Branding is important and valuable in business. Think about billion dollar brands, like Coca-Cola. Their brand name alone is worth an astronomical amount of money. Accountant’s even have a name for this type of brand “value”, on the books it’s called goodwill.
Your brand name is essential to your success, and using intelligent search engine optimization strategies will build and strengthen your brand recognition online.
The Power of SEO Branding
Search Google for brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or Best Buy and you’ll see that they completely dominate the first page of the search results for their brand name. These are strong trusted brands that everyone knows.
Everything you see on the first page of these search results takes you to that brands website, product page, location, video etc.
There’s no mistake who these brands are. These brands obviously think it’s valuable to rank for their brand name.
The case of Best Buy is particularly interesting because “best buy” is a keyword. Google “best buy on shoes” and you’ll see this:
I just learned something, apparently Best Buy actually does sell shoes. I thought they only sold electronics. But Google has them #1 in the organic search results, not because they are well known for selling shoes, but because they rank so well for the search term “best buy”.
Just try doing a search for “best buy (anything)” where there isn’t a result for the big box electronics retailer appearing somewhere on the first page.
There is real value in ranking for your brand name.
SEO Branding for Local Businesses
You can get this type of attention from the search engines for your brand as well. Although, the Best Buy example above is extreme.
Your brand name should be the first keyword you rank for in search engines. This is crucial to help build your authority online, and increase your reputation with your users. If your website doesn’t show up, you run a major risk of losing valuable customers.
Go and check Google right now, and what do you see? If your website is not #1, you have some work to do.
If you’re website is not showing #1 for your brand, first check to make sure there are no technical problems with the website. Make sure it’s indexed by using this search parameter in Google “site:yourwebsite.com“, it should be indexed.
Next go check your sitemap, make sure it exists, then check your robots.txt file.
This is basic stuff on a website, and content managements systems (CMS) like WordPress will have this feature included by default, so you should be all set.
After making sure the basics of your website are working, the next thing you want to do is make sure your business has a Google My Business (GMB) profile. There are many reasons why you want a Google My Business profile, but for our purposes we want one for SEO branding.
Google loves to show your GMB listing when folks search for your brand name. And G loves these profiles so much, it gives a huge chunk of screen real estate to them.
On desktop, it will take up almost the entire right side of the search results page and show new posts, images, and products available through GMB.
On mobile, it takes up a massive chunk of the screen and it will show before all other search results. This is an advantage that business owners are passing up left & right.
Make sure you get a Google My Business account and that you fill it out completely. The accounts are free and there’s plenty of resources online about how to set it up.
Now, you should have your website and Google My Business listing on the first page for your brand name keyword.
Use Business Listings and Social Media For Branding
Next you should go and create a branded YouTube channel. Google gives a lot of love, in the form of organic search results, to YouTube channels and videos. Why? Because Google owns YouTube, and they want to synchronize the two platforms together.
Makes sense, right? Of course it does. You can use nepotism to your advantage.
Go to YouTube and create a channel and make sure you name the channel the exact same as your business. This has a very good chance of ranking on the first page for your brand search. Also, because you link all these accounts to your website, it will push your website up for your brand name, if your site is not already ranking #1.
You will also want to create a video on YouTube and name the video the same as your business or brand. YouTube video thumbnails take up twice as much screen real estate than regular search result.
After you created your branded YouTube account, it is time for more business listings. Business listings. These are also called citations.
If you’re new to producing video content, check out this handy Video Marketing Checklist.
There are a number of different services that you can use to create citations. Just make sure the citations are consistent with your business name, address, and phone number.
Do you see the pattern here? These sites all have your brand name listed, and they all link back to your website.
And finally, you want to go and create a bunch of social media accounts in your business name. These are sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but there are hundreds of social media platforms out there. You want to create around 25 of these or so.
You can go to a website called NameCHK.com to see a list of of sites you can create listings on, and see if your brand name is taken.
If you follow these processes, you will, for the most part, completely cover the search results for your brand name.
Once you do this, there will be no mistaking who your company is.
Search engine optimization is a wonderful tool that can increase the amount of customers that find you. It all starts with securing your brand and covering the entire first page of search results with digital properties that all point to your business.