Keeping my maiden name when I got married was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s certainly not one I took lightly. I spent months talking to my fiancé, my parents, his parents, my best friend, his best friend, and a social media specialist before realizing that I had known what was important all along: user experience.
See, this choice is bigger than me and my marriage; it expands to an entire world of interconnected people who might try to find me on the internet someday. I have spent years developing my personal brand, and I wasn’t about to throw it all away, not even for the man I love. Marrying Brian was the best thing that ever happened to me; why ruin that by abandoning SEO best practices?
My name is who I am: highly clickable, authoritative yet feminine, inextricably linked to user satisfaction. Before taking the leap of changing my name, I had to consider all the effort I had made optimizing my brand for multiple channels. Would it all go to waste? I wondered.
Suddenly, I realized that changing the name my friends and search engines had grown to know and love would require an explanation, and I put a great deal of thought into the content I would produce to make that transition. I wouldn’t just list information like a robot; I would tell a story around it. But I wondered if starting that conversation with my user base was even worth it. Would end up alone and forgotten, on the third page of an organic search?
In a moment of desperation, I did what any savvy girl would do; I checked to see if my married name URL was available. But alas, it was taken, and after a long attempt to contact that bitch with my domain, I realized that I owed it to myself to keep searchability foremost in my mind. That’s when I knew for sure that I’d be keeping my maiden name, for myself but mainly for SEO purposes.
Sure, I sometimes idly search the name I could have had. But in the end, I have no regrets, and I truly think what I did was great for my marriage and my brand. Excuse me, our brand. It’s not about tricking search engines or about not loving my husband; it’s about connecting people efficiently and meaningfully.
Isn’t that what marriage is all about?