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Desired Domain Name Taken? Here’s What To Do Next

Desired Domain Name Taken? Here’s What To Do Next

domain name taken

Perhaps you had your heart set on a certain domain for your new website or blog. You go to register it and you discover it has already been claimed? What do you do now? Business experts explain it isn’t the end of the world. You can find success without the perfect domain name.

A perfect example of success is Tesla. When the company first set out to market their electric car concept, they realized that Tesla.com was already taken by someone else. In 2003, the company had to settle for TeslaMotors.com, which proved to be a smart marketing move.

“The main thing is that all companies, but especially start-ups who have a lower budget, should not be focused on the domain name. They should be focused on creating the most powerful brand name they can get and using a modifier if necessary in the domain,” Jay Jurisich, CEO and creative director at naming and branding agency Zinzin, told CNBC.

Tesla has now branched out from the automotive industry, but their domain remains the same. Further proving that the domain identity does not affect the consumer’s perceptions of the company.

domain name taken

“They’re at TeslaMotors.com even though they’re moving into territory beyond cars. That modifier is not hurting them and they don’t change their brand to match their domain. They’re not branded as Tesla Motors, just Tesla,” Jurisich added.

All too often many people get discouraged and even give up on their ideas, simply because they discover their desired domain name taken.

“It comes at the worst time: when you have the least amount of money. You’re already intellectually, physically, financially stressed out and that’s when you’re expected to come up with this genius,” said Phillip Davis, president of Tungsten Branding.

Some have even admitted that they ditched the venture because they couldn’t get dot-com extension.

“Dot-com will always be the downtown Manhattan real estate of the domain industry. It’ll always be the Manhattan address. Having said that, does every office need to be in Manhattan?” said Davis.

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Experts also recommend looking past domain names and extensions and focusing on search engine optimization and the ability for users to find your site.

“There’s other factors in SEO that are more important and even though having the name in the domain is one of the factors for SEO, that’s not diminished by having modifying words,” Zinzin’s Jurisich said.

Overall, the most important issue that a new blogger or entrepreneur should focus on is a well thought out branding strategy.

“That’s the most important bit is to really plant your flag and make a statement, a bold statement with your brand and then live up to that by delivering on the goods, delivering on your brand promise. If you do that, the domain issue will take care of itself.”

And, who knows? One day, your dream domain may become available again. You may of noticed that Tesla is now the owner of the Tesla.com domain.

View Comments (2)
  • Thanks for this, Meagan! I started blogging a few months ago, but was frustrated to see someone had bought the .com domain for my full name. I had once registered it but let it lapse, at which point the squatter (a large website retailer) swooped it up. Solution? I know blog at PeterMorscheck.xyz instead.

    Also, please note that Tesla Motors finally acquired the Tesla.com domain this February – but that is a fun and instructive story in and of itself.

  • Excellent information. Jay is correct in noting that a modifier (“motors” being a modifier for Tesla) does not impact consumer perception of the brand.

    For more information on “not coms” (gTLD) readers might want to check out Name.kitchen Google used ‘xyz’ for Alphabet, their new holding company. Once larger companies start using gTLDs, they will become more acceptable.

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