What Should I Call My Business? Brand Names and Search Engines.

August 20, 2020
Ian Griffiths
The Web Explained

We’ve been there, thousands have been there, the age-old question of "what do I call my business?"

We’ve been there, thousands have been there, the age-old question of "what do I call my business?"

As digital becomes far more essential to new and existing businesses in the UK, we have listed a few of the key reasons to consider a company name based on the advantages you may find through early stage search engine optimisation.

Many start-up companies fall into the same mistake of choosing a brand name with a catchy sound or a personal meaning. However, if this is the route chosen it’s absolutely possible, they may regret their decision when attempting to gain visibility in various search engines, such as Google and Bing.

First thing to note is that a branded domain name is not as all-powerful as it once was. A new business certainly cannot expect number 1 ranking just off the back of this alone, not unless it is a ludicrously easy search term at least. However, as you will go on to read, the company name and URL (Uniform Resource Locator) can create a formidable nudge in the right direction.

If you want to generate substantial initial traffic to your website, grow your brand awareness, and increase sales, you must choose an SEO-friendly brand name. So, keep reading to learn about the importance of selecting a name that works in harmony with the search engines.

Improve your visibility in Google

Running a Google Search on Tablet

As you no-doubt know, you are going to need to do more than simply hit the ‘Go Live’ button on your website to build a presence in the search engines. To climb your way to the top of the result pages, you’ll need to embark on various search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics, which can include:

· Building a responsive website (read about that here)

· Maximising clean code throughout the site

· Optimising pagespeed

· Naturally Integrating powerful keywords and phrases

· Regularly Publishing and updating content

· Creating a diverse backlink portfolio

However, you must also not underestimate the importance of using your company name as your domain name. By doing so, you can increase your brand recognition, make it easier for potential customers to find you in the search engines, and of course to remember your web address (domain name).

Select the right Top-Level Domain

Sign posts representing different TLD's

If you’re unfamiliar with a top-level domain (TLD), it is the part of the domain that comes after your site name, such as:

·        .com

·        .co.uk

·        .net

·        .org

·        .co

·        .it

The TLD you choose will, however, determine your web traffic and appearance in the search engines. If you are targeting international customers, consider a .com TLD. However, if you’re targeting customers in a specific country then opt for the nation’s TLD (such as .co.uk for the UK).

It’s a smart decision as Google doesn’t prefer a keyword in your TLD, for example the domain ending ‘.builders’ or ‘.clothing’ will do nothing for a company’s search ranking for those specific terms. However, a ‘.co.uk’ will help Google identify a site if someone is specifically searching a term in the UK market such as ‘builders in the UK’. In these particular examples therefore it would be better to register your domain as www.beautiful-builders.co.uk, rather than www.beautiful.builders.

It’s also worth noting that like with so many things, there are exceptions to the rule, as not-for-profit organisations should opt for .org and IT companies could choose .net, which can support their trust and credibility.

Consider incorporating a locality

Map pin pointing Weston-super-Mare

If your company will depend on local custom for sales, you should consider incorporating the city or region into your domain name. If you don’t, you will likely need to inject a serious amount of money into your marketing campaigns to reach your target audience and generate sales or achieve website goals.

Give your business the best possible chance of success by incorporating your services and primary region into your domain name. It will indicate to Google where you are in the world and the services you will provide to a web user, so they will be more likely to rank you at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google and other search engines hold ranking factors based on brand, and location!

Identify competition for a Brand mention

Brand Name spelled out

Your brand name must be unique if you want to reach the top of Google and remain there for that exact search term. For example, we managed to rank YOUGO Taxi, a website and SEO project in Number 1 spot on Google within 2 weeks, even with no domain reputation, mostly due to the fact the exact term ‘YOUGO’ had little competition. Ranking the same website for the term ‘Taxi App’ took us far longer.

The long and short of this is that if you choose a name that is the same or similar to other companies, you’ll struggle to develop a strong presence in the result pages for that specific term.

It is an intelligent move to type a potential brand name into Google to review any competition. Consulting an SEO specialist like us at Inspired Works is an outstanding idea at this early stage, this is because we subscribe to digital marketing programs that enable us to see exactly how competitive a search termis, and how likely you could rank for it.

You also should review social media accounts, Yelp listings, and the Yellow Pages to find out if there are other organisations out there with the same or similar brand name.

Remember, the more unique your name, the more unlikely it will be that another competitor will aim to establish a presence with a similar name. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are prime examples, as both are direct competitors with unique names, so they will not need to compete in the search engines.

If you pick an unusual spelling, a distinctive phrase, or create a new word, your brand will naturally rank well in Google because there is next to no competition. Prime examples include BuzzFeed, Facebook, Instagram, and as mentioned previously, YOUGO.

Choose a phonetic name

In addition to being unique, your domain name would benefit from being phonetic. This means creating a name that sounds exactly how it is spelled, such as Google and Facebook. By choosing a phonetic name, your target audience will be more likely to remember it and naturally be able to recall your company when looking for you online.

To create a catchy, phonetic name, you should:

· Use alliteration

· Reduce the name to two syllables

· Pick a clear yet creative name

The main exception to these rules is if choosing a descriptive company name or one based on location. That said, if you can create a snappy, phonetic name, it will ensure you don’t miss out on a customer simply because they couldn’t remember how to spell your brand. Now this may seem unlikely, and sure if you spelt Coca-Cola as ‘Koca-Kola’ Google will no doubt send you to the right place, but when your domain is starting out and has a 0/100 domain authority, you can guarantee Google is looking for the exact spelling for its searchusers.

Our conclusion

No longer can you select a brand name solely because it is catchy or complements your image. For your company to rank at the top of the search engines, enjoy a substantial amount of daily traffic, and generate healthy interest or sales throughout the year, you must build a great website and pick an SEO friendly name that can helpfully ensure your future success on Google, Bing, Yahoo and the others.

Thanks for reading. As always, if we can help in anyway our email is hello@inspiredworks.co.uk.  

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Ian Griffiths

Ian Griffiths

Years spent in Sales, Business Consultancy, and Digital Marketing led to the founding of Inspired Works.

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