Y ou’ve spent hours researching different business names, agonized over whether you should brand yourself under your personal name or create a business name, and have already started imagining what your logo could look like….only to find out, the domain you want is already taken.

Panic ensues.

I feel your pain – in fact I was there myself! As this is something that comes up often, I decided to share with you some tips that have come in handy for myself and my clients in this situation:

1.Try a different combination

If your ideal domain is taken, try adding words before or after it until you come up with a combination that works! For example, I wanted my domain to be www.arrowpost.com, but as that one wasn’t available (unless I was willing to pay $3,000 for it), I decided on arrowpostdigital.com instead. I find Lean Domain Search a great resource for coming up with different word combinations. Just put your keyword in, and you’ll be given thousands of different domain options containing that keyword.

2. Try a different top level domain (TDL)

While going for a “.com” is generally advised because it is more recognizable and easier to remember there is starting to be a whole host of other top level domains available that might make sense for your business. (Consider linktr.ee for example). If your “.com” option isn’t available and you will be only operating in your own country, consider getting a location dependent option such as “.ca” if you’re in Canada, or choosing another TDL that would make sense for your business.

3. Add an action word

Depending on your business, it might make sense to add an action verb before your business name. For example, “get,” “buy,” or “shop.” Play around with different combinations to see if one will work. I also like to check out thesaurus.com to get ideas for other words that might work.

A few more things to remember when picking a domain:

  • Avoid using hyphens or underscores, as people generally won’t remember to include those and therefore won’t be able to find your site
  • As much as possible, shorter is better
  • Don’t include numbers – people won’t know whether to write it out or not
  • If you plan on setting up social media accounts under your business name, check to make sure their handles are also available. A great resource for this is https://namechk.com/

While having your perfect domain taken isn’t ideal, with these tips you should be able to find an alternative to get you up online and developing a web presence. If you are feeling like you need further help with deciding on a brand name and choosing a domain, I’d love to help further. Book a FREE brand action plan call and we can discuss where you’re at in your branding journey and how I can help support you.

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