SEO has become very much about brand.
Is it entirely about brand? No. But quite often what you’ll see in the results are well-known brands.
The reason is that Google needs to deliver the best results. Otherwise, people will stop using the tool. Google needs trusted results and brands that are well-known have proven to Google that they can almost always be trusted.
Even if a new brand comes in with a 10x product, Google will almost always go with the brand that’s been around 10+ years. The new brand will need to catch up in brand recognition.
So if you’re looking to improve your rankings for important industry terms you’re looking to build brand awareness. And a nice corollary impact is that searches for your brand name will also increase. And that will bring you more traffic. Sales-intent traffic.
Here are some ways to increase brand awareness and branded searches.
Think of your favorite actor…
Got them in mind? Good. Now think about the last time they had a movie coming out. You probably saw them making the media rounds.
Guesting on the late night shows, the morning shows, radio shows, podcasts, YouTube video series and just about everything they could be a part of. Maybe even an in-depth magazine interview or something like that.
Guesting is a way to get in front of a large audience. And it can be done relatively quickly. Movie studios are some of the best at sparking interest in a brand new brand. They have a movie title (the brand) and have to generate attention from scratch. They want people searching for information about the movie.
You want to do the same for your business. Guest on podcasts. Write guest blog posts. Do anything you can to get yourself or someone from your team in front of audiences. The more you do the more branded searches you’ll see.
2. Referral Programs
You might think that a great product is enough for great referrals. And that’s true. But we’re all motivated by money at least to some degree and if we can get a kickback for promoting our favorite brand then we’re going to be motivated to do it.
Even if the program just offers a discount on your products for the referrer. Figure out a way where the numbers work for the benefit of your best customers so they can refer others to you.
They’ll tell them your name and branded searches increase.
3. Content Marketing
Blogging, creating video, creating a podcast, etc. It’s all content marketing. Heck, you could even be a company like Coca-Cola and create a video for Netflix. An action movie. Not one that promotes Coke. Just a regular movie “brought to you by Coca-Cola”. It’s all content marketing and it’s all about brand awareness. And that’s what leads to more branded searches.
4. Social Media Answering
A lot of social media is about selling. At least it’s that way for a lot of brands. To stand out, you can take a different approach. It’s social media listening and answering. The listening is following hashtags and a target audience and seieng what they’re asking on social media. Then stepping in and providing the answer.
Let’s say you’re a dentist. You follow people within 10 miles of your office. Whenever someone asks a question like, “When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?” you step in with the answer. No promotion. Just the answer.
People will get curious about who this brand is that’s helping people.
5. Free Product
One of the best forms of marketing is free product. If you want people to know about your brand then go where they don’t know about you and give away some for free.
A few years back I was at the golf course for league night and there was a cooler of beer on the first tee. It was some kind of beer I’d never heard about. They gave everyone that wanted one free cans until they were gone. Probably about 200 cans of beer. It probably cost the company $0.25/can, but 100+ people became curious. I know the first thing I did was google the brand name.
6. Product Placement
You see this in movies all the time. I think many brands are paid for it. But you can do it for free. Give free product to productions that need it. Heck, you could send free beer to podcast hosts. Or video bloggers. Or Instagram influencers.
I don’t know why I’m on the beer kick. It works for just about anything. Products and services. Find the audience and get your product in front of them. Give it away for free.
7. Paid Marketing
Finally, you can flood the market with your advertising. This worked really well in the 20th Century with TV and Radio. It will work well in the 21st Century on social media and popular apps. Facebook and Instagram have the most audience attention right now. The advertising is pretty cheap. Flood the market with your brand. Your branded searches will increase.
There are obvious benefits to branded searches. Perhaps the best is that it really can’t be taken away from you. If you’re Zappos, you may have a stronghold on the #1 spot for the term “shoes” today, but that may change tomorrow. Maybe with a paid option. But you really can’t lose the top spot for the term “Zappos”. And the fun thing is that the more people that know about Zappos the more likely they are to appear first for other terms like “shoes”.