After the latest Google updates, it has become evident that Google seems to favor large brands in search engine rankings. It not necessarily their SEO efforts that cause them to rank, but the fact that these companies have developed well-thought-out brands that are viewed as authoritative and trustworthy. Building a brand can take years but, in the meantime you can get ranked by building brand signals.
Know Your UVP
If you are not sure what your brand image should be, a great place to start is by figuring out your unique value proposition, or UVP. In other words, what sets your business apart from the rest? Perhaps you have the same product as other companies, but your customer service is the best in the business.
Once you have established your UVP, tell the world about it creatively. Video is a great way to get your message out. In fact, there is a correlation between the amount of video on a website and search engine rankings. Your UVP should be conveyed through as many channels as possible in a creative way that gets people interested. If you have a brick and mortar location, utilize directories and local SEO to get your message out to the people in your area.
Social Media presence has one of the highest correlations to search engine rankings. Your company should have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. It is not enough just to have these accounts; you must also gain followers and actively update these pages to encourage engagement and participation from your followers. Facebook has an option to promote posts which notify the friends of those that do participate on your social media page of the participant’s actions. This makes their friends more likely to also participate on your page. For more tips, read our article on creating social media content for your business.
A well-developed business profile on LinkedIn with several connections is also a good indication that you are a legitimate business. In order to set up a business profile on LinkedIn, your personal page must have at least ten connections. Once the business page is created, make sure to fill out all sections completely so people can find out more about your company. You will also want to make sure your employees have all connected with the business and yourself on LinkedIn.
The more people search for your brand name on Google, the more Google will see you as an authority. But how do you get people to Google you? There are a few ways you can encourage what is called “branded search.” Provided you have followed the above step and joined Instagram and Pinterest, start by posting original content that is relevant to your brand, and be sure to include your company’s logo on it. The more compelling or share-worthy a picture is, the more people will see your brand and may Google it to find out more.
Another tactic is to Tweet from your business account to other relevant big name companies. For example, say you sell dog supplies. A Tweet to Caesar Milan, who has created a brand as being an authority on all things dog-related, will be seen by all of his followers who may then be interested in what your company does and search for it. Again, this will only work if it is compelling and interest content.
Once people are on your site, make sure they stay and come back often. A low bounce rate and repeat visitors are indicators to Google that your site is relevant and respected. This is another reason why video is a great addition to a website, because it gets your message out in a creative way and keeps people on your website.
It is highly advisable to work with a web designer to make your website as user-friendly and professional looking as possible. A web designer will be aware of best practices that make the user experience as seamless as possible. Additionally, a good website design will be the difference between an amateur looking site (which does not convey authority) and a professional looking site.
Finally, if you have a content-rich site, such as a website devoted to travel tips and reviews, make sure your contributing authors have a Google+ account that is linked to the content they are creating. This will give it a Google Authorship markup in search results. Users who see this markup in search results are more likely to trust this result. Of course Google will also favor websites that have linked to Google’s social media platform.
It is not easy to compete with big brands that already have quite the head start in creating a brand identity. With some time and dedication, you can create a brand voice that is shared across multiple channels. The more you get the message out about your unique brand, the more you will be viewed as a trustworthy company both by customers and search engines.