Jason Barnard «Optimising a Brand SERP»
Your Brand SERP is a reflection of Google’s opinion of the world’s opinion of you. Today, Jason talks about how you can effectively and properly optimise your Brand SERP to make it look “charming” and “sexy” in the eyes of Google.
Starting as a Blue Dog in a Cartoon to Having a Podcast to Writing a Book to Being The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard)
[00:00:00] Host: The most happiest guy, The Brand SERP Guy, Jason Barnard. Please welcome.
[00:00:12] The Brand SERP Guy: Thank you. The happiest guy, I don’t know. The Brand SERP Guy, that’s me. And this is my super-duper logo, The Brand SERP Guy with the red shirt. I always wear red shirt because otherwise nobody remembers who I am. So, today we’re going to be talking about your Brand SERP on Google. For the people who don’t speak English, I know that you’ve got EuReg translating in your ear. Thank you, EuReg. He asked me to speak very slowly. So, this is going to take about four hours. Yeah, maybe no.
[00:00:59] The Brand SERP Guy: Okay. Now the Brand SERP. I’m The Brand SERP Guy, and here we have my personal Brand SERP, what somebody sees when they search my name. I’m also the Knowledge Panel Guy. The idea here is that through this Brand SERP, I can tell you my life story. If you’re interested in me, you can find out all about me simply by searching my name and looking at the Knowledge Panel and looking at the left-hand side.
[00:01:34] The Brand SERP Guy: So, two decades in digital, I started as this blue dog. I was a blue dog in a cartoon, and you can see that on the right-hand side. I now have a groovy podcast with wonderful guests such as John Mueller from Google and Rand Fishkin and Joost de Valk and Olesia Korobka as well. Speaker and host, travel around the world, giving talks, SE Ranking, YoastCon, Rand Fishkin on my show. I’m an Author, writing for Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, SEMRush, and so on and so forth. And I’ve built a SaaS platform to help brands and people manage their Brand SERP. Now, in case you’d forgotten. I am The Brand SERP Guy.
Introducing Rich Elements and Three Points of View on Your Brand SERP: Your Audience, Google, and You
[00:02:27] The Brand SERP Guy: The Plan, three points of view on your Brand SERP: your audience, Google, and you. Your Brand SERP should be a big, big part of your overall digital strategy. Then I’m going to look at how to improve your Brand SERP, and finally, basic tactics and blue links and glorious rich elements. Now, you probably know rich elements as SERP features. I call them rich elements because I think that this is going to get groovier and groovier, sexier and sexier, and SERP features will simply not cover the glory of rich elements in the coming years, and we’ll see that later on.
Brand SERP as the Exact Match Brand Search
[00:03:16] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, before we start, what do I mean by Brand SERP? The exact match brand search. If your company is called SE Ranking, let’s say, it’s the result for SE Ranking. It’s not the result for SE Ranking Reviews. It’s not the result for SE Ranking, who are they? It’s the result for SE Ranking. In my case, it’s the result for Jason Barnard. And that is your Business Card.
[00:03:46] The Brand SERP Guy: It can be more or less convincing, more or less negative, more or less inaccurate. As you can see here, there is an enormous variety of different types of Brand SERPs. We’d go from Microsoft over here on the left. Sorry. I’ll forget left and right. This is Kalicube in the middle. Over here it’s, I’ve got no idea what that says. I can’t read it. Some other company with just 10 blue links.
[00:04:11] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, when you search a brand name, you see this, you think that’s a big company, that’s important, that’s impressive. I like this company. I like this company too. This one looks unprofessional, unconvincing. I’m not going to do business with them. And it’s the same for people. How many people in this audience, when you were on a Zoom meeting during the pandemic, we’re Googling people’s names under the table? I was.
Reasons Why Brand SERPs Are Important To Your Business: Clients, Prospects, Investors, Partners
[00:04:43] The Brand SERP Guy: So, there are three reasons that are important, they’re important for your audience: clients, prospects, investors, partners. All of them, incredibly important to your business. All of them will Google your brand name at some point in their journey in doing business with you. When you’re building brand awareness, when you’re doing all these content efforts, you’re sponsoring events like this, you’re getting your brand name into people’s heads. What’s the next step? They search the brand name. They Google the brand name. What do they see? That’s your Business Card.
[00:05:21] The Brand SERP Guy: How many people have given business cards at this event? I stopped. Oh, one person gave one, but he’s got one business card. So, we have one business card in the room. Everybody else is just Googling people on their phone. This is Brand SERPs. This is what it’s all about. This is why all of this, whether you’re a company, a person, a podcast, a music group, a music album, an event, phenomenally important and totally, totally, totally underestimated and under regarded. And I’m here to change that.
