5 SEO Strategies When Naming and Branding Your Company
By Phil Davis
President of Tungsten Branding
With over twenty-five years of company naming and branding expertise, Tungsten founder Phil Davis is a marketing and advertising veteran, having personally named over 250 companies, products and services worldwide. As a sought after branding expert, Phil has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and Newsday.
Lots of factors go into a great company brand, first among them, the business name itself. For many aspiring entrepreneurs and internet start ups, the prime consideration is search engine optimization. Launching a new company on a limited budget requires as much marketing help as humanly possible. So just what helps to get true recognition amongst the Googles, Bings and Yahoos of the world when it comes to naming and branding a new business? Here are five key factors…
1. Reduce competition by choosing a unique company name
Unless you can hire a major SEO firm, the best and most immediate way to be found on the search engines is to rank high (hopefully first) for your own company name. Obvious as that may sound, many companies go for superlatives such as “superior,” “premier,” or “advanced,” in their name, only to have to compete with thousands of others similarly named companies. Remember, you are not only competing with others in your industry, you are competing with everyone who shares your name. This especially holds true if you use an acronym in your name. How many “ABC” companies are out there? Web design firm NIC Media rebranded as One Lily, and quickly shot to number one for their name. As a quick check, Google your name choices to see how many results are returned. If the results number in the tens of thousands, think again.
2. Clear your company name across all the social networks
Netflix learned the hard way that social media is a game changer. Their recently announced Qwickster brand name sent thousands of followers to the Twitter page of a pot smoking Sesame Street character. Before naming a company, check sites such as namechk.com to determine the social media availability of your company name now vs. later. Again, this is when having a unique company name can make life easier. Once secured, your brand name will also show up in multiple results, on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, taking up more virtual real estate, creating more inbound link love.
3. Use keywords in your company tag line, not your company name
Rather than stuff your company name with generic industry terms, use them in your tag line and web copy instead. If you use keywords in your company name, you will be forever stuck in that category, you will sound generic, and you may not rank for the term anyway. Wholesale Landscape Supply rebranded as Big Earth and soon after gained first page ranking for their company name. “Landscape Supply” then became the industry descriptor phrase under their name, giving them the best of both worlds — immediate brand name recognition and potential keyword ranking. Keyword brand names are expensive, create little differentiation and still require money to promote. Hotels.com and Cars.com depend on traditional advertising to supplement their natural type in traffic.
4. More is more – create a big digital footprint
Search engines eat content for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so feed them daily. Maintain an active company blog. WordPress provides an easy, intuitive platform that has built-in SEO tools. Write with a knowledgeable, compelling brand voice that intertwines your brand message with well-placed keywords. Consulting company Claricent.com blogs frequently about clear, insightful business intelligence solutions. Their message of clarity and vision combines easily with their expertise in information management. The more they write, the more “long tail” keywords they rank for. A basic ten page company web site can blossom into a sixty page customer magnet, with a once-a-week, keyword relevant blog post.
In addition to blogging, be sure to contribute to article marketing sites such as EzineArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com to establish further reach, distribution and authority. Shoot for fifty well written articles over the next twelve months. Add your company name in the author’s bio, and link a keyword phrase to your web site. For Tungsten we use “company branding” as our main anchor text, surrounded with copy that highlights brilliant company naming strategies and illuminated branding.
Video offers another powerful medium for extending your brand reach. Only a fraction of companies utilize YouTube videos to generate more views, traffic and inbound links. And a great video can take the place of a thousand words. So smile and say hello to more viewers, more clicks and more customers.
5. Get connected and stay connected
The more you reach out, the more relevant, timely, and current your company brand will appear to the search engines. So be sure to cross-connect all your media channels. Place easy-to-use social media icons on your blog posts for easy broadcasting. Add follow and like buttons on your home page. Tweet your helpful, relevant articles on a regular basis. Invite visitors to opt-in to your informative e-newsletter. As your article marketing, blog writing, and social media activity rise, so will your rankings and your direct traffic. In the end, you want customers searching for you, not your competitors, so create a brand that will have customers seeking you out by name, not just by search terms.
By developing a creative, compelling, consistent brand identity, you can attract the attention of both shoppers and search engines. Rather than place all of your branding eggs in the keyword basket, build a company brand identity that leverages multiple online channels. This integrated approach creates a powerful web presence for optimal search results. After all, creating a strategic, well-balanced SEO plan for your new company brand is not just smart… it’s downright brilliant.
About the author: With over twenty five years of company naming and branding expertise, Tungsten founder Phil Davis is a marketing and advertising veteran, having personally named over 250 companies, products and services worldwide. As a sought after branding expert, Phil has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and Newsday.