With about 83% of online research being done on the Google search engine, it has unarguably become an indispensable tool for small business brand building. However, you must know how to package your content to help Google achieve your business goals. Google prioritizes web content with the most effective and efficient answers to users’ solutions. Hence, you must strive to position your website as the most authoritative and trustworthy go-to for your target audience. When you convince Google you have the requisite expertise, it will recommend you as the solution to its subset of users who are your target audience. In today’s podcast, Jason Barnard from Kalicube and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss ‘Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels- Managing Your Brand on Google.
[00:00:00] Narrator: The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast’s purpose is to help existing business owners grow their companies past the $10 million in revenue per year benchmark. Here is your host, Stephen Halasnik.
[00:00:18] Stephen Halasnik: Welcome, everyone. My name is Stephen Halasnik, and I’m co-founder of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions, for those of you who don’t know about us, we provide easy to set up lines of credit for small businesses. And I will be your host for today’s Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about getting a business line of credit for your business, please visit our website at fscreditline.com. That’s FS, as in Financing Solutions, creditline.com. Over the last 25 years, I have built 6 companies in the $5 million to $25 million range, including 2 companies that have made to Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the United States.
Introducing Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy), a Digital Marketing Consultant Specialising in Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels
[00:01:01] Stephen Halasnik: I love learning from people with business experience. And today I’m very excited to be speaking with Jason Barnard from Kalicube. Jason Barnard, also known as The Brand SERP Guy, is an author and digital marketing consultant. He specialises in Brand SERP optimisation and Knowledge Panel management.
[00:01:22] Stephen Halasnik: Jason has over two decades of experience in digital marketing starting in 1988, which is the year that Google was first incorporated, with a website for kids based on the characters Boowa and Kwala that he built up to become one of the 10,000th most visited sites in the world. In the 1990s, he was a professional musician with the punk folk group, The Barking Dogs. Jason, welcome to today’s Entrepreneur MBA Podcast.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Creating a Cartoon Series and Website for Kids, Which Started His Journey on the Internet
[00:01:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, Stephen. Lovely introduction. And I’m sorry for the names Boowa and Kwala that make many adults stumble. We had questions from parents saying, why did you choose such difficult names to say? And the answer to that was, can your kids say it? The answer was yes. And it is really difficult to say, and I never really realised quite how difficult it would be.
[00:02:21] Stephen Halasnik: Well, it’s certainly memorable names. I’m sure the kids remember them, so that sometimes goes hand in hand, right?
[00:02:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Creating a cartoon series for kids, and it was absolutely delightful. And it’s what got me into the internet in the first place, creating a website for kids in 1998 and starting from there. It’s been a wonderful 25 year journey.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) as a Musician in a Punk Folk Band, Who Toured Around Europe for 10 Years
[00:02:42] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. I have to ask this question. Is punk folk different than punk rock?
[00:02:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Punk folk is basically we had folk songs, folk instruments, and we played aggressive punk style.
[00:03:00] Stephen Halasnik: Cool.
[00:03:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you can imagine a country song played with enormous energy on acoustic instruments or an Irish folk tune, if you’d ever heard of The Pogues, it was like that but more punk.
[00:03:12] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:03:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we played in France, in fact, in Europe and toured around for 10 years.
[00:03:18] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. Certainly, England. I know you’re calling out from Oxford. It’s amazing how good the music is. Most of my favourite groups come from England. I’m kind of an alt rock 80s fan, so I get it. Cool.
What Does SERP Mean and What Is a Brand SERP?
[00:03:36] Stephen Halasnik: So, today we’re going to be talking about Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels, managing your brand on Google. So, just to get it out of the way, what is just an explanation of what SERPs are?
[00:03:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. This is a question I always forget to explain. I come from the world of SEO, search engine optimisation, so I use these terms all the time, and it seems to me terribly obvious. But obviously, any acronym is always going to be completely non understandable for anybody who hasn’t been in the industry.
[00:04:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a SERP is a search engine results page. So, it’s what you see on Google when you search something. And so, a Brand SERP is what you see on Google when you search a brand name or a person’s name. And I say your Brand SERP, which is what your audience sees when they google your brand name, is your Google business card.
Some Brands Need to Defend Their Brand Name Against Competitors Who Rank at the Top With a Paid Position
[00:04:26] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. And then it would include paid for search, as well as natural searches as well.
[00:04:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Potentially, yeah. Some brands need to defend their brand name because their competitors bid on their brand name, so their competitors rank at the top with the paid position. So, sometimes you need to defend your brand. So, I also deal with that in helping keeping costs down, which is surprisingly easy to do. But by default, you will tend to pay much more for those ads than you should really be paying because of the way Google functions, obviously, to make money.
What Are Some of the Things That Affect Brands, Which Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Learned Over the Years?
[00:05:03] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. So, let’s get right into the heart and soul of this. And that is you’ve been doing this for a while, right? Give me the top three things that you think affects your brand when it comes to search engines and how people see you. Tell me the top three things that you’ve learned over the years that really affect brands.
[00:05:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Any brand that has a website is playing the Google game, whether they like it or not, because Google is going to be putting them in the search results, whether they like it or not. And from that perspective, how Google presents your brand on any search result on Google is incredibly important. You need to make sure it represents you as you want to your audience.
[00:05:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from that perspective, Google’s understanding of who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve is by far the most important thing. You need to make sure, and it’s up to you to proactively do this, what I say educate Google to who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve, so that it can represent you honestly and hopefully to your audience when they google anything, including your brand name.
The Concept of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) Which Is Basically the Credibility of a Brand
[00:06:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And beyond that, in fact, I thought about two points when you asked the question. There’s another thing called E-A-T, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. And that’s huge in Google’s algorithms today. And it’s basically your credibility. So once it has understood who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve, you need to convince it that you are a credible solution for the subset of its users, who are your audience.
[00:06:48] Stephen Halasnik: It’s called E-T-A?
[00:06:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): E-A-T.
[00:06:51] Stephen Halasnik: E-A-T. Okay. And what does E-A-T stand for again?
[00:06:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, which is basically credibility.
If You Are the Most Expert, Most Authoritative, and Most Trustworthy Answer, Google Will Recommend You to Its Users
[00:06:59] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. E-A-T, is that a standard acronym that’s used outside of your area?
[00:07:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. It’s absolutely something that Google invented to convince people like me who do SEO, who were obsessed by inbound links. We were saying, you need a link to your website from another website. That’s all that matters. And they created this acronym to convince us to look at a more broad idea of what credibility is. And credibility in their right is all about how expert am I, how authoritative am I within my industry, and how trustworthy am I to provide that solution to the subset of Google’s users that are my audience?
[00:07:44] Stephen Halasnik: Oh, cool. I didn’t know that.
[00:07:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It gets Google to recommend me. We’re asking Google. When we’re saying to Google, can you put me at the top of the results please, we’re asking it to recommend us to its users. Why would it recommend us? Because we are the most expert, the most authoritative, and the most trustworthy response or answer to the user’s question.
How Do You Control Your Branding if It’s Being Pulled From Outside of Your Control?
[00:08:03] Stephen Halasnik: Got you. One of the things that is an issue I know, Google sometimes does not pull the data from your website for the, is it the meta section or what’s the section?
[00:08:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. The meta title and meta description.
[00:08:25] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. So, how do you control your branding if it’s being pulled from outside of your control?
[00:08:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a huge question, a really interesting question because Google used to just use what you mentioned, the metas, the meta title, meta description. And that’s a title and a description in the web code that’s designed for the search engines. And recently, it started saying, well, actually a lot of website owners don’t optimise those. They don’t provide those. So, we need to learn to figure out what the title and description should be when we present this page in the search results.
SEO in a Nutshell: Google Solves the Problem of Its User by Finding the Source That Is the Most Credible
[00:09:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And in my community, that’s a huge issue there. People don’t like that, but what it actually does is it looks in the page and finds what it thinks is the best title and the best description, according to what the users search for and what the page actually offers.
[00:09:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you need to look at every web page on your website as a solution to a problem or an answer to a question. And Google is simply trying to match the question that its user is asking when they search on Google or the problem they’re trying to solve with the page that best answers that question or solves that problem from the source that is the most credible, expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. That’s SEO in a nutshell.
What Do You Do if Google Is Misrepresenting Your Brand by Pulling up Old Information?