Brand SERP as a Reflection of Google’s Opinion of the World’s Opinion of You
[00:05:57] The Brand SERP Guy: Next, it’s important for Google. It’s a reflection of Google’s opinion of the world’s opinion of you. What you see on your Brand SERP is what Google thinks is helpful, valuable, and interesting for your audience. That is a reflection of what it perceives to be important about your content and your business. It’s trying to reflect your business as accurately and as helpfully to your audience as possible because the people searching your brand name or your personal name on Google are Google’s users, but they’re the subset of Google’s users that are your audience, your bottom-of-funnel and post-funnel audience, the audience who know who you are, and they want to do business with you.
One’s Expertise, Authority, and Trust is Mirrored in Their Brand SERP
[00:06:43] The Brand SERP Guy: Oh, sorry. I forgot one thing there, E.A.T. Expertise, authority, and trust. If you’re Brand SERP is rubbish with bad reviews, inaccurate information, or the wrong content that doesn’t reflect what it is you actually do, your E.A.T. Is rubbish. Your expertise, authority, and trust is mirrored in your Brand SERP, and it’s important for you. It’s a reflection of your Digital Ecosystem. What’s a better way of understanding what content you’re putting out there in your SEO efforts, in your content efforts, in your videos and your images.
[00:07:24] The Brand SERP Guy: The best way and what’s important in terms of reviews, what is the best way to figure that out is to look at your Brand SERP. You can see immediately what’s working, what isn’t working. Are your videos working? Is Google seeing your videos as important, as interesting, as valuable, as relevant? If they’re not on your Brand SERP and you’re investing in videos, you’re investing very badly. And you could change that strategy.
[00:07:50] The Brand SERP Guy: Same with reviews, same with images. I saw a restaurant the other day with 10,000 reviews on their Brand SERP. 10,000 reviews. Google had eight of the blue links contained reviews. Google thinks those reviews are valuable, helpful, and important. It’s a restaurant in New York. Next time I go to New York, I’m going to that restaurant.
[00:08:16] The Brand SERP Guy: Now take a look at your Brand SERP. Obviously not right now, but when you get home after the after party at three o’clock in the morning. Which is yours? And when you’re drunk at three o’clock in the morning, and you look at your Brand SERP and it looks like the one on the right, you can cry into your beer.
Improving Your Brand SERP by Improving Your Digital Ecosystem
[00:08:36] The Brand SERP Guy: So, by definition, improving your Brand SERP is a virtuous circle in marketing. And it’s delightfully wonderful and incredibly simple, and it simplifies your entire digital marketing strategy into one easily measurable measurement thing, whatever you might call that. So if you want to improve your Brand SERP, you necessarily have to improve your Digital Ecosystem.
[00:09:06] The Brand SERP Guy: If you’ve got bad reviews, you want to replace those bad reviews on that Brand SERP with better reviews. You have to either improve the reviews that are bad currently there or find another review site and push that up the rankings to replace it. You’re necessarily making your E.A.T. the reflection to your customers, your clients, your prospects, about you through those reviews, their opinion, more positive.
[00:09:33] The Brand SERP Guy: Same with videos, I mentioned them earlier. If you’re not investing in videos, you should start. If you are investing in videos and videos do not appear on your Brand SERP, you’re investing badly. So as you can see, if you then say I will invest better in my videos, I will make more effort, I will make them more relevant and get more engagement from my audience, you are improving your Digital Ecosystem and your marketing. And all of that, of course, improves Google’s opinion of you.
[00:10:05] The Brand SERP Guy: The aim of SEO is to get Google to recommend your product to its audience. If you want it to recommend your product, it has to think that you are trustworthy, it has to think that you’re authoritative, it has to think that you’re expert. Your Brand SERP is an amazing reflection of that. You’ve improved your Digital Ecosystem. You’ve made your Brand SERP better. Google thinks you are ace. Ace meaning number one in the card deck for anybody who doesn’t play Poker.
[00:10:42] The Brand SERP Guy: And Google reflects it all through your Brand SERP. And everybody is happy. And that’s the lovely thing about this. I’m a happy guy. One of the reasons I’m happy is because I like everybody to be happy. And when you’re happy, I’m happy. When Google’s happy, it gives you a good Brand SERP. That good Brand SERP makes your users happy. Your users are happy, they buy from you. So, you’re happy. Brand SERPs is happiness in SEO, and you can quote me on that.
