SEO Tips for Misspelled Brands or Company Names in Searches
If your company or brand name is commonly misspelled, you may miss out on targeted visitors to your website.
Why don’t you try it out?
Go to Google, Bing or Yahoo and type the common misspelling of your name into the search box. What results do you get?
Don’t worry: If your site is still right there as the top result because there is simply nothing else out there that has that misspelled word in it and outranks you, then you don’t have to worry about it – for the moment.
Worry: But what if other websites come up instead of yours and your site is nowhere to be seen? We already know that most people are either impatient or lazy online, so those are visitors – yes: potential paying customers – that you have lost, perhaps forever. Especially if there are competing sites above yours in the results.
Remember, these people are searching for your brand or company name. That means they are already highly qualified visitors who know about you and want to find out more about you. You can be sure you’re losing money if these people cannot find you easily.
So what can you do?
You have to try to catch these people somehow. Depending on the quantity and quality of the websites that come up when you type in your misspelled name, you can do a number of things:
- Use the words in the content of one of your web pages.
That is a good start because the search engines will see it but if there are other websites that come up in the results for the misspelling above your site, then this by itself may not help very much.
- Optimise a page on your website for the misspelling.
You can create a web page on your site and really optimise it for the misspelled word or words by using it in the page name (yourdomain.com.au/misspelled-brandname.html), at the start of the all-important Title tag and several times within the content of the page. Submit the page to search engines or link to it from somewhere to ensure it is indexed and give it some time to see if the optimised page ranks well so people will be able to find you via the misspelled name this way.
- Buy & redirect domain name with misspelling.
If you know or think that people are typing your domain name directly into the address bar, you can purchase the domain names with your misspelled brand or company name in it and arrange an automatic redirect to your website. That way you’re also ensuring nobody else can take advantage of your commonly misspelled name. But it won’t help with ranking for those misspelled words. A redirected domain name with no website on it doesn’t show up in search results.
- Buy misspelled domain name and put a simple web page up with links to your site.
If you think people are likely to type in your brand or company name wrongly and other sites come up in the search results that may be similar or competing to yours (which will either just confuse people or cause them to buy from someone else), it may be a good idea to buy the domain name with the common misspelling and put a page up that is optimised for that term. You now have a mini-site with the misspelled word or words as the actual domain name and prominently appearing in the Title tag and the content of the page as well. Submit it to search engines or link to it from somewhere, wait until it’s indexed and see if that now ranks first for your misspelled name. If not, you may also want to spend some time to get incoming links to the page with the misspelled terms in the link text.
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to link prominently from this domain to your actual site so you are getting those qualified visitors onto your own website, which is the whole point of the exercise!
A client of mine is called Lintan Health. They do radio commercials and apparently there’s a good number of people who hear, and then search for, Linton Health. Unfortunately, the Lintan Health website doesn’t rank well in those search results because there are several companies that are called Linton and some of them are even active in the health sector.
To ensure that the company doesn’t lose out on potential customers, I bought lintonhealth.com.au and the cheapest hosting package available and put a one-page website up that is optimised for Linton Health. After some time, I think that this website should be able to rank #1 for Linton Health within Australia. On the page, there are several very prominent links to the real Lintan Health website. [Post-script: 3 days later the new Linton Health web page is indexed and ranks #1 in Google.com.au, so mission accomplished!]
The best thing is, this doesn’t need to cost more than $50 per year for the domain name and hosting plus an hour or so of someone’s time to set it all up. That small investment is likely to pay itself off quickly when people who couldn’t find the company before can now easily find it and go on to sign up as a customer.