Let’s face it, your brand is your baby. It is your lively hood. Your pride and joy. However, when someone searches for you on Google, what branded search results do they see? Chances are that your domain ranks first, but what else shows up? Other web properties you control? Perhaps some competitors are trying to move in and steal organic branded real estate from you? For your brand, there is no reason you can not “own” the first page organic results. Below, I will explain 10 easy ways you can dominate your branded search results.
Chances are that 99% of you have this one covered, but I needed to bring it up for those who are in the 1%. There should be little issue getting your domain to rank for your brand provided it is a legitimate brand and not some generic keyword phrase. For example, if you search for the brand “Directv” you will see their branded site ranking first. Please note that this an actual brand and not something generic like “satellite tv” which could be anyone. If you can’t or are not ranking first for your brand with your URL, chances are that you may have incurred a penalty of some sort. Possibly you have been hit by a duplicate content penalty from the Google Panda update. Should you be penalized, it is very important you utilize the other tactics listed below to dominate your brand for search.
It does not take much to have your Twitter profile rank on the first page for a brand provide that your username is your brand name. For example, if you search for “espn” on Google you will see the branded twitter account for ESPN (@espn) ranking on the first page around the fifth position. You should take full advantage of your Twitter profile by completing your bio and be sure to include you brand URL. As you can see below, ESPN does this well and has built a great twitter following by providing relevant tweets to their audience.
It is the newest social network to be considered “big”, so be sure to claim your branded Pinterest account. Like Twitter, you ideally want to have your brand as your username. With Pinterest, I would recommend creating a board or two that include your brand name in the board name as well as a detailed description of the board.
Nordstrom is very active on Pinterest. You can see that their branded Pinterest account is sitting around the fifth position of Google organic search results for their brand. Their Pinterest account provides a nice assortment of boards that should interest their target audience. As noted in their profile, they use a social team to manage this account and the effort has paid off. With over 800,000 followers, their reach on Pinterest is huge.
You may have noticed a pattern of using your branded name for your social accounts. Facebook is no different. In this case, we actually need to create a fan page for your brand. Typically, Facebook requires you to have at least 25 fans before they will let you set a custom URL. Therefore, I recommend suggesting your page to coworkers and friends to quickly reach the threshold so you can claim your vanity URL. Within your fan page be sure to complete all the available description fields that will help to describe your business.
SEOMoz has their branded Facebook fan page currently ranking in the third spot of Google organic results for their branded search. They are pretty active with their fan page posts, where they typically post a handful of times per day. Not only are they able to interact with people who are interested in their brand, they own one more spot of real estate on their brand search.
Whether you are looking to brand your business or yourself, LinkedIn is a must have. Simple to setup, yet easy to appear within the search results for branded searches, it makes it a no brainer. Be sure to complete your profile to 100% by completing all available fields. Additionally, create your custom branded URL that is visible to the public. LinkedIn also allows you to add up to 3 URL’s in your personal profile, so be sure to use this feature as you see fit. Creating a thorough profile will even help with linkedin lead generation.
For company profile pages, you can add all sorts of great information about your company that will not only help in obtaining great organic branded rankings, but can serve as a hub to explain a lot about your business. You can create tabs for your products or services, as well as career opportunities and just about anything else you think a potential client would find relevant. Again, be sure to use your brand name in the title and URL.
Social Media Examiner uses a products tab as well as an employee insights tab on their branded LinkedIn company page. While these tabs could use some more attention, the main overview tab is updated frequently with new content.
As search moves forward, Google+ may have more impact than we ever thought was possible so it should be your priority to creat not only a personal account, but a business page as well. Complete your profiles with your brand name and relevant keywords. For your personal profile, it is a must to setup Google Authorship should you blog on behalf of your company. Simply follow these steps to get Google+ authorship setup.
SEER Interactive is really active on their branded Google+ account, commonly holding hangouts answering questions and discussing best practices. As you can see below in their about section, they provide keyword rich information about their offerings while also linking to their other profiles which ultimately helps them rank higher in their organic branded search.
Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? If that is not reason enough for your business to start creating and uploading videos, YouTube profile pages tend to rank very easily for brands. Simply create your account (again with your brand as the username) and fill out the available profile fields. Ideally you want to have at least one video that is about your brand where you optimize the video for your brand name…so while you are there, upload a video!
One brand that has done really well utilizing YouTube is a company called Blendtec. This company sells blenders. Yes, blenders. If you have not seen any of their videos, I highly recommend it as they are excellent! Their YouTube page uses their brand name as well as links to some of their other web properties.
Tumblr blogs are another source you can easily use to have more control over your branded first page results. You can get setup in just a few steps. Be sure to use your brand as your name since it will also be used to create the subdomain on Tumblr.
The Travel Channel uses Tumblr to show some behind the scenes looks at their shows as well as inspirational travel information. Their about us section on the page is brief, but contains their brand. Additionally, they link to their many other social web properties which help boost their organic brand rankings for those channels.
Aside from using Slideshare to rank for your branded term, it is an excellent to site to repurpose content into a presentation to reach a new audience. Like the other sites, be sure to complete all available profile settings and use your brand name where you can and where it makes sense.
Altimeter uses slideshare well. They have roughly 30 presentations uploaded to their branded Slideshare account. Their about section provides a nice blurb about their company/brand as well as link to their site and other social profiles.
While most of these tips listed above will naturally rank for your branded terms, in some cases it may be necessary to give them a little boost. Sometimes, simply linking between each of the accounts/pages you created above will provide you with that boost. If that is not enough, you may need to flex your nerd muscles and build some more extreme links.
There are many other sites you can and probably should use to help secure ownership of the top organic rankings for your brand. Don’t let a competitor or even negative reviews sneak their way on to the first page of your branded search results. Take control to minimize the chances of this happening by leveraging SEO for your business. What sites are you using that I listed above? What other ones are you using to own your branded search results?