SEO for Branded Search – Why it is vital to Your Bottom Line and What You Need to Do
Doing SEO on branded terms might seem simple, unprofitable, or perhaps even unnecessary. Not true. Starting with the exact match Brand SERP, and moving outwards to informational queries around the brand and questions about the brand, optimizing results for all manner of branded terms is intricate, vital to your business, and pays dividends.
Koray Gübür, Olesia Korobka, and Dave Davies join Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) to walk you through: why optimizing branded search is so important, techniques and strategies to do it effectively and efficiently, how to measure your success ultimately converting more bottom-of-funnel prospects and vastly reducing client churn.
Bonus: allocating just a small of your SEO efforts on branded search is the best way to build a more effective content strategy and vastly improve your E-A-T (with no extra effort required).
[00:00:00] Olesia Korobka: Hello and welcome to Duda’s webinar, SEO for branded search. Tell us where you’re from and do you have a personal Knowledge Panel in Bing or Google, or if you manage to trigger it for some other entity, such as your company or website or product. Don’t hesitate to ask questions all the way through. I’ll be tracking them and we’ll make sure that our glorious experts will answer some of those. You can do that in the chat box. And I also suggest that you subscribe to Duda’s newsletters or other webinars in the future in order not to miss them. This one is recorded, but we’ll be very happy if you can join us live and chat with us. Once again, it’ll be SEO for branded search, why it is vital to your bottom line and what you need to do along the way.
Introducing Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Who Is Also Called as Mr. Knowledge Panel
[00:00:52] Olesia Korobka: Now let’s present our speakers, Jason, The Brand SERP Guy, and SEO’s only hope as John Mueller himself called you. What can you add to that?
[00:01:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): There’s not very much you can add to John Mueller saying I am SEO’s only hope. He also called me the Knowledge Panel Guy, I think, Mr. Knowledge Panel, I think he called me. But I’ve actually got a presentation at the beginning of my talk. So I’m going to just say I’m The Brand SERP Guy. I love to analyse and optimise and try to understand how Google builds the SERP, the search engine results page, that represents your brand to your audience when they search your name.
Introducing Koray Tugberk Gubur, Owner and Founder of Holistic SEO & Digital
[00:01:35] Olesia Korobka: Okay. Then Koray Tugberk Gubur, is it right?
[00:01:40] Koray Gübür: Yes.
[00:01:42] Olesia Korobka: Holistic SEO expert. And I know that you’re among those very few people actually maybe counted on with their fingers on one hand that not only read patents, but also are able to understand them and implement them effectively. Is it right?
[00:01:59] Koray Gübür: Yeah. Yes. It’s right.
[00:02:01] Olesia Korobka: Can you tell us more about yourself?
[00:02:05] Koray Gübür: My name is Koray Tugberk Gubur and I am the owner and founder of Holistic SEO & Digital. And most of the time, this is a kind of intro for my articles or all of my other YouTube videos and sometimes even the TVs. And I try to focus on every vertical of the SEO. And I can tell you that it’s not so easy to do since 2019, because every vertical of SEO is already so deep from local SEO to the entity-oriented search or for data science approach or to do page speed optimisation or webpage loading timing performance optimisation. There are many books between every vertical. So I try to catch people. It’s not so easy, but I try my best.
[00:02:48] Olesia Korobka: Okay.
[00:02:49] Koray Gübür: I hope my voice is clear by the way.
[00:02:52] Olesia Korobka: I think, yes. I think it’s good.
[00:02:54] Koray Gübür: Okay.
Introducing Dave Davies, Lead SEO for Weights & Biases
[00:02:55] Olesia Korobka: Okay. Dave Davies, lead SEO for Weights & Biases, and it’s the machine learning company. And he’s also one of my favourite authors on Search Engine Journal. Yeah. Can you tell us more about yourself?
[00:03:11] Dave Davies: Sure. Obviously, I’m interested in machine learning. I’ll, in this sort of intro piece, just confess and Jason’s heard this story before with an embarrassing note. The first time I met Jason, it was at a conference years ago. And we were talking about Brand SERP or I was introduced to Jason as The Brand SERP Guy and knew him as Brand SERP and had thought to myself at the time, oh, isn’t that cute, like sort of a little subset of real SEO. That was just the approach that I had this mentality that I had.
[00:03:47] Dave Davies: And then now, this enormous recognition at somewhere in the last five years ago. Actually, it’s the cornerstone. Actually understanding your entity status and understanding how to control your Brand SERP is actually just the foundation of every good SEO strategy that could possibly exist there. A big sort of confession on mine for my arrogance and lack of insight into exactly what we’re talking about now today. And thankfully, because of pioneers like Jason in the area, I was able to catch up because they’re sharing their knowledge as much as they do.
Introducing Olesia Korobka, an SEO Entrepreneur, and Jason’s Thoughts for These Three People
[00:04:29] Olesia Korobka: Okay. Thank you very much. Myself, I’m Olesia Korobka. I’m just an SEO entrepreneur running my own few projects. And recently, I’ve also started working with startups. And maybe now, they have this brand search problem, especially when they are closer to the investor roundups. So maybe we’ll talk about that right after your presentation.
[00:04:52] Olesia Korobka: Jason, maybe you are ready to share it with us.
[00:04:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Brilliant. Absolutely wonderful. To be honest, three of my favourite people in the entire industry, both as human beings and as super duper smart people. And Dave, that introduction is delightful because I know I talk to people about it and I think, oh, it’s not very important, but it is fundamentally important. Koray, I understand you because you say, I try to dig down into something. And it’s such a deep rabbit hole and it’s so hard to get out. And I have so much respect for Dave for your writing as Olesia says, you are my, by far, my favourite writer in the industry. And Koray, for actually understanding the patents you read.
[00:05:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And as Olesia said, implementing the stuff, it’s astonishing. And Olesia, I know you asked the hard questions, but the hard questions are the good questions and the questions we need to answer. And I’m deeply, deeply happy that you asked me a hard question the other day. And I’ve included the answer in the presentation just this afternoon, because I thought Olesia scares me so much I don’t want her to ask me that question and I don’t have an answer.
