A key aspect of starting a business, is starting a website. Once you’ve spent the time and resources to develop and test an idea or service, you’re then ready to bring it to the marketplace. And no matter how you’ve chosen to sell your product, you need a website.

Consumers essentially live online so you need to meet them in their space. You might think then that an app or social media is where you need to spend time initially. But a high performing website is what you really need first. Because what good does generating traffic do for you, unless you have a place called home to convert the traffic.

Thoughts about website design and color schemes may be racing through your head. Reign it in, we’re going to talk about something way more exciting — domain names. Domain names are not just an address for your website, they are the beginning of your branding efforts and the beginning of your success.

Your website needs an effective domain name and it’s going to take some time and patience to get it right. Many .com names are already taken, but a sound URL will help you establish credibility and promote your brand identity. To get it right, there are several tactics to follow as you go through the process of choosing a clever and catchy domain name.

Here’s how to make a foolproof domain name that delivers on website performance.

Repeat it out loud. While you are trying to be unique, don’t accidentally string words together that ultimately create an unwanted phrase or difficult to pronounce name or phrase. And even if people may not go around saying your domain name out loud, pronounceability is important. It has to be easy for our brains to process because then it’s easier to remember.

Avoid confusion. Don’t sound like someone else’s site. No good can come of this tactic, even if you think it might initially generate some traffic for you. If people confuse your name so can search engines and you’ll end up with your name’s search having results with irrelevant links.

Keep it short. No numbers, no hyphens, no abbreviations, even though it may be tempting. Only use an acronym if your company will be referred by it publicly. You need to strike a balance between what makes sense without trying to say too much. Remember a short root domain name, means all your page URLs will have a short and easy structure too.

Think branding. Something unique to your company and your brand is desired. It’s got to stand out among your competition and win against a million other registered domain names. Your ideal name should give consumers a quick and good idea of what your business is all about.

Use SEO keywords. Consider your keywords and see if something works in your domain name. You want to optimize your name without Google thinking it’s a spammy tactic. So use relevant, specific keywords to your company and avoid the generic keywords and phrases everyone uses.

Be original. And do this without being too trendy. There are many catchphrases out there that sound good today, but don’t hold up tomorrow. In order to be memorable, your domain name needs to relevant to your company. Relevancy will also help click through rates and conversion results for your site’s performance metrics.

Avoid trademark infringement. Once you think you have your domain name, check to make sure it’s not trademarked before you register it. You want something that is completely distinctive and doesn’t lead to trademark legal issues.

Choosing an effective domain name for your company is top priority. You now know some key points to consider to help in picking just the right name for your business. Once you’ve got a couple good ones you like, test them out with friends and family until you have the perfect domain name that’s sticking in everyone’s minds.