BRANDS AND THE SEARCH ENGINES: SENSIBLE ADVICE FOR RANKING
More than ever it's important to rank for your brand name to help create trust amongst your users. The assumption that your brand is automatically ranked at the top of the search results pages is not true.
Whilst you’d be mistaken for believing that ranking well for your brand happens because Google understands it, and that you should be in the number one position for branded searches, unfortunately the search results don’t always reflect that.
In fact, companies that care about branding and wish to rank for their brand name have to work at it.
Why is it important to rank for brands?
According to HubSpot brand awareness fosters trust, creates association and builds brand equity. Ranking well for relevant terms that contain your brand matters because when searchers arrive on your product pages, you control the marketing message.
Here is how to approach ranking better for brand-related searches.
Find Brand-related Search Queries
While you may think you know everything that searchers look for relating to your brand, it’s still possible to be surprised. The best way to know what the most popular (or obscure) branded queries are is look them up.
Using the Google Suggest feature within the Google.co.uk search engine is a useful way to do this. By loading the site and typing in your brand, the drop-down box gets populated with popular searches that contain the brand. This is an excellent indicator of what people have been looking for recently in relation to your brand.
It’s also possible to use an SEO tool like ahrefs.com or Semrush.com to run a similar search to view their estimated monthly search volume for different branded queries.
Create Content on Your Site to Cover Each Branded Search
If there isn’t already a suitable product or other page that relates to each search and is currently used by Google to answer it, create a new piece of content that addresses the search query.
In a situation where there’s several popular questions which are similar, choose the most popular one as the article’s title and sprinkle several of the other queries as sub-headers within the article itself. As long as they address related questions, that won’t create duplicate issues.
Building in-bound links to these new pages with appropriate anchor text (the text within the link itself) will signal to Google that the pages provide official responses from the company.
Look for Other Sites to Publish Relevant Content
Getting content published on other sites can also provide relevant information and give useful pointers to their site visitors and Google about where to look for brand-related information.
For instance, LinkedIn offers their Showcase pages as a way for brands to highlight new features, product pages or other useful information. Google often ranks the LinkedIn Business page highly and may show some of these links as a rich snippet in the search results too.
Indeed, when able to get guest posts published on industry blogs, they may carry enough influence to help individual pages rank better for a related branded query too.
Ultimately, by working step-by-step picking out branded search queries and providing a better answer from the company, Google will get the hint. Over time, the brand will increasingly rank in the top spot when pointing the search engine in the right direction.