Presenting the Topic: How to Own Your Branded Search
[00:06:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, how to own your branded search. Now, I focus on Brand SERPs, but this is going to be about a slightly wider topic. So I’m adventuring into uncharted territory slightly, but that isn’t to say I don’t know what I’m talking about. It just means that I’m widening the sphere of what I’m talking about. And as Dave said, it becomes not only the cornerstone but, don’t know, all the bricks on that foundation. And I think we really need to focus on that.
[00:06:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I call myself The Brand SERP Guy, which is actually now looks like the Brand Duda, which is slightly embarrassing. And the reason for that is that I focus on what appears when, what Google shows in fact when you search a brand name, a person’s name, or any entity name, as we’ll see later on. Now, the idea is, sorry, I’m also the Knowledge Panel Guy, Mr. Knowledge Panel, according to John Mueller, which is delightful and that’s terribly charming. It makes me giggle like a schoolgirl to think about it. John is a great guy. He’s very supportive. And it’s delightful for me to be recognised by somebody at Google, somebody of his stature as somebody who knows a great deal about Knowledge Panels. I hope I do.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Telling His Story Through His Brand SERP Starting From Being a Musician, Voice Actor, Podcaster, and Author
[00:07:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I’m currently living Paris. And as you can see, I’m going to start telling my story through my Brand SERP. And that’s the idea. My Brand SERP should represent who I am, what I do, who my audience is. So, I live in Paris, as you can see from this. I was a voice actor in a previous life, cartoon blue dog, as you can see from these results, IMDb. You can see the blue dog there. It’s a delightful TV show.
[00:07:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I was a punk folk musician. That’s the Barking Dogs down there in the right-hand corner. That gets a small place because it isn’t a big part of my current life. I’m managing to dominate my Brand SERP with my current life, which is a digital marketer and a podcast host. I have a groovy podcast, which is apparently intelligent, interesting, and fun. Dave’s been on it, Olesia has been on it, and Koray has been on it. And that is absolutely delightful. And we have Eric Camilleri from Paris who has joined us, which is delightful.
[00:08:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m also an author. I got the author boxes a few weeks ago, absolutely delighted about that. And I’ve now written a book. But I was writing the book to get the author panel and now I’ve got the author panel without the book. So it was a bit of a waste of time, but I think the book will be pretty good, finished it yesterday, should be out next week. And I also founded a company called Kalicube and we deal with Brand SERPs. We help our clients optimise them. We have a SaaS, a course, a set of courses, and a book.
[00:08:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if you’ve forgotten, I am The Brand SERP Guy. That is my Brand SERP. I’ve been working on that for seven years. And it gives you a good idea about the time it takes to actually get your Google business card right, to get Google to show your brand message the way you want it to to your audience when they’re searching for your brand name, your personal name, or whatever entity you happen to be looking after.
Three Types of Branded Search: Exact Match Brand SERP, Branded Terms, and Product SERP
[00:09:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, the approach today is going to be incredibly exciting. There are three types of branded search. You’ve got the exact match Brand SERP, which is what I focus on. That’s very much navigational or informational when the person looking or searching this brand name is navigating to your site or finding more information about you. And that, as you can imagine, makes that SERP incredibly interesting, incredibly important, incredibly valuable to you as a business.
[00:09:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Then there are the branded terms around your brand, the bottom and post funnel, which are generally informational, can also be commercial, but certainly the product SERP, which is the next level down, is the commercial stuff. When people are looking for your products and looking to buy that product because they know about that product. And we’re going to come to all that in a moment.
[00:09:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The interesting thing that I discovered when I wrote this or started preparing this slide deck is that basically a product SERP becomes a Brand SERP. And so, we actually loop back to the top and then we can go back down this list again. And that’s the point of the talk today is to go through all of these different branded searches and identify in fact that they are all in some way a Brand SERP. So they’re all part of my, don’t know what we can call it, stratosphere, because it’s so vast.
The Exact Match Brand Name, What Appears When Your Audience Searches Your Name on Google or Bing
[00:10:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, I’m going to start with my favourite topic, which is the exact match brand name, the Brand SERP. And I’m talking about the exact match brand name, what appears when your audience searches your name on Google. What do they see? And an exact match Brand SERP can be navigational primarily for well-known brands, such as Facebook. Now, SimilarWeb provide this data. 96% of people click on that first link or one of the sitelinks. That’s astonishing.
[00:11:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I was talking to Nathan Chalmers from Bing, who is the whole page algorithm guru at Bing. And he said, Facebook’s a great example. We use that because we know the vast, vast majority of people who search for Facebook just want to go to the site. It’s pure navigation. But for a lesser-known brand, like Kalicube, you’re looking at something which is more informational. People have heard about us. They don’t necessarily want to go straight to the site, but they certainly want to learn about us. And this is where your Google business card or in this case, the Bing business card becomes vitally important.
[00:11:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Why have I put Bing here? Because Bing might be smaller. It’s still, whatever country you’re in, it will vary, but perhaps 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10% of the traffic that you’re going to get or the people who are searching your brand name or your branded terms. And the other interesting thing is everything you are doing to build your Brand SERP for Google is going to help with your Brand SERP on Bing. And I looked at this couple of days ago. Bing actually does a better job than Google. Hate to say it, but the work I’ve been doing on Google has actually produced better results on Bing than it has on Google, and yet the results I produced on Google are absolutely perfect for me. So Bing is giving me double perfect for no extra cost, which is delightful.
The Brand SERP Represents Google’s or Bing’s Understanding of Your Brand and Your Relationship With Your Audience
[00:12:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Next, we move on to the idea that either way the Brand SERP represents Google’s or Bing’s understanding of your brand and your relationship with your audience. And as we’ll see later on, also, your reputation in its eyes. I just focus on page 1 and you can see here two page ones for two different brands, but you can look much deeper.
[00:12:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Dave was talking about this the other day. Looking on pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 is incredibly insightful, but my aim today and over the last couple of years has been to get people to start looking at page one. And the story for the other day, another day is once we start looking at page one, we can start thinking about pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. And Dave is being a little bit ambitious, a little bit too quickly. Although I know that you’ve delved into it so that isn’t a fair comment and I do apologise.
What is Key Performance Indicator for a Brand SERP?
[00:13:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, this is the question that Olesia asked the other day and I had to include it because the challenge was launched. What KPI for a Brand SERP? And it’s actually pretty simple. At Kalicube Pro, we’ve got SaaS, software as a service, and we actually track 70,000 brands, entities. And we’ve developed a score, which is the quality sentiment score and the control score over in the right top corner covered by the Duda logo, unfortunately.
