Most businesses have their website pages on social media platforms to increase customer engagement. But does this information appear when you Google your business? In this episode, Jason Barnard, shares the importance of Brand SERP optimization for you and your business. Jason is a digital marketer who specializes in Brand SERP optimization and knowledge panel management. In this episode, he explains what brand SERP is and how it can be optimized to benefit your online business. He also shares some of the steps to create a desirable business profile for your brand. Tune in and take your marketing to the next level now!
Jason Barnard’s Story of Being a Musician to Being a Cartoon Blue Dog, and to Being The Brand SERP Guy
[00:00:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, now, I’m relying a lot on YouTube. I also do a lot of Twitter, so I’ve got the Twitter Boxes at the top, which indicate my interaction with my audience and that’s real-time control because my tweets feed into The Brand SERP right below my homepage. That’s brilliant. And both of those are driving as much business, if not more than my wider SEO strategy. So, that Brand SERP, Twitter, and YouTube strategy is where my business is growing which is absolutely delightful. So, I actually don’t rely on Google. I’m just using Google as a springboard and as a market research tool, which is delightful.
[00:00:38] Sam Wilson: Welcome to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate show. Whether you are an active or passive investor, we’ll teach you how to scale your real estate investing business into something big.
[00:00:50] Sam Wilson: Jason Barnard is The Brand SERP Guy, and he’s a digital marketer who specialises in SERP brand optimisation. Jason, welcome to the show.
[00:01:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you very much, Sam. That’s delightful.
[00:01:02] Sam Wilson: Hey, the pleasure’s mine. The Brand SERP, I want to get into that. But before we do, there’s three questions I ask every guest who come to the show. Can you quickly tell us, where did you start? Where are you now? And how did you get there?
[00:01:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard) Great set of questions. I started in Yorkshire in the north of England as a punk in the countryside. I move through Liverpool, played in the cabin club where the Beatles played, moved to Paris, played double bass in the streets of Europe for many years, seven or eight years, moved to Mauritius, made a cartoon for children, moved back to France, create the Kalicube, and became the Brand SERP guy.
What are Brand SERPs?
[00:01:39] Sam Wilson: Man. That’s a lot of moving pieces. Let’s jump into it then, in the spirit of time. I don’t even know what SERP is. What does it stand for?
[00:01:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s a really good question, simply because I forget that other people don’t necessarily know what it is. SERP is search engine results page. So it’s what you see on Google or on Bing or on Yahoo when you make a search. So, if somebody searches for red shoes, they will see a search engine results page about red shoes.
Your Brand SERP is your “Google business card” When People Search For Your Brand Name
[00:02:11] Sam Wilson: That’s interesting. All right. So you figured out that, hey, there’s a search engine results page. How did you turn that into a business? And how did you figure it out?
[00:02:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, well, there are loads of people who focus on getting businesses to the top of the search engine results page about four terms like buy red shoes, because businesses obviously know that if they can get to the top of Google for buy red shoes and they’re selling red shoes, they will sell more red shoes.
[00:02:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it’s a great opportunity to push your product out to Google’s audience, Google’s users. And the twist I’ve taken on it that I don’t think anybody else in the world, in my world at least, has taken is to say, let’s not, I don’t want to focus on co-products. I want to focus on the brand itself. What do your audience see when they Google your brand name when they search your brand name on Google? And for me, it’s your Google business card because your audience are gonna Google your brand name at some point in that journey. So, that’s phenomenally important, whatever business you’re in.
Creating and Representing Your Brand SERP Goes Beyond the Basics of Creating a Google Profile
[00:03:09] Sam Wilson: Yeah. This has to go beyond just the basics of creating a Google profile, sticking your business out there, making sure it’s right on the maps. Those are pretty elementary. I would think things that most people should be doing. It sounds like you go a lot deeper. Can you walk us through some of those things?
