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What to do when a search on your company name looks rubbish

However obscure your company, there will be people typing its name into Google every day. If your company is called “The Blue Widget Company Ltd”, it’s almost certain that you will appear as the first result for anyone typing in “The Blue Widget Company Ltd”. But what about the people who type in “Blue Widget Co”? Or “Blue Widgets Company”? Or “BWC”, as you’re often known? For many businesses, informal or unofficial ways of referring to your name are far more frequently used than the official one. Yet it’s crucial that you appear top for every single name which people might call you. Have a quick brainstorm of all the variations, misspellings and incorrect ways in which people might write your company name. Double your list by adding “UK” on to each, because that’s something which people do a lot. Then check each one in Google, and see what the result looks like. There are three things to consider in each case:
– Are you the first result on the page?
– Does the result look like you’d want it to?
– Has somebody else put an advert above you?

If you’re a multinational company, you may have another problem, which is where the first Google result for your company name is not your site, but a worldwide parent. You don’t want people in the UK going to the parent site, because for a surprisingly large number of businesses, it’s such a chore getting from the parent site to the regional one, that we all know most visitors aren’t going to make it. Worse, some visitors may go to the worldwide parent site and get the wrong impression that you’re a US, or Japanese, or German operation, without a UK presence. Again, you need to do something about this.

The long-term solution is organic search engine optimisation. If you’re not the first result on the page for a particular version of the company name, get that version into lots of directories which give you direct links. This will tell Google that “The Blue Widget Company Ltd” is the same thing as “Blue Widget Co”. If the result doesn’t look like you want it to, then rewrite the title and description until it does. Here’s how I’ve tried to get the message over quickly in our own result, using the three lines of text to tell searchers that yes, this is the “Business Marketing Online” which does Google AdWords management, yes, it’s the one also known as “BMON”, and if you didn’t know much about us, here’s the quick pitch:

As things stand, we need to get more links to our site which have “BMON” in them, rather than “Business Marketing Online”, because we’re only intermittently getting top position on Google for searches on “BMON”. Here we have a problem which many of you may also face, where the company name (or at least one version of it) also has another meaning entirely.

But what’s the short-term solution to the problems above? Almost inevitably, it’s to use Google AdWords, and bid enough (although it probably won’t be much) to ensure that you’re right above the top result. This gets over all, or any of the difficulties raised earlier, and I’m going to talk more about the subject this time next week, and show examples of how one or two companies are doing this very cleverly.

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