[00:13:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the idea here is say, you need maximum control. So in this case, as dark or blue as you possibly can. In order to influence the results so that we have maximum quality, which is the green that we have here. Now, I’ve been working on Kalicube my own Brand SERP. So I get these great scores pretty much every time. We’ll see in a moment that it isn’t always like that.
[00:14:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I did a mock up here. And as you can see on Kalicube, you can track that quality over time. As we move through in the UK for the search on Kalicube, we can see that we went from these yellow neutral results, the Twitter boxes that weren’t ours, they were somebody else’s, through moving up from a score of C to B to A indicating that we’ve gone from not the greatest Google business card in the world in the UK to a really, really, really impressive business card that’s going to impress our audience.
[00:14:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we can also do that across georegions. And as you can see, it varies much more than one might expect. Kalicube, obviously, international brand, not a major international brand, but an international brand nonetheless. UK, France, and Canada, that was for you, Dave, because we get the best score in Canada. I think that might be because Dave might be helping me in his spare time at the weekends, but I’m not absolutely convinced about that.
Branded SERPs Are Important for Three Different Audiences: For Your Audience, for Google, and for You
[00:15:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, Branded SERPs are important for three different audiences. And I would always start with the exact match Brand SERP. I think one thing is, as you’ll see in this presentation, it becomes very, very deep. It’s a very deep rabbit hole and it becomes very deep very quickly. And as Koray said, you get lost very quickly in the amount of things you need to do as opposed to the complexity of the things you need to do. So, start with your exact match Brand SERP. If you can start sorting that out, it’s going to sort out a lot of the other problems around the brand as we’ll see. So, start with the foundations, start with the cornerstones, as Dave said earlier on, and then build out from there.
Branded SERPs Are Important for Your Audience, the People Who Need to See That You Are a Credible Solution
[00:15:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, we’re going to look at the three types of audiences that it’s important for. It’s important for your audience. They’re your clients, they’re your prospects, they’re investors, as you said earlier on, Olesia, your people who are in that round of funding, they’re your partners. They’re people who need to see that you are a credible solution, you’re a credible company, you’re credible for them to do business with you, whatever kind of business they’re going to be doing.
[00:16:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it’s your business card. They’re going to google your brand name, whether you like it or not. And if it looks bad, they might jump ship before even starting to do business with you. Or if they’re a client, they might jump to the competition if they think you don’t look credible enough and your competition looks more credible because they’re probably googling your competition’s Brand SERP.
Branded SERPs Are Important for Google; It’s Google’s Opinion of the World’s Opinion of You
[00:16:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Two, it’s also important for Google. It’s Google’s assessment of your brand. It’s Google’s opinion of the world’s opinion of you. And we could say that’s a measure of EAT. If it thinks you’re an expert, an authority, and trustworthy, and it understands who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, your Brand SERP, your exact match Brand SERP is going to look phenomenally good. If it doesn’t understand you or it thinks you’re not credible, expert, authoritative, and trustworthy, it won’t look so good. And it’s a really easy KPI, if I may, Olesia, for you to look at to understand how well Google has understood who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, but also to understand what its assessment of your credibility is.
Branded SERPs Are Important for You Because It’s a Phenomenal Insight Into Your Digital Ecosystem
[00:17:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then it’s important for you, because it’s a phenomenal insight into your digital ecosystem. What Google is putting on your Brand SERP is exactly what it thinks is valuable, helpful to your audience. It’s a prioritised list of what it thinks your audience is interested in. And as you go through the pages, as I said earlier on, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, you can get a deep insight into all the things that are out there that Google considers to be important. And Google has a phenomenal reach to understand what is important, what is relevant, and what is being looked at and has an influence on your audience when they’re surfing around the rest of the web interacting or not with your brand.
[00:18:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But before we continue, that trio of interested parties applies to all branded search. It’s really important to remember that the three steps we had earlier on, the exact match brand, the branded terms around that brand, and the products themselves applies to, sorry, all of these three audience are interested in every single term that includes your brand name or a product name.
What to Do for the Exact Match Brand SERP?
[00:18:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what to do for the exact match Brand SERP. You work to educate Google so that it builds your Brand SERP to serve your audience the way you want. And that’s important. You spent loads of time, loads of money building up your brand presentation, how you represent your brand. There is no reason on earth why Google would not represent your brand the way you expect it to, the way you want it to. Get your brand message across that you’ve worked so hard to build and push out on social media and push out onto the PR platforms.
[00:19:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google will represent you the way you want if you educate it to what you want, as long as what you want is fair representation of you. So we’re looking at educating Google as opposed to trying to beat the machine. We’re educating a child who wants to understand what’s important to your audience and what you want to say to them. And if you have fair things to say to them, Google will, in your place, say that to them when they search your brand name.
Looking at Your Own Site and Giving Attention to Your Social Media Platforms
[00:19:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you need to look at your site, obvious. This is where SEO generally stops, my site. And this is where Brand SERP is going to take us into a totally new dimension. It’s absolutely delightful. So, you start off with your own site, your homepage, the Rich Sitelinks, the different page on your site that people might want to go to, including the login page, interestingly enough, which you might have the indexed or no indexed, the Contact Us page, the about page. These are incredibly important. They sit right at the top of the Brand SERP and are phenomenally important and often overlooked in SEO.
[00:20:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But you also want to look at your social media. And this is a screenshot from Kalicube Pro that indicates within my industry. These are the social media platforms that dominate, which means that I need to be focusing on these because these are the social media platforms that will dominate Brand SERPs in general and probably appear on my Brand SERP.
[00:20:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, social media is something I never paid much attention to until I started looking at the Kalicube Pro data and realised that it’s phenomenally important because they dominate the blue links and which one dominates here. It’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Crunchbase, and Twitter. And I need to focus on those, which we’ve done. And we’ve improved our Brand SERP immensely simply by focusing on the right social media platforms.
