It’s quite easy to suggest this, and it’s something that a lot of agencies say needs to be done, but quite often “building a brand” at least in the SEO sense is misunderstood, and so are the reasons why. It’s misunderstood simply because branding is hard to define and why build a brand right now, when building links alone can in most cases work better and not cost nearly as much?
We’ll start by outlining what we’re defining as Branding you can manipulate for SEO, it would include the following:
- Brand Mentions (not links)
- Brand Search (number of people looking for you – this will also include CTR when searched for)
- Social Mentions
- Social Accounts
Now it’s easy to say that these things don’t count, but there are studies that already suggest a lot of them do. this searchmetics study being a good example (http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/services/ranking-factors-2013/)
Well the answer is simple Future Proofing (well that and it probably doesn’t cost as much as you’d think).
What we all should’ve learned from the penguin update is that Google looks at ratios, it’s very easy to see manipulative patterns in this way. And it isn’t too hard to look at the ratios a brand would naturally get. This was done with anchor text branded and otherwise.
So if we look to the future of SEO is it farfetched to suggest that Google will be able to see the amount of times your brand is spoken about and the amount of times it’s linked? This could easily be monitored across social and across brand mentions in articles software like Meltwater can do this so of course Google can.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
A lot of SEO’s including us have seen results that suggest brand mentions have an impact in SERPs at the moment. Albeit not as strongly as links do.
So much like forward thinking webmasters did with Penguin by switching over to brand anchor text, something which we actually saw having a better response than non branded links in the run up to Penguin we want to help build a brand in advance.
Social is easy to manipulate and there are a million and one articles on building a presence already so we wont focus on that too much, so we’re going to look at brand mentions.
Building Brand Mentions
Firstly the easiest way is guest posting (without links) most webmasters are more than happy to take free content if you’re not asking for a link, ask for a link and often you’ll often be asked for money. So the easiest way is just to give out some content, you can get away with mentioning something done by your company, a study an interesting piece of content etc. Of course you have to write that 1st, but then you can milk it quite heavily, especially if you’re not link building with it.
Secondly is to engage in your industry, it’s a given, but ego bait works really well for brand mentions, ask questions of people and quote them in posts etc. People will often refer back to that sort of thing even if they don’t link, and it puts your brand in peoples mind for later mentions.
Thirdly being active on social will help with this, people are more likely to see your stuff, as a result more likely to refer to it. I’m not just talking about creating great content (even saying it makes me grimace a little bit as it’s so overly touted these days).
Finally the easiest way is to get involved with offline activities for your brand, small sponsorships, events etc. It’s amazing the amount of people who would want to hear someone with experience in their field talk. And unsurprisingly the people running these sorts of small events will mention you coming. Local schools and universities for example are often crying out for entrepreneurs to come and talk to their students they’re very happy to mention you even if they wont link.
So What’s the Lesson
The lesson here is that it’s not all about getting links, it’s about getting people talking, that can be done without panicking about getting a link from everything and a lot of time can easily be wasted thinking like that. A brand mention is still a WIN. And this is essentially what we’re looking at. Generally speaking all of the above points would also apply to getting links. But, we believe it’s important to move away from that way of thinking as soon as possible!