[00:03:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, well, it’s a really interesting point because what you’ve just described is where most people are at, and I think people in my industry at least tend to forget that. And that first step is saying I have a Google My Business, Google Business Profile. I fill that in for my local business. I might have a website, but maybe I don’t. But I certainly have a social media channel or two. And all of these are things that when somebody Googles your brand name are likely to appear on that first page and be part of your Google business card.
[00:03:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, whether or not you’ve got a website, certainly start with the Google Business Profile, which was known as Google My Business up until a couple of weeks ago. Your social profiles that will tend to rank Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, typically powerful in this sense. And the next step is say, if I don’t have a website, get a website, even a one page simple website that describes to your audience who you are, what you’re doing, how you might serve them and to Google who you are, what you do, and who you might serve. And if you already have a website, make sure that website actually does represent that triplet of who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
[00:04:36] Sam Wilson: That’s interesting. And that is what sounds like that would be the intro. That’s the very first and most basic of steps.
[00:04:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. 100%. I think that idea that Google’s a reflection of the world’s opinion of you. And so, if you look at what appears when you search your brand name on Google or indeed on Bing, you can immediately get an insight into how the world perceives you. And then, you can start to build on that to make a build a better perception, a perception that corresponds more to your own brand message. And you’d be surprised how many businesses, big businesses as well, don’t reflect or don’t have the brand message reflected accurately, positively, and convincingly on their Brand SERP.
Make Your Google My Business, Your Google Business Profile, as Lovely as Possible
[00:05:20] Sam Wilson: Yeah. And that’s so you call it Brand SERP. So, you’re learning something new here. I would have said Brand SERP. What are some best practices?
[00:05:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Just the SERP you’re actually right. It should be that. I just got lazy.
[00:05:36] Sam Wilson: Okay. Fair enough. That’s that’s no proper efficient, not lazy. Efficient.
[00:05:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. I missed the question because I interrupted you.
[00:05:44] Sam Wilson: No, it’s all good. No worries. So, what are some best practices that people should be employing when they are crafting their Brand SERP as you call it.
[00:05:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. If you’re a local business, first thing, make your Google My Business, your Google Business Profile as lovely as possible. Fill in all the different things that give you the opportunity for it because that’s direct control you have over what appears. Next step is look at your own web site. Look at the homepage because that’s what should be appearing right at the top. If it’s appearing right at the top, you want to make sure that the title, the blue link that Google shows and the description underneath really represent your business. And that’s going to be looking at your meta title and meta description, which is a little bit geeky and technical.
[00:06:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But if you’re using WordPress or Wix, there’s actually just a field that says SEO title. It’s called the SEO title in kind of normal parlance within, in Google terms, it’s actually called a meta title and meta description. So, you fill in the SEO title, SEO description so that Google knows what you want it to show your audience. And that’s the big failing is that most businesses don’t even let Google know what they want it to show. Because if it doesn’t know what you want it to show it certainly it’s going to make it up. And if it makes it up, it’s not going to correspond to what you wanted.
[00:06:58] Sam Wilson: Right, right. Yeah. So, that’s a good first step in best practice. And you’re convicting me already. I’m not even sure.
[00:07:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ll give you a couple of big brands examples. Amazon used to have up until May of this year or June of this year, it was cheap bicycles, Hi-Fi, and electronics or something like that. And they changed it in June to Smile More, Pay Less Amazon. That’s branding. What they had before was cheap salesmanship. And what they’ve suddenly realised 21 years too late or 23 years too late is that homepage on your Brand SERP at least is about branding, your brand message and that brand message is Smile More, Pay Less.
