What to Do if You Can’t Get Your Business Name Domain in .comPosted: December 20, 2011 | |
One of our previous articles went over alternatives if you can’t get your personal name domain in .com. Having the same problem with your existing business name is somewhat of a different scenario.
It’s vitally important to secure your matching .com domain before launching a business, even if it’s offline. With how easy it is to find information and even reviews online on many offline businesses, many consumers turn to the web first. Not having the matching .com domain means losing type-in traffic and possibly not coming up high in Google when people search for you.
The first thing you should try to do is buy the domain from its owner (here are some tips for that). If it’s not for sale or is well beyond your budget, then you have a decision to make.
What can you do if you can’t get your business name domain in .com?
Whether you just established the business or have been around a while but really want to make a splash online, consider rebranding to a name you can get in .com. It’s important enough to have the matching .com that rebranding may be a better idea than going with an alternative.
Business large and small rebrand every day, and often use it as part of a marketing burst to build a buzz. You can use the opportunity to launch an improved identity and message. Note that it’s important to make sure you actually get the matching .com domain for your new name before proceeding to rebrand your business.
2. Get the acronym/abbreviation
This can be an expensive option but a way to still maintain your company identity without the matching name. Note that 3-letter .com domains cost a minimum of thousands of dollars – 2-letter .com domains much more. You might consider .net for an exact abbreviation too, but you would lose a lot of clout and traffic by not having the .com.
If your company name ends in Company, Group, Inc., LLC or something similar, you can consider abbreviating the rest of it. For instance, Home Loan Company could go with HLCompany.com or even HLCo.com. The exact match would be better but these are still viable options if you can’t get it.
Additionally, certain words in your company name may have common abbreviations, like Ave for Avenue. Note that even common abbreviations may hurt the name’s memorability but uncommon ones definitely would. Mtge in place of mortgage is not something most consumers would think to type or search for.
3. Get the name + your product/service
Adding an additional word can work if your company name is short enough. It’s best to add a relevant descriptive word assuming there isn’t one already in your company name. It wouldn’t look as much of a Plan B name as a name with an irrelevant or completely unnecessary word added.
4. Get the name + your company designation (Inc., LLC, Ltd. and others)
This option certainly doesn’t look nearly as nice as the exact match, but it can still be viable if your company name isn’t already long.
5. Consider the exact match in a different extension
If you’re looking to establish a nice international presence or even a local presence within .com-centric countries like the US, .com is absolutely vital. This option is after the others because having .com is generally more vital than having the exact match. Still, if you can at least stay with a reasonably strong extension like .net, it can be better than other options.
Bear in mind that beyond .net (and of course .org for organizations, informational or resourceful sites), extension value drops off quickly. .co may have hype built on it, but most end-consumers tend to think a .co is a typo of .com when they see one (or at best a knock-off of .com). If targeting a particular country where its country-code extension is common, that is another viable option.
Overall, while there are many different domains you can go with, none of them are remotely comparable to getting your exact matching .com. If you haven’t started your business yet, you really should make sure to get the domain before you name your business. Many companies wind up paying huge premiums later for it, if they can even get it at all.