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Your Company’s Name – It’s Where It All Starts

Apr 05, 2012

I’ve had a number of clients over the years ask me why their company never shows up on search engine results.  There can be any number of reasons why search engines aren’t “seeing” your website.  However, I’d like to discuss one that often times is missed in the rush to “optimize” a web site.  A key reason for search engine invisibility can simply be the name of your company.


When Google looks at a search term, it tends to first think of it as a brand before anything else.  Ann Smartly, writing on the MarketingProfs website ( gives an example of the results for the term “Armstrong”.  She indicates that most people would think of “moon”, “space” or “Tour de France”.  Most people would be wrong.  Google shows “Armstrong Flooring”, “Armstrong World Industries” and “Armstrong One Wire (an internet service).  The astronaut and the bicyclist follow these “brands”. ; As Ms. Smartly says, “Google seems to favor brands and is likelier to suspect that your intent is navigational instead of informational (go instead of know).”


One way of winning the war is to instead of fighting a battle against multiple opponents; try to make your brand name unique.  This can be challenging if you have a common name.  “Jones Consulting” would be a pretty poor choice.  There are a lot of companies with that name out there.   Renee Jones Engineering Consulting would be better, but with such a common name, you might need to look for a more unique usage.  “Rock Springs Engineering Consultants” would, as I write this, probably come up first in Google as there are no companies showing up with that name. 


The idea is to become the dominant interpretation of the combination of words in your company name. Google suggests that if you can make your name and brand stick together, you instantly become a dominant interpretation.  Using this concept, a company called Renee Jones Mining Engineering would likely rank number one on Google.


So there you have it.  Before you worry about optimization of your site, and certainly before you sign incorporation papers, spend some time searching names on the internet.  A unique business name can be an important first step in achieving online visibility.


Have you had problems naming your company?   Do you have a great name?

Category: Marketing

Mike Lambert

Mike Lambert is the manager of the Wyoming Market Research Center in Laramie, WY.

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