The Anatomy of A Brand SERP: How Does Google’s Ranking Algorithm Works (Darwinism in Search)
[00:11:14] The Brand SERP Guy: The anatomy of a Brand SERP. A lot of people ask me, what is a typical Brand SERP? Obviously the answer is it depends, and I do apologise. But if you understand how their built, you can start to think about what they might look like. And here is an article I wrote after talking to Gary Illyes, who you will hear from later on. He explained to me how Google’s ranking algorithm works. I called it Darwinism in Search. Take a picture or download the slide deck afterwards to read that article which was quite interesting explained by Gary Illyes and the guys from Bing who are there on the left who explained to me all the things that Google want to explain about how search ranking works.
[00:12:01] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, what does it look like? There you go. That’s a good Brand SERP. These are my illustrations. To give you an idea of what it might look like, this is a blue link. This is a blue link with reviews, Video Boxes, People Also Ask, Rich Sitelinks. Obviously, it will vary. But overall, whatever you have on your Brand SERP, it needs to be positive, accurate, and convincing. You want it to be positive for your brand, accurate about your brand, and convincing to your audience. And you want to control it.
The Secret of Control on Brand SERPs
[00:12:39] The Brand SERP Guy: This is for me, the thing it took me longest to realise is that the secret here is control. And when you look at Google, I think all of us would agree, when you’re doing traditional SEO, you have no control. You’re begging this machine to recommend you. On Brand SERPs, you have immense amounts of control. Google wants to reflect your brand the way you want it to be reflected. It wants to be honest about you. All you need to do is pull the right levers and Google will give you the great Brand SERP. You will control it, and you can make it positive, accurate, and convincing.
[00:13:21] The Brand SERP Guy: Generally speaking, and this is very generally, because if you remember the Microsoft example from earlier, there were three or four blue links there. Generally speaking, you can expect seven blue links and three rich elements. Which ones will depend on your industry, it will depend on your digital marketing strategy, and it will depend on how much you managed to leverage the control I talked about earlier on.
Knowledge Panels As Google’s Factual Understanding of Who You Are, What You’re Doing, and Who Your Audience Is
[00:13:49] The Brand SERP Guy: And a Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side, about 50% of brands have a Knowledge Panel and by Knowledge Panel, I don’t mean Google My Business. That’s a business listing. A Knowledge Panel is Google’s factual understanding of who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. And if it can understand who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience is, you’re in a better position to be recommended by Google to its users, the subset of its users that are your audience. And that is the aim of the SEO game. Now, this is the nice part. This is the practical part and I’ve only done, I’ve got 25 minutes left. I can slow down. Brilliant. Sorry. Speaking too fast for the translator.
General Tactics For The Blue Links: Updating The Sites You Control, Improving The Ones You Semi-Control, and Pushing Up Better Content From Below
[00:14:38] The Brand SERP Guy: General tactics for the blue links. Update those you control. This is so easy. And if you search your brand name, I’ll bet my bottom dollar that the results you control are not as good as they could be. All you have to do is change them, your meta title, your meta description. Google doesn’t always use the meta description. Make sure the content is correctly written, is written in a way Google will understand it so Google can summarise your page and place its own accurate description in that SERP but also all the other sites, excuse me, that you own. Every site you own, you control a hundred percent, and there is no reason at all that those results shouldn’t be perfect.
[00:15:25] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, if you look at the top. That’s a really delightful, short blue link. Kalicube, that’s my company. You rarely see a blue link that short. Why is that interesting? Because I did an experiment yesterday and it’s at the end. So, you have to stay because it’s an exciting experiment. That’s fun, fun, fun fun. Right. So, update everything you control. Then, improve the ones that you semi-control or you add the ones that you can semi-control if it’s relevant to your industry. I thought that was my phone.
How You Can Semi-Control Twitter
[00:16:10] The Brand SERP Guy: Twitter. I would argue that you do not control Twitter. Twitter can close your account. Twitter can change the way it builds its meta titles. Twitter can change anything about that page. You do semi-control it because at least short term, you have a great deal of influence. YouTube, same thing. TechCrunch, potentially you can get your brand in there. Bloomberg, Wikidata, Crunchbase. All of these sources you can control to the extent that the site can then change it afterwards, but it is still control because a lot of that will never happen. So, you improve your social accounts, your company profiles, all the databases about you to make sure that they’re accurate and positive.
