When analysing all different types of digital marketing strategies, it is fair to say that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is becoming more relevant than ever. With half of the population glued to their screens, all businesses are transforming their marketing strategies to interact with their audiences online. Due to this, everyone wants to get to the top of Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). It doesn’t matter which industry you belong to; if you want more traffic, you need to gain a higher ranking in SERP.
Where most people wish that there was a magic lamp that they could rub to get to the first positions, the world is not as magical yet. Moreover, you have to invest a considerable amount of time and hard work to ensure that you are pushing the right buttons. In this article, I will share a series of steps that you must follow to rank your brand higher and perform as if you were a real SEO agency.
1. Focus and Track on your Branded Queries
Branded queries are those searches that users are searching for your brand directly. Therefore, they are direct source of traffic for your site. Most visitors will recur to Google to search for a query instead on introducing an URL straight away. These SEO opportunities are fundamentally searches for your brand or domain name. This metric can help you understand how your SEO is performing:
- If most of your organic traffic comes from branded queries, then your site is not fully optimized for visibility.
- If most of your organic traffic is from non-branded queries, your brand might be losing an opportunity on building up brand reputation.
Brands are usually search for altogether with other general queries from Google suggested terms. E.g. for the query “ digital marketing”, Google suggests you “digital marketing agency jobs” or “digital marketing agency near me”.
For the query “digital marketing agency”, the SERP suggests “digital marketing agency London”.
The more searches add your brand to a general query, the more likely will Google suggest a search with your brand.
Use Google Search Console to track your branded queries. This way, you will have access to a summary of clicks and impressions. Check them to make sure that your filter does not contain queries that are not relevant for your brand.
- Click on the Performance report for your chosen domain.
- Choose the search type and time range.
- Click on New> query.
- Then click on “queries containing” and type in your shortest brand name as a keyword. For example, if your brand is “Digital Marketing Agency MintTwist”, type in “Digital Marketing Agency” or “Digital Marketing Agency London”.
2. Optimize your Brand for Voice Search
With the rise of smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home has opened the door to users to a world of effortless online-search. Artificial Intelligence tech applications play an important role in our society nowadays, and they will continue to grow exponentially. As always, Google is prepared for this rising trend offering Google’s Featured Snippets in order to answer voice commanded search queries.
Keep in mind that when we perform voice searches on mobile, we are talking to a virtual assistant. Therefore, you have to use question phrases when searching online. For example, if you look for coffee shops via typing on your computer “best coffee shops in London”, you are using computer language. In turn, when using voice search, it is better if you ask a question, such as ‘what coffee shop has the best latte in London?’ or ‘ what coffee shops are open in London now?’ Voice search queries are longer then their equivalent in text: they use to be 3 to 5 keywords and they tend ask a particular question.
How can you optimize your content for voice search then? Some insights bellow:
- Use short sentences that address common questions.
- Focus on the use of natural language within the content.
- Turn your FAQs pages into a voice search optimized page.
- Optimize for the ‘near me’ searches to improve your local SEO.
3. Focus on E-A-T (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness)
If you want Google’s algorithm to take you to the top of the SERP, you must pay attention to the quality of your content. Following Lily Ray’s advice on Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, your content’s shape is key. This is how Google is focusing on the information it offers to its users, which is due to:
- A growing trend in misinformation and ‘fake news’ online.
- The Internet contributing to a rise in extremist behavior.
- The role that online information plays during electoral periods and the influence it gives.
- The lack of trust in the quality of medical information online.
Therefore, if you own a medical brand, you need to pay attention to your E-A-T, as this is a ‘must have’ for your site. It is not something that is relevant for all types of websites: for some sites, good E-A-T is just a ‘nice to have’ thing, but not a mandatory requirement.
Although E-A-T is not a confirmed ranking factor, its relationship with Google’s algorithms is more ambiguous. Moreover, filling your brand’s website with high quality content it does not replace technical SEO (backlinks, UX, etc.).
4. Perform On page SEO optimization for the SERP
Last but not least, the last thing that you need to do in order to rank higher is to take advantage of the SERP using on page SEO optimizations. Keep in mind that there are a lot of features that Google takes from a site when displaying it within the SERP. First, what you should do is to optimize your homepage for your brand name. Make sure that you include the right keywords into your page title and meta-descriptions for your different pages:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
- About Us
- Contact page
Your rich snippet will definitely make the difference when showed within the SERP. This is how your rich snippet will look like: