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Talks and Interviews with The Brand SERP Guy » Brand SERPs » Future of SEO and SERP Positioning

Future of SEO and SERP Positioning

Are you looking for SEO professional tips from experts? You have come to the right place. Enjoy this episode with Jason Barnard discussing The Future of SEO and SERP Positioning with Favour Obasi-ike.

We Don’t PLAY Episode 186 with Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:00:00]  Favour Obasi-ike: First of all, thank you so much, Jason, for being here today and just joining me on the We Don’t Play podcast show. How are you? 

[00:00:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m fine, thank you very much. Absolutely brilliant and thank you for having me, Favour.

[00:00:11]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, you’re most welcome. It’s so interesting how it’s a wing a free red color. That’s the thing that still gets me. I’m like, wow, this is really beautiful. Like it wasn’t planned, that’s the whole essence of how we are able to connect at first impression when you think about everything in totality.

[00:00:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, it’s strange. I saw the red and I felt much more easily immediately. So, there is something about looking like each other in some aspects that really makes you go through. So, the red shirt, brilliant, apply on your own path.

Introduction: Jason Barnard as The Brand SERP Guy

[00:00:47]  Favour Obasi-ike: I appreciate that. I would love people to know more about you. Who is Jason? What do you do? Because I know today’s going to be really insightful for people to learn today. 

[00:00:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, I’m Jason Barnard. I call myself The Brand SERP Guy and I’ll explain that really quickly. SERP is search engine results page, so that’s results in Google; and a Brand SERP is the search engine results page for a search on your exact brand name or your personal name or your podcast name or your film name. So, it’s the result that Google shows that tells you all about the thing you’re searching for be it a company, a podcast or film or whatever it might be.

[00:01:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from my perspective, in the SEO world, search engine optimisation world, nobody else is really looking at this. So, it’s a unique aspect, a unique angle on the whole search engine optimisation thing. And the other thing is that I think a lot of people miss how important it is because people who are searching your name or your brand name know who you are and now they’re just thinking about will I interact and will I do business in the case of a company or will I listen to the podcast? So, they’re incredibly important people and we should not forget. 

Make Sure Google Understands Your Brand Message

[00:02:04]  Favour Obasi-ike: It’s amazing that you’ve said that because some people would think that they have a name, they have a brand, but no one is going to really search for them because it’s not connected. It’s this thing that has been happening and I’m like they shouldn’t be thinking that way. 

[00:02:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): 100%. I think we forget that a lot of these, myself included, search a brand name just to get to the website. So, an existing client or an existing Facebook user will search on Facebook. There’s a vast number of searches on Google for the word Facebook. And that’s really important, but even if I’ve got a small company, maybe 20 people a day search my brand name and I think that’s not important, it is because the 20 searches a day are your clients or your future clients rather than people who just don’t know who you are. 

[00:02:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing is that we spend a lot of time thinking about my brand message, how am I going to present myself on my own website, my social media when I’m in the press, and we don’t think how does Google present it? Does it present my message as I want it? Or does it present something completely different? And if it’s presenting something completely different, you need to think why is that because Google has no reason to present anything different to what you want if what you want it to present is all nice. So, it’s up to you to make sure that Google understands what your brand message is, understand what’s important to your audience when they are looking at your brand on Google, and ensure that they will understand that so that it shows your brand message to your audience.

Brand SERPs Reflects What Google Thinks is Valuable, Helpful, and Important to Your Audience

[00:03:39]  Favour Obasi-ike: That’s beautiful because when you’re talking about your audience, the people you’re connecting with, we can go even into domain authority a little bit when it comes to creating those relationships with the links and people don’t think about websites that way because for me, I’ve thought of it this way. I treat websites like land. That’s a domain property. So, if it’s a digital asset. Then you should treat it as one as an asset, but people don’t, people just buy domains and think, okay, I have a website, but they stopped there or they build a whole website and forget about SEO. It’s more of an afterthought, which is really daunting.

[00:04:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard) Yeah and they don’t think about SEO, that’s number one. But even if the people don’t think about SEO, don’t think about the brand message that’s being projected to Google and then onto the clients and the prospects and the users. Also, job applicants, journalists who want to write about you, what do they do? They Google your brand name to figure out what it is they want to say. A potential client will Google your brand name to see if they want to work for you. And if you’re in a beginning site startup state, the investors are going to search. In that case, let’s say you get two searches a month, but those two searches might be the investor who is going to put $2 million into your company. So, what they see when they Google your name is incredibly important there. So, the afterthought goes beyond SEO and onto brand message through Google. And then what I like about Brand SERPs is that it reflects what Google thinks is valuable and helpful and important to your audience.

