Ranking #1 for Your Business or Site Name is Not Enough

I have had some small business owners come up and tell me that they would be happy as long as they ranked for their business name on Google. I tell them that’s not good enough, and here’s why.

If your business is new, no one is going to know who you are.

What is the point of ranking for keywords that no one is searching for? It doesn’t make sense. Don’t waste time on keywords that have no search volume. But there is an exception: If you have an established business that already has an offline presence, there may be search volume there. In this situation, yes, I would try to rank for the business name.

Ranking for your business name shouldn’t be all that difficult.

Generally speaking, businesses with proper nouns in the name, will have an easier time ranking for searches for their business name.

Examples of businesses using proper nouns: Joe’s Crab Shack, eBay, Craigslist and Chase Bank.

Proper nouns used in business names make them unique to only that business.

On the other hand, business names that use generic keywords will have a harder time ranking for searches for their business name. This is because generic keywords can be used by anyone in the world, and are not unique to a specific business.

Examples of business names/domains containing common nouns: creditcards.com, desktopcomputers.com, carspeaker.com and bookstore.com.

Companies like these take a generic keyword and turn them into brands. You can do the same, but do understand that it will be more difficult to rank these types of domains because you will have more competition on a global level.

My thoughts

When choosing a business name or domain, the most important thing is to choose one that you will be happy with. Don’t choose based on the notion that certain keywords may give you a boost in search engine rankings. With the release of Google’s EMD algorithm update, exact match domains don’t have any advantage over branded/proper noun domains in terms of search rankings.

Ranking for your business name is a good first step, but you should have bigger goals in mind. Start off by doing some keyword research and find out what keywords have volume. Begin with some long-tail keywords and expand your reach by going more generic over time.

On a separate note: Don’t let people lead you to believe that SEO is easy. It WAS easy. Not today. If they tell you it’s easy, it is either because they are using black-hat methods or they are trying to make a quick sale. It’s true that SEO can be done in more than one way, but there is a right and wrong way to do SEO. SEO requires experience, knowledge, research and strategic planning.

Your thoughts?

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