This post was written by Tasmiya Sayed, Sr. Content Marketing & Communication Associate at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .online and .tech. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
The domain name is an essential part of any brand’s online identity, whether it’s a store, a company website, or a blog. It’s something everyone wants to get right, but securing the perfect domain name can be challenging.
With over 1.7 billion websites on the Internet right now, many of us get excited to build an online venture only to discover that our first choice domain name has already been taken. The good news is that when a would-be website owner finds themselves in this situation, it’s an opportunity for you, their service provider, to save the day.
Here are five things that you can do to help your customers find their perfect domain name (and win their business!), even if their original pick is taken.
1. Recommend relevant, alternative domain extensions
Unless your customer has a truly unique business name, there is a solid chance that the .com version of their domain is already registered.
This used to be a problem that could send a business back to the drawing board. But in the last few years, hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs), such as .online, .space, .store, .tech, and .site have emerged. Not only can domains under these TLDs be easier to acquire, but they can lend meaning and relevance to your customers’ URLs.
You can present options that best suit the customer’s brand and industry. For instance, .store is perfect for e-commerce websites, .tech is a natural option for tech-related platforms, and .space is a playful option for blogs and creative pages.
If your customer wants to reach a local or national audience, you can also see if their domain is available on their country-code domain extension, like .ca, .uk, .de, or .us.
2. Help them buy their first-choice domain from its current owner
This may not be an option for some small businesses, as it can be expensive. However, if there is a specific domain name that your customer thinks is absolutely necessary for their business, you can, in some cases, buy it from the existing owner. In fact, if the owner is looking to sell and has listed it, you can buy the domain for your customer right from our Control Panel or via our API.
If the owner isn’t actively trying to sell the domain, it may still be worth reaching out to see if they’re open to the idea! You can try to get in touch with them by doing a whois lookup on the domain. The results will provide you with a proxy email that you can use to contact the registrant. You may also find the owner’s contact information on the website that’s currently active on the domain.
Open them up to alternatives…
Making a slight adjustment to your customer’s original choice or exploring entirely new directions can often result in a domain name they like even better. There are a few approaches you can take.
3. Clarify what their business is about
It’s a good idea to use keywords that relate to your customer’s business in the domain name. This ensures their brand name remains relevant and also makes the domain name more communicative.
This is especially beneficial for new, lesser-known companies, as people can glean the nature of the business right from the domain name.
For instance, an online business called Summer Funk that sells stylish cotton t-shirts called could go with the domain name summerfunktshirts.store if summerfunk.store is already taken.
4. Speak to their location
If your customer is operating within a particular region, you can include their location in the domain name. Getting specific about the geographic market that the business serves is a great idea if they’re a local brand or if they’re offering a service or product where location is important. You can add the location to the brand name, be it a city, district, or neighborhood.
For instance, to stick with our Summer Funk example, if the company was based out of New York City or San Francisco, they could go with summerfunknyc.store or summerfunksf.site.
5. Brainstorm net new ideas
There are multiple tools available that can help you find domain names that work for your customers. You can start by using online name generators to find some creative brand ideas, and when it comes to the actual domain search, use our name suggestion tool, which many of our resellers employ and build upon to create a fun domain search experiences. Check out Hover’s.
If you work closely with your customers in a more hands-on fashion, you can also brainstorm with them to select alternative domain names that make sense for their business and marketing strategy.
Whether your customer has picked a winner or is still deciding between a few finalists, encourage them to buy their domain name early. Competition for great names is intense, and you never know when someone is going to buy the domain you’ve been eying. It’s also a good idea to remind customers that they can always purchase multiple domains, and decide on the winner later. Plus, variations of their domain names can be used for unique landing pages and branded links.
Remember that finding a domain name can actually be a really fun process for the customer. In the end, you’re helping them enjoy the creative process and nail down a foundational element of their brand.