[00:07:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Second example is Coca-Cola. When you search it, it says Coca-Cola worldwide. Then it says Coca-Cola is a trademark of the Coca-Cola company, the Coca-Cola bottle shape trademark too, yeah, boo, sucks… and what they’ve done there is that the page, the international homepage for Coca-Cola has no content with a brand message. It just says copyright, copyright, copyright and Coca-Cola home. And it should say Coca-Cola. I think that logo slogan is Smile More, Pay More or something like that obviously not quite the same, but they have smile in there somewhere. And the people’s favorite drink or whatever it might be, it’s certainly not copyright because they do not provide to Google the terms and the sentences and the phrases and the brand messaging they want to show to their audience when their audience searches on Google.
You Want to Make Your Brand SERP Convincing, Impressive, and Professional to Convert More Clients
[00:08:45] Sam Wilson: Yeah. And tell me, what are some of the, obviously for these bigger companies, it seems to see the value it seems to make sense. For some of us smaller operators, and we’re doing real estate deals across the country, but why is it important to us?
[00:09:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It’s a great question simply because you think all the volume, the search volume is very low. For example, my small company, maybe 50 people a month search my brand name, but that was 50 people are the most important people to your business. That bottom of funnel or the post funnel, they’ve already converted or they’re thinking of converting. So, even if it’s only 50, it’s 50 people with whom you are doing business or you’re about to do business with, you want to make your Brand SERP, your Google business card impressive. And the kind of experience of what I was pitching my services seven or eight years ago, I would give my business card to potential clients and they would immediately just google me. They didn’t even look at the business card. They just google me. And that’s when I decided I had to make it look good. And I ended up converting many more after I made my Google business card look perfect little before because it made me look professional, it made me look convincing, and it made them think, yeah, this guy is the real deal. And that’s incredibly important.
It Takes Time and a Lot of Effort at the Beginning to Make Your Google Business Profile, Your Homepage, as Perfect as Possible
[00:10:05] Sam Wilson: There’s more to Brand SERP than just your Google My Business or what do they switch it to, by the way, I know you said Google My Business has changed now.
[00:10:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google Business Profile.
[00:10:18] Sam Wilson: Okay. Okay.
[00:10:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Very boring name.
[00:10:20] Sam Wilson: Right. I was expecting something more motivating.
[00:10:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I love that. More motivating. That’s exactly the term I would have used if I thought of it. You’re brilliant.
[00:10:32] Sam Wilson: Right. But I guess now it’s Google Business Profile. So on that note, there’s more to this though. There has to be more to this than, hey, just getting a Google Business Profile set up, getting it, the Brand SERP, getting your meta titles and your meta descriptions correct. Talk to us about the amount of time and effort you think that the average business should spend on the front end to really get this, the whole package dialed in and right.
[00:11:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right, yeah, it’s not enormous amounts of time, but I would say you would need to put in quite a lot of time at the beginning to optimise and to make as perfect as possible the Google Business Profile, your homepage and all of the other web pages that appear on that first page, which is going to be social media profiles, review sites, potentially industry sites in the real estate industry, the real estate association of Kentucky, whatever it might be. Make sure that that’s perfect because you control them or semi-control them. You can change the title in your social media profiles. So, that first step takes a little bit of time. It takes a little bit of effort. Once you’ve done that, it’s pretty much plain sailing. But what you can do if you’re really smart is you can look at your Twitter and you can think, well, I have the Twitter link ranking or the LinkedIn link ranking, how can I push that particular platform that Google sees as incredibly valuable and helpful and important to my audience? How can I drive more business through that? Because what Google is doing is saying to you, this is where your audience wants to interact with you. That’s where you should focus and what then happens.
[00:12:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We’ve been using YouTube because that started to rank on Kalicube’s Brand SERP. We built out our YouTube strategy and I’m pulling in loads of business through my YouTube channel because I’m pushing out content that my audience wants to engage with. And it was Google who gave me the clue, which is brilliant. So, now, I’m relying a lot on YouTube. I also do a lot of Twitter, so I’ve got the Twitter Boxes at the top which indicate, my interaction with my audience and that’s real-time control because my tweets feed into the Brand SERP right below my homepage. That’s brilliant. And both of those are driving as much business, if not more than my wider SEO strategy. So, that Brand SERP, Twitter, and YouTube strategy is where my business is growing, which is absolutely delightful. So, I actually don’t rely on Google. I’m just using Google as a springboard and as a market research tool, which is delightful.