[00:05:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, you can just look at that and say, well, is that right? Is that what is valuable and helpful to my audience? It’s not, why not? Is it because I’m not investing enough time in asset to interact with my audience on those things that are important to them? Or is it that I’m doing that, but Google doesn’t see it? And in both cases you need to rework. Either change your strategy about what you’re doing or adapt to how you’re presenting what you’re doing to Google through SEO.

[00:05:43]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, that’s a great point you mentioned because as you were speaking, I was thinking about the website. I’m thinking about Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and then Google. So, people forget to connect those three, which helps them to bridge the gap, but they often don’t think too far because that SEO element is not really, it’s not mastered.

[00:06:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, which is a great point. And then, you take it yet another step. I keep going another step forward, but I love greatness is that on your Brand SERP, it will have your sites at the top and then it will have your social media channels, your social media profiles. So, you need to take it beyond just the Google Properties, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, your website, and on to the social platform as well. And say, which ones is Google showing? How can I optimise those? Is it showing Twitter? Because Twitter is important to my audience. If it is, then I need to spend time on Twitter interacting with my audience. If it’s not showing Facebook, maybe I can just put Facebook to one side. So, it’s a great way to prioritise. I can focus on Twitter because Facebook isn’t dominating. And if Facebook does come up, then I can start using interacting more on that. Or if I feel Google has got it wrong and it’s ranking Twitter to my audience searching my brand name and I think it should be ranking Facebook, I need to demonstrate to Google that Facebook is more relevant.

[00:07:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I need to really work on that and indicate on my website, Facebook is important, Twitter is less important. And then by working on Facebook, getting that interaction, getting the reviews, getting the clients on posts, Google will realize after a time that Facebook is important then push it up and put it onto your Brand SERP, so that your audience searching your brand name on Google will see your website, Facebook, the things, the places where they want to interact with you on your website and on Facebook, which is brilliant.

Having A Great Digital Marketing Strategy Helps Google Understand That You are A Credible Solution to the Problem of Its Users

[00:07:33]  Favour Obasi-ike: That is huge because I believe people are going to think about it differently now because everybody has content. That’s one thing you can’t miss now, but not everybody does content marketing. 

[00:07:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah and that is a great point is from that perspective, as soon as you look at that and you say, how is Google percieving it and how is it presenting my content to my audience. And it’s really important to think, not just on my own website, but on all the websites that represent me in any way, manner, or form. Then, I can start to think about content marketing in a holistic sense. What’s ironic is that by focusing on your Brand SERP on Google, you are able then to build a non-Google centric digital strategy. So, it actually gets you off the reliance that you might have on Google today because it will force you to work on your social channels. It will force you to work on those review platforms, the component platforms all of these things and your PR, the articles about you, they will tend to write. So, get some great PR, get a great article right on your Brand SERP because that is great marketing, digital marketing, the wider sense reflected in your Brand SERP. And the bonus, the cherry up Jake is that it will help your overall SEO because Google will understand who you are, what you do, who your audience is, and that you are a credible solution because you have such great content and it has understood that you have that right content. 

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) is Google’s Acronym to Measuring Your Credibility

[00:09:02]  Favour Obasi-ike: And I liked what you said about understanding because I love the process of understanding something which takes time. People listen to rooms, podcast shows. They’re like, oh yeah, okay, I got that. But they come back tomorrow and they can’t apply that or implement that or test it or evaluate the process. So, that acronym E-A-T, Expertise, Authority, Trust.

[00:09:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

[00:09:26]  Favour Obasi-ike: People think about those things and they know, okay, if this is what Google stands by, and this is what they are doing, then how honest can you be without plagiarizing or duplicating your content, which is bad practice for your SEO. So, it really goes deeper, like you said, into branding, into structure, into layout. 

[00:09:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. Yeah and that’s a really good point. And then, E-A-T, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness is Google’s acronym and Google’s set of judgment of, are you credible? Which for me, I prefer the word credibility. Are you a credible solution? So, you said E-A-T, I say credible.

[00:10:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google say E-A-T, so Google is really with you and I’m out on my own talking about credibility, but it’s the same thing. It’s just a different way of saying it. And Google is looking to provide to its users in a general sense when they are searching on Google that they’re looking for the answer to a question or the solution to a problem. And Google is looking to give them the best possible solution or the best possible answer from the most credible source as efficiently as it possibly can. So, if you can prove that you are the most credible source, you have the most expertise, the most authoritativeness and you are the most trustworthy, then your content is much more likely to rank at the top for all of the keywords that you’re aiming for.

[00:10:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, Google’s aim is simple. Provide the best solution to its users as efficiently as possible. And we come back to understanding Google needs to understand who you are, what you do, and who your audience is in order to be able to make that match between the user problem or question and your great, wonderful content that answers the questions to solve the problem.

Google is Like A Child: It Needs to be Educated to be Able to Better Understand You and Provide Your Audience the Best Answer and Solution to Their Queries

[00:11:07]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah and I think it’s highly based on the algorithm too because those core updates that happen, those development cycles, you can’t control those. But what you can control is your quality control, and it goes a long way into your brand. As you said, 20 years from now, are you still reputable? Are you still credible? Are you still sustainable as a business? Because not every business is sustainable when you think about all the facets.

[00:11:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): 100% and that kind of idea, don’t be impatient as well, It’s really important to remember the algorithms. There is some big updates sometimes like change massively, but what will happen is that as the machine, the algorithm, understands you and it gets better understanding as well, they’re improving, you’re improving. The two are moving together. So, as time goes by, it will understand you better, and when it understands you better, it will be able to present you with the answer or the solution to its users.

[00:12:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But then, there’s the question of confidence. And I don’t think we realize that a machine needs confidence because not only does it want to provide the best solution, it wants to be confident, it’s done that. So, on the thing about understanding is the machine needs to understand. If you look at the machine Google, like a child, this child just wants to understand what you offer and to who you could offer it, and are you a credible solution? And your job is to educate it, which offers you have, for whom and why. Convince it why you’re the most credible solution. So, if you look at it that way, instead of looking at Google as this big, scary machine, look at it like a child. You’re the parent, you educate it starting with your own website. Then, what does the child do? It doesn’t ask grandma. It asks the head teacher. It asks the police woman down the road. So, you need to make sure that all of those corroborative sources around the web, the newspaper, the media sites, your local association, if you’re a dog, a poodle parlor, for example, you would want your poodle parlor association to corroborate this information. That’s the equivalent of going asking grandma. So, if I say it, then grandma says it in a similar manner, the poodle parlor association of Paris is what I like to use as France, and then the child is going to build confidence that you are indeed offering the correct solution for the user and that you are a credible solution because the poodle power in Paris association will say yes, this is a credible authoritative expert provider of Pula poodle shampooing services. 

[00:13:55]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah. Yeah. I believe so too because that’s really where that excitement comes in. When you think about it like a child, you want to play with a child, you want them to be happy, you want them to be in the good mood to the point where you can actually see that reflection of what you’ve invested, and people think about the time as well to the investment. 

[00:14:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And then, when the child goes, I understand who you are, I understand how wonderful you are, that’s your Brand SERP. That’s the search engine results page for a search on Google on your brand name. When it shows you, your brand message reflected back at you with these Video Boxes, maybe a Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side, maybe the Twitter Boxes. That’s the, you said it beautifully, I can’t remember quite the words, but the bright-eyed understanding, reflection of an understanding of what it is you’ve been explaining to this child and the child likes you and the child trusts you. That’s an amazing experience. 

Having A Strong Domain is Very Important

[00:14:51]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, I believe so too. And as you start thinking about it, something just came to me and I was thinking, wait a minute, isn’t this a fact, or maybe it’s fiction. I don’t know, but we can talk about it. Is your domain name establishment very important when you think about two years because when you think about a child in two years, that’s a domain two years. So, a two-year-old child or a two-year-old site, what have you been feeding it? What images, videos, carousels, links, referrals, backlinks, what are those things that have been done over time? And is it true that those two years are important? Or is it just, oh, in six months I can bootstrap my business and land on the SERP.

