See, there I am; author and television producer Nic Pizzolatto.
Okay, okay. I’m not that Nick Pizzolato. But, from time to time I'm asked if I’m him or related to him. Sometimes, people who I have just met come up to me in private and ask if I'm “that” Nic Pizzolatto. It’s always a little deflating when I have to tell them no.
But, it’s not just acquaintances that ask me, I have actually gotten emails and tweets from total strangers who think I am him. I get messages telling me how great the show is or how it should’ve beaten “Fargo” for the best mini-series Emmy.
This is actually not the first time, I’ve been confused with a different Nick Pizzolato. I always thought I had a unique name until a graphic designer sent me an email asking if a design was okay for a band t-shirt. That’s when I found out Nick Pizzolato was also the drummer for Moving Mountains.
I have since realized, no matter how unique your name might be, you share it with at least one other person.
The same goes for a business name. No matter how clever or unique a business name may be in one community, somewhere in the world, the name is being used by another business
So, how can a business owner make their brand stand out online? By bolstering their search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is using advertising and other services to optimize a website to its fullest potential, so that it will be showcased at the top of search engines when people search for it during keyword searches.
SEM is a catch-all term for many different ways for a business to own its space on the internet. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses strategic keywords in strategic places to increase site visibility for the search engine crawlers as they index websites. SEO optimization is so important for every website, because the words used to describe a site and its pages are how search engines determine the ranking of the page. But it’s not just web text, SEO is also photos, videos, verticals and how the keywords and pages are connected to each other.
Search engine marketing can also be website saturation, which is creating and measuring how many pages on your website are indexed and are backlinked to measure popularity.
A business owner can also pay search engines to rank their website higher among popular keywords, so that it will appear near the top of the page as an advertisement.
No matter what a company chooses - or has the budget - to do, SEM isn’t something that can be ignored or dismissed as if it has no value. It’s estimated that in just one minute, 571 websites are created and 70 new domains have been registered. A company’s web presence and notoriety is being challenged literally every minute of the day. Search engine marketing isn’t a nice to have strategy, it’s a must have to stay in place while battling against the world wide web rip-tide.
As more and more consumers begin and end their day online, a business needs to be able to be found in that space. Think about your search engine use. Whether you need a specific piece of equipment or searching to see if a product is available in your area - you use a search engine to find that information out. The businesses at the top of that search page have done their due diligence to make sure that they don’t end up on the second page on that search engine - or even worse, the third page or lower.
By taking part in SEM and optimizing your site to its fullest extent, your business won’t fall into the abyss of forgotten search engine pages. Your business’s identity won’t be mixed up with another business with a similar name or one that sells identical products. You will have the opportunity to be at the top of the search and at the top of people’s minds.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.