What to Do If Your Domain Name Isn’t Available?

Almost everyone who has a website today was once in this situation. A domain name is something that is meant to make your website or brand very memorable, which is why it can be quite a dilemma when you discover that your perfect domain name has been registered by someone else. This is especially when for dot com domain names. There are currently more than 130 million registered dot com domains in the world, therefore the chances of you getting the one you want is very poor.

So, when you find yourself in this situation, should you forget about your ideal website or are there any other domain choices available to you? Below are sound suggestions for getting your domain name even if it belongs to someone else.

Try another domain name extension

Almost everybody wants to have a dot com domain name, unfortunately, this is no longer possible. Dot com account for more than 40% of the registered domain names on the internet and its high popularity means that you are less likely to find a dot com version of your domain name, especially if you intend to use a generic domain.

If you don’t have any attachment to the domain name you came up with, a quick solution is to come up with something else, but where the name you come up with is related to your brand and cannot be changed, there are dozens of other domain name extensions in the market that you can try.

In fact, as at February 2017, ICANN added more than 1000 domain name extensions to the already available list, thus giving everyone the opportunity to own their ideal domain name.

The following are domain extensions other than dot com you may want to consider.

Country Code Top-Level Domain

Country specific domain names or Country Code Top Level Domain are domain name extensions that tied to countries.

Opting for ccTLD is a good idea if you serve a local market and want to attract local traffic, and it has as much value as the regular dot com domain extensions.

Examples of ccTLDs are: .CO.NZ, .CO.UK, .CO.FR, and .CO.ES.

Industry Top Level Domain

If your website is industry-specific and you are unable to find the dot com version of your ideal domain name, you may want to consider the industry TLD. These are domain extensions that relate to a number of industries, and there is a good chance you will find your ideal domain for your target industry.

There are domain extensions for pub and bar websites, restaurants, lawyers, technology companies, and even ecommerce businesses. In fact, you will find a domain extension for virtually every industry in the world today.

If you are wondering how any of these domain extensions will affect your search page ranking, they don’t. Google has a lot of search page ranking factors but domain name extension is not one of them. In fact, Google has said on several occasions that domain name has little or no effect on website visibility in search engines.

There are just so many options to choose from when considering alternative domain names that you can even register as many domain extensions as you want to prevent someone else encroaching on your domain space. As a matter of fact, even if you already have a dot com extension for your business, nothing stops you from buying up a few other extensions to protect your brand.

Try a variation of your domain choice

If you simply must use a dot com extension for your domain name, using a variation of your choice may be what you need to do the trick.

For example, if your preferred domain name is NewZealandTours.com, and you find out that someone is already using this name, you can play around with the arrangement to come up with something else that may be available. Variations like NZTours.com, ToursNewZealand.com, or ToursNZ.com

At the end of the day, any of these alternatives will still pass the message you are trying to send with your original choice.

See if the current owner will sell

Some people buy domains not because they actually want to use them, but so that they can sell them and make a profit. If this is the case, there is the possibility that you might be able to get the domain of your choice if you are willing to pay for it.

The first step is to find out who owns it. You can do a ‘WHOIS’ search to find out the owner of a particular domain name, when it was registered, and when it will expire. Unless the owner opted for domain privacy, you will also find the contact information of the principal registrant, and you can use this contact information to make an offer.

Setup domain monitoring

Your preferred domain research may be unavailable at the moment, but not forever. Domain names are bought for a specific period of time, usually between one year and ten years. At the end of this period, the owner can renew it or choose to let it go.

If you are not in too much of a hurry to use the domain name, you can set up domain monitoring which will alert you when the domain name is expiring so that you can buy it when it becomes available for sale on the market. However, note that most domain owners will choose to renew, so you should not always count on getting it this way.

Wrapping up Registering your ideal domain name is important to your business because this is the name you will be stuck with throughout the lifetime of your website, but when your the choice is unavailable, you have to be creative or flexible.

Once you are able to come up with a domain name that is perfect and available, consider registering it for the maximum period. This will save you lots of headache in the future.

Picking the right domain name can be challenging, but with patience and a bit of creativity, you will be able to get one that suits your business just fine.

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