For any business, your brand is one of the most important things about you. Nichola Stott explains how owning the top 10 Google search results will give you more control over your brand image and ensure great positive content appears when potential customers search for you online.
For any business, your brand is one of the most important things about you. It's your intellectual property, your social currency
, your reputation and what makes you distinct from any other organisation. It is arguably easier now than it ever has been to reinforce and promote your brand due to media and technologies that allow for non-specialist participation that reaches a mass audience. I am of course talking about search and the web, (mainly Google).
But how do you go about trying to own the entire first page of Google for your brand name? And why would you want to?
Why own page one for your brand results?
When people are introduced to your business, they'll instantly 'google' your name. You want to make sure that YOU own the organic search results when they do. When you and all of your content is found online, you'll more than likely convert a sale rather then leaving them to explore your competitors.
How to own page one (it's easier than you think!)
Get your domain name:
Make sure you own your brand domain name. Try to make it easy to spell, say and use. If you have yet to think of a unique and brandable name for your online business then there are some groovy tools like Impossibility.org,
which will generate a huge list of available domain name options based around a core word.
Once you've found a name you like (e.g. Zip Baker), buy zipbaker.com and the local top level domain (TLD) for each market in which you operate, and then use it everywhere. For example if you plan to sell your products in the UK, Germany and France try to secure zipbaker.co.uk, zipbaker.fr and zipbaker.de.
Join professional directories: Add yourself to professional and local directories for your sector, thus controlling profile information and having the knock-on benefit of association. Don't go overboard on this tactic and be aware of low quality directories that offer no additional value or service to listed businesses than a profile link.
Write and distribute press releases: Writing specific and tailored news about your company is a great way to inform often, and in an official way. Distributing this news as a press release to your online press and having this covered is absolutely invaluable. Trade press publishers naturally tend to rank well due to the authority of their content.
A Wikipedia entry for your business is valuable. It lends credibility to your organisation, giving searchers who see a Wikipedia entry while searching for you the impression that your business is bigger and more legitimate. It's easy to get a newly created entry for your business to rank on the first page of Google, no matter how competitive the keyword is. Whilst getting a Wikipedia listing to rank on page one is pretty much a given; getting a Wikipedia entry to pass the community guidelines in the first place can sometimes be hit and miss particularly for smaller businesses. If you're having trouble getting an entry on Wikipedia this article
has some great advice.
Create a social media presence: Social media
is a fantastic, wide-reaching and cost-effective way of essentially, advertising your brand whether it's through Facebook pages, LinkedIn company profiles, a Twitter presence, Quora participation or a Pinterest board. All of these platforms offer fantastic (and often free) publishing and content-sharing functionality. Not only does this provide the tools and audience for extended social communications and brand awareness, but these sites have strong authority and presence in search meaning additional strong results for your profile on these sites, whenever a searcher looks for you by brand name.
Blog and comment:
Nobody knows your business like you do. So get out there and blog,
guest blog, comment on related blogs. Establish your internet credentials by showing exactly how much you do know about integrated circuits, or bridal gown design or whatever it is that you do.
Post relevant content regularly: The best way to easily post relevant content is using a blog and we recommend Word Press. Google loves to index Twitter and Bing loves to index Facebook. But at the end of the day you get more SEO bang for your effort when blogging on Word Press.
It's not only important to frequently post relevant content but Google will push to the top of search popular content. That is, content that is getting tons of comments, Tweets, and social shares. If your content is a news feed and social it is that much more valuable to SEO results.
Bidding on your brand name: Even if you are top of the organic results, there are potentially three competitor adverts and a map showing other competitors above your organic listing. The advert above you may also have site links, star ratings or other ad extensions pushing your organic listing further down the page. While the searcher is looking for your website, if other companies show above you they may be easily convinced to look elsewhere.
If it is your own brand term, Google should recognise your advert and keyword as being highly relevant so you receive a good quality score and a low CPC. It would be a shame to lose a conversion when it may have only cost a few pence.
Although we can't control (nor should we want to control) what is said about our brand, we can control what we say about our brand so there's really no excuse not to.