When you search for ‘Apple’ on Google, you get these results:
Even when it is reasonable for the search results to show the universally known ‘A’ of the alphabet:
An Apple (after all, Apple fruit was before the time of Steve Jobs’ Apple)
That’s how proficient Apple Inc. has been in brand SERP optimisation.
What is a Brand SERP?
Brand Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are web pages served to users when they search for a specific brand name online using a search engine, such as Google. The user enters their search query (often using specific terms and phrases known as ‘keywords‘), upon which the search engine presents them with a SERP.
Consider brand SERPs your online business card because whenever a person hears about your business, he/she searches for it on Google to learn more about your brand.
They read the brief introduction;
They gain extra knowledge about the brand’s customer service, founders, and a ‘did you know’;
Furthermore, they also learn about the employees and the brand’s online presence.
Oh! There are reviews and ratings as well (for the local stores).
With these pieces of information, people can easily contact the brand and learn more about it.
So, brand SERPs are not that different than business cards after all, and for what its worth, they are even better.
Why Should You Optimize Brand SERPs?
If you are not ranking for your brand name, then in the eyes of the ‘searcher’ you are non-existent. And this can affect your traffic, conversions, sales, and almost everything!
Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin, you are ranking and dominating the top SERP for your brand name. But, the results are more negative than they are positive. This compels the searcher to put your credibility into question.
Hence, they will become reluctant about buying from your brand and will start considering it a risk.
So, what choice do the audience have?
There’s only one: To rely on your competitors (if they have appropriately optimized their brand SERPs), leading to increasing their sales and site traffic. That’s why it is more than necessary for brands to start optimizing their brand SERPs.
After all, you don’t want your competitors to crush you;
Instead, you want this.
Author’s Note: These images were a bit harsh, but you understand the concept, right?
So, it’s time that we learn about;
How Should You Optimize Brand SERPs?
The Search Engine Optimization
SEO is not to be taken lightly because it may be one of the reasons why you are not ranking for your brand name.
There are several aspects of SEO that you are probably ignoring about your site or are not optimizing well enough for.
- If you are still on HTTP, it is not too late to transfer to HTTPS; it will ensure not only Google but your audience that your website runs on a secure server. And every user information is productive. You may refer our previous article How to migrate from HTTP to HTTPs
- The title of your site has to be descriptive (if not already) and should include your brand name.
- The same goes for the only H1 tag of your site.
- Brand name should be present in the meta descriptions as well.
- Make every meta description as descriptive as possible, especially for the About Us, Contact Us, and Product pages. They will be taken as Sitelinks by Google and positioned next to your brand name like below;
I suggest you
1. The Reviewing Sites
Unless you are a local brand, the brand pages don’t have user reviews on them. However, there are various substitutes for those customer review sites that are ranked in the brand SERPs.
Be it, TripAdvisor;
Or the company reviewing sites like Glassdoor.
Apple has got a minimum rating of 3 stars, and the reviews are majorly positive. If, however, the reviews are negative at times, a possible lead’s most likely are of skeptical mindset concerning the brand and would start leaning towards becoming just a part of the market.
In order to make your brand SERPs start generating leads, you need to steer clear of the negative reviews because they will result in an opposite outcome. You need to start encouraging your lot of happy customers into posting their reviews about your brand on such customer review sites.
And to the unhappy customers, you should prepare a strategy to resolve their problems efficiently and respond to their queries reassuringly.
Do everything in your power to improve the ratings and try to push it in between 4 and 5, such ratings can help you generate more leads.
Wikipedia is the dominator in the knowledge sites niche. Whenever you search for a brand, a celebrity, a fruit…etc. you get a knowledge graph panel right next to the search results.
The knowledge panel includes every necessary information about your brand. And this information is majorly extracted from the brand’s Wikipedia page.
When you search for a brand, the second or the third, and sometimes even the first result is the brand’s Wikipedia page.
For Apple, the Wikipedia page ranks in the second position.
You need to optimize your brand’s Wikipedia page. It is necessary that you provide every essential piece of information regarding your brand along with the relevant sources.
If your brand’s Wikipedia page lacks enough sources, then the search results will display this message next to your page: ‘This article does not cite enough sources.’
This can further harm your credibility.
Creating a Wikipedia page is not at all an easy task. Certain parameters and procedures have to be followed strictly if you want your brand’s Wikipedia page. However, you can seek for other knowledge-based sites that are similar to Wikipedia such as, Investopedia, Encyclopedia, Scholarpedia…etc.
3. The Articles About You
There are several blogs that write about your niche: the latest news, the best products, everything.
However, if you are a big brand as Apple Inc., these articles will rank in the second or the third page of the SERP most of the times. But they are still important.
The title and the meta should serve the purpose of positive promotion, and not something that might confuse the searcher:
These are the latest pieces of information by media organizations. There’s hardly anything you can do to control them (except preparing a strategy with your Public Relation team).
4. Social Sites
Social Media is one the primary medium through which startups or business make themselves noticeably and gain online visibility. And brands are regularly active on social media no matter how big or small. That’s why when you search for a brand you will find their social handles in the SERPs as well.
In those handles, you need to start improving the title and meta descriptions into creative pieces that are admired by the audience and compel them to visit and follow the page.
Apple’s twitter SERP displays this information:
But the meta is not as good as the meta for their Facebook page. Even though, the subtle line ‘The latest Tweets from Apple’ portrays exclusivity.
Their Instagram handle is also subtle and to the point.
Brand SERPs have the power to change searcher’s opinion about your brand wholly. And if you are the one who heard about the brand for the first time, then the quality of the search results will either consider the brand as credible or simply not trustworthy.
Optimizing the brand SERPs is not an easy task, it takes up a lot of your time and efforts. Plus, the results and benefits of it will only be visible after a month or so. You’ll have to hang around for a while.
After reading the article, do you think more additions could be made to the process of brand SERP optimization?