When the Domain Name You Want Is Already Taken
By Steve Rivkin
So you want to register a domain name – let’s call it smith.com – but that URL is already taken.
No surprise. More than 225 million domain names are registered worldwide, according to Verisign. (That’s something in the range of 30 times the number of existing trademarks.)
Let’s work from three assumptions: First, you want the status of a dot-com and won’t be happy with a lesser billing. Second, you’re unable (or unwilling) to change the “Smith.” Three, you’ve explored the purchase of the existing domain, but it’s either too expensive or too time-consuming a process.
So, what to do?
- Expand the company name. Consider SmithCorp.com or SmithLLC.com. Or consider telling more: SmithTechnologies.com or SmithVentures.com.
- Expand the product or brand name by adding the specific: SmithCoffee.com or SmithOptics.com. (This should also boost your search optimization.)
- Wave the flag. You might be proud to be identified as SmithAmerica.com or SmithUSA.com.
- Go bigger. Consider SmithInternational.com or (using the common abbreviation) SmithIntl.com. Bigger yet: SmithUniversal.com.
- Urge action. Following the lead of the direct-response crowd, consider GoSmith.com or TrySmith.com.
- Underscore immediacy. SmithToday.com might work.
- Be irreverent. With a nod to college rah-rah: WeAreSmith.com.