Available domain names
There are millions upon millions of domain names currently registered and thousands more are being added every single day. It therefore can be quite a struggle to find available domain names for your company. On this page I want to run you through a couple of techniques that you can use to find the perfect domain name!
I am going to presume that you already have a domain name in mind. In this day and age, when it comes to Search Engine Optimization you will want to choose available domain names which are easy to brand. In the past it was suggested that you use ‘exact match domain names’ but in my opinion (and most other people’s opinions) it doesn’t really work. Try to come up with a list of various names that you could use. You don’t need to check whether there are any available domain names for them yet! You are just making a list. Try to ensure that the names are not similar to any companies that exist right now (you can of course always check this later too!)
Once you have a list in hand it is time to go online to a domain registrant and type in potential names that you could work with into their handy little search box. Chances are, the majority of the domain names that you want will have been taken. If they have been taken in the .com format then you may want to look into whether you can net yourself the .info, .net or something similar. Although of course this is not something you should do if the .com is a popular website! You should hopefully come up with a list of available domain names here. If you really have your heart set on a particular domain name but find it is taken then you may want to try the next step…
To check whether a domain name is expiring soon you will need to carry out a WHOIS check. This is something which queries the registrar of the domain name and finds out when it expires (as well as a whole host of other information). If the site is expiring within the next couple of months then you may be in luck. If it isn’t and you still want it then it may be worth getting in touch with the owner of the domain name and seeing if they will accept an offer from you for it. Bear in mind though, people will be very reluctant to sell the domain name if they are making serious money with the site already.
Once you have found a couple of available domain names using the tips I mentioned here you can go and find somewhere to register them. If they are close to expiring but not yet available then many of the domain name registrants will allow you to pre-order the domain name for a fee. Pick and choose which companies you use for this service though as a couple of them aren’t that good at what they do. Not only will they not end up securing the domain for you, but they will still charge you for the service!