[00:09:46] Stephen Halasnik: But you can’t really control where Google is going to pull that information from. So, how do you manage your brand? Is it just that everything you write on your site? It’s hard because look at my website. I think I have 1500 pages on my website. It’s a big website for a smaller company, a 25 million company. Those pages go back. I’ve been in business for 11 years. I go back to my first page that I ever wrote. Now, yes, do we clean some things up? Do we shut them off and redirect? Yes. But there’s stuff that we wrote about 11 years ago that don’t really put us in the best frame of mind when you read it now. What do you do?
[00:10:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): From a perspective of something that isn’t the best representation of your brand, you would need to…
[00:10:45] Stephen Halasnik: You should just take it down, right?
[00:10:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You would need to take it down or correct it. Because the problem as well there is that if it’s misrepresenting what your brand is today, then Google is going to start to misunderstand your brand. You’re sending confused signals. And Google, although very complex, is actually quite simplistic. It needs a very clear, consistent signal from you about who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve. And it needs consistency in terms of the way you are presenting your brand.
Once Google Understands Who You Are and What Your Brand Message Is, It Will Then Represent You Correctly
[00:11:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And once it’s understood that, then it will be able to represent you in the way that you want because it has no reason to represent you any other way. If it can understand what you want it to say, it will say it. And so, on an individual page basis, you just need to be very careful with what I would call the basics, but probably aren’t for a lot of people who aren’t in the SEO industry, but using your headings correctly, structuring your page in a way that the machine can read it and understand it properly.
[00:11:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And very simple tricks like that is hugely, hugely powerful in influencing Google. But the cornerstone, the keystone to this is that it understands who you are and what your brand message is, because then it will represent you correctly.
Jason Barnard’s Company, Kalicube, Offers a SaaS Platform and a Done-for-You Service for Branding on Google
[00:11:59] Stephen Halasnik: Do you own an SEO, SEM company? Is that what you do?
[00:12:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That’s where I come from. But Kalicube is my company, and we have a SaaS platform and a done-for-you service that is basically branding on Google rather than SEO. So, what we’re doing is helping you control your brand message all over Google. And we focus on the Brand SERP, which is what your audience sees when they google your brand name, and the Knowledge Panel, which is the right hand side, where sometimes if you search for a big company like IBM, you’ll see a panel with facts about IBM. And we help companies to get those.
[00:12:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And once you have a Knowledge Panel, it’s Google’s representation of its factual understanding about you. And that’s when you’re winning the game in terms of being able to manage your brand on Google because it’s understood. So, my role is firstly branding, secondly marketing, and thirdly SEO.
[00:13:04] Stephen Halasnik: Okay. Good.
[00:13:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): While I come from the SEO world, SEO is actually only third on the list. SEO is packaging your branding and your marketing for Google. That’s all it is. You should have all of the branding and marketing already there. All we are doing is helping you package it.
Who Are the Clients of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)?
[00:13:18] Stephen Halasnik: So, who typically brings you into an assignment? Is it the advertising agency who’s working on the branding project? Is it the owner of the business? I have a hard time believing that the owner of a small business puts any thought into SERP branding.
[00:13:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sure.
[00:13:41] Stephen Halasnik: I never did. And I am really, for a layman, I know a lot about SEO. I never thought about branding from that standpoint.
[00:13:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. In fact, what’s surprising is after 25 years, I’ve been doing the internet for 25 years, and I find it very surprising that people haven’t thought about this more.
[00:14:04] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
You Need to Make Sure That People Searching Your Brand Name Will See Something Positive, Accurate, and Convincing
[00:14:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because we all have our audience searching our brand name, whether it’s to navigate to our site or to research us. And increasingly, Google is giving them all the information on its results pages. And they’re increasingly likely to research you on Google rather than researching you elsewhere or on your own website. So, it’s a huge, huge, huge, huge thing that people are often missing this opportunity.
[00:14:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Those people are bottom-of-funnel. Anyone searching your brand name knows who you are. You’ve done the hard work of getting your name in front of them, getting it in their mind, and getting them to search for it. You need to make sure that they see something positive, accurate, and convincing.
