Getting a placement on page one of the search engine results page (SERP) for high-volume keywords isn’t cheap, and it isn’t easy. If your company doesn’t dominate page one for brand name searches, or you’re investing in page one rankings with paid advertising or search engine optimization (SEO), use this guide to land as many placements as possible.
What’s the “SERP,” and why is page one important?
SERP stands for “search engine results page.” Page one is the holy grail of website lead generation campaigns for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Why? The statistics show that page one rankings drive success:
What type of page one listings are the best?
Page one is dominated by three main types of listings:
- Sponsored listings: Paid ads
- Organic listings: Text listings, GMB (Google My Business) listings or maps, and featured snippets.
- Other: Zero-click results and knowledge panel listings
Before you jump down the “paid vs organic” rabbit hole, there’s one type of listing that’s timeless, valuable, and will deliver immediate results if people are searching for your company online.
Branded Search Results
When it comes to page one listings, your company should ALWAYS dominate page one for brand name searches. Clickthrough rates are higher for branded searches and are a better indicator of search intent: The searcher wants to find your company, not just a business in that niche or category.
What do branded search results look like?
Ahrefs provides us the simplest definition: Branded queries are the results that show up when someone is searching for your brand.
I’ll use my company name as an example: When I type ‘Classy Inbound’ into a search engine, I “own” eight out of 11 listings on page one of a desktop (results will be different on mobile). Here’s a snapshot of the top five listings plus the GMB (Google My Business) listing:
I’m lucky – I don’t have to compete with anyone who is generating news, videos, featured snippets, or paying for placements to show up with my brand name. However, the results on page one exist because of my “content for page one strategy.” I created a business facebook page, a Google My Business listing, and a Crunchbase profile. I also made sure that my site is optimized for my brand name so that search engines can easily find it and index it.
If you’re not dominating page one for your brand name, it’s time to get started, especially if other companies are showing up for your name or competitors are using your business name to rank on page one. Follow the guide below, and you should see your digital assets dominating page one rankings within the next 30-45 days.
Note: If other companies are using your company name to show up in the SERP and they show up above your listings, you’ll need a solid strategy to move ahead them. Contact me for a consult and I’ll point you in the right direction.
PAGE ONE POTENTIAL
Google My Business isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Even if customers don’t visit your business in person, claiming your profile and filling out will guarantee a page one placement with helpful information for potential clients and customers. I have a home office and I don’t want to display my residential address. I entered my main cross-streets and it generated map listing. It’s not 100% accurate but I’m not using the listing to give people directions; I want them to visit my website and read my reviews.
Even if you host your videos on a different platform like Wistia or Vimeo, your brand should still have a video or two on YouTube. Let your internal team have a little fun, like Vertical Measures, or hire a creative to develop an explainer video for your brand. If you need a reliable third party to help you create and manage your video library, I can help.
Bing Places is relevant in today’s mobile marketplace. Don’t skip it!
Yes, the BBB seems like an “old school” listing option. A BBB listing gives your business page one credibility.
What began as a simple database for Startups has launched a business platform site with incredible domain authority. Think of it as a “Who’s Who in Business.”
A verified profile gives your company a trusted business listing with page one power for a small flat fee.
Like Bing, Yahoo is still relevant when it comes to mobile search, don’t skip over it.
Don’t ignore social media! Branded searches and social media listings go hand in hand. Even if you don’t plan to use it to promote your business or interact with customers or audience members, you can still create pages and get value from them.
Facebook business pages are very important for having a page one listing on mobile devices. Facebook has settings that allow you to automate responses (i.e. direct all messages to your customer service team or website), turn off commenting, and restrict others from posting on your page. Explore Facebook Settings to learn more about controlling how others interact with your page.
LinkedIn has undergone a long list of changes since Microsoft acquired the brand at the end of 2016. Here’s a recap of Hootsuite’s LinkedIn Guide to help you get started:
- Profile Image – Upload a square logo for the company profile image, 300 x 300. Use a png image instead of a jpeg.
- Banner Image – Showcase your brand with a professional banner image, 1536 x 768 pixels.
- About Us – In 2,000 words or less, tell visitors about your industry, your product/services, and give them your value proposition. Don’t copy and paste content from the ‘About Us’ page on your website; create something that invites users to click through to your website to learn more about your brand.
Business owners and CEOs tend to stay away from Twitter, but Twitter accounts still have the potential to show up on page one of the search results. You don’t have to post much to your profile; simply set it up and link it to your website.
There are hundreds of business profiles available for you to claim, but time is money, right? If you’d like to use a shortcut, get in touch with me and I can help you build an impressive list of business listings and profiles.
If you prefer to go the free route, build profiles on these sites, too:
If you’ve never heard about About.me, Business Insider gives the inside scoop. Don’t enter your personal name in the first name / last name fields; add your business name. For example, this photography company added their first name as ‘Local’ and their last name as ‘Headshots.’
Ready for more opportunities?
- Quora. Create a business profile and start answering questions that are relevant to your industry and target audience.
- Industry Directories. Type in a few industry keywords, and you’ll find a variety of industry directories. If the directory is on page one and has a user-friendly design, consider adding your business.
Typing a brand name into Google is a prospect’s way of checking up on your reputation and authority in your industry. Make sure your brand shows up to meet them where they are – page one of the search engine.