[00:15:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A strong domain is very important. The history is very important. So, if you have a historical domain name, for example the year 2000, that’s 22 years, it’s clear that the child has seen that they’re made from a barrier it’s likely to trust that domain more unless the domain has done some black hat techniques or whatever it might be. So, they obviously did a copy of that. A new domain is quite difficult in the sense that the child is saying this is new. I don’t know who this might be, but if you can get, traditionally we look at inbound links, so inbound links are very helpful in this sense is if you get inbound links and this is incredibly important from highly relevant websites, it isn’t the big hitters. It isn’t Wikipedia, it isn’t The New York times. Once again, it’s the poodle parlor of Paris association linking to my poodle parlor that’s going to make the most sense to this child. It doesn’t make sense for The New York times link to my website. The child’s going to go, what does that mean? It doesn’t help their understanding, and it that does not actually help much with credibility in terms of kind of the child understanding that this is credible because it’s not relevant.

[00:16:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, if you’ve got a new website, first thing you want to do is get those relevant inbound links from the sources that Google already knows and trusts. The child trusts them. They point to you with a link. The child says they trust them. I can trust them too. So, an old domain name isn’t necessarily the single most important thing. The single most important thing is that you can build your brand message on your own website and make sure the child understands that that website represents your business, and then explain to the child what it is you do and who you do it for.

[00:17:24]  Favour Obasi-ike: That’s beautiful. Thank you so much for clarifying that because it helps. We were like, I’ve been having this domain for 10 years, why is it not working for me? So, it’s so good how you were able to bring that together. 

[00:17:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And there is a really important point there as well as buying a domain name because it’s got history is something that some people do. I’m thinking, if I buy a ten-year-old domain, it’s got this history, so I’ll buy it. And it’s got a domain authority vehicle use that I don’t really like the term, but let’s fly into that anyway. The problem there is you don’t know what’s been done on the website in the 10 years. You don’t know what the child thinks about that website or that domain name now. So, it is a strategy you can use and you can pay top dollar for a domain name because it’s got lots of imbalance or because it’s got a historic story behind it. But is that worth it? Not always because you might have all of the people in your industry ready to earn to group brand and help you out by giving you the links that are truly relevant. And then you’re building something that you understand, that you trust, and when you present it to the child, it’s going to make sense.

[00:18:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I’ve actually registered five domains in the last year as an experiment. I do lots of silly experiment, mad experiments, try to see how well I can educate this child. And because of my place in my industry, I could get links in from very relevant sources to these helpful new domain names and they’re all doing incredibly well. And it isn’t because I’m a brilliant SEO. It’s because I managed to get people within my industry to provide me those, but legs to show Google that this is relevant, that it is trusted within the industry, that it’s authoritative within the industry, I associate myself to it and then I’m on my wife. 

[00:19:13]  Favour Obasi-ike: Wow. This is going to help a lot of people.

[00:19:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You have to put in the legwork. Sorry. Really important. You can’t just say, oh, it will work. You have to bring the library right into people. It’s human relationships. I pulled in so many favors from people that I’ve been interacting with for years. So, it’s human relationships and I think we often forget how important human relationships are because the web is a representation of the world and human relationships.

Having Great Human Relationships Help People to Always Keep You Top of Mind

[00:19:41]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, 100% because that human relationship was coming from a returning customer are returning. And when you think about the analogies on how they connect is this is the same person coming to my store that checked me out online at home that’s reading my email, that’s thinking about me when I’m about to do something, when I need a problem solved, how do I get there? And it helps people to really keep you top of mind, like you said, when it comes all the way back to Brand SERP. 

[00:20:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, no, I’m excited. I think kind of one of the things that I’ve learned over the last few years was I come from a world of SEO. I’ll tell you really quickly how did I go into SEO, is that I made a cartoon with my wife, The Boowa & Kwala. It’s a blue dog. I was a blue dog in the team, she was a yellow koala, and it was phenomenally successful. We had 5 million kids coming to the site every month in 2008. It was massive and we did a TV series and it was wonderful. And unfortunately the business had very long boring story and I had to find work. And what I did was pitched for work, say I had a million kids a month coming from Google alone. If I can do that for a blue dog and a yellow koala, just think what I can do for your SEO and your business website. And that’s how I got the work. That’s how I got into SEO because I’d been working on SEO to promote the kids website. And what was surprising is I went through a period, working for businesses and just thinking I need to do pure SEO, please Google, and work on Google the whole time. It was Google obsession, which is my son. And then one day, I realised that should be the kids’ website. One of the biggest drivers was the fact that parents, grandparents, teachers, local associations, play schools, promoted it within the people they knew around them and linked back to us as a great resource.