[00:14:42] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Is on a Mission to Explain the Importance of Brand SERPs to the Entire World
[00:14:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And people don’t think about it. And I completely get that. I’m on this mission to explain this to the entire world. And I’m doing it step by step, podcast by podcast, an article by article. So, it’s a huge task, and I’m getting that little by little.
[00:14:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other question is why would I invest in this? And the answer is you have all of this content, you have this branding, and you have this marketing. And it’s a relatively simple job to package it for Google and present it to Google. And then Google will love you, and it will present you more often and in the way you want than it is today. So, it’s a huge opportunity that I think a lot of companies are missing.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Tends to Get Direct Clients, Like Company Bosses, Who Want to Manage Their Personal Brand SERPs
[00:15:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what I tend to get are direct clients who ask for the done-for-you service are company bosses, who want to manage their own personal Brand SERP, so what their audience sees. Because perhaps they’ve got investors who are looking at who they are and searching them on Google, and they want to look impressive. And then they move that up to say, well, actually, if I can get this for myself, then the company, I can do this too for the company. And that will directly drive my business.
More About the Purpose, Features, and Offers of Jason Barnard’s Company, Kalicube
[00:15:51] Stephen Halasnik: So, Kaleidoscope is a SaaS platform that manages your online brand for Google. How does it do it?
[00:16:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s Kalicube, not Kaleidoscope.
[00:16:06] Stephen Halasnik: I’m sorry. Yeah.
[00:16:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. Now I’m thinking I should have called it Kaleidoscope. It’s a better name.
[00:16:12] Stephen Halasnik: There you go. So, that’s $20,000 right there. I want to charge you.
[00:16:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Kalicube Pro is a…
[00:16:20] Stephen Halasnik: Let’s spell it too. Before you go on, let’s spell it. KALICUBE, just for our listeners to know. Okay. Go ahead.
[00:16:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Oh, that’s smart. Yeah. I should have done that right at the start.
[00:16:31] Stephen Halasnik: It’s okay.
Kalicube Works as an Agency Who Helps Businesses With Their Brand Message on Google Through an Analysis of Google’s Results
[00:16:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We work as an agency helping businesses with their brand message on Google. And the way the platform works is that we have an algorithm that looks at Google. We analyse Google’s results to figure out what Google is looking at for sources of information about the brand, what it sees as important for the brand, what it sees as unimportant for the brand. And then we can immediately say to you, right, here are the sources of information that Google is looking at. We need to correct all of these.
[00:17:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it’s a huge spring clean of your entire digital ecosystem. And then we can say, these are the places you’re doing well, these are the places you’re doing badly on social media, on article writing, on your website, on third party website review sites, for example. We can immediately pinpoint where the weak spots are and where the strengths are and start working on those to improve your digital ecosystem.
Kalicube’s Clients Include Agencies and Other Companies Who Are Being Optimised Without Realising It
[00:17:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it always starts with the spring clean, and then it moves onto building block by block the entire digital ecosystem from the perspective of Google’s perception of it. And the other clients we have are agencies. So, a lot of companies are being optimised by Kalicube without realising it, because their agency is using Kalicube to do this same work.
What Are Some of the Types of Analysis That Kalicube Does?
[00:17:48] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. It’s good stuff. Actually, I never done this during a podcast. I’m actually looking up your website right now. It’s interesting. I wonder what would happen if I put my, I’m not going to do it now. Does it do some type of analysis of your website for introductory, trying to learn about yourself?
[00:18:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. People can ask to have their company added to our database. We’ve got a database with 70,000 brands and people. And it’s got 500 million data points that we use to analyse and figure out exactly what’s happening within each individual industry, so that we can apply really well focused strategies to each individual business according to their industry, but also according to their specific digital ecosystem.
[00:18:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, there’s a free option where you can just track and look at what Google’s showing for your brand name in whatever country you want. But the big step up is when we start doing this on a weekly or a daily basis, and then we can really get to grips with your entire digital ecosystem. And as I said, from the perspective of Google, and if any algorithm company has the best insight into a digital ecosystem, it’s going to be Google. It isn’t Mention, it isn’t Facebook, it isn’t Apple, it’s Google, and it’s Microsoft potentially.
