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Dotcom or Notcom!

- 5 min read By Suchitra Sukumar

26 July, 2018

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Tips to avoid a confusing search for the right domain name

As for naming experts, we feel your pain. We know that finding the perfect domain name can be quite a trying task!

The importance of a strong domain name

A strong domain name is a strong web presence is more than a must-have. There are no two ways about it. Since a customer's experience with virtually every company, he or she does business with now centers on web interaction, your company's Internet presence isn't just an extension of your "real" presence -- it is your presence.

However, the standard problem we run into is that unavailability of the kind of domain name that we would ideally like to have. Many a time we discover that it already exists. Or that it is a trademark that is not available for us.

Most people in the e-commerce space have a preference for .com domain names. Each one of them wants a .com at the ends of their business name.

You probably have already realized that many of the .coms aren’t available.

One way to solve for it is to can consider a different TLD for your websites like .org or .net. In fact, your registrars would ask you to opt for suffixes like .biz or .info as well.

Here, in this case, you may have the option of keeping the brand name intact. However, the problem with using alternate extensions is the fact that there is a risk of your customers forgetting your domain name extension altogether because of low exposure to TLDs of that sort. They might go to the .com version by default, and you might end up losing traffic.

So how do we solve this?

With creativity, of course! If you invest a little time, you can solve the problem without shelling out a lot of money in trying to buy your desired domain name.

Here are a few ways to solve:

Start with the obvious -- include your brand name but with a suffix or prefix

This can complement your brand image and make your URL even more memorable. Oscar insurance added ‘hi’ in front of their name (www.hioscar.com) when the exact match dot-com wasn’t available. This complements the friendly, easy, and personal nature of the company.

Leave the .com obsession behind and become a ‘notcom’!

Rather than modify their company name, more companies are choosing notcom domain names that allow them to spell it out in full. Real business examples include upshot. the agency, fathom. clothing, soul.camp and many more. Simply put, a not-com is a domain extension that does not end in .com. But, as Google has shown us, there are lots of fun new options available. They range from the professional (.agency) to industry-specific (.photography) to trendy (.style) to international (.world) to fun (.guru).

And who doesn’t want to have their name dot guru as their URL? Doesn’t abc.xyz have a nice ring to it? We think so!

customer review

As it turns out, a “not-com” is trendy, it’s more descriptive, it’s meaningful, it’s available…and Google is leading the way (plus, it’s much easier to remember and more fun to describe the search giant’s new holding company).

Adjusting to the new can take a little time, but the not-com space is quickly growing in popularity, with new registrations recently surging past 17 million. Currently, that’s one registered every 10 seconds. Not-coms are on track to becoming the new normal.

It is an opportunity to cue the category you belong to!

These kinds of names use extensions to identify different things, ranging from the professional (.investments) to industry-specific (.coffee) to extensions that are fun or playful (.guru). These alternative endings open up a new avenue for broadcasting your full(er) company name and stand out from the dot-com crowd.

They can also help you clarify your company's focus if your brand name is simple but potentially generic. For example, if you run a coffee shop named Dave’s, choosing the domain www.daves.coffee makes your website name more informative.

In fact, recent studies published by Globe Runner, an SEO consulting firm, indicate that a not-com domain can  improve SEO while lowering your digital advertising expense. 

Spell out your purpose

There are more than a billion websites in the world, so standing out isn’t always easy.Research your competitors’ domain names and think about what makes your brand unique. How do your customers describe you? Is there a word that you might build into your domain name to set you apart?

Think about ways to make your domain name descriptive, even if your company name is not. If you already have a loyal client base that might not be a concern, but for most business owners there is merit in making it easy for people to infer what you do from your domain name alone.

“When we see a domain name such as www.coffee.club, we know that it's related to coffee and it's most likely a club of some sort. A site like www.jacksonville.attorney is most likely an attorney doing business in the city of Jacksonville.

We think that the unavailability is actually an opportunity for your brand to think out of the box and actually create a domain name that is more memorable to the end user, than merely a (something).com. In a fast-changing world like today, lets ditch the conventional and embrace the innovative, interesting and new!

 

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