Most people focus on getting their website to the first page for specific keyword phrases that relate to their business. While keyword rankings are an important goal, you also have to think about branded search results. In this post, we’re going to look at ways to dominate the first page of search results for your brand name.
What are Branded Search Results?
Before we get started, let’s do a quick definition of branded search results. These are the search results that people receive when they search for your name, your business name, or your product name in search. So instead of “internet marketing services,” they are searching for “ABC Corporation.”
Branded search results are important because they are the results people look for to learn more about your company and gauge its reputation. The last thing you want is for someone to find another company with the same name, see less than flattering reviews, or find your competitors through the ads.
How to Dominate Branded Search Results
Now that you know what branded search results are let’s look at how you can capture the top ten search results for your brand.
The .com for your brand name is likely going rank first in search results for your name. The only exception to this is if Google has penalized your website or if there is another brand with the same name that has been in existence for longer than you have.
Your .com doesn’t have to be the only website presence you maintain. GoDaddy, a company that has a few reputation management issues, uses additional domains to capture more spots in the top ten search results. These domains include email.secureserver.com for their email login, godaddycares.com for community service news, godaddytraininghub.com for educational articles, and login.websitetonight.com for their website builder.
Even if you aren’t a hosting company, you should consider additional websites you can use for your business that will rise to the top of branded search results. These websites can include a public blog for your CEO (with the brand name in the title), a review or fan site for your products (make it look like it was created by someone else), and similar properties.
Social Profiles and Pages
Social media networks tend to rank in the first page of search results for your brand, so they are a definite must. You don’t have to claim a profile on every social network imaginable – just the top ones will make a dent. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you keep these networks active, that could make for seven of your ten branded search results.
Businesses can take advantage of networks like CrunchBase, AngelList, and VentureBeatProfiles that allow them to create rich profiles for their company. These profiles typically rank well in branded search results. Wikipedia is also a strong network, but the rules for brand profiles are tricky.
Local businesses also have the opportunity to create local business profiles on sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, and other local data providers. There’s a good chance you already have profiles on these networks, so be sure to take control of them for optimal ranking.
If you are your brand, then contributing to major publications within your industry can help you dominate the first page of search results. When you contribute to the top blogs in your industry, you will get an author archive page that will continuously be updated as often as you write new content. If the blog has a strong domain, those pages will eventually move up into your branded search results for your name.
Do you get invited to participate in interviews, podcasts, and Google+ Hangouts that will eventually be posted to YouTube? If so, take advantage of them. Most will include your brand in the title (or will if you request it). When people discover these types of content in your branded search results, it gives them an outside view of your brand that is still controlled by you.