Google’s Assessment of Your Brand Is the Best Possible Assessment You Can Have, Which Is Also Great Because It’s Free
[00:19:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But Google crawls the web constantly, so it knows everything about you. It’s constantly looking over your shoulder. It knows what you’re doing. It sees everything you do online. And its assessment of what your digital ecosystem looks like is, for me, the best possible assessment you can have. And the great thing about it is it’s free.
[00:19:39] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:19:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google’s assessment of your brand is just searching your brand name and having a look at it and seeing what comes up. Do I see what I wanted to see? Do I see what I expected to see? And how do I then move the needle so that I see what I want to see and what my audience needs to see for me to do better business?
Firstly, You Have to Be Concerned About How Your Audience Sees You
[00:19:57] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. So, what was the first suggestion that you made in your experience was just let’s take a step back? Because as I said, there were three things from your experience. First thing is you got to be concerned about the image, everything that’s being set, your website. You got to be concerned about everything the way Google sees you. That was the first thing. Correct?
[00:20:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. You’ve got to be firstly concerned about how your audience sees you.
[00:20:25] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:20:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you need to create content and communicate with your audience on whatever platform it is, whether it’s on social media or on website, Medium, or review sites. And then we take that and we say, right, how do we take this content? You as a business owner, you are communicating with your audience in a way that you know resonates with them. That’s why you’re making money.
You Have to Simply Take What Already Exists and Adapt to It So That Google Can Better Understand the Contents and Apply It to Help Its Users
[00:20:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then what we say is we can take all of that, and we can repackage it all so that Google understands how you’re talking to your audience, which audience you’re talking to, and what your brand voice is. So, what we are simply doing is taking what already exists and adapting it so that Google can better understand the contents and how to apply it when it’s trying to help its users.
[00:21:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And remember, people searching on Google are Google’s users. They might be your audience at the same time but your audience is simply a subset of Google’s users when looked at from Google’s perspective.
Secondly, Your Website Should Be the Hub of Your Conversation With Your Audience
[00:21:20] Stephen Halasnik: Right. Okay. What’s the second thing you’ve learned from your experience of branding SERPs and Knowledge Panels and that type of thing and branding on Google? What’s the second thing you have learned?
[00:21:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Something that I think I overlooked for years as an SEO is I focused too much on my own website, and that I actually talk to my audience on many different platforms. My website should be the hub of that conversation. So, I should reach out to people on the platforms they’re already hanging out on, and then bring them into my website when they’re ready to convert or when they need to come to my website for information about something specific.
You Have to Get Google’s Stamp of Approval When It Presents Your Brand SERP Before Your Audience Come to Your Website
[00:21:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the idea that people should come to your website immediately when they’re searching for, let’s say, red shoes is, for me, not helpful. I should already be communicating with the person who’s looking for red shoes, wherever they happen to be hanging out. And when they search for red shoes, if I appear, they will be coming to my brand because they recognise the brand.
[00:22:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I would hope they would be searching for red shoes Kalicube, because they want to buy from Kalicube, because I’ve already connected with them and communicated with them, and my brand already resonates with them. And at that point, I just need Google to represent me. Get Google’s stamp of approval where it’s saying, here is a Brand SERP, here is the result for red shoes Kalicube. Red shoes at Kalicube look incredibly good with lots of great reviews, with information, with the Knowledge Panel on the right hand side, and Kalicube’s page at the top exactly like I want it to be shown.
Thirdly, You Need to Focus on Communicating With Your Audience Off Your Website and Expect Them to Come Later
[00:22:53] Stephen Halasnik: Okay. What’s the third thing you’ve learned from your experience in this business?
[00:23:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Having said your website is less important than perhaps you think, actually, it’s going to become less and less important as Google moves forwards. Because once you do get people searching your brand, as I said, Google’s making that result for your brand name on its search engine results pages increasingly rich with videos, with Twitter feeds, with the Knowledge Panel, with cards with information in them, to the point at which users are going to be increasingly not visiting your website until they’re ready to convert.
[00:23:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you really need to focus on communicating with them off your website and expecting them to come to your website further down the funnel. So, I would say, once again, the idea that my website is the hub of everything I do, but it isn’t necessarily the most visible part of what I do, but it’s certainly where I’m going to convert my clients.
What Is the Branding Future That Google Will Want to See for It to Portray Your Brand the Way You Want It to?