You Don’t Need to be a Geek, Nothing that Jason Has Explained Here is Too Technical for You Not to Be Able to Make Your Brand SERP “Sexy”
[00:13:02] Sam Wilson: Do you think this is something that the average business owner can learn?
[00:13:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I don’t think anything that I’ve explained up until now is beyond any person who has a reasonable understanding of the internet. And we all do. For example, Twitter strategy. We all tweet, or we Facebook or we LinkedIn. It’s simply a question of building that out and using Google to tell you what the priorities need to be. The Google Business Profile just means claiming it. It means filling in some fields like the category, your telephone number, your address. It’s really not very complicated. And for your own website, it’s making sure that homepage does represent your brand message and you, and that you’re presenting that meta description, meta title. We can call them SEO title, SEO description that you want Google to present. And once again, I really want to reiterate. You don’t need a massive site. You need one page for this purpose, that one page that Google can show your audience right at the top so you can project your brand message through Google to your audience.
Jason Barnard Offers Consultations for People or Companies Who are Having Very Unique Problems Such as an Ambiguous Name or Bad Reviews That These People or Companies Need to Deal With
[00:14:12] Sam Wilson: What are some things that you find that people will come to you personally that are outside the average Joe’s solution capability?
[00:14:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. The average Joe or Joanne would be able to find all of this information easily. I’ve written a book which is aimed at the average Joe or Joanne, which is basically explaining this whole thing in detail at a level that doesn’t require any technical knowledge or SEO knowledge or even digital marketing knowledge. It explains it to you as a business owner or as a brand manager or as a marketer and says, here is how you can build your Brand SERP and build your digital strategy. It sounds enormous, but it’s not. It’s just a great digital approach to your branding and a web approach to your branding, how you can build that simply and easily from the Brand SERP outwards.
[00:15:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, there’s nothing complicated in that. And then, the people who do come to me for specific advice tend to have very unique problems. So, I tend to do consulting for companies and people, famous people sometimes, who have a specific problem, which can be an ambiguous name. It can be problems with the press. It can be bad reviews that they need to deal with. It’s not drown, it’s deal with it. It’s working out from a business perspective how you can deal with it and move forward. So, it can be negative or it can be saying I’ve got this great opportunity. I think people miss that. I’ve got some press. I’m on the TV next week. How can I leverage that through my Brand SERP and into the awareness of a wider audience who are going to be absolutely super happy to be engaging with me and my business.
The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)
[00:15:57] Sam Wilson: Right. Yeah. I think that’s genius. That’s really fascinating how all this works. You do have a book coming out. We got to talk about that a little bit off-air and you just mentioned it. So while we’re on topic, tell our listeners what that book title is and how they can find it and more importantly when?
[00:16:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. It’s called The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business. So, it’s all about using Brand SERPs from a very basic level in order to drive your online business or the online aspect of your business because obviously not every business is just online. But the online aspect and the offline aspect are now no longer dissociable. They live together. So, that’s incredibly important.
[00:16:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I wrote the book from a perspective of trying to bring this to the level of people who don’t know SEO, who don’t know digital marketing. I was tending to talk to the people who knew as much as I did or do. And I got the help of a marketing editor who basically helped me to make sure that I was speaking clearly. And that when I said SERP, I said it actually is SERP and it means search engine results page. Simple stuff like that that I miss because I’m over-complicating things cause I think I’m terribly clever. And in fact, all of this, and that was the secret that took me six months to do it is to boil it all down into something that’s accessible and understandable to any business owner or marketer.
[00:17:21] Sam Wilson: Yeah. And how do our listeners get in touch with you or are not in touch with you, but how do our listeners get a copy of that book?
