How Search Engines Have Changed The Way We Name Our Business

the way we name business online

It wasn’t that long ago phone books were the ‘go-to’ source for finding a local business or service. Ok, maybe back in the late 90’s…lol

Customers and consumers would search by industry, flipping through pages, and would have to trust their gut or be enticed by the static ad in print. 

While customers wouldn’t have to wait for an ad to load, businesses had one shot at impressing people to gain their business.

Some said that 18% of people would look at the bolded phone numbers to pick a business. Others said 39% of people looking in a phone book were attracted to the big ads*.

What businesses caught on to early on, was the idea that customers would often stop at the first business they see. That is why so many businesses fought to get ahead of the competition by either buying huge 2-page ads, or by being at the front of the alphabet.

More and more businesses appeared whose companies started with the letter A, or multiple A’s (AAAce Contracting or Aaaaah So Easy). Getting to the front of the alphabet meant getting noticed first. 

How Search Engines Are Changing The Way We Search

Fast forward to the age of today’s internet and it’s clear that while the principle remains largely the same, the tactics have changed drastically.

The internet doesn’t work in alphabetical order. It has become much more complex than this. However; business owners still want to get noticed before their competitor. And that still means showing up first. Now, it’s all about being at the top of your search engine results page (SERPs).

Search Engines have seen searches go from simple 1-word queries, to full on questions. In a recent article written by Search Engine Land, they explain how more and more people are using the phrase “near me” when searching. Most of these searches are driven by mobile usage. The point is, search engines like Bing, Google, and even Yahoo are constantly changing the way we s

These days it’s not nearly as straightforward as naming your company aaaanything with an ‘A’ or adding 123 in front of your business name.

It’s all about being found on the 1st page of the SERPs when someone is looking for your service or the product you offer. Doing this has its challenges and takes time, but if you build a strong online presence starting with a great website, you will have success.  

Stay In The Know In Order To Stay At The Top

One way that business owners have attempted to adapt to the system is by naming their company based on local search. Using the “city+industry” formula to come up with a searchable business name. Richmond Antiques or Burnaby Sky Divers would be great names, for example. As consumers, we all look for the same things when we shop… best quality, fastest service, competitive rate. Finding someone local sweetens the pot because now we get to support our local community too!

The lack of available domains that include local search keywords, is an indication that there is some truth to this strategy. Some say that domains like don’t help with local SEO, but we would tend to disagree. 

Beyond where you land in local search results, providing a seamless, convenient user experience is becoming just as important to success in business. Therefore, it’s important to stay at the forefront of developments in user experience.

Daily Search Algorithm Updates

While Google’s search algorithm changes daily, the company also rolls out new projects to increase user experience. Google creates algorithms that determine search results that are complex and constantly changing. 

Related Article: Understanding Google’s Algorithm Updates

One of their latest was the launch of AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Prior to this was the release of Rank Brain.

According to Google, AMP Project is;

“an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.”

amp project

You may have seen an increase of AMP Project icons next to a search result when you search from your mobile device. AMP results will either appear in a carousel on Google and Twitter or in a regular SERP. If clicked, will load instantly. Speed has a high value in the world of online searches because users won’t wait around for clunky, slow websites to load.

Related Article: What Are AMP Pages?

Things To Consider When Naming Your New Business

Before you make it official, there are several factors to consider when you are naming your business.

There are multiple websites that explain common questions to think about when you’re naming a business. Things like finding a “Unique” and “Unforgettable” name, keeping it simple and easy to say etc…

Others will simply focus on if the Domain is available.

What most people don’t think about when naming their company is the legal side of it!

Is there an existing Trademark on the word you’re using with a similar name that offers the same services?

Are you legally allowed to use it?

Too often we meet clients who rush into naming their business, buy up all of their domains, design a logo, start building a website, print business cards, only to find out that their business name is too close to, or is already taken and trademarked by another company.

I would recommend starting your business name search by visiting these websites before you finalize your business name.

If you are in the USA, visit the US Small Business Administration

If in Canada, visit Canada Business Network

You will find helpful resources and tips on picking the right, legal name for your business and hopefully not have to worry about future issues.

If you adopt the ‘city+industry’ strategy when naming your new business, be sure to do your research to see what keywords are being used more often in your area.

Do Your Research

It’s easy to “Google” your new business name to see if there’s a company that has the same name. A better strategy behind researching keywords is to do a proper keyword analysis.

Here is a short list of websites and software available for free to see how often people are searching for your service, product or keyword.

Google’s Keyword Planner

With Google’s Keyword Planner, used to create great Adgroups in Adwords; is a great place to start your keyword research.

Google's Keyword Planner results


You can add multiple words and phrases and select the cities you want to search within. It will show you the monthly search trends including the search volume, the suggested bid for their Cost-Per-Click and display how competitive the keyword is.

One of our favorite tools is SEMRush. Originally created to spy on your competitors Adwords campaign. This tool exploded with new features and is a staple of any SEO’er. screenshot


This is a screenshot of their dashboard. Here you’ll be able to look up related keywords, trends and search volumes and much more.

Dig deeper and you can export this data into Excel or CSV files. It even includes average Cost-Per-Click on the keywords.


Moz Keyword Explorer

Similar to the above, Moz also includes the SERPs Analysis which will show you who is ranking in the top 3, the difficulty to rank for these keywords, the estimated click-through traffic one could expect.

screenshot of moz keyword explorer

All 3 of these tools can be used for free and allow you to change the Country to target your specific area. Finding out how many times “Roofing Vancouver” or “Vancouver Contractors” is searched each month would be a huge advantage prior to creating your business name and could help you rank quicker than creating a “unique” business name.

The most important step one can do before incorporating a business is to find out if someone else has trademarked a similar business.

If you have questions about creating a logo or a new website for your new business or if you would like to discuss AMP pages and, or improve your website, contact our SEO Vancouver consultants by filling out our form located on our contact page, or call us at 778-379-0888. If we don’t answer, leave a message and we’ll call you back within one day during business hours.

If we don’t answer, leave a message and we’ll call you back within one day during business hours.

*Please don’t quote us on these numbers, as we heard them from sales reps in that industry.