other domain registrar, you find out that your chosen name of indiajewels.com is not available. Someone has already purchased it! 

So what do you do?

Do you abandon all hopes and start reinvesting time into thinking of a new brand name altogether to go with your domain name?

Do you sit researching available domain names and create your brand name around that?

Well, we’re here to clear that doubt. 

You do not have to do anything that drastic just yet! There are a couple of strategies that you can employ that just might save you the hassle of creating an entirely new brand name! 

So, here is our list of slightly sneaky yet brilliant tips that you can use! Here goes:

 

Sneaky Tip 1: Use your country to your benefit

Another technique you can use is to add your country’s name either to your URL or to your domain extension!

The Incredible India website as seen above uses the word “India” in its URL to ensure even if incredible is not available, incredible India together forms the defining domain name.

The India bulls domain name speaks for itself! The bull signifies the bull of the stock market and the word India signifies that its an Indian Financial website!

Using your country’s name in your URL adds a little something extra to your domain name and ensures your initial choice can be modified while retaining the original essence. Corey Northcutt has written an interesting article giving the complete breakdown of using country-specific domain names for SEO! Check it out!

Sneaky Tip 2: Use an alternate TLD

Let’s say you chose a .com domain extension but the name isn't available with that extension, you can choose a .in, .org .net, or any other alternate TLD available but there’s a catch.

.com extensions are globally accepted and perceived as trustworthy. The next in line come the country-specific TLDs such as .in, .eu, .uk but when it comes to alternate TLDs such as .shop, .sport, .club, .hotel etc, many people perceive these as spam. While it will not affect your SEO, it might affect customer perceptions. 

Here’s a list of alternate TLDs for you to browse through:

Sneaky Tip 3: Add a little something extra to your URL

Adding a verb or words that denote your choice of business to your URL can help you retain your original domain name in essence and add something extra that builds up your brand image.

The Buy Swadeshi website uses the verb “Buy” in their URL along with the word “Swadeshi” denoting its a shopping website for all things made in India and it also has an added SEO benefit for your website! 

Moz, has written an interesting article on best SEO Practices for domain names! Check it out!

The Acriolis India Motors website uses the word India as well as Motor to signify that it's an Indian company that deals with vehicles. It makes brand recall easier and adds trustworthiness to your brand. 

The only thing to keep in mind is to use something relevant to your business and can help be self-explanatory.

Sneaky Tip 4: Experimentation Wins

Abbreviations in domain names is a great way to retain the brand name on the website but use something similar in the actual domain name! It helps with recall as the URL is short and easy to remember! You can try other experimentations with your domain extension to help you zero in on your favorite domain name!

As seen with the Acrnm website, while the word “Acronym” may not be available, using an abbreviation as above is a great way to get your desired domain name while avoiding jumping through hoops!

The Medical Council of India uses an abbreviation in the URL of its name to keep the domain name short, simple yet relatable. They also use India to denote that they are an Indian website! they use an abbreviation of their name and attach India to it. 

Short, sweet, simple, and a great hack!

Sneaky Tip 5: Buy it or at least try to

One of the easiest yet hardest ways to get the domain name you want is by approaching the person or brand who has your preferred domain name and purchasing it from them. Many times a domain name is purchased but is no longer in use!

If you see this message pop up when you open a webpage, it means the website is no longer in use. This is a great thing because now you’re one step closer to purchasing your preferred domain name!

However, the difficult part comes in when the existing owner either does not want to sell it or wants to sell it at a cost that is higher than your budget! 

A few things to keep in mind while setting out to purchase an already taken domain name are:

  • Do your research properly on whether a website already exists on the domain name
  • Also research on whether a website existed earlier and what sort of activities they were into as you do not want a negative image attached to your brand because of the previous website.

Additionally, once you have successfully managed to buy the domain name of choice, also evaluate whether you should buy a domain name that sounds similar or use a different extension to your original choice! Garry Grant, in his article, has an interesting outlook on the pros and cons of purchasing all domain extensions. 

Ultimate Sneaky Tips: 

All said and done, if your original choice of the domain name is the only one you want and you’re willing to jump through hoops for it, you can do two things:

  • Monitor the domain using a domain monitoring tool to check if it expires and the owner does not renew it
  • You can opt for legal proceedings if the domain name does not have a trademark registered to it

Conclusion:

There are multiple things that you can do to get your preferred domain name but you have to keep in mind that all your actions have to be legal. And by legal we mean 100% legal! 

If your techniques to get your preferred domain name is even 99% legal, you’re opening yourself up to legal proceedings! If you use a domain name that is similar to another brand or has a trademark attached to it, that also opens you up to legal proceedings! 

But, at the same time, if you come across someone who has purchased your preferred domain name only for the sole purpose of selling it for profit, then you can take up legal proceedings against them. This is known as domain squatting or cybersquatting and is punishable by law!

So, there you have it, folks! 

There’s always a way around things if you spend some time and effort researching it! 

 

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