Looking at Your Content Strategy and Giving Google Rich Content That It Can Use and Show in Your Brand SERP
[00:20:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then the content strategy. As you’ve probably seen, I’ve got gazillions of videos, and that’s been the last couple of years. The idea there is to push the message out to allow Google to show these great videos and the Crunchbase profile and my own articles about my own company on my Brand SERP, which it does because I’m representing the company, I’m representing myself fairly, honestly. And it gives Google, I don’t know how you say it in English because I’m French, although I don’t sound it, “de la matière”. I’m getting a bit confused. I’ve been speaking French all day and I’ve forgotten how to speak English.
[00:21:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It gives Google content that it can use, this rich content that it can use and show on your Brand SERP. And the offshoot of that is that my content strategy is now bringing me in great, thank you Lidia Infante, sorry, the content strategy that we’ve built up, the social strategy is bringing me in clients and Google is now my bonus, which is a delightful approach.
Looking at Service Reviews, PR Strategy, and Knowledge Strategy
[00:21:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We also want to look at service reviews. They rank very well. They’re very good for credibility, EAT. And the PR strategy, pushing out PR so that these media platforms are writing about my brand. Obviously, that’s great for inbound links and that’s why most people do it, but I actually do it because I want to help Google to understand a) who I am, b) that I’m authoritative, c) that my audience appreciates me. And that helps me build a better Brand SERP. And as you can see, by doing PR for my Brand SERP, I’m building links, I’m building credibility, I’m building authority, I’m building a recognition of my expertise. So, we’re winning on pretty much every SEO front.
[00:22:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And of course, a knowledge strategy. This is one thing that we’re not going to go into today. Building a Knowledge Panel, building Google’s understanding, phenomenally important. The Entity Home is your site, a page that represents your entity on your site. And you need to make sure that you get corroboration around the web about who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, so that Google, and let’s come back to that, educate Google so that it understands and that it is confident that it’s understood. That is your knowledge strategy. Once again, loads of inbound links, loads of EAT going on here. Your SEO strategy is going to go through the roof.
Search Terms That Contain the Brand Name: Answering Questions Around Your Brand
[00:23:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Next, search terms that contain the brand name. These are bottom and post funnel. They’re people who are either about to buy from you, about to invest in your company, or have already bought from you and you need to keep them on board. So these are branded terms as opposed to the exact match brand name. And there, we’re looking at this query. I won’t read them to you. You can all read. Obviously, I’ve focused a little bit on Kalicube. The XXX is just random company. Let’s not worry about that.
[00:23:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And there, we’re looking at questions and answers. And as you can see, as you will see, sorry, with this strategy is the first thing to say is what questions are people asking around my brand, start to answer them, and build that out. And as you can see here on the right-hand side, one of my clients, we did this strategy and we’ll see during the presentation how well it actually functioned. We started with our Brand SERP, with the PAA, the People Also Ask, where we didn’t answer any of the questions. We answered those questions first, and then we spread out from there. And as you will see, it works an absolute treat. We provided the answers to user questions and gave them the opportunity to learn more about us from us.
Dominating Branded Searches Through How-To’s, FAQs, Organic Results, Featured Snippets, and People Also Ask
[00:24:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And this is what happened. We built an FAQ section. We have Ubigi eSIM, which is the product, the brand itself, sorry, on the left-hand side and the general questions around eSIMs and the problems that people have with that on the right-hand side. So we split into two, brand, non-brand. We build the FAQ and that’s the traffic graph, one of those delightful, not quite a hockey stick. This is more of a slow and steady builds up and becomes phenomenally, phenomenally powerful.
[00:25:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We created an FAQ. We created how-to’s within that FAQ. We created videos and demos. This isn’t actually the site. This was a mistake. This is my own videos and demos because I haven’t yet built my own FAQ. And we ended up with Ubigi dominating the branded searches through how-to’s, FAQs, the organic results, the featured snippets, the People Also Ask on every single SERP, pretty much every branded search. And all we did was answer the questions that our customers and our bottom-of-funnel prospects were asking.
[00:25:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We then spread that out to answer questions to dominate the topic. And as you can see here, we answer questions around Android eSIMs, Apple eSIMs, iPhone eSIMs, and started to dominate that too. So you are then driving middle-of-funnel traffic, middle to bottom-of-funnel that is not branded. And that’s where you’re getting a new audience. So it really does spread out incredibly well.
Second-Level Brand Queries: Building a Great Brand SERP for Each and Every One of Your Products and Services
[00:26:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Then, we can move on to second-level brand queries, which are products and services. So you have the idea of my exact match brand, my brand plus reviews or my brand plus how-to, and then we have the products. So in the case of our friends at Nike, that would be Air Jordan. In the case of Kalicube, it would be The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business, which is the book I mentioned earlier on, or it would be Kalicube Pro SaaS. So, I need to treat these as entities. And every entity has a Brand SERPs. So, actually, what we’re now doing is going back to the top and saying, now I need to look after my Brand SERP for this specific product. Let’s call them an entity SERP as we move forward.
[00:26:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what to do? You want to build a great Brand SERP for each and every one of your products and services. Treat it as a separate entity. You’ve built your Brand SERP for your company. Then you want to move down and say, now I want to build a great Brand SERP for each and every one of my products and services. And at Kalicube, we actually have a couple of clients who are starting to do this. And it’s phenomenally powerful. And it is phenomenally helpful to their business in the sense that these products and services queries, entity queries are much closer to the bottom of the funnel, that commercial intent we are going to buy.
[00:27:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And here you can see I’ve picked up the Kalicube process platform entity SERP, and it looks pretty good. We’ve got videos because we’ve been producing videos. We’ve got Rich Sitelinks. Pretty much all of that is either totally controlled or semi-controlled or has those reviews, which is absolutely delightful. So that would be a product SERP, which I would call a Brand SERP, entity SERP, that you need to control, you need to optimise, you need to make look like the greatest possible business card for your product or your service. So, consider that the exact match product SERP is as important as your Brand SERP. Once you’ve got your Brand SERP sorted out, don’t run before you can walk, start with your Brand SERP, move onto your product is my advice.
Entity SERPs Are Important for the Users, for Google, and for You
[00:28:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we can call that the entity SERP. Now, we’re going to spread it even wider. The Brand SERP rabbit hole just got so much deeper because every single entity has a Brand SERP and every single entity needs to be optimised. These are my icons, the delightful illustration style that our designer created for us. You’ve got a corporation. You’ve got a person. You’ve got a product. You’ve got an application. You’ve got an event. You’ve got a book. You’ve got a TV series. You’ve got a software as a service. You’ve got a car. You’ve got a record. You’ve got a music group. You’ve got a local business. You’ve even got a website, which is an entity in and of itself. And they all need to be optimised for their Brand SERP.