What To Do For The Stuff You Can’t Control
[00:16:52] The Brand SERP Guy: And then the stuff you don’t control, you can push up better content from below. If there’s something on your Brand SERP that isn’t positive, maybe it’s negative, maybe it’s just boring. If there’s something there that isn’t convincing that doesn’t really project your brand messages you would want, you push something up from below that is better. Above it that will push it down and off the first page of your Brand SERP. And then your message becomes more positive, more accurate, more convincing for your audience. And I call that leapfrogging. I think in our Online Reputation Management people talk about drowning, creating new content. Fine. But isn’t leapfrogging much easier, much better, much more effective? And it means, and I like this, doing SEO for others, somebody has written a brilliant article, do some SEO for them, help them out, build some links for them, push it up. Helps you. Helps them. Everybody wins. Everybody’s happy again. Brand SERPs is such a happy place to live.
Knowledge Panels Represent Understanding and Confidence in That Understanding
[00:18:01] The Brand SERP Guy: The cherry on the top is the Knowledge Panel. It’s the most tough. It’s not the cherry on the top. You must have a Knowledge Panel for your brand. If you don’t, it means Google has not understood who you are. Or if it has understood who you are, it’s not confident in that understanding. And at the event a couple of days ago at Google, they were talking entities, entities, entities, entities, entities. My Twitter feed is full of people talking about entities and asking about entities and discussing entities. This is the future. And entities involves Google understanding who you are, what you do, who your audience is and that Knowledge Panel represents understanding, more importantly than just understanding, confidence in that understanding. I will now tell you something that will serve you through the next 15 to 20 years. Understanding is one thing, very important. Confidence in that understanding is the absolute be all and end all. Google needs to be confident in understanding for entity SEO to truly work.
The Glory of Rich Elements and How It Affects Blue Links
[00:19:15] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, the Glory of Rich Elements. There you go. Data from around the world. I’m really sorry. I don’t have any data for Ukraine. Shame on me. In Kalicube, I have 70,000 brands, some of them French, some of them German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, British, and American. And this is the average of blue links, rich elements. Now, I thought the blue link was going to die. And I remember two years ago saying blue links are dying. They’re not. I was wrong. Frédéric Dubut from Bing told me the number of blue links is pretty much stable and has been for the last few years. Blue links are staying. Rich elements such as Video Boxes, Twitter Boxes, Image Boxes, People Also Ask come into the SERP, but they’re not killing off the blue links beyond this level of about eight, an average of eight.
[00:20:23] The Brand SERP Guy: And this also, interesting enough, depends on the ambiguity of the term, but that’s a story for another day. So, we have about seven to eight blue links, three rich elements. As I mentioned earlier, that’s what you should be looking for. If your Brand SERP contains 10 blue links, you look unconvincing to your audience, and you have an awful, awful, awful content strategy. And you really should look in the mirror or employ a content manager to do a great job.
Rich Sitelinks and Why You Should Have Them On Your Brand SERP
[00:20:59] The Brand SERP Guy: Rich Sitelinks, most people don’t count these as SERP features or rich elements. I do. And in terms of Brand SERPs, they’re phenomenally important. What is this? This is 25% of the entire Brand SERP that you control a hundred percent. Not just the meta title and the description of your home page, but all of these other pages about clients, Peter Mead, SEO from Australia, podcasts, Kalicube Pro, content. All of these results, I control. I can change them as I wish. I can change my brand message literally in a day by changing these pages, resubmitting them to Google.
[00:21:41] The Brand SERP Guy: Now, can’t read the number, oh, about 60% of brands have these. There is no reason on earth you should not have Rich Sitelinks on your Brand SERP. If you don’t, and here’s an SEO tip, if you don’t dig into the site, you will find there is either a problem of siloing or a problem of navigation or a problem of terrible redirect. So if you don’t have them, you immediately have an insight into the technical issues that your site might potentially have. And I’ve done that multiple times for clients, and we’ve solved it, we’ve got the site links back, crawlability goes up. Google’s happy, you’re happy, everybody’s happy. It’s a recurring thing. Sorry. Alex asked me why I was so happy and I couldn’t figure it out. And I now know, because I worked with Brand SERPs, and Brand SERPs are a happy place.
Working On Your Content To Make Sure You Got Your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions Right and The Importance of Semantic HTML5
[00:22:38] The Brand SERP Guy: Oh, sorry. I’ve explained a lot of this already in the last part. How do you do, how do you get these Rich Sitelinks, meta titles, meta descriptions, the content of the page now that Google is summarising and even potentially changing your title? You need to really work on that content to make sure Google understands it. There was an example of Joe Biden and his meta title was vice president of the United States. Reason for that is Google had chosen the title from the page, and the page was not clear that he is currently the president and was the vice president. So, I would argue that’s the White House’s fault.
