Well, here’s the bad news, and you may already have found this out—almost every .com domain name you can think of is taken.

What’s the good news? It doesn’t really matter.

Alexandra Watkins, author of Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick, has found that consumers don’t fault companies that don’t use the .com of their business name. See NissanUSA.com as an example.

You won’t find MyBusinessName.com available any time soon, but according to Watkins, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You can choose a domain name that is memorable, catchy, and easy-to-read all the same. Here are a few tips for how to do that.

Don’t give up your business name just because the .com domain is not available.

Don’t start the naming process at a domain registrar such as GoDaddy. That’s backward. Begin by creating your brand name, then find a domain name. If an exact match domain name isn’t available, you can find a creative workaround.

Alexandra Watkins

If you feel like you’ve hit on the perfect business name for your endeavour…

  • Meaning ✔️
  • Spelling ✔️
  • Not trademarked ✔️

…but the .com is unavailable, no worries! Don’t give up that idea, but be prepared to tweak it a bit for the domain name.

Try adding a prefix or suffix to make your ideal domain name.

You can get endlessly creative with prefixes, such as go- get- shop-, or suffixes such -helps -group -studio. Don’t just pick one and move on though—you’re gonna want to craft your name to be appealing to both your customers and you, after the hundredth time you say your URL.

Examples of domain names with prefixes or suffixes.

  1. JoinHandshake.com
  2. WeAreAirlift.com
  3. ShopMove.co

Create a phrase.

Alexandra Watkins gives some good before/after examples of this in her talk. Think like a visitor here—how can you add a little bit of extra delight or understanding with your domain name?

Examples of domain names with catchy phrases.

Move over .com, there are new extensions in town.

Although .com is the most recognizable domain name extension, you’re not limited! There are tons of extensions out there, ranging from .co to .pizza. I’m a fan of the filters on Namecheap that allow you to sort by theme.

Examples of domains with alternative extensions.

How to pick a domain name in 2020.

Picking a domain name nowadays takes skill and creativity. A domain name that simply spells out your business name may be out of reach, but you can leverage this to come up with something unique, memorable, brandable, and ultimately more helpful to your customers.