[00:29:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, a reminder that entity SERPs are important for the users, the audience, the people who are looking for that entity. It’s important for Google because it’s an assessment of its opinion of the world’s opinion of that entity. And it’s a measure of its understanding of that entity and the audience that is going to be interested by that entity. And we won’t go down this rabbit hole, but that has big, big implications for things like Discover where Google’s going to be pushing information to people because it knows they’re interested in that topic, that entity represents that topic, has credibility for that topic. Another rabbit hole I will try to avoid going down. I’m not doing a very good job.
[00:29:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And entities are also important for you because it’s a window into the entity’s digital ecosystem. Just like your brand, your product has an ecosystem, and you need to look after it. And your Brand SERP pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 is an incredibly good way to see how the world perceives your product so that you can actually put it right. You can deal with those reputation questions, reputation issues proactively and ensure that the product is seen as being valuable and credible for your audience.
Kalicube Offers Solutions for Brand SERPs: Book, Courses, and SaaS Platform
[00:30:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, to finish up, just to say, I’ve been working on this for a while. Kalicube offers A to Z solutions for Brand SERPs. You have the beginners. The book’s coming out next week, the Brand SERP book. We have intermediate. You want to go for the Brand SERP courses, where I teach a great deal. I know Dave’s done the courses and quite enjoyed them. And we have advanced for the Brand SERP specialist, which is a SaaS Platform that helps agencies and experts understand, analyse, and improve the Brand SERPs and their digital ecosystem by extension really from the root, the core of it upwards.
[00:30:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, that was my presentation. I’ve got all the solutions you need at Kalicube. And I’ve just presented to you all the problems with the general explanation of what the solutions might entail.
Why Is the Work on Brand SERPs Underestimated in the SEO World?
[00:31:06] Olesia Korobka: It was brilliant. Thank you, Jason. So, after your presentation, what we’ve seen that it is very important. It’s beneficial and all that to keep up with the Brand SERPs and to optimise for them, but why this work is so underestimated? Even some big SEOs in the SEO world, they are sometimes underestimating that a bit, under rating that, I would say. What can be done to get more value for the SEO world for these work?
[00:31:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think Dave should answer that question because I could talk for 30 minutes straight.
[00:31:48] Dave Davies: Yeah. I think, to me, part of the equation or part of the sort of puzzle fit back together, oddly, when I started, Koray has probably read some of the same ones, when I started reading patents and the patents on entities and starting to put the pieces together and going, oh, wait, no matter what I’m covering on my website, no matter which entities I’m dropping in there, no matter what relationship I might be trying to put out there as far as the topics that I’m covering, if I’m not on my site and on the web as a whole attaching those to me, what value do they have?
[00:32:25] Dave Davies: And so, it brought me back to going, oh, wait, I need to solidify my home base first and then start moving these pieces in. And for a lot of companies, you’ll already be well on your way. So, okay, you’re going back and doing your brand after the fact. I’ve done that many times as well, but it’s the foundational to go all roads lead to Rome. You need to make sure that you’re Rome to build those roads to.
[00:32:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that Rome is clean.
Knowledge Panels Are Not Quick Wins But They Are Big Wins
[00:32:56] Olesia Korobka: I think that Koray can add to that because you are sharing real value and your achievements when you do. So that maybe when you share that, you are making it more valuable for everybody. So people start paying more attention.
[00:33:12] Koray Gübür: Thank you. So I believe most of the SEOs didn’t focus on the Knowledge Panels or Information Panel. In the patents, they call these Knowledge Panels as Information Panel usually. So main reason is that I believe they don’t think that they will be able to change them because it takes too much time, first of all. And second of all, since I also start to manage an agency lately, I know that most of the clients, they just want to focus on the big wins, the quick wins all the time. And Knowledge Panels, they’re not quick wins, but I believe that they’re big wins actually.
[00:33:45] Koray Gübür: And another thing here is that it has a kind of chain of effect. Because if you’re able to define yourself with a different type or with a different types of association with different phrases, you will be able to create a better relevance for that. Imagine that you have a company, but Google didn’t associate you or didn’t cluster your company with other good companies. And imagine that some other sources shut off you in the knowledge base or on the SERP or some other types of information graphs. So this is an indirect but really, really strong effect and only people with deep understanding can actually see it. And that’s why popularisation of the Knowledge Panels or democratisation of the Knowledge Panels on the SERP is really important. And it’s a transition phase.
[00:34:35] Koray Gübür: So, I believe in the future it will be very much more popular. Because in India, Google already made some experiments with Knowledge Panels. They created personal Knowledge Panels for regular users, and now they try to expand that experiment further. So I believe we will have a kind of profile on the SERP. Actually, we already have, but in a more controllable way. And I believe Google will try to make it a kind of homepage for everyone, so a kind of Facebook for everyone on the SERP for the name, and it will change things. This is a kind of early step and Kalicube Pro is a pioneer of that stage.
Google is Your Business Card and Potentially a Homepage
[00:35:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m glad I didn’t interrupt you because you gave us the Kalicube is a pioneer in that stage, which is brilliant. I just wanted to add one thing, which is that idea of Google is your homepage is what people in the local SEO space have been saying for years.
[00:35:29] Koray Gübür: Yes.
[00:35:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google is your business card. It’s potentially a homepage. We’re moving that way. And the other thing, just before I pass back to Olesia, sorry, is that it will be more controllable potentially, but Google My Business remember has, let’s say, half of the information that you control through your Google Business Profile management, but the other half is knowledge that Google is pushing in that you have no direct control over. So, even if you have control over your Knowledge Panel, even if you’ve claimed it, even if you have that personal profile you were talking about, Koray, you still need to make sure that you solve the fundamental underlying problems of Google’s understanding, because otherwise it will fill that Knowledge Panel with rubbish. Sorry.
