With the recent explosion in the availability of website domain name suffixes (such as .eu, .ws, .cc and so on) it's never been easier to grab a domain name that is directly related to the subject matter of your site.
For example, if your site were to be about Persian Cats, you would probably want to use a domain name including the phrase "persiancat". Unfortunately, however, persiancat.com is no longer available. Nor is persiancat.net, .org, .biz or any of the other top level domain name suffixes.
As I write, persiancat.ws IS still available, so you could buy that name if you wanted to.
However, the truth of the matter is that most people who are searching on the net are going to give first priority to sites with top level domain names, such as a .com or a .net.
At least partially, this is simply a function of these being the original suffixes, and therefore the average surfer believes that they have more credibility and authority.
This is especially critical if your website is selling or promoting your business or products, as these factors translate into "trustworthy" in this situation. Simply put, a top level domain name is one of your strongest sales tools.
Search engines will also consider your domain name when considering your site for that all important search engine ranking Therefore, there needs to be some clear relationship between your domain name and site subject, to give you any chance of featuring when people search using Google or Yahoo.
So, what can you do? Well, here's a couple of very simple tips that I have used to bag top level names for some of my own sites.
First, try a plural version of your key phrase, rather than the singular version. So, in the example above, we could check on the availability of top level names using persiancats, rather than persiancat. However, used on its own, this tactic is a bit too obvious, and in my experience, when the singular version of a phrase has been take, more often than not, so has the plural.
The second little trick is, however, far more effective and well worth trying if you are looking for a top level name for your site. The trick is - numbers!
Not numbers at the beginning of the domain address - that's really "old hat" and you only have to look at a list of expired domains to see how many owners of such addresses just allow them to die. Why? Because they don't work particularly well with either search engines or with real people - and something like "0000persiancats.com" just looks plain silly!
No, I'm talking about numbers in the "body" of the domain name itself, especially the numbers 2 and 4. Why? Well, the number 2 can be substituted for the word "to" and 4 can be read as "for".
Now, tie that in with one other little substitution trick - take the word "you" and substitute the letter "u" - and we have a method of finding a good top level domain name that still relates very closely to the site subject matter.
Let's go back to our persiancats example to demonstrate how effective a strategy this can be. Using all three of the highlighted tricks, we try searching for "persiancats2u.com" and "persiancats4u.com". And, guess what? At the time of writing, both are still available!
Two top level domain names, both closely related to the site content, either (or both) of which clearly and concisely indicate exactly what the site is about.
There you have it. A simple but effective method of grabbing a top level domain name for your site.
Next time your are searching for a good domain name, try it because, remember, your customer will always look for a .com website first!