[00:17:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, the book is going to be available on Amazon from the end of December, probably next week, which is the 22nd of December. We’re pushing it out with a special offer to start with and then pricing will go back to normal. And if you want to buy it, you can search for Brand SERPs and it will, I would think rank there on Google. So you can search for Jason Barnard. And if you search Jason Barnard, you will see my Brand SERP, search engine results page, and it basically allows you to interact and engage with me in the way you choose through LinkedIn, through Twitter, or I hope through this book.
[00:18:04] Sam Wilson: Wonderful. Jason, we’ve learned a lot today. I thank you for taking the time to break down some of this very strategic moves that we should be making. And probably a lot of us listening to this are going, gosh, I need to I’ve got some things to do. So thanks for taking the time to write that book. I look forward to getting a copy of that when it comes out.
Google Search Console is Google’s Presentation of What it Understands and How it Perceives Your Website
[00:18:23] Sam Wilson: Let’s wrap up with a final few questions here. A final four questions. I ask every guest who comes in the show. What is one tool or resource you find you can’t live without?
[00:18:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I actually built a platform that does exactly what I am talking about, which is build your Brand SERP and improve that and it’s called Kalicube Pro. So, I couldn’t live without that. But I built it for myself, so that’s cheating. In fact, I really love Google Search Console, which is Google’s presentation of what it understands and how it perceives your website. So, if you have a website and you haven’t looked at Google Search Console, definitely do so.
Make Sure You are Properly Presenting Your Brand and Your Brand Message to Your Audience
[00:19:02] Sam Wilson: That is interesting. Okay. Fantastic. Usually these questions are real estate related, but we’ll ask it from your perspective out on the digital marketing side of things. If you could help our listeners avoid one mistake in digital marketing, what would it be and how would you avoid it?
[00:19:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Probably my one mistake in digital marketing was to allow something that I didn’t feel represents me. I allowed it to dominate my Brand SERP. It was the blue dog from the cartoon that I mentioned right at the beginning. And that was the problem is that my potential clients would search my name and they would see Jason Barnard as a cartoon blue dog. And that was the mistake I made. I learned that to dominate. It was old news. It was really cool and really interesting, but it didn’t help my business. And that was a mistake. And I rectified that mistake and it started this whole career.
[00:19:55] Sam Wilson: That is fascinating. I love that. When it comes to investing in the world, what’s one thing you’re doing right now to make the world a better place?
[00:20:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): To make the world a better place. I’m helping people to look at Google less as a frightening machine that you should be scared of, more as a child you need to educate. And that’s my message is as a brand, I have a brand message. I have my own approach to my brand and my audience presumably agrees with me. I need to educate Google as to how I want it to present me to my audience when they’re searching for my name on Google. And I think that’s a really positive thing. Educating Google as a child is a really delightful approach to digital marketing, Google and SEO, which can be quite scary. So I hope I’m helping people to move into this field without too much fear and apprehension.
[00:20:51] Sam Wilson: Right. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Jason, if our listeners want to get in touch with you, learn more about you or Kalicube, what is the best way to do that?
[00:21:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. As I said earlier, search my name, Jason Barnard or Kalicube, and that basically my Google business card allows you to choose how you want to engage with me, Twitter, LinkedIn, my own site, my book, my platform. It’s up to you, which is part of the point.
[00:21:16] Sam Wilson: Absolutely. Jason, thank you for your time today. I do appreciate it.
[00:21:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I appreciate it. Thank you very much, Sam. That was delightful.
[00:21:22] Sam Wilson: Hey, thanks for listening to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate podcast. If you can do me a favor and subscribe and leave us a review on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, whatever platform it is you use to listen, if you can do that for us, that would be a fantastic help to the show. It helps us both attract new listeners as well as rank higher on those directories. So, appreciate you listening. Thanks so much and hope to catch you on the next episode.