If you’re using SEO tactics to attract prospects to your website, you may be overlooking  low-hanging fruit:

Your own company name.

If your company name is unique — not part of a chain or a large brand — then you might expect that your website would automatically rank first in online search results for that exact term. You might assume that you don’t need to pay attention to something that is so obviously YOURS.

For example, if your company name is Oakbow Printing, you’d think that your website should be displayed first in the search results whenever someone types in that exact phrase, right?

Not necessarily.

Search results don’t always return based on best match. So that’s one factor, and one we’ll continue to talk about in future #SEO4Printers articles.

The second issue is this: Your competitor may be positioning himself to scrape your traffic.

There are a number of ways he can do this, using your exact company name as bait:

  • Online ads
  • Verbiage used on his site
  • Page names
  • Photo names
  • Customer testimonials
  • Links
  • Other not-so-nice tactics

You may be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute — they can’t rank for MY name!” Or you may be muttering, “I’m the one entitled to that traffic!” Or you may be shouting, “How DARE any other companies grab my low-hanging fruit?!”

It gets worse.

Your competitor may be using variations of your name, “Oak Bow Printing” for example, or common misspellings such as “Oak Boa Printing.” He may even use “Oak Grove Printing” and “Oak Tree Printing.”

Indeed, your competitor could be using any number of techniques to divert searches for your company name over to his site.

Here’s a way to find out:

SEO_search1. Run test searches on a fresh computer, not one on your company server or one that you normally use to visit your company website.

2. Log out of your email and anything that might influence the search. Log off Chrome and Gmail/Google+.

3. Test using Google, Yahoo, Bing and any search engines you think your customers and prospects are using.

4. Search your exact company name first. Log your results for each search engine. Record both paid and organic results.

5. Search the other names your company is known by. Think about names that people frequently put on checks written out to you, including nicknames or shortened versions like “Oakbow” or “Oakbow Prtg.” Log results.

6. Search common misspellings. Log.

7. If you’ve ever had a different legal company name that might be available in a public records search or in a history of your company on your “About” page, check that, too.

8. Set up a schedule to retest your search results about once a month.

Each of the items above are opportunities where your competitor could be benefiting from YOUR company name.

The next step, after running baseline analytics, is to win back your rightful spot in the search results for your own company name. We’ll talk more about ways to earn that traffic in future articles.

Finally, search rankings are one thing, sales are another. By losing traffic for your own name, you could be missing out on the easiest sales possible — from a customer who is searching for you online and not finding you. That easy sale — that low hanging fruit — may very well be landing in your competitor’s fruit basket.

Sandy Hubbard loves fruit, and just talking about low hanging fruit makes her hungry. You can search “Sandy Hubbard” on PrintMediaCentr.com and find her Email-to-Print series and #SEO4Printers series, as well as a variety of other tasty articles. 

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