Okay, let’s start with a question… Is it possible to rank in the search results when someone types the specific name of your competitor?
Let’s take this a step further… Is it possible to out-rank your competitor when someone types their name into the search?
The answer to both of these questions is YES, but with some strong caveats.
The first thing to mention is that one of the strongest mechanisms that Google uses to work out what a website is about, and therefore whether it will be relevant to any search results, is the words that are included in that website. Google reads your website pages very quickly, possbily a couple of times a day and uses the words in the site to work out what an individual pages about. If you mention the words dental implants then Google will know that page is about dental implants etc. This is VERY basic but is the essence of the way Google works.
So here’s an example…
Let’s say your dental practice uses your name as its business name e.g. ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, it would be pretty difficult for any other competitive business to rank for that name, you would completely dominate the search results if you chose this as your business name. This would be because in order for any website to rank for those specific words, ‘Mark’ and ‘Oborn’ those words would need to be included within the text of the site… A pretty strange thing for a competitive business to do!
However, let’s say that ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ is in Swansea, let’s also say that a competitor practice has imaginatively called themselves ‘Swansea dental practice’. Let’s add in another another competitor that has imaginatively called themselves ‘The Swansea Dentist’.
There is virtually no way that ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ will ever rank for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ as they would almost definitely need to get the words ‘Mark’ & ‘Oborn’ into their website and there would be very few reasons as to why they would do this.
However what about looking at it the other way round…
How easy would it be for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, who is in Swansea to get the words ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ into their website?
All ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ would need to do is include the phrase something along the lines of “Mark Oborn is an established Swansea dental practice that has, blah, blah… making him the Swansea dentist that X number of people have chosen”.
So in one fell swoop we’ve managed to get our own business name and the name of our competitors into the homepage of our website, all we would need to do* is to ensure we continually repeat these words throughout the site, in conjunction with other optimisation techniques around these same keywords to ensure that we rank for them.
It then wouldn’t take too much work to not only rank for the competitors business names but actually outrank them.
So, when deciding on a practice name, choose your name carefully!
Oh, by the way, as with many of my blog posts, this is actually a real life example although I’ve changed the names and geographical location to hide the innocent… Very proud to see my clients website out ranking their competitors!
*There is actually far more to ranking in the search results than just continually repeating the same words… In fact do this too much and you can end up being dropped from the search results altogether with the Google penalty. I’m simply using this here by way of an example.