[00:21:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it was actually that that drove the SEO as opposed to the SEO driving that. And what I meant got back to is that idea again, and that’s what I’m doing again with my company Kalicube is driving the company forwards by human relationships, by great content, by providing a wonderful user experience that people who are truly relevant to my business and Google nicely, now we’re going to change Google from being a child to being a dog is following along with me. 

[00:21:59]  Favour Obasi-ike: That is so true because it’s now showing the importance of when you show up on Google, but some people start on page 100 and then they jump to 50 and then they jump to 30 and now they’re 10. And that happens over let’s say 6 months, 9 months, 12 months. But people they don’t think about it. Oh, 100, okay, that’s fine. 50, okay, that didn’t change anything. They’re not seeing those results because they’re not seeing the vision. 

[00:22:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. And you make a really good point about 100 is useless, 50 is a useless, 30 is useless, 20 is pretty useless as well. It’s only when you get on page two that you’re actually going to get people coming to your website from Google in any reasonable number. But I said they were useless, they’re not because you were evolving, because you’re moving forward, because Google starting to get to grips with the fact that you are a valuable resource and that patients are saying, I need to build up over time and Google will follow.

[00:22:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): As long as I present this information to Google in an acceptable manner, which is what SEO is about is packaging your content so that Google understands it properly. And you said 6 months, maybe a year, that’s a much better timeline than, oh, we’ll have them next week. It doesn’t happen next week, 6 months to a year. I had a client who built a big section of their website and it took two years. And after two years, they now outright apple for queries around search queries around e-sim. And that’s the kind of thing you can get. Thus, the takeoff was incredibly slow. It was incredibly gradual and it took 2 years. Now, they’re in a situation where everything they publish gets a good place on Google fairly quickly because Google trusts those and it sees them as expert, authoritative, and trustworthy, in short a credible solution to the problem that it’s users are presenting to Google when they make a search. 

[00:24:01]  Favour Obasi-ike: Wow. I 100% agree with that. 

[00:24:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m glad you do.

The online world isn’t a magic bullet, a magic solution, where everything works tomorrow. It’s a representation of the offline world, but just through a browser.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:24:08]  Favour Obasi-ike: Because it just shows maturity. It shows evolution. It shows how is it evolving from this SERP that was in 2018 and now it’s 2022 and people are not thinking about voice search. They don’t think about those results, what are those results you’re giving? And you said you’re also feeding them the knowledge because if you look at some of the SERPs and you notice that some of them are 2019, 2016, and the competitors or the people that try to get there don’t think about how to use, like you said, social media, how do you talk about the freshest perspective because people were looking for a fresh perspective and that perspective may take time to process.

[00:24:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. No, I’m saying social media I think is something important. I don’t know if anybody in here listens to SEO advice or ask SEOs. And there’s a big debate for years. Is social media signal within Google’s algorithm? And the answer is it doesn’t matter because social media is there for you to interact with the audience and you should be doing it because it’s profitable in and of itself.

[00:25:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Then what you do is present to Google. This is my social media account. Here’s how I’m interacting with my audience. And that reassures good and all that you are in fact interacting with your audience. And then if it does send its use to you for a solution to their problem, then you will in fact interact with them that you’re available.

[00:25:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, social media does have a great deal of effect on your entire digital strategy. And Google does pay attention to it. Not necessarily directly in the algorithm but certainly in how it understands who you are and how and the fact that understands that you are in fact trustworthy in the fact that you interact with your audience and many other ways as well.

[00:26:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But just the point for me is to look beyond Google and say, what do I need to do to help my audience? I need to provide valuable content for my audience. I need to get them to consume it. And if I can do that presented to them on platforms where they’re comfortable, Twitter, Facebook, or on a local media site and poodle parlor association in Paris if we want to as well.

[00:26:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if I can get them comfortable without that, I’m pulling them down the funnel, they will end up searching my brand name. When they search my brand name, that content that is valuable, the Twitter account, the Video Boxes, or that great article I got will appear on my Brand SERP. So, it does end up being useful even from that aspect. Is it I pull them down the funnel, they haven’t searched on Google for any of my products, they just ended up searching for me because they know who I am and that great content I create if they see it again when they search my brand name, then they’re reassured, then they buy it from.

