Don’t be mistaken, it’s not the same as ranking for commercial keywords such as ‘Digital marketing agency singapore’ , ‘accounting software singapore’ etc.
Why is it so important to rank for your own brand name and/or terms on Google?
Picture the following scenarios:
– Someone stumbles across your ads somewhere, either on Facebook, Google, Linkedin or even offline. They weren’t ready to make purchase at that point, but their situation changed and they are ready to whip out their wallet now. So they google for your company name to give you sales.
– They heard about you from friends but aren’t sure of your exact company url, hence they just google for your company name.
– They google you just to see if there are people saying bad things about you that would prevent them from buying
Traffic from organic brand searches has been found to overtake direct site visits. This means that chances of people visiting your site from branded keyword searches are much higher than those typing in a brand name in the browser. I’m guessing you google for brand names as well, isn’t it ?
Imagine if someone makes a branded search, and your website fails to appear on the first page at the top few positions on Search engine results page (SERPs). Where do they go to? Your competitors, of course.Therefore, not ranking high for your brand keywords can potentially lead to the loss of potential hot leads to your competitors.
Take the case of Michael Snyder, the owner of Snyder Online Marketing
Michael told the story about how he was contacted by a customer who was recommended to a SEO specialist named Mitch Snyder. The client who was referred to Mitch, googled Mitch’s name and kept on being directed to Michael Snyder’s website. Thus, Mitch Snyder ended up losing a customer to Michael Snyder!
Don’t let that happen to you! Don’t let someone hog the top positions in Google when people search for you. (Note: It is also not uncommon for competitors to use search engine marketing to get on top of your website in the SERP, but thats another story)
Now that you know its importance, it’s time to act. Read on to find out how you can effectively rank your brand below!
What do YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have in common? Answer: each of them provides incredible help for ranking your brand name. For example, Facebook’s amazing web authority providesthe opportunity for anyone to rank on the first page of Google’s results page.
Similarly, LinkedIn has massive authority as well. Staying active and well-maintained on the platform gives a high chance of ranking high. This goes for Twitter and YouTube as well. Web authority is extremely important in getting ranked high for your brand name and terms. This is because Google identifies user behaviour and supports authoritative websites. A brand that is often clicked will eventually find its way in the top rankings.
Additionally, include your brand name and terms in your social media usernames and page names too! Be explicit with your company’s name. Your page descriptions can also include them.
Of course, you would want your website to be no.1 on the results page when people google for you, but isn’t it even better to populate all the 10 results in Google with your social media profiles?
Are you indexed ?
If your website is not found on Google for your brand name, it could be that it is not even indexed yet.
How can you tell if your website has been indexed by Google ? Simple, just do a site search by googling the following term, replacing example.com with your website url.
If your website is not yet indexed, you can use this link to submit your website and wait for the Google spiders to come and crawl it.
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Blog Comments and Discussions
You probably know that building back links from other websites on the internet is key to being found on Google. It is a cue to Google that your website deserves endorsements from other people and a sign of quality.
Commenting on other blogs and discussion platforms allows you to add a link back to your website. Make sure you reference your own brand name when commenting. It is not the best form of backlink, but nonetheless, a quick & easy way to get some love from other websites. It is usually enough if you are doing brand-related SEO, unless your brand name is as popular as Nike’s.
Citations and Reviews
Citations are as important as building quality links. This is especially so for local businesses. Google recognises a website containing many citations as active, current and ongoing – enough reason to include it in search results.
You can amass citations by listing your business in local directories, mentions in local blogs, and getting listed in the Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local and Yelp. Build solid citations in these local directories, and you will benefit from it.
Reviews are equally important. Get your reviews from websites such as Yelp, Google+, Yahoo and TripAdvisor. These reviews are essential in driving traffic to your website.
This is a simple yet highly effective way to rank for your brand name. Official press releases can give Google brand indicators with a link back to your website. When you reference your brand name in the title and content, it will also lead to the ranking of the press release for searches relating to your brand.
Explore your site. Where can you add in branded keywords? Use your website, business and copyrighted product names in your title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, URLs and alt image tags. In your website and blog content, reference your brand name.
Choose a brandable domain name for your website. Never underestimate its importance – a domain name paves the way for users to identify, find, share and remember you online.
Some things you can consider are being relevant to your company’s purpose, easily remembered, easy to spell, and being short. Also, having a .com extension is best because 75 percent of all websites have it. Consider how you want people to find your website and put yourself in their shoes.
Suppose you are now appearing on Google for your brand name. Do you know what do users see ?
Your website’s meta description directly affects what people see when they google your brand name. You want to be very delibrate in creating an impression in the users’ minds.
In the example below, which one are you more likely to click on ?
Tip: To find inspiration of compelling copies for driving click through, look no further than the paid results in the SERPs for your industry. Those websites doing pay per click advertising should have done lots of split-testing of their ads to find the best copy that resonates. You just need to reference(read: copy).
The next step- blogging
If you still don’t know the importance of blogs, get started now. Blogs are key to driving organic branded keyword rankings. When you add relevant, helpful and interesting content that attracts your audience, you’re giving your brand ranking a big hand up.
In your content, make sure to include mentions of your brand name and branded keywords. Semantic search results in Google’s association of branded keywords with the products and services you provide even without making that connection in your content bluntly.
As you can see, SEO(search engine optimization) is not just another marketing strategy where you can do without. With vast majority of people googling for brand names these days, your efforts in building your business may be sabotaged as a result of the failure to do proper branded SEO. At a minimum, you should google yourself from time to time to see what your customers are seeing about you.