Are you thinking about doing a company rebrand, but concerned the domain you want is taken or too expensive? Or, already in the process and freaking out about what to do now that you’ve realized your domain name is taken?
Don’t stress. Finding an alternative domain name is much easier than you think. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to getting the best possible domains if the one you originally had your heart set on is not available.
This is one of the most common questions our clients usually ask us during the renaming or rebranding process. The answer is yes and no.
Yes, a great domain name is important, but no it doesn’t have to be the perfect domain name either. There is some wiggle room when it comes to domains, especially now that the internet has become flooded with new companies popping up left and right.
Truth is, the chances that a prospect will type your domain name verbatim into the search bar are pretty low. Even if they do and they get the domain wrong, they will likely turn to Google and just look it up through the search bar.
What really matters is that the content on your website be properly optimized to improve your site's SEO rankings. However, that's a different conversation. If you need help starting or improving your SEO strategy, here is a beginners guide for your reference.
Since the domain is not the end all be all when it comes to rebrands, what criteria should you go by when looking for an available domain name? So glad you asked.
Based on our experiences at Kalungi, this is what we’ve learned are the best practices and things to keep in mind when looking for the best possible domain.
To do this, stay away from dashes and such in your domain. You want your prospects to be able to remember your domain and recommend your company through word of mouth without any verbal hiccups.
This goes back to my previous point, it’s awkward for someone to say “dash” out loud. It doesn’t sound natural. You also want the domain to make grammatical sense so you avoid the “huh?” when referring others to your domain. What I mean by this is “getkalungi.com” makes more sense to someone versus “kalungiget.com” Your domain should roll off your tongue with ease. The catchier, the better.
A top level domain refers to the “.com”, “.org”, “.us” portion of the domain name. Of course, the most sought after TLD is “.com”, but if it’s not available (which it most likely isn’t) it is absolutely not a deal breaker. As long as the TLD makes sense, that’s all that truly matters.
For example, if your company is a food delivery app it wouldn’t make sense for your TLD to be “.org” as that is typically used within the education industry. However, you could use TLDs like “.app” or “.us” (if based in the US). There’s tons of available alternate TLDs that will probably cost you much less than a “.com”, so get creative!
This one seems obvious, but sadly is ignored at times. It’s pretty straightforward, just make sure to use your company’s name in the domain. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for Kalungi’s domain name to be “thebestmarketing.com”. That is sure to cause confusion with prospects, especially if you're a lesser known company.
People typically assume your domain name is the same or similar to your business name, therefore it’s crucial you keep your branding and messaging consistent across all your materials, including your domain. You want to make it simpler for potential customers to understand who you are, not the other way around.
If you’re afraid no one will find you because you don’t have that perfect “.com” domain, there are other ways to boost your SEO power. Use keywords in your URL, meta descriptions, titles, meta titles, headlines, etc. There are many other ways to improve SEO. Here’s another, much shorter, blog to help you improve your SEO.
Like many other things in life, domains are best when kept short and sweet. Long domains are hard to say, take more effort to memorize, and feel outdated. You want something fresh, modern, and punchy that requires minimal effort for your prospects to communicate.
Boosting your SEO is definitely important, but like I mentioned earlier there are other ways to do this. Your domain does not have to be one of them. You want your domain name to sound great to your human prospects, that is the top priority.
I don’t recommend holding your breath on this one, but nonetheless it is an option. If you had your mind set on a specific domain that is taken, you can continue to monitor it and see if that company forgets to renew it, puts it up for sale, closes down, etc.
To help make you feel better, here are a few massive brands who were also unable to secure their desired domain so they did what all great companies do, adapt.
And last but not least, Zoom who still uses Zoom.us despite the fact that they now own Zoom.com as well.