[00:23:59] Stephen Halasnik: You alluded to this a little bit. But I think a lot of people who are involved in SEO, SEM, or directors of marketing, those type of thing, they’re always thinking about, okay, what’s the next algorithm change that Google will make, so that we can get ahead of the game of having content on our website that Google likes? But that conversation does not go into the branding. You did talk a little bit about it. But what is the branding future that Google will want to see to portray your brand the way you want it to?
[00:24:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That’s a great question. From the perspective of SEOs do get obsessed by the ideas, I need to be visible on Google for everything. And increasingly, Google is looking to brands and brands it trusts, and it doesn’t need to be a big brand to be trusted. If I’m a poodle parlour in Paris, I can be a small brand in Paris but incredibly trusted by Google for poodles in Paris that need a hair trim.
Look at Your Audience First, Start Building Around That Audience, Then Package the Content for Google
[00:25:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you’ve got to look at your real audience, where you are trustworthy, where you are credible, and focus on getting Google to understand your brand, what it means to your audience and which audience your brand is actually truly helpful for.
[00:25:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, the idea is to look at your audience and start building around that audience. And once again, packaging for Google and making sure that Google understands that each piece of content you create, whether it’s on your website or elsewhere, is from that brand and helps to build one tiny extra brick of that expertise, authority, and trustworthiness that we talked about earlier on.
How Does Google Value the Case Where a Company Provides Line of Credit Service, But Talks About Other Topics on Its Podcasts?
[00:26:03] Stephen Halasnik: So, let’s do a case scenario using my own company. So, one area that my business is very popular with is we provide small businesses with a line of credit. And so, I do these podcasts. And we’re not talking on this podcast 99% of it. We’re not talking about a line of credit. We’re talking about SERP for branding and SERP.
[00:26:40] Stephen Halasnik: So, it has always confused me a little bit when we’re picking articles to write about. And the podcast is above and beyond the articles that we write, because we do take this podcast. We write it up into a full article. And so, that’s a thing. So, 99% of this podcast has nothing to do with a line of credit. I’m mentioning it a couple times now, but that’s irrelevant. How does Google value that I’m talking about SERP?
[00:27:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a great point and a great question. You need to really stay focused on your core topic. And what you can then do is have associated topics, for example, this one. And your best bet would be to try to get me to talk about how Brand SERPs can come in to help a business like yours, that is in the line of credit business, and try to angle it more so that it always comes back to your core topics.
Google’s Struggle With Multifacetedness: Angle Your Podcast Towards Your Core Topic or Put the Podcast Content on Another Website
[00:27:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because Google, it struggles with multifacetedness. So, I was a musician. Then I was a cartoon blue dog. Now I’m a digital marketer. Google struggles to understand that I could be three different things. So, what it does in its mind is it thinks it’s three different people by default. So, I have to educate it to say, actually, it’s the same Jason Barnard. And from that perspective, as a company, focusing on your core topic is important, because it wants to know what topic you are expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for.
[00:28:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, for the podcast, you’ve got two options really. One of which is to angle it more towards your core topic. The other option is to take it away from the website and put it on its own website. And then it becomes a podcast in its own right, that can bring value to you by linking back to your website and from your website to the podcast when it’s relevant, at which point you can have the best of both worlds.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Created a Separate Website for His Podcasts But Managed to Connect It to His Company and Personal Website
[00:28:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what I actually did, and you brought me to an interesting point, is a year and a half ago, I had my podcast on my website. And then I created a new website and moved all of the podcast to the new website. What now happens is when you search my company or my name, the podcast website is on page one and my website is on page one. So, I get two places that I control, because it understands the relationship, but the podcast doesn’t dilute my topical message on my own company website. So, I don’t mix those messages up.
[00:29:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): My kalicube.com is really focused only on Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels. The podcast talks about all sorts of marketing topics. So, I separate them and keep not a wall between them but a flexible wall, and then I can link back and forth when it’s incredibly relevant. So, Google understands it’s these two different things that have a relationship, that I’m the production company, but it isn’t my core business.
What Do You Have to Do if You Want to Talk About Various Topics on Your Podcast Other Than the Core Topic of Your Company?
