Today, few best SEO trick see as much popularity or attention as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
From DIY SEO to SEO agencies, it’s everywhere – and for good reason. However, while many marketers embrace its tenets today, it seems that few discuss how brand names factor into it. Thus, after a brief introduction to SEO itself, that’s what we’ll discuss today.
We’ll argue that your brand name is the best SEO trick you’ve got, and we’ll explore how to approach it.
What is SEO?
First and foremost, let us briefly explain SEO. As we do, we’ll establish why you should choose reliable people for this job, whether that’s your in-house staff or agencies.
In essence, SEO is a series of practices that optimizes content for search engines, as the name suggests. To do so, it aligns pages with Google’s ranking factors, which Backlinko notes are over 200. In no particular order, those include:
- Loading speed
- Mobile-friendliness and responsiveness
- Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA)
- Security certificates
- Website structure
In turn, to better focus on individual ranking aspects, SEO is typically divided into 3 main subsets:
- On-page SEO; on-page elements like images
- Off-page SEO; off-page activities like backlinks
- Technical SEO; website health factors like sitemaps
Finally, there are other subsets that address individual needs or platforms. For example, local SEO caters to local audiences through Google My Business (GMB), while Instagram SEO optimizes Instagram content specifically.
Why does SEO matter?
Such a massive undertaking may, understandably, discourage many. However, while SEO is indeed a deep and complex subject, you absolutely can’t afford to overlook it. Initially, consider how organic traffic measures up to other traffic sources, as reported by BrightEdge:
- Organic search: 53.3%
- Paid search: 10%
- Social media: 5%
That does leave 31.7% to classify as “other”, but it still highlights the uncontested value of organic search traffic. Which offers such statistics as the following, as reported by Marketo:
- 75% of all users never reach the second search results page. Glantz places this percentage at a massive 90%.
- The top result gets 33% of all clicks.
- 81% of B2B purchases begin with a web search.
Thus, we may safely deduce that SEO is indeed crucial; anything less than the first page means massive lost traffic, and a recent ClickDo SEO case study for a dentist could show that on- and off-page SEO could increase organic traffic to the client’s business website by nearly 150k within a year.
Why does your brand name matter?
But, even having highlighted the above, why is your brand name the best SEO trick you’ve got? And why does it differ from choosing the perfect domain name?
In brief, your brand name overlaps with 3 main subjects:
- Keywords. While 2014’s Hummingbird update did shift keyword research, your brand name still matters as regards keywords. Backlinko’s aforelinked article notes that a keyword in your domain name “still acts as a relevancy signal.”
- Search intent. Another crucial factor as regards ranking is matching search intent. That’s where Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) stems from, and that’s what your brand name can help ensure.
- Branded searches. Moreover, your brand name will factor into how many branded searches you will get. Search Engine Land notes that “[f]or many established companies, their branded terms make up a majority of their keyword profile.”
Finally, your brand name is your literal online identity and web address, if it is part of your domain name; it’s the first contact visitors will have with your brand presence when they find your business website. It’s what backlinks in your off-page SEO strategies will link to. Thus, your brand name needs to tick these and smaller, but still very practical, boxes. In doing so, it will benefit your SEO directly and indirectly, elevating it to the next level.
Picking the perfect brand name
Now, how could your brand name do so? There are too many factors to consider, and competition is fierce as it is.
Fear not; the process is easier than it sounds. Let’s take things to step by step.
1. Use a business name generator
You may simply start with a business name generator. Of course, we won’t just pick a suggestion at random, but this serves as a starting point.
Consider business name generators from such prominent names as:
Here, the process is simple:
- Pick a word you’d like your brand name to include and submit it.
- Then, pick one of the suggested domains that are available.
- Register your domain with a domain registrar and get it live with web hosting such as WordPress blog hosting. SeekaHost offers the cheapest .com domain registrations for new customers for just $5.99! Simply register your domain name within the SeekaPanel.
- Finally, check Google for your chosen name; the fewer similar results you find, the better.
This final step will ensure you’ll have less competition as regards SEO. We will, however, double-check at a later step; your brand name is the best SEO trick you’ve got, so we won’t be taking chances.
2. Keep it brief and readable
Now, you may begin refining your brand name. The very first criterion is, perhaps unsurprisingly, length. Keeping your brand name brief will make it more memorable, easier to type, and more readable.
There are 3 main factors as regards length:
- Words. Single-word names may be harder to come up with, but ideally, you shouldn’t exceed two words.
- Syllables. Fewer syllables will also help with the above. Ideally, you should strive for two to three syllables per word.
- Characters. Finally, characters are the final arbiters of length. WebsiteSetup suggests aiming for 6-14 characters.
Having ensured length, you may then consider readability. To do so, you may start with the following:
- Avoid hyphens and numbers. Hyphens can get in the way of word-of-mouth traffic and frustrate visitors trying to remember your name. Similarly, numbers don’t add relevance to your name.
- Avoid repeating characters. The same applies to repeating characters between words; “onlyyou.net” may visually confuse, while “justyou.net” may not.
- Choose easily spelled words. Spelling mistakes can also cost; consider “figure” over “silhouette”, for example.
3. Use alliteration
Still, on readability, you may also employ alliteration to make your name unique. Of course, this cannot apply to single-word names and will be harder to apply to three-word names. Still, this optional step may be what your brand name needs to stand out.
Merriam-Webster defines alliteration as “[repeated] consonant sounds in two or more neighbouring words or syllables”. The most famous example of this in brand names is likely Coca-Cola; it is, arguably, more satisfying to say aloud. What’s more, it’s more memorable – and that’s what branded searches rely on.
4. Make it unique
On the subject of being memorable, consider more ways to diversify your brand name and make it unique. While the options here are only limited by your creativity, consider the following starting points:
- Make up new words. While risky, new words that phonetically resemble existing ones can be very catchy.
- Use existing but rare words. Should they meet your criteria, you may use words that aren’t typically in the public discourse. A great example of this would be Bing.
- Modify existing words or phrases. Lastly, you may put a unique spin on existing words or phrases. Consider Geico for an example of the former, and Rock Paper Shotgun for an example of the latter.
Of course, any such practices should still adhere to the previous guidelines. As unique as a brand name may be, it still needs to be brief, readable, and phonetically pleasing to be memorable.
5. Check it for SEO
Finally, having gone through the previous steps, you should now have your candidate in hand. But to reiterate, your brand name is the best SEO trick you’ve got – so we can take no chances. Thus, we should check it again, this time for SEO.
To do so, you may use Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest or similar tools of your choosing. Ubersuggest will provide you with “search volume” and “SEO difficulty” metrics, and other SEO tools and SEO WP plugins will provide effectively identical insights. These should serve as your final criteria; ideally, your brand name should have high search volume and low SEO difficulty. You may gauge the two according to your needs and goals, but they should inform your final decision.
To conclude, choosing a brand name is by no means an easy process. It needs to be brief, readable, phonetic, unique, and memorable. Moreover, it needs to target terms with decent search volumes and little competition. It is, however, well worth the effort. Your brand name is the best SEO trick you’ve got, from targeting relevant keywords and LSI to facilitating branded searches. It is the very first point of contact audiences have with your brand, so it needs to be nigh impeccable. Hopefully, this article will help you through this process toward a memorable, brandable name that drives SEO success.
About The Author
Adrianna Matthews is a freelance digital marketer, copywriter, and SEO practitioner. She currently collaborates with Movers Development, authoring content on SEO, PPC marketing, and other proverbial arenas of the digital age.