Friday, April 21, 2006

SEO for Your Name

Are you visible for your name? Can you find your business website searching in Google, Yahoo, or MSN?

One of the familiar stories I hear from SEO prospects and clients is that they cannot find their sites when they search for their name. An even worse case is when they promote themselves and their prospects do a search for their name and cannot find them.

One client we are doing work for recently discovered this problem. He is a new Christian artist making a public launch of his music ministry. What he found as he promoted his ministry was that people would go and search for his name or his ministry's name in the search engines. They get excited about what they hear and try to find him online.

This is a revelation because in today's business environment, not only must you have a website to be taken seriously, you must be visible. This is what Servaunt means when we say "be seen, be visible".

Businesses with Existing Websites
For businesses with existing websites, one of the first and most important terms to be seen and be visible for is your business name. But this is not as easy as it seems.

If your company is First Choice Realty, for example, your name is not particularly unique. Many other realtors can easily use "First Choice Realty". This means being visible for "First Choice Realty" in a giant Internet world is not easy.

To be visible for a "common" name like "first choice", you must put significant effort to SEO your site. You should treat it like another SEO keyword.

On the other hand, if your business name is unique like "Servaunt", then you may be able to put in less effort.

New Businesses with No Websites
For new businesses with no websites, plan your website out before you launch. Think about the importance of visibility for your business name. Follow proper search engine optimization methods and techniques.

If your business name qualifies as "common", be sure to plan for significant optimization of your website for your business name.

If your business name is "unique", be sure to optimize the site for your name. However, you may not need to work as hard on that effort with an unique business name.

Marketing and Branding, the Ultimate Purpose
Keep in mind that the ultimate purpose for this exercise is to be visible when you conduct offline marketing. Whether you are personally conducting the offline marketing or a friend or associate is doing it for you, as long as you are being promoted offline, you want to be prepared to be found online.

This is the reality of the modern business world and the modern consumer. No matter what your industry is, if you are promoting a business online, a website helps establish your legitimacy. But your website must be visible in the search engines, especially for your name.


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