[00:23:16] The Brand SERP Guy: Semantic HTML5, I think that’s overlooked. A lot of people say it doesn’t really matter. Some people at Google have said that as well. Fabrice Canel from Bing, who is Mr. Bingbot to actually builds Bingbot said to me, he loves it. Bingbot loves semantic HTML5. Use it, use it well, and you will be rewarded. Homepage, Contact page, About page, Profile page, Pricing, Blog, these are typical pages that appear in your Rich Sitelinks. Focus on them as you will have noticed people who do Schema Markup. Those are schema types. You can use them. It helps.
Image Boxes and The Significance of a Consistent Brand Image
[00:23:54] The Brand SERP Guy: Image Boxes. Now, on the right, you can see the Image Boxes that I have for Kalicube. Now, they look really pretty. Two years ago, they were awful. I had created images, and I thought it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. And I realised it didn’t look impressive. And it took me six weeks to go from the ugliest Image Boxes in the world to these beautiful Image Boxes. And my images actually now rank really well in Google. I think Google has aesthetic taste in making beautiful images. You will be rewarded.
[00:24:30] The Brand SERP Guy: And as you can see in the US and the UK, there are less Image Boxes than the rest of the world. That is because Google tends to test new rich elements in these territories and not in the others. So, they often get replaced. They’re the first thing that is removed from a Brand SERP when Google finds something more interesting. In general, not always, if you’re in the housing industry, real estate, you will tend to have images because they’re relevant and helpful to your audience. So, all of this is very industry based.
[00:25:00] The Brand SERP Guy: I’m giving you an overview. Image SEO, quality images, SEO, your alts, your filenames, your titles, your captions, Semantic HTML5 again, figure, and figure caption, incredibly powerful. It brings all of that information into one block and Google can just extract it. Passage based indexing, that’s where we are. Google’s extracting these. Gary Illyes has actually said, if you think about how they’re indexing, it’s like a set of folders and each passage is a little folder. So, you should be building your sites, your pages rather, with this idea of segmenting the parts so Google can extract their passages and put them in little folders. They’re not real little folders obviously. They’re imaginary little folders.
[00:25:49] The Brand SERP Guy: The other interesting thing is with consistent brand message, which is what I’ve got there, or brand image, sorry, and distribute them on trusted sources. Google will tend not on your Brand SERP to show images just from your site. So, you need to distribute them across trusted sources and be consistent and have that consistent brand image across all your channels.
Video Boxes and Optimising Videos for Google
[00:26:13] The Brand SERP Guy: Video Boxes, pretty even around the world. Google loves videos. Andrea Volpini from WordLift is saying, the videos are Google’s carrot. They’re trying to get us to optimise videos because they need the information in those videos. They need our help. And when Google needs our help, what does it do? It gives us a carrot. We optimise, we rank better. Google gets the data. Google understands better. You scratch your back. No, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours or I could scratch my back and you could scratch your own, but it doesn’t work like that does it. Okay.
[00:26:50] The Brand SERP Guy: So, Video SEO. Quality videos: titles, thumbnails, timings, figure, and figure caption, HTML5 again, putting captions on your videos. Google can create captions. It doesn’t do it particularly brilliantly well. If you do it, it knows. It’s understood. And that’s an interesting thing about meta descriptions. Don’t stop writing meta descriptions because Google doesn’t use them as much. Google uses your meta description as a comparison to its summary of your page. So, you’re providing the meta description and these captions to reassure Google about its understanding. Build up it’s confidence. So, we’re back to confidence again.
[00:27:38] The Brand SERP Guy: Once again, distributed on trusted sources, YouTube, Vimeo, and all these kinds of things. YouTube obviously dominates, 80%. But if you do great video SEO on your site, you will be able to grab those places off YouTube. Google would rather put your site in their SERPs than YouTube, which is ironic, but that’s the carrot they’re giving you. Optimise it, it will rank, you will take over, you grab back control, people land on your site and not on YouTube. Google’s carrot is juicy and delicious. Audience engagement and once again, a consistent brand image.
Twitter Boxes and The 17-Second Twitter Trick
[00:28:22] The Brand SERP Guy: Twitter Boxes. This is one of my favorites. Very popular in the UK and in the US. And I’ve got 11 minutes so I’m gonna try. This is the Twitter trick. Say hello. What I’m trying to do, if somebody can open their phone and search Jason Barnard, it will take 17 seconds for that to appear on my Brand SERP. If you search my name, whoever gets it first, gets a hug after the event. 17 seconds, my tweet of you guys should appear on my Brand SERP for somebody. I tried it this morning and Google was trying out. We’ve got one. You get a hug later on, the guy with a beard and he’s happy which is delightful.
