Capitalizing on your misspelled corporate name

Our Managing Partner Gordon Zellner asked me yesterday what we might do to attract searchers to our web site who may misspell our firm's name "Evergreen Partners". After all, our official name is Evergreen Trading, which is identical to our web address: What if people enter our name without the hyphen?

This is a good question, not just for Evergreen Trading, but for many companies with names people may commonly misspell. It's also a consideration for your important keywords people may misspell. If you're big enough, Google will give the searcher one of those, "Did you mean…" and even give the searcher the option to search on the correct spelling. Things have gotten a lot easier, but what if you're not big enough yet for Google to know better?

Here's a list we found of the top ten search misspellings by Yahoo:

  1. Wallmart (Wal-Mart)
  2. Rachel Ray (Rachael Ray)
  3. Amtrack (Amtrak)
  4. Hillary Duff (Hilary Duff)
  5. Britany Spears (Britney Spears)
  6. Pilsbury (Pillsbury)
  7. Volkswagon (Volkswagen)
  8. Wikepedia (Wikipedia)
  9. William Sonoma (Williams-Sonoma)
  10. Travelosity (Travelocity)

Find out what your common misspellings are by looking at your visitor logs. You can also use a Spelling Typo Generator.

Once you know your misspellings, here are a few things you can do to capture searches that may look for your version of "Evergreen" (without the hyphen):

  1. Write a blog post using the misspelling of your name – like this one! Seriously, create a justification for writing the misspelling on your site in a way that doesn't make you look sloppy for misspelling the name of your company. Think of a topic of interest to your readers. And while you're at it, tag the post with a bunch of your common misspellings.
  2. If you do PPC, purchase the commonly misspelled variations of your name. Their cost should be low since there's probably very little competition for them and there's not as much click-through.
  3. Purchase some URLs for the most common misspellings and build microsites for these URLs. Unfortunately, (without the hyphen) is taken. If it wasn't, that might have ended up being our URL.
  4. Consider the .cm domain name for the commonly omitted "O" in .com. This Cameroon-based domain is becoming a popular add-on for many large brands.

Even as smart as the search engines are becoming, consider the potential lost traffic from not considering the misspellings of your corporate name.

About Mike Lake

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Evergreen Trading. When not playing jazz trombone he is probably obsessing about writing content that will capture the attention and interest of business people and fellow learning junkies everywhere.

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