[00:26:58]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, 100%, I agree with that because now it’s connecting the dots and also thinking about the experience, the user experience, which is also very important for them to think through. And ideally, that also helps them to really understand where they’re going to, who they’re going to, why they’re going to them, and over time that also increases that credibility, like you mentioned. And at some point that person has been looking at you for two years may eventually want to buy from you, so you’ve educated them.

[00:27:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, absolutely. Sorry I interrupted. But unless that patience think you’re getting saying, don’t plan your business to succeed in three months, plan for it to start succeeding in two years. So, if you’ve got that mindset, then you’re both working on a realistic timeline for Google in terms of performing on Google, but also a realistic timeline for creating the tool for prep. But if offline, you would have that timeline that you have anyway. Online isn’t a magic bullet, a magic solution where everything works tomorrow. It’s a representation of the offline world, but just through a browser. So, I think if we bring our expectations of the online world to map more to our expectations of the offline world, we’d all be probably happier. 

Your SEO Knowledge Brings Together All The Different Departments of Your Business and Helps Your Team Members to Work Better Together

[00:28:13]  Favour Obasi-ike: That’s true. And even looking at Facebook, for example, it’s like Facebook is a website. It’s a domain name. So, it’s the same competition. 

[00:28:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Facebook is massive, but Facebook didn’t get massive by ranking on Google. Facebook got massive because people were talking to each other about it. And that’s marketing. So, from my perspective, as an SEO, we’d come back to this blue dog and yellow koala thing is I went from marketing to SEO because I should go about the marketing path. And then one day, yeah, I’m actually a marketer and SEO is one part of that. And what is really lovely, I was talking to a guy called Tom Critchlow the other day and he was pointing out that as an SEO, because we looked at PR, the articles on other websites, we looked at social media, we looked at email marketing, we looked at the website, we looked at the branding, we’re actually doing the one aspect of any company within my company anyway who brings together all the different departments.

[00:29:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I see how it can be a home, but it isn’t the be all and end all you the business. The rest of it is the be all and end all. SEO knowledge can help you to bring that together and help the members of your team to work better together. And then we, that SEO becomes a process of packaging what everybody else is doing for Google. And it’s an illness. And if you look at it that way, you’re going to be happier too. 

[00:29:49]  Favour Obasi-ike: I believe so too. 

[00:29:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I am going to make everybody happy today.

[00:29:55]  Favour Obasi-ike: No, it’s true. It’s so true because I’m thinking Google has 92% market share of search. So, if you apply the Pareto principle and you figure out your 80/20 and know, okay, 20th percent of my time, I’m spending 80% of value. That means 80% of my returns will be invested because I was able to put that 20% of investment. That’s two hours. That’s five hours a week of just one hour each day optimising your content because people post like content two years ago, they’d be like, I’ve never thought about optimising my old articles. Like they don’t think like that. They’re thinking new articles, new pictures, new videos. It’s so different. 

[00:30:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Going back and looking at what you’ve already done and saying, does it still apply today? That’s a really great point. The world changes over time. So, something I wrote three years ago, a) might not apply in the same way it used to, but b) I probably got better at my job, so I could probably explain whatever it is I was explaining better. So, I got every interest to go back, rework it to make it better for my audience. And obviously in that case, people will see those paths for your audience and it will push you up the rankings, so it becomes a double win there. 

People Also Ask and Featured Snippets Offer Greater Visibility to Your Audience When They Search Your Brand Name

[00:31:16]  Favour Obasi-ike: Yeah, 100%. One question I would love to ask you is this, before we get to the wrap of this podcast is we were talking about this earlier, People Also Ask or Featured Snippet because I recently read an article and they talked about three years worth of data. So, if we’re talking about two years right now, three years is pretty solid. So, when you think about your business and your structure and your breakeven and what are you doing with your domain property because you’re paying for that domain. So, what’s that investment going into when you think about the holistic features and they mentioned that it’s much better to be on the People Also Ask which drives more clicks, click through rate, but that click through rate does not determine your positioning on the SERP or on the Featured Snippet, so I’d love to hear your opinion on that.

