We’ve told you about the importance of ranking on Google before, but there are plenty of ways to make sure you dominate the conversation about your brand by utilizing more than just SEO. With a few simple campaigns, even small businesses can make sure that everything above the fold on branded searches are operated by themselves. The easiest way to improve your online reputation management is to control the conversation most easily visible to everyone, and that means the front page of Google.
Google “Local Search Masters”. Go ahead, do it, right now. I’ll wait.
Notice anything? Not only does every single “above-the-fold” link direct you to our website or one of our social media channels, but every link on the entire first page and beyond does the same.
When looking to Moneyball your online presence, start with these functions to make sure that you get everything you can out of the 100 billion Google searches a month.
This is the obvious one. You can use branded terms in your paid search campaigns to make sure your name sticks in the searchers’ heads. But where this can get tricky, and where you have the most to gain, is the ability to add extensions to your paid search campaigns. Adding the following extensions to your campaigns is how you really get the most out of paid search.
- Location extensions– add an address, phone number and map to your business on paid ads
- Call extensions– add a link to your phone number so mobile users can call by simply clicking on the number
- Offer extensions– adds your promotions and sales to paid search ads
- Sitelinks extensions– links to pages besides your homepage in paid ads
- Product extensions– Products you offer will show up in paid searches linking directly to the shopping page for that particular product
- Social extensions– Link your Google+ page to a paid search so that your +1s and recommendations appear within searches.
- Dynamic search ad extensions– automatically show your ad based on content of website instead of keywords
- App extensions– if you have an app, a link to directly download it from iTunes or the Google Play store will show up in your ad.
By optimizing images on your site to include branded terms, you can drive a large amount of traffic to your site. To utilize this capability, include your brand name in the image file, the url, the title of the image and the alt text.
Google+ and Google+ Local
You can capture the side-rail on branded Google searches by linking your Google+ company page using a rel=publisher tag. This works in almost the same way as Google authorship, and will provide yet another link to your site from the first page of search results.
Having a verified location attached to your company can also be of great value by adding an address, phone number, and a map in the right side-rail of branded searches. Merging this with your Google+ page links the benefits of each on the side-rail.
YouTube and Other Video Sites
Beyond picking up views from Google Video searches, the first page of search results will often include at least one video result, especially from the Google-owned YouTube. Having branded YouTube videos that have the brand name in the name of the channel, video and meta tags can rank your videos highly on Google results.
Google News searches will turn up press releases with your name on them, so regularly disseminating these releases can give your company an advantage not only in specified News results but also in the results when News shows up on the front page of search results.
It is great to boost your rankings and dominate organic search results to your site. It can be just as valuable to completely dominate your branded results. Doing so isn’t difficult, but it does require effort on your part to make sure that you control the entire visible conversation about your company’s online reputation.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world, and sees more than 100 billion monthly searches. Only a small portion of those are searches about your brand, but you want to make sure that you make every one of those branded searches count for your bottom line.
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