We would have loved to keep in your sweet paradise of the dream world and would have outrightly said, “No, Google loves all, brands and others alike”. But we are your well-wisher and would like you to wake up to the truth, which is, that Google prefers Brands. Period.
Maybe “prefers” would classify as an understatement: brands rank quicker, rank easier, and are more sturdy to updates
“I don’t stand a chance.”
Does Google prefer ‘Brands’ We would have loved to keep in your sweet paradise of the dream world and would have outrightly said, “No, Google loves all, brands and others alike”? But we are your well-wisher and would like you to wake up to the truth, which is, that Google prefers Brands. Period. Maybe “prefers” would classify as an understatement: brands rank quicker, rank easier, and are more sturdy to update “I don’t stand a chance.”
Is that you who has screamed that? Well, have a heart.
Just because you run a small website and are a startup doesn’t mean that you are doomed to be bullied by your branded competitors. We have helped our small business clients build strong online brands.
And you can be next.
It is all about knowing:
a) what brand signals does Google use and
b) how to get them
Look Like a Big Brand
The best way to form brand signals is to essentially build a brand.
Yes, to some extent.
Building a brand would take years and at times, decades.
And if you’re in a race with businesses with a gigantic offline presence, your cute, little, and handful brand signals won’t be enough.
That makes it important to proactively build strong brand signals.
The rewards would include more traffic, more trust, and smart armour against future updates.
Step #1: Get a Branded Social Media Presence
Social media is a mammoth brand signal. Google puts social media to use to measure the size of your customer base and overall popularity.
Social Media Followers
The big brands are supposed to have a lot of followers because of obvious reasons. Even dull brands. Facebook ‘likes’ running into millions is the first indicator of the popularity and awareness of the Brand
At a bare minimum, you are required to have a full-functional account set up on Google +, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. And LinkedIn
But just an account with zero followers is not going to make Google’s pulse racing. You need to do whatever it takes to acquire thousands of fans, followers, and likes. That’s what makes you look like a brand.
Step #2: Build Search-Based Brand Signals
It’s something you perhaps already know but never gave much thought to people searching for brands.
People love to type brand names into Google:
And, as per this cool chart from SEOBook, Google is an expert at defining brand keywords.
Searching For Your Brand
- Mention Your Brand in Videos: When you make a video, instead of saying “This is Bob”, say “This is Bob from Big Brand Signals”. I mean say your Brand Name in all your videos. This trick works great all the time. You could almost always see a heave in the number of people searching for your brand name.
- Reach out on Twitter: Bug your brand on Twitter because it works to show off your brand name to a new audience…which tempts them to do a Google search.
- Brand Images on Pinterest: Use your logo and put it somewhere on pictures that you post to Pinterest:
When people see the brand name, it is natural that they’ll search for it on Google.
- Display Ads: Offline ads, like print and hoarding advertising, and the Google Content Network is an additional way to make people take notice of your brand and type your brand name into Google’s search field.
Step #3: On-Page Brand Signals
Here’s how to transform your site into an example of branding.
Address and Contact Information
Real businesses have real offices. And transparent contact information.
Do you think Google doesn’t pay attention to this stuff?
A good piece of a leaked Google Quality Guidelines Document talks about transparency and signals about legitimacy, including contact info which includes a valid phone number and address.:
Make sure to include a real address on your website (even if you function out of your mom’s basement) and a working phone number on your ‘contact us page. A mere contact form doesn’t cut any points.
Extra Points: Validate your address in Google places.
Logo and Unique Design
Your website needs to have a unique and exclusive theme, including a logo. You are no brand if you have the same WordPress theme as a thousand other sites.
About Us Page
It may be time to turn to your ‘About Us page and rethink it.
All big brands’ websites have insanely long ‘About Us’ pages that they use to brag about their history and mission statement and some even list their staff. If you are a Brand too, why are you lagging?
Now It’s Your Turn
Building a strong online brand presence gives you an enormous edge over your competitors that therefore is something that you spend good time and energy on. It doesn’t take a 6-figure ‘whooping’ marketing budget to look and feel like a large brand. Rather, It is all about a concentrated effort to build the right and effective brand signals that ‘Lord’ Google pays attention to.