[00:29:30] The Brand SERP Guy: Where was I? I’ve forgotten what I was talking about. Oh, Twitter Boxes. Brilliant. I love them. Why do I love them because it’s real time. As we have just seen, real time communication with your audience. Your audience sees Twitter Boxes. They know you care. They know that you’re available through Twitter. And the other lovely thing about them is they take up a big chunk of space that you semi-control. Easy to do. Quality tweets, consistent tweeting, use images, use videos, audience engagement, peer approval, consistent brand message again. As you will see from these slides, it’s actually quite repetitive. Just apply to different channels. For information, it took me six months to get mine, my Twitter account from nothing to Twitter Boxes and to be able to play the very silly Twitter trick on you.
The Growing Dominance of People Also Ask
[00:30:27] The Brand SERP Guy: People Also Ask. Now, everybody knows People Also Ask are starting to dominate. We have 50% of Brand SERPs in the UK and the US with People Also Ask. I cannot insist enough that this can be key to an amazing SEO strategy, incredible SEO strategy. Look at this. That was six months ago. Back. 50% in the UK and the US up from 35%. And in those other countries, in their own language, we’ve gone from 5% and we’re now looking at 25%.
[00:31:08] The Brand SERP Guy: So, People Also Ask are growing. Google wants to give your audience the answers to the questions they did not know they had. And in terms of your brand, it’s an incredible insight because now you know what questions Google thinks are important to your audience and probably are important to your audience. Start answering them. If you start answering those questions that are focal central to your business, you will start to help your users and you will see that it quickly builds out to cover not only your business but your topic. And you build authority, you build expertise, you build trust, and you rank.
Answering Questions Around Your Brand By Using Either an FAQ Section or a Blog Post
[00:31:48] The Brand SERP Guy: How do you do it? You can build an FAQ section, one question per page. Google might do passage based indexing, but that’s not actually a very good user experience. When I search a question and I land on the page and I have to scroll through the page, bad user experience. So even if Google can potentially rank a question that’s buried in a page, buried in 15, 16, other questions, don’t do it. Stick to one question per page. Answer questions about your brand. Answer questions around your brand. Post relevant blogs. They actually help a great deal for the longer questions. General rule of thumb, FAQ: short question, short answer. Blog post: short question, long question, long answer. So if the answer needs to be long, blogs. If the answer can be short, FAQ. And then the informational pages about brands and offers. They appear an awful lot. They’re really powerful. If somebody asks, how much did Kalicube make last year, if I put it on my About page, it will come up in the People Also Ask if somebody is asking that question.
Building Up Google’s Confidence to Make it Give You a Knowledge Panel
[00:32:53] The Brand SERP Guy: And Knowledge Panels. Oh, we’re running out of time. My favorite part I got a thumbs up. Running out of time, and no, no, we’re coming to the best bit. Knowledge Panels, as I said, almost 50%. That’s SE Ranking’s beautiful Knowledge Panel. How do you get a Knowledge Panel? Information strategy. You need to communicate information to Google. You need to communicate who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience is. You need to do it consistently and clearly, and you need to build up Google’s confidence and it will give you a Knowledge Panel.
[00:33:28] The Brand SERP Guy: It’s really simple. Give your entity a home. You need Google to understand where to find the information as you explain it. Then, you place corroborative information on independent third-party sites that are relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy. You sign post it. You say here’s my Entity Home, here’s the information about me, Google, that I’m giving you, and there’s the corroborative evidence that proves that I’m telling the truth. And Google will give you a Knowledge Panel.
Summarising on How to Optimise Your Brand SERP and Introducing Kalicube Pro’s Platform That Can Help You Manage It
[00:33:57] The Brand SERP Guy: So, what I just described, and we’re coming to the end, is a rounded, balanced content strategy. It’s absolutely nothing more. It’s actually just good digital marketing, well-organised. So, as a reminder, when you improve your Brand SERP, your Google Business Card, you’re more convincing to your audience, you boost Google’s opinion of you, your E.A.T. which is everybody’s obsession today. You want great E.A.T. This is the way to measure it. This is the way to build it. This is the way to help you forwards. And of course, you improve your Digital Ecosystem.
[00:34:31] The Brand SERP Guy: And that covers pretty much every stat of your acquisition funnel from top, when people are finding your videos on YouTube, on Twitter, to the middle, to the bottom, when they’re searching your brand, and don’t ever forget, post-funnel, when they’re still searching your brand after they became a client. You still need to keep them on board with a great Brand SERP because they will potentially be searching your brand name multiple times per day.
