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Bill Hartzer

How to Research New gTLDs Using SEMrush

Bill Hartzer

There are literally hundreds of new gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) coming out, which are equivalent of what a lot of us are used to seeing, .com, .net and .org. This means you'll be able to own one of these gTLDs, and use it as a website and email address just like any other domain name.

For example, some of the popular gTLDs that are already in use are .guru, .photography, .recipes and .plumbing. After the jump, I'll tell you how you can find out which gTLDs are coming available when, and how to use SEMrush to research possible new domain names for purchase.  First, you need to know which gTLDs are becoming available, and what the process is for when they're released to the general public.

Before a gTLD domain name becomes available for anyone to purchase (at the lowest price), it goes through a few phases: trademark phrase (anyone with a valid trademark on the word can purchase the domain), pre-registration and general release. Prices for these domains are generally much higher during pre-registration and start around $12,000. Then, the prices go down dramatically over time, with the "cheapest" pre-registration time being the day before general release.

Usually, the domain names become available at 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST). If you really want a particular domain, though, you'll need to purchase it at the pre-registration price before it's gone. Any pre-registration price is usually much higher than the actual annual renewal fee. To see when gTLDs are becoming available and their timelines for release, your best bet is to go to the gTLD Calendar at http://www.calzone.org.

Before purchasing a domain, we'll obviously need to do some research to find possible domains. That's where SEMrush comes in, and where it plays a key role. I'll use the gTLD .shoes (whose domains are now generally available), and go through the process of what it takes to find domains that are valuable and worth purchasing.

We know that the gTLD is .shoes, so we'll start with the word "shoes" as a search query at SEMrush.


Let's go ahead and view the "full report," though, as that's what we're really after. Starting at the top, let's just go through the keywords. I prefer to open this report below, and also open up a text editor like Notepad in order to start typing in a list of keywords. As I go through the list, I'll think of words that I'd also like to try, so using the SEMrush report below ends up helping jog my memory a bit.

semrush-shoes-phrasematch-report Let's take a look at the types of domains on my list as I went through this SEMrush report:

  • running
  • wedding
  • basketball
  • cheap
  • boat
  • mens
  • womens
  • golf

So, what's important here is that we're staying away from any of the "brand names," and possible trademarks. Registering a brand name or a trademark is only going to get you into hassles and trouble later on, so I prefer to stay away from them. I'm looking here for "generic" keywords.

The next step is to take the list and combine those words with the .shoes gTLD, and form a new list of domains. So, I use a site called Combine Words to combine those words, such as running, wedding and basketball into a new list such as running.shoes, wedding.shoes and basketball.shoes. It's helpful to use a tool such as combinewords.com to do this, especially if you're dealing with hundreds of words in some cases:

semrush-combinewords-gtldsOnce you process those words, you'll have a new list:

  • running .shoes
  • wedding .shoes
  • basketball .shoes
  • cheap .shoes
  • boat .shoes
  • mens .shoes
  • womens .shoes
  • golf .shoes

Use your Notepad or MS Word doc to remove the spaces, and you can take that list and search to see if any of those domain names are available to register. Take your new list, and go to 101Domain.com. On the site's home page, click on the "bulk search" option as shown below:

semrush-101domain-bulksearchPut your list into the bulk domain search tool and see if any of them are available. Typical prices are shown if they are available, and you may want to register them at 101domain.com or another favorite registrar, such as GoDaddy or Enom.com.

semrush-bulk-domain-search-toolSeveral different gTLDs get to general availability at the same time. From what I've heard, they tend to become available on Wednesdays, and about four or five of them are all available at once. So, you'll want to go through this process ahead of time and have your list of domains ready. But as I previously mentioned, the "good" domains are being purchased during the pre-registration phase, where the domains are priced a little bit higher than the annual renewal fee.

So far, SEMrush has been an invaluable tool for me, as I have been able to do the proper keyword research ahead of time and find domain names that I normally would not have just "thought of" off the top of my head. I've kept a level-head about it, and do the proper keyword research to see how many people are searching for a particular keyword phrase. I let that determine whether or not the domain name is worth purchasing at the pre-registration prices or whether or not I'll wait and take my chances on "general availability" day.

Author bio:

Bill Hartzer is a successful internet marketing expert, having practiced search engine optimization and website marketing since 1996. You can visit his website here, and read his last article for SEMrush, "SEO Predictions for 2014: Link Earning, Google Authorship and AuthorRank."

Bill Hartzer is a Senior SEO Strategist at GlobeRunner.com. You can visit his personal website here. Bill's last article for SEMrush was, “How to Research New gTLDs Using SEMrush."

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