An Example Where a Client Wants to Be Seen With Her Profession in Her SERP Instead of Somebody’s Ex-Wife
[00:36:15] Koray Gübür: Definitely. And I believe also, especially celebrities, they will need these type of services very much more. For instance, I already have one client in this space and she doesn’t want to be seen as ex-wife for someone from her past, because Google just says that this person is the ex-wife of someone else. So at the moment, she tries to create a digital identity on the SERP. And she wants to be announced with her proficiency, which is a dentist, and she’s a really, really successful dentist. And she tries to change this.
[00:36:53] Koray Gübür: So, on this aspect, also the micro-context on the query popularity make these things a bit harder because all of the queries are just about whether the person divorced or not, whether who was the ex-husband, etcetera. So all these queries manage Google to do that context. And at the moment, I try to create more sources and more information for other aspects of the same person entity. So it’s a fun area for, really, really fun area for this. Also, it’s communicating with the search engine so that they can change the SERP. So it’s a really, really powerful perspective and new battlefield for all the SEOs. I can tell you it’s fun.
The Importance of Being Proactive Instead of Reactive in Dealing With Your Reputation Management Problem
[00:37:34] Dave Davies: I think one area that I think it’s overlooked when we’re talking about the value of Brand SERPs as well is whether you want to be reactive or proactive. If you’re a business, you don’t always know what’s going to happen tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now. Jason, you talked earlier and yes, I’ve taken the courses. You talk about it. So, folks, you can hear about it in there. One of the highlights missing is anybody’s ever been hired to do reputation management ever is basically following one of the fundamentals of Brand SERP is control as much as you can and move, basically try and plug it only with things that you can control in some way. It may be Twitter, but it’s your Twitter. It may be, ideally, and it may be at its core places where you can control the message.
[00:38:23] Dave Davies: I think to that, if you’ve ignored it and you have a problem, you don’t have a place to deal with that, if you have a reputation management problem. And I’ve seen that many times. It’s, oh, okay, now we’re trying to push up the messages and the pages that we want where we can control the message. And you’re having to deal with it in the past rather than being more proactive, covering your Brand SERP in the beginning, and going, okay, we have a reputation management problem, but it’s over here. I need to deal with it, but it’s over here. It’s not position there right on my Brand SERP where everybody’s going, well, don’t hire that realtor, they’re horrible, and they’re a scam artist or something because somebody ran off and got upset.
[00:39:06] Dave Davies: So, I think that’s one of the sort of the unsung things. And it’s hard to put a KPI on that because you don’t know you needed it until you need it, but you don’t know the value of what it would’ve cost, because thankfully you got ahead of the game.
[00:39:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.
Brand SERP Optimisation by Creating a New Entity Registration With the Knowledge Base
[00:39:20] Olesia Korobka: Yeah. I think that the KPI problem is one of the biggest when you’re trying to evaluate this thing, because I know some companies which extract branch traffic from SEO, like achievements. So they don’t measure it at all. They say, they take it for granted, so they don’t want to. I don’t do anything with that, but I know that, Koray, you told that you had some achievements with your brand traffic actually.
[00:39:50] Koray Gübür: For my own company or for my clients?
[00:39:52] Olesia Korobka: For your client company, for a client company that you had good results by working with the brand traffic and you could achieve more.
[00:40:02] Koray Gübür: Yes. Actually, two of my past SEO case studies include this type of Brand SERP optimisation as well, because for one of them, it was a sub company of another really, really big holding. And I tried to connect that small company to do that big holding, which is a direct signal for the EAT. Because if you have that kind of a connection possibility, you should actually use it.
[00:40:28] Koray Gübür: For another one, I have created a new entity registration with the knowledge base by creating some other types of sources. For that one, I can tell you that the biggest signal was, again, the Wikipedia page, but I have used other places too, so that I could justify that Wikipedia page. And after I record or register that specific entity to that specific knowledge base, even the Google My Business profile or even the autocompletions started to change.
[00:40:55] Koray Gübür: And one of the most popular methodologies that Google uses is that engram matching or engram comparison. They can take your definition from third-party references. They can check actually all of the popular engrams from there, and they can check also the autocompletions or other types of queries, and they can match these things. For instance, if it is about candidate passage answers, they usually use trigrams. But for another topic, they can use diagrams, etcetera. This type of phrase matching methodologies they actually help search engine to create a better predictable SERP for people’s demand.
[00:41:33] Koray Gübür: So in my aspect, I actually use these type of entity registrations to be able to create a topical relevance for that targeted industry for my brands. And after I create that Knowledge Panels, for instance, Google started to show my client within other competitors’ Brand SERP as well. So it was a good connection. In People Also Ask questions or in also the local search, I started to appear these places. So it’s also not just about dominating your own SERP, but also you can a little bit jump on your competitors too, which is most valuable traffic.
Mastering Your Own Brand SERP to be Able to Encroach on Your Competitors’ Brand SERPs
[00:42:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): One of the interest things about that is once you’ve jumped on your competitors’ SERP in the People Also Search For, the entity boxes at the bottom of the SERP, they’re really difficult to get rid of. They’re one of the hardest things to control. So, this is something that almost none of your competitors will actually be able to deal with. You’ll be sitting on their Brand SERP and they won’t be able to do anything about it.
[00:42:35] Olesia Korobka: And I think you’ve mentioned that you can also optimise for FAQ section on their SERPs and appear there.
[00:42:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That’s another example, if you want to encroach on other people’s Brand SERPs. The advantages of mastering your own Brand SERP means you can actually start to look at how you might be able to encroach on your competitors’ Brand SERPs. And I’m sure the boss of any company will be terribly pleased to be able to do that. There’s actually an echo. I think, Koray, you might have an echo on your microphone. Right. So, the more you master your own branded search, the more you can potentially encroach on your competitors’ branded search.
[00:43:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So the People Also Ask is, which is what you’re talking about, and I like to talk about building from the Brand SERP outwards. And that goes for your SEO strategy, your digital strategy more generally, but also that question and answer strategy, the FAQ section. You start with the PAA that appear on your Brand SERP. You expand those. You move onto the questions underlying those questions by clicking on the result to the next page. You use Koray’s technique of looking at the dropdown menu when you start searching for things. You look at the related search of the bottom. And you build out the questions around your brand. You answer them simply one question-answer per page, not the accordion system, which won’t function.
