In my first job out of college the company I worked for had a lot of great branded products.
This meant that they created their own products with their own brands. They had probably over a dozen brands. This kind of stood as a differentiator in the industry where there were some really well known brands.
An example of this that’s a little more recent and popular is with Amazon. You’ll often see the Amazon Essentials brand name on things like clothing, batteries and lots more.
Creating branded products is a great strategy. You usually get more profit margin. In the long run, you can build great brand awareness and reputation. But in the short-term it can be difficult to create successful SEO strategies.
The #1 reason it’s difficult is that nobody knows your brand exists. They don’t know to search for the brand name. And if you’re competing against established brands, you’re going up against their entire history of recognition.
But there are a few things you can do…
1. Thorough Descriptions
Product descriptions can be difficult to write. The default, especially if you have many products, is to make them short and sweet. Bullet points and things like that.
I like bullet points. I like highlight the most important information buyers want. Even Amazon has bullet points under the name of the product and the images. But they also have longer descriptions lower on the pages.
Thorough means lots of words. More words generally means more for search engines to analyze. And it often helps the customers make a decision. That’s good for everybody.
Now, you don’t want to add words for the sake of adding words. But you do want to try and provide as much information as possible and answer all of the questions customers are likely to ask.
Write the initial description. Then schedule time to review the description every 3 months. Add to the content based on new knowledge, new questions, etc.
2. Comparative Language
Comparative language is when you talk about other products in the industry. You can try to mention the big brands names. Sometimes they’ll get a little irritated about that. But it’s a possible strategy.
You can also take the more general approach where you say things like, “The industry leaders…” and then you talk about how your branded product is different.
This approach leads you to naturally write language that people are probably searching for on sites like Google. If you’re selling tissue paper, for example, you can talk about how yours is 10 times more durable and doesn’t break and tear even with the strongest sneezes and nose blowing…as compared to the industry leaders.
If you’re really looking to make a splash with a new branded product, schedule lots of opportunities to guest on things like blogs, podcasts, video shows, etc.
The movie and music industry do this really well. Every movie is basically a branded product. People don’t know to search for the name of the movie because the movie is brand new. So the studios have the actors go on TV shows, radio shows and all kinds of stuff to build buzz for the film.
That gets lots of people searching for the name and before too long it’s ranking at the top of search engines for terms like, “new films this week” and things like that.
4. Free Product
One of the best lessons I learned early in my business career was that giving away free product is one of the best and cheapest ways to advertise. You can do it for a limited time. You’re not discounting. You’re getting people to try your new product. People understand that it’s not forever. They see the value they are getting.
Let’s say your product costs you $50. You’re selling it for $100. To customers, that’s a $100 value. But to you, it’s only $50 on the expense side of things. You can’t really beat that value for all parties involved.
I just read a story about Dunkin’ Donuts. When they opened one of the first locations they had a buy one, get one deal on a dozen donuts. People were lined up out the door. It was a great way to build awareness for the new product without really needing to advertise. People saw the deal and told everyone they knew and the place was packed.
Then, after people tasted the great donuts and coffee, they kept coming back and paid full price.
How does this help SEO? Awareness builds searches for your new product, which is a great signal to search engines that you’re a player in the general field. If SEO had been around in the early days of Dunkin’ Donuts you can bet Google would have seen that they should probably rank high for things like “donuts” and “coffee”.
5. Simple Naming
Dunkin’ Donuts is a fine name. But that apostrophe can actually cause some confusion. My general rule of thumb is to make brand names as simple as possible. Easy to read. Easy to say. Also try to make them not offensive. Other than that, don’t worry too much. “Google” is a weird name. But it’s not offensive. It’s easy to read, easy to say. There is very little confusion.
That’s what you’re aiming for. The easier your name, the easier it is for people to search.
Branded products are a great business strategy. But they aren’t exactly SEO-friendly. It takes time and effort to build your products up to the point where they rank well for general terms. But if you’re able to do it, you can reap the rewards for a really long time. That’s why it’s very often worth the effort to do things like the strategies listed here.