As someone who has built her personal brand through her name, either as “Shana Ray” like the url of this blog/website, ShanaRay.com or as “Sharayray” on Social Media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – I was very concerned with the idea that changing my last name from Ray to Bull would negativity impact my SEO ranking online.
The idea of a personal brand is really important to both myself and my new husband (aka Jeff Bull, aka Bullseyebrewco), but so was taking his last name.
Looking through the Google Search for “Shana Bull” is… interesting…. let’s just say I am not a woman from New Jersey who was arrested for forgery.
I did some research on SEO for Brides, only to find there wasn’t much information online about the subject of changing your last name on social media.
“The quickest and easiest way to for anyone with a name change to impact their Search Engine Results Pages is to either change their Google authorship profile or create a new one. This feeds the SEO knowledge graph for their name and those who already have a Google authorship profile may see a result and impact with their new information within 24 – 48 hours.” - Mark Kithcart
“I have a pretty substantial separate following under my maiden name in the writing/publishing community. I maintain a writing/pop culture blog, write fiction, and have social media accounts under my maiden name. That was part of the agreement with my husband — it was important to me to keep my maiden name in some context, and it was important to him that we share a name. So professionally and legally, I use my married name. In my personal social media and for my fiction, my maiden name has become my pen name.” – Steph from Zenergy Works.
“Don’t rush into it. Whether you have just got married, just got divorced, or changed your name by deed poll, you’re probably quite excited to be changing your name, and keen to get on and do it. But before you do stop and make a list of all of the places you need to change your name. Chances are there are some out there that you have forgotten, so make sure you go through your emails and check Google for places you’re mentioned.” – Sarah from SEO Chicks.
+ Shana Bull (formerly known as Shana Ray)