[00:32:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. People Also Ask is incredible because two or three years ago that same 10%, I don’t remember the exact figure, 10% of Google results complained that People Also Ask that’s now close to 40%. And on Brand SERPs, the result when your audience searches your brand name on Google, it’s more like 55%. So, People Also Ask are what Google is calling the learnable moments or teachable moments. It’s a moment when you search for something and Google said maybe this question also is part of your search journey, so it’s suggesting where you might want to go and what’s happening increasingly from a human user perspective is you search for something like, let’s say red shoes, and then it will give you a People Also Ask saying where to buy red shoes or what are red shoes. And it’s saying, you’re not being very clear, maybe this would help. Or if you are being very clear, it will suggest questions that push you towards something else. So, from our perspective, digital marketers, we want to make sure we’re in those questions because when people read them, we’ve got an opportunity to communicate what it is we are offering on something that isn’t directly the answer to the question they initially asked Google and that’s really, really powerful, and I would suggest that it’s phenomenally important in any company’s strategy. 

[00:33:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It comes down to answering the questions your users, your audience, are asking. And as a business, you should be doing that anyway. And if you’re not, you will see that because you won’t be in the People Also Ask or for that matter, the Featured Snippet. So, what I seen in terms of strategy is that it’s moving as an industry, the SEO industry, towards more than idea of let’s find out what our audience are asking and answer those questions. Provide the answers to the questions they’re asking Google, and then we can pull them into our site and that’s the aim of the game because answering questions and providing solutions to problems is what business is all about. 

[00:34:16]  Favour Obasi-ike: That’s true. If you can’t solve a problem, you’re not making any business, it’s a hobby.

[00:34:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Google is all about solving problems and answering questions. And so I suppose from that perspective, we can look at it and say how can I help Google answer the questions that my audience has which will help Google send them to me because I’m helping Google by giving a great answer. And if I can demonstrate to Google that I do indeed have the best solution to the users problem when they search on Google, obviously it’s going to send them to me because Google’s aim is to provide the best solution, just like it’s my aim to provide the best solution to the problem that user has. So yeah, People Also Ask is an amazing way to start because it’s basically answering questions that your audience actually truly have.

[00:35:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Featured Snippets is similar in the sense that you’re answering questions once again. I think both are very valuable, but the point I think here is strategically, if you aim for the People Also Ask, you’ll probably get the Featured Snippets for some of them as well. So you’re killing two birds with one stone, which suddenly sounds rather cruel that I say it because I don’t even want to kill a bird with one stone at all.

[00:35:30]  Favour Obasi-ike: That is actually so true. You think about it. I would not want to do that.

[00:35:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But sometimes if you say things, you say isn’t that horrible that particular sentence and I’ve probably said it a hundred times in my life. You go ahead, no, I don’t want to kill any birds with any stones. 

Conclusion: A Great Brand SERP Allows You to Connect With People in The Most Helpful and Valuable Way

[00:35:47]  Favour Obasi-ike: Exactly. Wow, this is so perfect. This is amazing. You haven’t been able to just bless us with all this information and knowledge that people have a better understanding because our vision is to majorly inspire, educate, and empower people with knowledge so that they can use that information and do their own research but at the same time apply those strategies that mean the most to them. So I really thank you so much, Jason, for being here and for being part of today’s conversation. 

[00:36:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It was a delightful conversation, Favour, and I love the red shirt. I love the conversation. That was wonderful. Thank you.

[00:36:25]  Favour Obasi-ike: You’re most welcome. If there’s any way they can reach out to you, what are the best options they have so they can be able to stay connected even after this podcast is complete. 

[00:36:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, yeah. Well in fact, if you search my name, Jason Barnard, on Google, what it does is it shows my website at the top, my Twitter profile, I love Twitter, then LinkedIn, then my company, then a couple of articles I’ve written, and that basically allows you to choose how you want to interact with me. And I think that’s the secret of a great Brand SERP, the search engine results page when you search my name shows my audience hopefully some of you people as they’re listening or watching, this allows you to connect with me in the way that’s most valuable and helpful to you. And if I’ve done that I’ve done a great Brand SERP. I’ve done a great job of making what I call my “Google business card” absolutely perfect. 

[00:37:15]  Favour Obasi-ike: Amazing. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And I’m sure they’re going to reach out to you and just stay connected because there’s so much to learn. And when you stay with the best, you learn better and you’re always keeping up with the trends. Thank you so much, Jason. 

[00:37:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant! Thank you so much, Favour.

[00:37:34]  Favour Obasi-ike: You’re welcome.

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