[00:29:56] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. It’s tough because this is my 210th episode, and I like what I do. And there’s another purpose to it too. The idea is we’re talking to issues that directly affect small businesses.
[00:30:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ve lost you, Stephen.
[00:30:15] Stephen Halasnik: Now you’re okay now. It’s back.
[00:30:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I can see. I hope this isn’t my internet connection.
[00:30:23] Stephen Halasnik: I can hear you. Can you hear me?
[00:30:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I can see that you’re talking.
[00:30:26] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. How’s it doing now? Test, test, test. Sorry about that. We had a little bit of technical issue, so we’re coming back into that discussion. So, again, I’ve had over 210 episodes of the Entrepreneur MBA Podcast, and it’s geared towards small businesses. So, I’m hoping that Google recognises that we deal with small businesses. So, you’re right though, gearing it more toward lines of credit, but I don’t want to do that. I like what I’m doing. I really like it. And the results are good. I think they’re pretty good.
Helping Google Understand Different Entities and Their Relationships and Relevance With Each Other
[00:32:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): What I try to help people to do is understand different entities. Now, entity is simply a thing that we can name, so a person, a place, a podcast, a company, a music album, a music group. Those are all entities. And so, you need to say, well, my company is an entity, I’m an entity, and my podcast is an entity.
[00:32:24] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:32:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And all I need to do is explain to Google this is three different entities. And potentially, each entity can have its own website or they can all live on the same website, both of which are fine. And then the question is how much do I feel that these entities are related and are relevant to each other? And that’s a choice you need to make. The podcast can live on my website. But if it’s too off topic, I can put it on a different website. As I say, you keep that flexible wall between them.
Focus on Writing Simply and Clearly the Description for Your Podcast and for Your Company So That Google Can Understand
[00:32:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And another thing is focus on the description that you write for your podcast and for your company. And it needs to be written simply and clearly so that Google can understand.
[00:33:03] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. That we do well. Yeah.
[00:33:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A lot of the time when people write about themselves, their company, or their podcast, they actually don’t write very clearly because we have our own perception. And we forget that from the outside world, it isn’t clear when you say, for example, my podcast, With Jason Barnard… is incredibly fun and interesting and delightful and groovy. That doesn’t explain anything to anybody except my personal opinion of my own podcast.
Explain Clearly First What the Podcast Is, Who It Is Addressed to, Who Are the Audience, and Who Are the Participants Before Adding Catchy Lines
[00:33:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, explaining it, saying With Jason Barnard… is a marketing podcast with leading marketers from around the world, Rand Fishkin, Bill Slawski, Barry Schwartz, Marie Haynes, where Jason Barnard discusses with the guest a topic in the marketing sphere that the guest absolutely loves. The episodes are always interesting, always informative, and always fun.
[00:33:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Obviously, I wrote that off the top of my head. It’s not perfect. But that first big chunk just explains very clearly what the podcast is, who it’s addressed to, who’s the audience, who are the participants that Google and my audience would recognise. And then I add at the end the catchy, informative, interesting, and fun catch line that I think describes my podcast.
The Volume of People Coming to Your Website Is Not as Important as the Quality of People Coming to Your Website
[00:34:23] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. We really hate to take this material. It’s interesting when I look at the results of the articles that are actually shown for the podcast. How many people actually come to us? How many visitors at Google are sending to us based on the article that we write for the podcast? It’s not that great, but the results that we get of people coming to our website for the line of credit is good. So, Google seems to be…
[00:34:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sending the right people.
[00:34:58] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. They seem to be knowing what it is that we’re doing.
[00:35:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that’s a great point that you’re making. The volume of people coming to your website is not as important as the quality of the people coming to your website.
[00:35:10] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. I would say a little bit of both. We definitely, yes, that’s true. Yeah.
Being Incredibly Organised Helps Google to Understand the Different Sections of Your Website
[00:35:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the fact that Google is getting it. And the other thing, and I actually didn’t really go into this, is Google likes silos. And a silo sounds a little bit strange, but it’s basically folders on your website. So if your website is mywebsite.com/podcast, Google understands that in that folder is the podcast stuff.
