What’s the “SERP”?

SERP stands for “search engine results page.”

In the image above, you can see the ads at the top of the page, an organic listing after three ads, and a Google My Business listing on the right, complete with contact information, reviews, business hours, and an option to send the listing to your phone if you’re using a desktop or tablet.

SERP GUIDE: PAGE ONE BRANDING

Getting a placement on Page One of the SERP isn’t cheap, and it isn’t easy. If you’re currently paying for search engine ads (AdWords, Bing Ads) or investing in search engine optimization (SEO), or you’re considering it, make sure you’re also targeting branded search results.

What are branded search results?

Yext provides us with a definition:

PAGE ONE POTENTIAL

Building business pages and profiles on websites that frequently show up on page one of the SERP is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy. When someone types your brand name into a search engine, does your brand cover page one? If not, set up these profiles to expand your coverage on page one. Even if you don’t plan on using these channels, you can dominate page one for your brand name by setting up the profiles.

FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE

Facebook business pages aren’t just for restaurants and local businesses. If you’re in the B2B space, a Facebook business page can give your brand page one coverage on mobile devices and send searchers straight to your website.

Buffer offers an in-depth Facebook business page guide that can help ensure that your profile and cover images are the correct sizes.

LINKEDIN BUSINESS 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.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

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.

TWITTER FOR BUSINESS

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.

YOUTUBE

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.

PAGE ONE BRANDING, CONTINUED

There are hundreds of business profiles available for you to claim, but time is money, right? If you’d like to use a shortcut, check out Yext or BrightLocal listing packages.

If you prefer to go the free route, build profiles on these sites:

ABOUT.ME

If you’ve never heard about About.me, Business Insider gives the inside scoop.

BING

Forgotten by many, but still relevant in today’s mobile marketplace. BGR gives an overview from a recent Search Engine Land article about Bing and market share.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

Yes, the BBB seems like an “old school” listing option. Don’t forget that Gen Xers and Boomers often hold the keys to the kingdom when it comes to approving a marketing budget more than $1K per month. A BBB listing gives your business page one credibility.

CRUNCHBASE

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.”

INC.COM

verified profile gives your company a trusted business listing with page one power for a small flat fee.

YAHOO LOCAL

In the shadow of Google and Bing, Yahoo can seem like a waste of time. Yahoo is still relevant when it comes to mobile search, don’t skip over it.

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 an industry directory. For marketing agencies, Clutch is the way to go. For local businesses, claim your Yelp profile.

Branded searches are the most overlooked part of search engine marketing. Marketing agencies are famous for focusing on rankings, visitor numbers, and conversions, but optimizing for branded search gives your company the chance to own as much page one real estate as possible.

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.

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