[00:43:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And as you grow that out, you are answering the questions that your users, your audience are asking about and around your brand. That has to be valuable, because they’re searching for that on Google. They don’t come to your site and search for it on your site. They go to Google and search for it. So you need to be number one for every single question around and about your brand.
Solving a Problem of a Site Move Confusion Through a Profound Understanding of Brand SERPs
[00:44:20] Olesia Korobka: And, Dave, maybe you’ve even used machine learning for that.
[00:44:27] Dave Davies: Now, I work with machine learning practitioners more than I tootle around with it myself. I struggle with an occasional co-lab here and there and have some fun with that sort of stuff, but I have a lot of great phone-a-friends to assist me on making that work. But looking into the, talking about looking into the machine, so, yes, on that one. And, Jason, I use different systems but you actually have it as a free tool on your site, the Knowledge Graph explorer.
[00:44:54] Dave Davies: One of the benefits, I think, of Brand SERP, actually I know so I won’t even say I think, I know of understanding brand search came up a couple years ago when somebody had come to me and they’d done a site move and it was a total train wreck. And a lot of the lessons that I had picked up from brand search helped me immeasurably in figuring out what the problem was that I would not have known had that not been something that I had done or were I not, like Koray, digging into patents and going that side. And it ended up coming into the machine ID and the confusion over the confidence score of how this move was handled. So they were still thinking of an old company name as a new one.
[00:45:36] Dave Davies: And it was only because, by that point, I had learned enough about Brand SERP to respect what Jason had been talking about, going back to meeting him five years ago, and going, oh, okay, this is a thing, and then actually understanding which tools to go to, to go, oh, okay, this actually is in the machine. The machine is not understanding what we are and what we’re doing. So, now we need to go to just the typical brand search reinforcement. We need to make that happen, but I knew exactly what, where the problem was. I knew, okay, we need to weaken this one, strengthen this one, both of these two things are causing some confusion.
You Can Look at a Brand SERP and Get an Idea of Major Technical SEO Problems That May Exist at a Glance
[00:46:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Can I add something there? Because a lot of that was really the geeky machine learning side and people go, oh, there’s nothing I can really do because I don’t have Dave’s or Koray’s knowledge or Olesia’s knowledge for that matter. But in fact, I have a series called the Daily Brand SERP. And I just look at a Brand SERP and I provide one to two minute explanation about what I’m seeing. And the example of looking at a Brand SERP and figuring out a problem is that, for example, I can immediately see by looking at the Brand SERP if the page is no index, if the robots.txt says disallow, or even if there’s a redirect problem, automatic geo targeted redirect problem, or if you don’t have the Rich Sitelinks, you know that you’ve got a site structure problem or a content problem on those basic pages like Contact Us and About Us.
[00:47:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So what’s really interesting is that you can look at a Brand SERP and get a really good idea of some of the really major technical SEO problems that might exist. And I found that incredibly exciting and interesting because you can do it at a glance. I love Brand SERPs.
One Question per Page Versus the Accordion Approach; Do You Separate Your FAQs Onto Different Pages per Question?
[00:47:21] Olesia Korobka: Yeah. There is a question actually, which is the latest one, but it is about what we’re speaking. Can you, it’s by Christy Broccardo, can you explain one question per page versus the accordion approach? Do you separate your FAQs onto different pages per question?
[00:47:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Oh, sorry. Yeah. That was a bit of a throwaway comment that I made. Basically, the idea of an accordion system is that you search something, you come on the page, but then what happens is the user has a really bad experience. They have to go through all of them to find the question they were actually asking, whether it’s a search on your own site or whether it’s a search on Google. When it’s one question per page, you can actually just say, right, here is the answer on my mobile. I turn up. I’ve got the simple answer to my simple question. I’m satisfied. And everything’s hunky-dory and wonderful. And then if you want to, you can put the related questions underneath. That’s a really good idea.
[00:48:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You want to divide or organise your FAQ into categories. So, I say the basic categories are your brand and around your brand or the topic that the brand is an expert in. And then within that, you would have subcategories. And for me, the really important thing that most people miss out on is something my ex-wife taught me about graphic design is you want to make it infinitely scalable, infinitely adaptable. You should think of every possibility and it should always fit easily and logically into one of the categories you’ve created. If you do that, you don’t have to reorganise your whole FAQ three years down the line, which is always very complicated, also always very dangerous.
[00:48:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, two basic categories, your brand, around the brand, the topic of the brand, and then subcategories depending on your industry and your audience and their interests and their questions. But definitely, one QA per page seems like a lot but it actually works really well. And the other thing is you don’t have to create 300 words for every single page. If a question only takes 50 words to answer, 50 words will do it. Don’t overthink it. Don’t fluff it out. Think of yourself as a user. If you were going to that page and you were expecting a really short 50-word answer and it gave you 2000 words, you would be very frustrated and annoyed. You would bounce and that page would end up not ranking. So, be pragmatic, be logical, think like your own audience. Lovely.
Generating More Sources and Multiple Answers From Different Websites Will Make Your Brand Dominate the SERP Than Your Competitors
[00:49:47] Olesia Korobka: I know that Koray certainly has something to add to that.
[00:49:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I bet he does. Yeah.
[00:49:51] Olesia Korobka: Is it does the same way?
[00:49:55] Koray Gübür: Yeah. Jen Hill actually has a great question. She asks that if someone collects a link from your SERP and if she or he goes to the competitor’s SERP, what we can do. Actually, in Kalicube Pro, there is a kind of text management section for that too, because you can actually extract all of the People Also Ask questions from your competitors and also from your SERP. And then you can also extract the answers from there. And from the most possible and relevant webpage sample, you can create a kind of answer. And then, since Google were able to classify these or cluster these questions and answers together, from time to time, they will start to switch the answers and start to test them out.
[00:50:42] Koray Gübür: And once your answer is better than theirs, they will start to choose your answers and you will be able to occupy other people’s or other competitors’ SERP as well. So, being able to generate more sources also will be necessary. Because if you answer a single question from a single domain or source multiple times, probably Google will choose the most popular one and they will cluster it. But if you have multiple websites and if you have multiple answers from different websites too, it will increase your chance for this type of invasion. I am not saying that use that, but it’ll be a methodology there with you.
Not Addressing the Questions Around Your Brand Is a Big Miss
[00:51:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): What I love about that answer is that I built the Kalicube Pro platform and Koray is using it in ways I had never thought of.
