What is in a Name? When Using Your Formal Name is a Bad Idea

What is in a Name - Formal Name UseYou company is about to embark on a website build or redesign and you get an email to provide content for your bio page. Since this is the corporate website you think you need to be corporate and your response includes your formal name.

William Ludwig O’Malley III

After all what is in a name? The decision to use your formal name makes you feel more important and more grown up. However, it might have been a serious tactical error on your part if you want people to find you when they search for your name; your real name. Ever since you were a little boy you despised being called William and you certainly never disclosed your middle name was Ludwig. The school yard torment would have skyrocketed with that bit of knowledge made public. So you have always gone by Jack O’Malley.

Even though you now appreciate your formal name and understand the honor receiving that name for the third generation you still go by Jack O’Malley. All of your friends, family, co-workers and clients know you as Jack O’Malley. This is how you introduce yourself to EVERYONE. This is exactly how people will refer you as to their friends.

When their friends need a good lawyer, dentist or whatever you are your clients and customers will refer you to as the name you go by. The name you introduce yourself as. If there are people out there searching for Jack O’Malley there is a significant chance they will never find you or your corporate website if you choose your formal name for your bio page. The search engines are very intelligent but they are not that smart. They have no clue that Jack O’Malley is also known as William Ludwig O’Malley III.

Help the search engines and your referrals searching for you by using your real name on your corporate bio page. Lawyers and doctors are common offenders of this practice. An entire firm followed this advice and immediately witnessed an increase in discoverability using their real names. Make it easy being found by the search engines.


Author: Garth O'Brien provides SEO, Social Media and Community Management consulting services. He can help boost the online presence of a small local business or global enterprise corporations in both Google and Bing.

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