[00:35:34] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:35:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): As long as you’re incredibly organised with that, Google understands that these are different sections of the website that address different questions and different problems but theoretically, the same audience. And as you say, you’re aiming at the small business audience. If you explain that clearly across your website, we serve small businesses in the USA, obviously not that boringly, then it will become clear to Google. And it will know when the person is relevant to your business, and your business is relevant to them.
Entrepreneur MBA Did a Good Job of Creating Silos to Organise Categories Under Their Company
[00:36:06] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. I think five years ago, my SEO company did a nice job of making sure that we had nice silos. In other words, just so someone understands what we mean by silos is that we have 10, maybe 12 categories that, for example, this podcast would go under business. It’s not business marketing. It’s like business information. I forget what it is, to be honest with you, but it’s a separate category.
[00:36:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah.
[00:36:45] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. And we have the entrepreneur. We’ll go onto the Entrepreneur MBA category and one other one. So, we just made that change recently. It’s good. It was a great, very interesting topic. We ran out of time.
Is Jason Barnard’s Company, Kalicube, Doing Well in Their Work on Brand SERPs?
[00:36:59] Stephen Halasnik: The idea of branding, I could see where your companies could do really, really well. Because if you’re working with, one of my best friends is a branding expert for 30 years. And I can see where he would want to make sure that they’re including SERP in their branding methodology. So, I get it. I haven’t seen it very often. I’m certainly not in that space, but it’s a good area to be. Have you seen that your business has been taking off?
[00:37:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. The business is doing really well. And you mentioned brand creators or brand consultants, and I’m working more and more with them. A company called BrandFace, who I worked with recently, still working with today, basically realise we create this amazing brand. We get the whole brand message absolutely nailed. Now, how do we communicate that to Google? That’s where I come in.
[00:38:03] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah.
[00:38:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And for me, it really is child’s play, because I know Google from the inside out through the SEO career that I’ve had. And so, for me, it’s simply saying, once again, I take your brand, I take what you’ve created with your brand manager, your brand creator, and I package it for Google or I tell you how to package it for Google. Then we present it to Google, and Google will understand.
Leave Reviews for the Entrepreneur MBA Podcast and Visit Financing Solutions to Avail Their Offers
[00:38:27] Stephen Halasnik: Cool. Good stuff. Well, good conversation. I enjoyed it. That’s all the time we have today. I’d like to thank so very much Jason Barnard from Kalicube, it’s KALICUBE, for coming on today’s podcast. And if you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend and also subscribe on your favourite podcasting app. And please, also, if you’d like today’s podcast or any of the other ones and you’re willing to give us a five star review, please give us a review. It helps us get the word out.
[00:38:59] Stephen Halasnik: Then they, of course, the podcast companies use those reviews as a way to rank where we are. We’re in a very good position. I think we have 10,000 listeners right now. And if you’re looking for a line of credit for your business, you can call us at 862-207-4118 or visit our website at fscreditline.com. It’s FS, as in Financing Solutions, creditline.com.
To Get In Touch With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy), Just Search His Name and Choose How You Interact With Him
[00:39:26] Stephen Halasnik: Jason, if anyone wants to get in touch with you, how would they go about doing that?
[00:39:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Google my brand name or my personal name. My brand name, Kalicube, and it will show you the results for Kalicube with all of our offers, our products, presented with our own brand message, our own brand voice, and our visuals that we’ve more or less chosen. Or search my name Jason Barnard, and what you will see is what I call my Google business card, and you will see my website, Twitter, LinkedIn, my company website. And you get to choose how you interact with me through Google’s presentation of the opportunities and the ways you can interact with me online.
[00:40:09] Stephen Halasnik: Good stuff. Thanks for coming on.
[00:40:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, Stephen.
Visit Kalicube’s Website to Learn More About Brand SERPs and Analyse Your Brand’s Digital Ecosystem
[00:40:13] Stephen Halasnik: Yeah. So, I think my takeaway today was I’m going to go after we’re finished with this podcast, and I’m going to go to Jason’s website. And I’m going to type in my name and see what the software comes back with what he has and be interesting, because I would like to know what Google thinks of us and what they say.
[00:40:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely brilliant.
[00:40:37] Stephen Halasnik: So, good stuff, so I recommend that to all our listeners. So, other than that, everybody have a great day, enjoy, keep learning.