[00:34:58] The Brand SERP Guy: So, I would argue that tracking, measuring, and improving your Brand SERP is a strategic necessity. I would imagine 30 minutes ago, you hadn’t even thought about it. Now, I hope I have convinced you that this should be a central part of your digital marketing strategy. And of course, I have a platform that helps you do that as luck would have it. I work alongside Wordlift, Authoritas, and SE Ranking as data partners for the SaaS Platform Kalicube Pro that allows you to track, measure, and improve your Brand SERP on your Knowledge Panel.
Presenting an Experiment on The Own Brand SERP of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)
[00:35:30] The Brand SERP Guy: And now we come to the fun part, breaking news. I talked to Alex yesterday and he said, I’m bored of that presentation. I’ve seen it before. So, I thought I’ll find some breaking news. So I went back to the hotel last night and I did an experiment or two. And this morning it all came up roses as we say. If we look here, Brian Setzer is my hero so I had to put him up here. East Bay Ray from the Dead Kennedys punk group from the eighties is another hero. I had to put him up here. This is the Knowledge Panel we all know and don’t love. This with the little lozenges filters is the new one where it’s split into two on desktop, looks more like the mobile version.
[00:36:17] The Brand SERP Guy: And if you click on these, you end up in different filtered versions of information about brand sets. So we’ve gone from, we’re going, sorry, from this to this. And now the excite, drum roll, to that. Up here at the top, just like on mobile, I found this two days ago. Google is saying, we have an overview of who Jason Barnard is and what he does. That’s your Brand SERP, that’s your Knowledge Panel. But if you want, you can listen to what he’s got to say on various platforms, you can watch his videos, or you can learn about his songs.
[00:36:57] The Brand SERP Guy: When that happens and it’s going to happen. Right now, it’s for people only, but it’s going to happen for businesses. You get multiple verticals on that Brand SERP which pushes into these different results. So, that gives us parallel Brand SERPs that we need to control. And here, I started a new experiment to control the images here. So, give me maybe a month and we’ll have those images up, the ones that I’ve created, but here you can see I’m ranking. And I believe that this page will give me control over this content. We’ll see.
[00:37:31] The Brand SERP Guy: This is the fun one. The longest blue link titles you’ve seen in your life. Daddy Kwala who is one of the yellow koalas from my TV series from years ago, 138 characters, 25 words in four lines. That’s a long meta title. Who stops writing the meta title at 70 characters? Thank you. Somebody who has the courage to say it.
[00:37:57] The Brand SERP Guy: This is why you should keep writing. This is why it’s useful. Amazon gets 133 characters, 21 words, 5 lines. That’s big real estate on any SERP. This is an experiment. It might stay, it might not, but Google’s using this information and using it to rank, as John Mueller confirmed. But I can’t let Amazon beat The Brand SERP Guy, can I? So I went home last night from the party and I got a 166 characters, 27 words, and I’m so pleased. Thank you very much.
[00:38:40] Host: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It was very cool, very interesting. Thank you. Thank you, Jason.
[00:38:44] The Brand SERP Guy: It’s a pleasure. Switch positions.
How Often Does Google Change Your Brand SERP
[00:38:47] Host: All right. We got a lot of questions, I think, from the audience, and I also have. So, I have the one question is how often Google changed your SERP Brand page? How often?
[00:39:04] The Brand SERP Guy: That’s a great question. And great questions, as Anton Shulke says, get great answers. The interesting thing there is I’ve been working on my Brand SERP since 2013. My Brand SERP is incredibly stable. It doesn’t change very often. My top results is always me, Twitter Boxes, pretty much always there. The results stay very stable, but what has happened is since I started creating a lot of content, Google has been experimenting.
[00:39:36] The Brand SERP Guy: So when you start your Brand SERP, the top of the Brand SERP will be you, but the rest of it will be quite volatile and change a lot. Once you get it established, it will tend to be very stable. If you do what I did and create vast amounts of content very quickly, Google thinks, oh, there might be something more interesting. That’s a good sign. It’s watching me, it’s looking at my content. It’s understanding that I’m talking to my audience and it’s saying this might be, maybe the podcast, maybe the video, maybe this interview he did, maybe that interview he did, maybe the latest conference. So, it swaps them in to see what is the most interesting.
[00:40:13] Host: So, the main point is to create more and more content. I write all the content, yeah?
