Choosing an SEO Friendly Startup Name & A Guide for Those That Stuffed Up

Learn how to choose an SEO-friendly startup name with a focus on search competition, ease of spelling and relevance, and what to do if you've already named your business.

A few days ago, I attended the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator demo night. I saw many excellent business models and presentations, and while I'm excited about the future of FinTech in New Zealand, I noticed a trend.

Many of these startups weren't ranking for their own brand name in Google search results.

This isn't a huge problem for businesses that are only a few weeks old, but it can be a serious issue for established businesses.

Google is the main way people find businesses online, so if you're not ranking for your brand name, you're missing out on potential customers.

In fact, for most websites, about 90% of their organic traffic comes from brand-related searches. Brand searches are a great indicator of things like word-of-mouth marketing, traditional advertising, brand awareness, repeat customers, and high-intent research. So it's important to make sure your brand name is easy to find on Google.

Brand searches are a great indicator of things like

  • Word of Mouth - people are talking about your business - hell yeah! 👍🏽
  • Traditional Advertising - radio, TV, newspapers & any other untrackable marketing paying dividends.
  • Brand Awareness - any above the line/top of funnel marketing - that's getting your business name in front of more people.
  • Repeat Customers - visitors coming back for more.
  • High Intent Research - especially for longer decision-making purchases (B2B businesses, take note).

It's important to note that nearly all forms of marketing lead to someone making a Google search. Way more people search your name than enter your URL - it's just easier, with fewer chances for stuffing up.

There are a few things you can do to choose a brand name that's good for SEO

It all comes down to a couple of key factors:

  1. Choose a name that's not too competitive. If your brand name is similar to a popular movie, song, artist, or actor, or if it's very similar to a large international brand, it will be difficult to rank for.
  2. Make your brand name easy to spell and remember. People are more likely to search for a business if they can easily remember its name.
  3. Try to sneak a keyword into your name. This will help people find your business when they're searching for the products or services you offer.

1. Search Competition

Choosing a business name similar to a popular movie, song, artist, or actor? How about a name that's really similar to a large international brand? Or a word that lots of people are looking for the definition for? Something that's in the encyclopedia or Wikipedia?

You're gonna have a bad time.

A good indicator of a competitive or difficult-to-rank-for name is if the knowledge pannel (that right-hand sidebar) is taken by information.

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Ideally, you want to try to find a name that there's not too much competition for - that means way less work trying to make it rank.

2. Easy To Spell

If there's one thing I've learnt from my time doing SEO, it's that people suck at spelling.

Make your business name really easy to spell & remember.

Test your new name on a few people, get them to try and spell it - do they get it right? Or not?

Also, side note - make it easy to pronounce too - people are much more likely to talk about and search for a business they can pronounce than one they can't.

3. Relevant

Try to sneak a keyword into your name. Something that explains the product/service you offer. And you don't need to get too tricky here.

Plumbers had this sorted years ago, with every plumbing business called Bruce's Plumbing, Smith Plumbers or some close variant.

For Aro Digital we went one step further and used a location (Aro) as part of our name for additional location relevancy.

If you're from Wellington, you'd instantly recognise that Aro Digital is a Wellington-based digital company (and probably assume we're based in Aro Valley - whoops).

But I've Already Named My Business...

If you've already named your business, don't worry! There are still things you can do to improve your SEO. Here are a few tips:

  • Optimize your website's text for your brand name. This means including your brand name throughout your website's content, including the title tag, meta description, and body copy.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, so it's important to make sure your website looks good and loads quickly on mobile devices.
  • Reduce the size of your images. Large images can slow down your website, so it's important to reduce their size as much as possible.
  • Get high-quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They're a signal to Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
  • Set up Google My Business. Google My Business is a free platform that helps you manage your online presence. It can also help you improve your SEO by claiming the right-hand sidebar of search results for your brand name.

Let's explore how we can get your business ranking for your ideal keywords

1. Page Text

Having highly relevant text on your website will help it rank - especially your brand name.

A. Discover your keywords

  • Your brand name
  • Your main product / service search people would type in to find you
  • Use Keywords Everywhere / Ubersuggest to identify more keyword opportunities

B. Add your keywords to your site

  • Have lots of text on your home page ~300 words.
  • Mention keywords often ~7 times per keyword
  • Optimise your THUMB (Title, H1s, URLs, Meta Description, Body copy)
  • Add synonyms of keywords

For most businesses, the easiest win is improving your home page text - and adding more mentions of your business name onto your home page.

2. User Experience

Make your site fast and easy to use. Reduce the number of people bouncing back to Google.

A. Mobile Optimise your site

2. Speed up your site

  • Use Google PageSpeed to understand where the opportunities are for improving the speed of your site are.

3. Reduce the size of your images

  • Often large images are the main cause of a slow site - we often see websites loading 4mb images on the home page - no good!
  • Install CSS Peeper to Chrome, export the images on your site, see what needs to be reduced in size.
  • Max size should be around 150kb.

3. Measure your bounce rate in Google Analytics

  • Bounce rate is a great indicator of user experience
  • Aim for a maximum bounce rate of 50-60%

3. Links to Site

Get high quality links to website to increase the authority / trustworthiness of your site.

1. Identify link opportunities

  • News sites, suppliers websites, business partnerships, sponsors etc

2. Ask for a link to your home page / sub page

  • The higher the quality the link, the better your site will perform.

3. Track the links obtained in Search Console

  • Search Console is a free platform for managing and measuring your relationship with Google.

4. Set Up Google My Business

Google My Business is a free platform Google offers that can help you claim the right hand sidebar of search results. Additionally, it helps you compete in maps results for non-brand service searches (eg: "Digital Marketing Wellington").

In terms of numbers - here's how many searches "Aro Digital" (and closely related variants) received over the last quarter. As you can see - 981 or 38% of searchers found us by inputting our business name.

While an additional 1598 - or 62% of searchers found us using a service search (eg: "digital marketing wellington").

GMB is a hugely powerful platform - and can really help you show up for your brand name and claim that right hand sidebar.

Hopefully that's all helpful!

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