10 Ways to Keep Out Competitors in Brand Searches | Varn


2 June 2016

10 Ways to Keep Out Competitors in Brand Searches

Your own brand name. The name that you spent so long creating an identity for is now ranking second, third, maybe fourth against a much smaller, potentially unknown business.  Perhaps your website has already been live for some time, but you’re suddenly seeing a large drop in traffic. That unexpected drop could have been because potential clients or customers searching for your brand name have actually clicked on a higher ranking result that belonged to a competitor. All whilst you remain unaware that your site, your brand, is having to lie in wait below the fold to catch the few searchers who actually scroll down the first page of search results.

How can you combat this?

We’ve summarised the potential answers that can help you battle and suppress your competitors from ranking better than you for your own brand name.  Whilst there is no guarantee that you will knock out every single non-branded result from page 1 of the organic results, these tips and tricks could certainly help push them lower down the page so that your site remains in full view, above the fold.

10 Ways to Dominate First Page Brand Searches:

Wikipedia – If your brand is big enough, you may want to consider a brand entry about the company.  However, this is a very powerful domain so there may be a chance it ranks better than your actual site.  It’s important to note that editors have been known to delete pages for brands that are unknown, or not on the borderline of huge corporate fame.

Google AdWords – Creating a brand search campaign to ensure your site features within the top paid ad results can be a great way to push down the organic results on a mobile device if you include Ad Extensions such as Callouts for example.  Ensure that your quality score is as high as possible to ensure a good ad position.

Google News – You may notice on some searches the Google News feed pulling through in the organic results.  Submit your site to Google News, and any news articles you release could feature within the top results on the Google News feed that occasionally filters through on the organic pages.  This could work well for news stories about your brand – but it must be strictly news, and not marketing material.   Please note that you must be eligible for Google News in order to submit a site, follow this link to find out more.

Sitelinks – These can bulk out the brand result returned to a user searching for your site.  Sitelinks are chosen by Google depending on their relevancy to the search term.  They are sub links that appear below your organic information, and push other sites further down the results page, making your link look more impressive and noticeable.  You cannot specify which links you would like to appear, however you can specify which links you do NOT want to appear.  This can be done through Google Search Console, however bear in mind that Google does not always take notice of this.

Search Bar – Some sites feature an internal search bar, and when coupled with Schema mark-up this can act like a site link and bulk out your organic result, subsequently pushing other sites further down the pages and increasing visibility for yours.  You may notice this on the likes of YouTube and other large sites.

Knowledge Graph – This is Google’s way of presenting a user with some easy-grab information without even having to click on a link, by providing information in a box at the top of the results pages. A user can click for further information, but this works brilliantly as an ‘about us’ section if someone is searching for your brand.  These work better if you are a large, well-known brand, so if you feel you are large enough and have your own Wikipedia page then it is highly likely that you will qualify for this.  However Google have been known to show these for smaller businesses, and apparently they are showing these in 1 in 5 searches.

Answer Box – This is very similar to Knowledge Graph, where Google presents the answer to a user’s question in a box at the top of the results pages.  Google chooses the best answer from the best site, so it would be well worth reviewing any content to see if it provides the perfect answer to a possible question about your brand or industry.  There is no set method for showing up in these boxes, and your site may not always be chosen.  However you can regularly increase your chances by reviewing and publishing new content that is helpful and accurate (and relevant), and maintaining an authoritative website.

Google My Business – Google My Business and Google Map locations help your site appear at the side of the search engine results.  This will be great for branded searches.  It is worth reviewing your company description on your Google Business account to ensure that it is bulked out and highly relevant to any potential brand searches, as well as any other company information.

Social Accounts – If your company doesn’t have a social account, you’re missing out.  With social media pulling in more users every year, it is well worth creating an account for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ at a minimum.  Use it regularly and your brand pages will begin to show in the organic results.  It might be worth reviewing all of your social accounts to ensure that they are relevant, accurate and consistent.

Videos – Ensure that your videos are all optimised for brand searches (amongst other possible relevant areas the videos are promoting).  Google loves video, so optimising this content will be very beneficial. The more subscribers you have for a video, the more likely it will appear within the searches for relevant queries.

For help optimising your website for search contact the team at Varn.

Article by: Aimee, Head of Innovation More articles by Aimee

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