[00:40:20] The Brand SERP Guy: When you create the content, create it in a way that will stabilise your brand image to start with. Once you’ve done that, if you’re happy with it, keep creating content in that way in very focused manners. But if you want to experiment like I did, create lots of content in different places to see what happens. So if anybody’s interested, I do lots of experiments like the silly one at the end there. I love experimenting. I’m constantly experimenting. So, follow me on Twitter to see the experiments I shared in there.
[00:40:50] Host: Okay. Thank you. Do you have questions? Any questions? Yeah. This guy in blue shirt. Oh, my Lord. You can count you.
Controlling Your Blue Links Through Different Social Platforms
[00:41:02] Audience: Sorry, I’m not friends with the microphones. First of all, thanks for your time. It’s really a great presentation. And I have a question about the blue links you semi-control. Is there any niches where blue links works more negative than positive? For example, it can be like links from LinkedIn or Twitter or other social media when you’re working on promoting on you some social platforms.
[00:41:29] The Brand SERP Guy: Right. Yeah. Blue links from social platforms were really interesting question from two perspectives. One is you work very hard on a specific social platform and it doesn’t rank and something else is ranking, LinkedIn. You think that’s boring. There are two things there. One of which is that’s a sign that you’re not doing such a great job on the social platform you’re working on. So, it’s a critique of your strategy. So, you should start thinking about why can’t Google see, sorry, either why aren’t my audience engaging or why can’t Google see that they are. Both of which are phenomenally important questions. So, you need to look at that again if it’s not ranking.
[00:42:07] The Brand SERP Guy: Number two is LinkedIn will tend to rank because it’s informational business, especially in B2B. Number three is in each industry, different profiles, different social platforms tend to rank. And in Kalicube we’ve got the data where we can tell you in your industry for your type of entity business, for example, or person, these are the social platforms that dominate. In which case, you can then say, actually, I’m focusing on the wrong platform. If I started working on Tiktok, I would be wasting my time. But there are some less obvious ones. In the literature sphere, LinkedIn just doesn’t appear because it’s B2B. Facebook doesn’t dominate, Twitter does.
[00:42:56] Host: Thankful for that answer.
[00:42:59] The Brand SERP Guy: I hope it was satisfactory.
[00:43:01] Host: Do we have questions? Alright.
The Effect of Having Many Sites or Domains to The Knowledge Panel
[00:43:09] Audience: I have a question about Knowledge Panel. Either one brand and it’s works good. But I have a question about, for example, about another Nisha’s Leslie gamblings. For example, we have 5, 10, 15 markets and 15 domains. Is it makes sense to do something like that for those kinds of sites?
[00:43:33] The Brand SERP Guy: Oh, right, you mean you’ve got 15 domains for the same brand.
[00:43:37] Audience: It’s not the same brand but it’s…
[00:43:41] The Brand SERP Guy: Around the brand? You’re asking, can we create a PBN for Knowledge Panels?
[00:43:47] Audience: Not like PBNs. It’s like just different markets.
[00:43:50] The Brand SERP Guy: Sorry. I’m teasing you I do apologise. That was me having a silly joke. In fact, yes. What’s interesting about Knowledge Panels is even though it’s you talking about you and Google knows it’s you talking about you, it is corroborative information. So, obviously, creating 15. Google doesn’t need 15 repetitions from you.
[00:44:12] Audience: Okay. I have a different, for example, 10 sides for different markets, but it’s the same topic. But for the different kind of people in countries, it makes sense to do it for each country, the Knowledge Panel.
[00:44:30] The Brand SERP Guy: For each country, you would have, if you have a parent company with companies in each country, you would have a Knowledge Panel for each one. If you have just one company that’s running the websites in all the countries, you would have one Knowledge Panel that would appear on all the different countries. But the thing about that is you have to know is the Knowledge Panel will not necessarily contain the same information in every country. It varies from country to country depending on the audience and depending on where Google’s at with Knowledge Panels. I know it wasn’t your question. Sorry, I misunderstood the first time. That was the answer to your question.
[00:45:05] The Brand SERP Guy: Just to finish on the self-fulfilling prophecy, I keep saying it enough, Google will end up believing me, has immense diminishing returns. If I repeat it four times, Google will really take notice. The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, we’re getting a lot of diminishing returns. So, at some point, you need news articles, you need information provided by third-parties that isn’t controlled by you for that confirmation to continue. So, I liked the term self-fulfilling prophecy. You can get quite a long way with it, but you need to spread your bets later on with some news from third-parties who are authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy in your audience.
[00:45:52] The Brand SERP Guy: Do I get one of those? I’ll ask a question.
[00:46:00] Host: Okay. Okay. Ooh. Thank you, Jason. Thank you for your answers, for your presentation. Please.