Google loves brands.
The bigger the brand, the better chance it has to rank higher in Google’s search results. Bigger brands are largely immune to negative SEO attacks and rarely get penalized by Google algorithms. But even when they are, they recover pretty quickly.
Like it or not, Google clearly has a soft corner for brands.
To understand Google’s brand obsession, you need to understand their core business values. One of Google’s primary objectives is to provide a memorable, convenient and reliable search experience to its users.
Related Article: What Does Your Brand Say? How Branding Can Make Or Break Your Business
All algorithmic changes by Google are focused on making the search experience more reliable and trustworthy.
And this is exactly why Google loves brands. Because brands signify consistency, credibility and quality. By promoting brands in its search results, Google makes sure that its searchers are getting reliable information.
Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt and former Head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts have clearly stated this fact several times.
According to Michael Priyev, a Google marketing expert at Toggle Web Media, Google wants business owners, bloggers and even affiliate marketers to focus on turning their websites and blogs into brands that can be trusted for consistent and reliable information. For business owners like you, this is great news.
You already have a company that is serving clients in the real world. You just need to build an online brand image that is in line with Google’s guidelines to gain instant credibility and an advantage in search results
Here’s how you can do that.
1. Use a Professional and Well-Designed Website
Can you have a strong brand without a professionally designed website? Of course not. Getting professional help to develop an attractive looking, well-coded and secure website is one of the most important investments you can make for your online brand. But what exactly are the elements that differentiate a branded website from a normal site? Here are some of the key things to include.
- A professional logo design that is consistent across all your online assets like website, blog, social media accounts and PR material. The brand logo of PaasProvider is a good example of a professional logo.
- There are thousands of offshore one-man companies that people are running from their bedrooms. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if you have a physical office setup, you can use this opportunity to differentiate your brand. Google’s quality guidelines consider a physical office address and a contact number as strong legitimacy signals that can help strengthen your brand image. A clearly displayed contact number, in particular, not only makes your business look more legitimate but also helps you generate more leads.
For example, there must be hundreds of blogs about identity theft protection and related topics, but by displaying a direct contact number the blog in this snapshot appears more credible.
- Display your brand’s social media profile links on your website’s home page (more on that later in the post).
- Use a mobile friendly and responsive website design that adjusts dimensions according to the visitor’s device.
2. Share Your Brand’s Story and Unique Angle
Brands use stories to create a bonding and a stronger relationship with their customers. Brands that are able to emotionally connect with their target market tend to generate higher conversions. As a brand owner, you need to use your brand’s story to not only stand out from the competition but also to appear a legitimate brand to Google.
Semper Solaris is a great example of how brands can use small stories to give a unique angle to their offer.
There must be hundreds of other companies offering the same services but this particular brand has highlighted two causes that many Americans care about. This helps them connect at a much closer level with their audience. It also gives their brand a unique angle and makes them look a legitimate company.
Another important part of your brand’s story is your About Us page. Brands use their About Us page to go in detail about their vision, mission, values and unique selling points. It’s one of the most important pages on your site that you should not ignore.
3. Earn Brand Mentions and Branded Searches With High-Quality Content
Another key factor that Google considers while evaluating brands is the number of branded searches. In simple terms, it calculates the number of people searching your brand by its name.
The most effective and long lasting way to achieve this is to create lots of high quality content related to the problems and needs of your target audience. Mention your brand name frequently on your own blog, and also reach out to other relevant blogs for guest blogging opportunities and create backlinks using your brand name.
4. Maintain an Active and Well-Branded Social Media Presence
As I mentioned earlier in the post, Google evaluates your social media profiles to gauge your brand’s strength and following. Google keeps an eye on the audience engagement levels of your profiles. So while it’s important to have social media profiles on popular networks, it’s even more important to regularly engage with your community on those profiles.
Instead of stretching yourself too far, select 2-3 social networks where your audience is most active. Create well-branded profiles that clearly relate with your website and brand image, and focus on building an engaged community around your profiles. Since all social networks focus heavily on visual content, make sure all the images you share are also properly branded with your logo and other brand indicators. You can use free tools like Canva for this purpose. Every social network has different recommended image sizes so you need to keep that in mind as well.
Here’s a really useful infographic about social media images for several popular platforms.
Warning: Never purchase fake followers or software that show inflated social sharing number on your website. It’s easy to detect fake followers when you have 100k people following your Twitter profile but no engagement on your Tweets. It’s a clear signal that you’re a spammer or a low profile website owner that knows nothing about branding.
5. Link To Authentic and High-Authority Resources in Your Content
“A man is known by the company he keeps.” Google takes this old saying quite seriously. It takes note of the kind of websites and resources you cite in your content and judges you accordingly. If you link to high authority and credible resources, you’ll get a certain level of advantage over blogs that link to no outside sources.
On the other hand, if you link to spammy, dubious and low-quality websites you’ll immediately be under Google’s penalty radar. A smart strategy is to link to sites that appear in the News section of Google search, or credible edu, gov and org domains. In general, try citing 2-3 high authority outside sources in every piece of content you write. This is a clear signal that your content is well-researched and backed by solid data evidence.
Related Article: Build Your Tribe: How to Make an Audience Loyal to Your Brand
Google loves brands because they can be trusted to provide consistent, reliable and authentic information to its search engine users. By implementing the tips I’ve shared in this post you can also establish your business as a strong online brand and gain a significant advantage over your competitors.