How to choose a domain name your audience will remember.

You need a .com domain name. Most of your customers will expect this. But that’s not enough. You need a brandable domain name that stands out from your competition, is good for your branding, and will help you grow your business.

A lot rests on the shoulders of your catchy domains. It’s one of the most important early aspects of your business. Sure, you can build from any domain name, but the right one will make it much easier to grow your blog or business.

Where do you start? Here are the top tips on picking the right .com domain name, whatever your business.

1. Start by Thinking About the Typing

How easy is your domain name to type or say? Will someone look at it and see two different words or phrases in there? Could the incorrect phrase be embarrassing?

Look at your potential brandable domain names—every single idea you have. If there’s anything different to type or say, you want to cross them off your list. They are definitely not right for you.

The last thing you want is to constantly have to spell out the domain name. This makes it memorable but for the wrong reasons. A memorable domain name because it’s catchy and easy is essential, as it instantly gives your branding a boost.

If you’re using a phrase or slogan for your business, think about the time it takes to type and spelling issues. Keep your phrases to the point, as short domain names are always easier to type.

2. Avoid Numbers and Special Characters

Numbers and special characters are distracting, difficult to remember, and harder to figure out when you’re saying the domain name. Even if your business has a number in the logo for branding purposes, you want to use actual letters for the domain name.

When using a number, people won’t know if they need to spell out the number or use the actual figure. And hyphens or underscores are just annoying and time consuming.

If your desired domain name is taken and the only way to get it is through the use of a hyphen, move onto your next domain idea. People will naturally type without the hyphen and they will come up to the other domain name. If this is your competitor, you’ve just lost your potential client/customer. It’s not worth it for the sake of going back to the drawing board and finding the perfect domain name for you.

3. Include Your Keyword Phrase

Are you targeting a specific keyword phrase for your website? Consider this for your domain name. Even if you add one or two keywords, you will fair better in the search engines.

Google will pay attention to your keywords for brandable domain names. If it finds exactly what people are searching for, it is likely to rank your site higher in the search results and make it easier for people to find you.

For example, if you’re a local photography, don’t just use your name or business name in the domain name. Adding “photography” in there is good, but adding “[location] photography” is even better. People know instantly that you serve their area. As for Google, people are likely to search for the specific location and you will get a better ranking in search results than your non-specific competitors.

4. Check for Trademarks, Copyright, and Other Legal Issues

The last thing you want is a cease and desist letter about your website. You don’t want someone to tell you that you need to change your name or for someone to charge you a fortune for making this small error.

There are certain words that are trademarked or copyrighted, even though they make catch domains. Businesses will seek legal action against you if you impinge on their legally registered trademarks and copyrights without approval first.

It’s best to research any potential legal issues you could run into through the use of domain names. You may be surprised at some of the trademarks registered. These can also include certain hashtags!

If you’ve created a phrase that you believe should be trademarked, apply for it. This will protect your brand in the future.

5. Consider Your Business or Name Brand

Many companies will use their business name in their domain name. Just look at the likes of Google, Amazon, Disney, and more. They have all built a brand around their business name, so using that name within their .com domain name makes a lot of sense.

Likewise, some people will create a brand around their names. This is common with many freelancers, sole traders, and bloggers. They branding around their name gives them the chance to expand and grow. If you are using your own name, consider adding keyword phrases into the domain name afterwards to help people find you.

Consider these for creating a memorable domain name. As people get to know you as a brand, they’re more likely to type your name in Google or just try your name + .com to see if you have a site under that brand. If someone else has snapped it up, they could get confused and believe the site they’re on is the real deal.

6. Check Out Suggested Alternatives

Some domain registrars will offer alternatives if your domain name has been taken. Check out branding experts and websites, designed to help you come up with catchy, memorable business names and domains. When your creative juices are running low, these registrars and companies have the ability to take your focus and come up with something inspiring.

Branding and domain name experts will also check out if the domain names are available and help you secure them quickly and effortlessly.

Are you ready to set up your .com domain name? Look for something that tells people what you do, is memorable, and will help your ranking in a Google search. It will take some time to create catchy domains, but that time is worth it financially in the future.