How to optimize your Google business name for better ranking

Did you know that your business name is the second largest ranking factor according to Whitespark’s 2023 Ranking Factor Study?

Many people may assume that your business name isn’t really something you can use to support your SEO efforts, but I beg to differ.

How new businesses should optimize their business name for better rankings

Choosing the right business name is important. However, what many people don’t know is that it can also have a big impact on your marketing strategy. Having your main keywords in your business name can make a big difference in how your business ranks in local search results on Google.

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

Although including keywords can be beneficial, it is equally important to include a unique identifier in your business name. This helps differentiate your brand from the competition and ensures that Google doesn’t list competitors when someone searches for your brand name.

For example, this tree service company called “Raleigh Tree Service” now has to show up with two other companies when customers search for their company name.

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


How existing companies should optimize their company name for better rankings

But what if you are an established company? You won’t just 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 in their Google Business profile, but this is against Google’s policies.

One way to reap the ranking benefits of using keywords in your business name without violating Google’s policies is to file a DBA or “do business as a corporation” with your state. A DBA is a trade name that you can use for your business without formally changing your business name. It is legal and will be recognized by Google as an acceptable version of your business name as long as it matches your online presence and is a real name associated with your business.

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

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Joy Hawkins

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