Search engine optimization is changing for the better. Instead of beating the bush, we must take a deep breath and focus our efforts in maximizing the brand value. Google likes brands. Inbound marketers need to plan a proper strategy to leverage the brand value so to boost SEO efforts.
Why Brand Is Important?
Brand is the fulcrum around which every marketing effort rotates and as such it holds maximum value. Google prefers brands because they are trustworthy; their pages are less likely to be spammy. And Google likes brands because people like them, talk about them, and share their updates. Brands are the ones that are able to get high quality natural backlinks on their own. Google knows it must return the best search results. So, Google puts more value on brands and returns them more often in search results.
Change Your Focus From Promoting Your Website To Promoting Your Brand
Yes, that's true. The old school thinking of promoting a website should change and instead more focus should go into promoting a brand. You need to try and establish brand value Google can analyze. This takes months of efforts; winning the trust and love of your users. But, once you are able to achieve it, no Penguin and Panda can harm your site. So, how to build a brand and perform well in Google.
1- Make Your Website Professional And Responsive
First priority is to get your site right. Have a professional looking website that is unique and has all the main conversion components in the right areas. As mobile search queries are increasing day by day, getting a responsive website is the best choice you can make. Analyze metrics like pageviews, bounce rate, exit rate etc. and keep on optimizing them until they come in a ratio that is well suited to convert them into customers.
2- Focus On The User And Not On The Search Engines
Some webmasters make the mistake of focussing on search engines instead of users. They think optimizing a site means making changes on the titles, adding keywords, building backlinks and done, their site will show up in the search results and at a position they think it should be. But, we are not in the late 1990's when search engine manipulation was easy. With updates like Panda, Penguin and hummingbird, Google's ranking algorithms have become much more sophisticated. The ranking factors have become so minute that you cannot concentrate on one or two factors and expect miracles to happen. You need to get each and every factor right in order to get the desired results.
Focussing on the user is one of the best steps you can take in this direction. Build a site for the user, include elements your customers will like, write blog posts your users will love to share, and update your social channels with news and stories your target audience desires. If user love is positive then you are in the right direction to receive Google love.
3- Try To Build Your Own USP
Ask the question to yourself "how am I different from my competitor?". Strategize and build a unique selling proposition for your brand. Ensure that your USP is the prime force behind traffic acquisition and conversion. This uniqueness in your brand will help to build your own brand value and this will help to reach a level of trustworthiness.
4- Participate In Seminars And Give Interviews
Participate in industry events and seminars to educate people about your brand. Sponsor events and charities and let your brand reach a wide array of audiences. Offline promotion is important for online promotion too.
5- Make Use Of Social Channels To Reach Your Targeted Audience
Based on your industry niche, create channels and use them as a medium to communicate with your audience. Try posting company news, updates and stories which the people will love to share and comment. Note the level of interaction your brand is receiving. If any post on Facebook fails to receive comments, reshares or likes then you are alone promoting your brand. You simply don't want this to happen. Make use of ethical social branding strategies to fulfill your goals. Ensure the flow of communication is not stopped.
6- Follow The SEO Essentials
Yes, SEO is not over. Things like meta tag implementation, sitemaps, site speed, SEO copywriting, regular blog updates, and more, still matter for search engines. Following basic to advanced ethical SEO methods will only help to increase the reach of your brand.
7- Earn Backlinks, Co-citations And Co-occurrences
Increased importance is on co-citations and co-occurrences. If your brand receives mentions on journals and articles related to your niche, even along with your competitors name, it is set to have a positive impact on your brand's reputation and combined relevance.
8- Increase The Number Of Brand Related Search Queries
Have you ever tried to find out how many people are trying to find your brand by typing the brand name on Google? The more people do this, the higher popularity you can assume as a brand. If you know how to check keyword popularity using the Adword planner, then go and find out the popularity of keywords like Facebook, Twitter, McDonalds, KFC etc. You will find a lot of search volume associated with them, this is one of the best ways to determine the popularity and reputation of your brand.
9- Remain In The News And Get As Many Brand Mentions As You Can
Try getting as much media publicity as you can. Organize events, call reporters to cover the event and reach out to the masses. Even small steps taken by you every month can do wonders in the long run. Reporters and media professionals can make a brand; network with them more often.
10- Finally, Get A Wikipedia Page For Your Brand
Wikipedia does not allows a brand page to be created for any so called anonymous brand. Your brand must have citations and coverage from a variety of reputed news sources in order to get listed as a Wikipedia brand page. This sounds easy but in reality, it's much more difficult. You cannot pay someone to do it for you. It requires real effort, patience and time to climb the ladder of online reputation. If your brand is able to get a Wikipedia page approved then Google will start taking your brand seriously.
One thing to remember is SEO is vast. You cannot expect your website to rank on top for your set of targeted queries simply because you are a trusted brand. Search engines have a huge set of algorithms consisting of hundreds of factors which are further subdivided into many sub factors: relevancy of the document, the location of the user, the search settings of the user, the authority of the domain, the freshness of the document etc. So, build your brand but don't expect instant or "always on" ranking.