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How to Optimize Your Google Business Name for Better Ranking

Did you know that your business name is the #2 ranking factor according to Whitespark’s 2023 ranking factors study?

Many people might assume your business name isn’t something that you can really use to help your SEO efforts, but I think otherwise.

How New Businesses Should Optimize Their Business Name for Better Rankings

Choosing the right business name is important. What many people don’t realize, however, is that it can also have a major impact on your marketing strategy. Having your main keywords in your business name can make a massive difference in how your business ranks on Google in the local pack results.

Let’s take the example of a dentist starting a practice in Chicago. Instead of choosing a generic name like “Hawkins Dental,” consider something like “Hawkins Dentists of Chicago.”

However, while incorporating keywords can be beneficial, it’s equally important to include a unique identifier in your business name. This helps distinguish your brand from competitors and makes sure Google doesn’t list competitors when someone searches for your brand name.

For example, this tree service company named “Raleigh Tree Service” now has to show up along with 2 other businesses when customers search for their business name.


This is not ideal. If a customer is just looking for their phone number or researching whether to hire them based on online reviews, you probably don’t want them seeing a list of competitors. You want them to get a typical branded search result like this one:


How Existing Businesses Should Optimize Their Business Name for Better Rankings

But what if you’re an established business? You’re not just going to go change your business name and ruin all your branding efforts just to get better rankings on Google.  Some people simply add keywords to their business name on their Google Business profile, but this is against Google’s guidelines.

One way to reap the ranking benefits of having keywords in your business name, without violating Google’s guidelines would be to file a DBA or “doing business as” with your state.  A DBA is a trade name that you can use to do business without formally changing your company name. It is legal, and recognized by Google as an acceptable version of your business name, provided it’s consistent with your online presence and is a real name that is associated with your business.

Have you found other ways that businesses can do this legitimately? Feel free to leave a note in the comments.





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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

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