This post outlines some of the techniques you can use to give your brand the best possible chance of appearing prominently on page one of the Google search engine results pages (SERPS) for brand related search queries.
Maintaining a positive representation of your brand online is an important element to any business’s digital marketing strategy. One way to ensure that your brand is portrayed in the best possible light online is to dominate the first page of the (SERPS) with positive information in relation to your company.
There are several benefits to implementing the following strategies, including increased brand awareness, a boost to traffic, and a better overall brand reputation. The following techniques, if implemented correctly, will set you well on the way to page one brand domination!
Ensure that the most appropriate pages of your website are optimised for your brand name wherever possible. An obvious starting point is the homepage, but the about us and contact pages provide perfect opportunities to implement detailed keyword rich information about your business. Ensure that you include your brand name in all the essential on page elements.
Search queries relating to your brand name may also return image listings in the SERPs. Pay close attention to the optimisaton of your images and company logos and ensure that both the file names, alt attributes, and image titles include appropriate keywords. The below example is taken from a search for “Lowinfo Design”, a company who design and manufacture bespoke concrete products including concrete worktops, basins and bespoke furniture. By nature their products are visually attractive, so Google feels it useful to return image results for search queries related to their brand.
The links shown below some of Google’s search results are referred to as sitelinks and are intended to help potential visitors to instantly access the most useful pages on your website. At the moment sitelinks are automated, and the only direct control website owners have over which links appear is to demote undesirable sitelinks. On the plus side, Google do give some clues as to what pleases their algorithms to give your website the best chance of displaying sitelinks, stating that; “There are best practices you can follow, however, to improve the quality of your sitelinks. For example, for your site’s internal links, make sure you use anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.”
Google’s PPC Advertising presents businesses across all verticals with a great opportunity to promote and portray their brand image positively at the top of the search results. In recent years Google has made significant alterations to the formatting of paid adverts, one of which is Ad extensions. Ad extensions are a type of ad format that show extra information, and can result in improved visibility and help to improve click through rates. Popular extensions such as sitelinks, reviews, and location extensions can really help to enhance the visibility of your business in branded SERPS:
Social media profiles naturally have the ability to rank highly due to the trust of the respective domains. However, it’s not enough to simply set up a profile. Social Media profiles should be optimised correctly using the appropriate brand name, and it’s also essential that each profile is populated with quality content and rich media. Most importantly, each social media platform should be used effectively and organically. If social media profiles are left dormant then they are less likely to rank.
Below are a list of just some of the social media sites that generally rank highly when used correctly:
Twitter has also recently struck a deal with Google, whereby posts on the social network now have ability to be included directly in Google Index, again presenting brands with a great opportunity to portray themselves in a positive light.
Positive PR & Blog Content
Regularly maintaining your own blog is another great way in which you can directly control the content on the web associated to your brand. Blogging provide a great way to target long tail search queries in association with your company name. On top of this, good blog content is much more likely to be linked to and shared across social media, which again increases its propensity to rank highly in the search result.
In additional, implementing a digital PR strategy is another great way to gain coverage of your business on trusted external websites. If there are any great stories coming out of your business then look to reach out to the local, national and industry press to see if they are willing to cover your story and publish your content on their trusted domains.
As a social network, Google+ has never really taken off in the same way as Twitter or Facebook. That said, as it is a Google owned property, there are still some elements of the platform that are integrated nicely into Google’s search results. When content is published to your Google+ business page, as long as you have applied the correct mark-up to your website, then your most recent posts will visibly in the search results for branded queries.
Local Knowledge Panel
For local business, ensuring that you have a fully optimising local presence will give your brand the best chance of becoming visible via the local knowledge panel. As I wrote in my Local Knowledge Panel: “For branded search queries within local search, Google more often than not returns useful information about a business in the SERPs, with the Local Knowledge Panel dominating a large amount of space above the fold.”
Ensure that you have a verified and fully populated Google My Business page to give the local knowledge panel the best chance of displaying in the SERPs:
There are several steps you can take to control your brand’s image within the search results. All of the techniques mentioned above can be controlled to some extent, but ultimately no one can directly control Google’s index. In order for any of the above techniques to be successful, they should be implemented correctly and carried out in conjunction with a well-defined digital marketing strategy.