[00:51:32] Dave Davies: I love that answer too, because it just, it heads right into the practical. It’s what I really, really appreciated about that answer is, okay, yes, it’d be great if we all just had authority into separate spaces. But in the People Also Ask, they’re going to pick for multiple sources. I’m sure I get why Koray didn’t want to go and so do this and go and get your answers in a bunch of different places. But practically speaking, if you want to control the message and the People Also Ask, go and put your answers in multiple places.
[00:52:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): What’s astonishing about the People Also Ask is the lack in Brand SERPs of control that the brands have. 10% of brands actually control any of those People Also Ask. They think their Brand SERP looks wonderful and it probably does, but they’re not answering the basic questions around their brand. And that’s a really strong signal that you aren’t addressing the questions and the problems of your audience directly. And that’s a big miss, not just on your Brand SERP, but throughout your business. You’re missing your audience and what their needs are.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on the Problem of Ambiguity With His Podcast’s Name and His Old Cartoon Series, Boowa and Kwala
[00:52:35] Olesia Korobka: And if we return a bit to how to make it more valued and more important, maybe there are some quick wins. Also, I know that it takes a long time walking with your Knowledge Panel and your Brand SERP but, for example, recently, a few months ago, Google started making Knowledge Panels for podcasts. And there is a question from Normand Lemieux. How important was your podcast, Jason, in getting such a beautiful SERP? I’ve even seen some people naming podcasts with their company name or their own name and making it as if it’s their own Knowledge Panel because it’s very easy. You get it in one week or two and you are having it already. So, maybe there are some other fast things you can do to get your Brand SERP beautiful and shiny.
[00:53:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Can I just answer the two questions that I’ve just heard there and then I’ll let Dave answer the quick wins on the Brand SERP? Number one is the podcast didn’t play any role in that beautiful Brand SERP at all. I built it without the podcast. The podcast came later on. The podcast is an addition. And that also brings to mind the fact that the podcast is not the same entity as me. So, I’ve called it With Jason Barnard. And that was a test to see how well I could control it because there’s immense ambiguity between With Jason Barnard and with Jason Barnard, the entity. And so, the idea of naming your podcast after your company or after yourself creates ambiguity that’s going to hit you in the face further down the line, because Google’s not going to be able to distinguish between Jason Barnard, let’s say, the podcast and Jason Barnard the person. I’ve made that mistake so many times.
[00:54:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ll give you an example. Boowa and Kwala, the blue dog and yellow koala, and if you haven’t heard of them before, please do watch any of my shows, I always talk about them, called Boowa and Kwala. It’s two different characters. It’s a TV show. It’s a website. It’s a song. It’s actually multiple versions of that song on multiple albums. And that becomes an immense problem because Google doesn’t know whether I’m talking about the fictional universe, the characters themselves, the TV series, the web series, the song, the other song, the actual fact that somebody had written that song, the existence of that song, and that’s seven different entities and I’m not even trying. That was really stupid. It was back in 1998. So the problem didn’t exist. So I can excuse myself from that stupidity, but naming multiple entities with the same exact string of characters is phenomenally difficult to deal with further down the line. And I would advise not to go for that particular quick win if you’ve got a long term strategy.
Some Quick Wins and Big Wins for Brand SERPs
[00:55:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Dave, quick wins for the Brand SERPs. Sorry.
[00:55:27] Dave Davies: There’s the default like claim your business listing, make sure it’s complete. That’s just a given, right? We all have that. One of the unsung hero areas, and I can’t think of an exception so I’m just going to say every company I’ve ever worked with, has skipped the fact that posts are on your Brand SERP and they’re a really, really fast and easy win. And to list an example, there was a company we were working for. They did outdoor adventure stuff. When they had Memorial Day sales and things like that, we’d put a great big graphic link through. It only increased their sales by about 4 or 5%, but that’s a 4 or 5% from a post that took about 40 seconds to put up there.
[00:56:10] Dave Davies: So, the big wins, to me, circles back to the same thing as the reputation management side is if you can control the message, you control the message. If you control, if you have the ability to go, oh, I regularly put posts here. I am a vacation rental owner and I have this one property that we can’t rent out. We’ll put it up there, just these simple things to just get eyeballs in front of something. And it can be in the SERP’s centre, but I’m referring to the Knowledge Panel right now. If you have your Twitter stream in there, you can control the message.
[00:56:45] Dave Davies: There’s opportunities all over the board, but the one with the concrete because I actually had to measure it for the client was a 4 to 5% increase in sales from this specific promotion over previous events just from one post that literally, yeah. We already had the graphics. It took about 40 seconds to put together and was super simple and increased their sales. So, the KPI was great.
Finding Opportunities on Your Competitors’ Queries on Their Brand SERPs
[00:57:08] Olesia Korobka: Koray, do you have some quick wins, something what you can do very quickly and have something very beautiful and nice and beneficial in your Brand SERP?
[00:57:21] Dave Davies: It’s nice to be able to show somebody too what money they made. Now, something that I think it gets overlooked, and this is on a slightly different tangent, but we talk about Brand SERPs a lot. On the Brand SERP tangent, I think investigating your competitors’ Brand SERP can have as much and potentially, maybe not more value, but as much value. When we’re talking about People Also Ask, if there’s a leader in your industry, look at theirs because that’s what’s coming. If there’s different content types, different media types that are appearing, be it images or whatnot, from your competitors, you probably just don’t have it or don’t have any that have crossed that auction based sort of threshold to get appearing on the page, but they’re meant to be there or potentially meant to be there if you can just fill those gaps up.
[00:58:05] Dave Davies: So, I think on competitor queries, you can really find where the opportunities exist. You might just be missing because you don’t have that media or you might just be missing because you’re younger than they are and they’re a little more established and they can guide you in the direction you should be going.
Testing Things on Brand SERPs Like the Twitter Carousel
[00:58:21] Koray Gübür: Yes. And especially differences between the search engine result pages. It’s a really great signal actually. And imagine that your competitor shows different types of video carousels there and social media carousels. And imagine that they have more side-wide links than you. And also imagine that they appear in the related search terms in your SERP, but you don’t appear for them. And they, let’s say, they have more different types of autocompletions than you.
[00:58:47] Koray Gübür: And there are lots of things that actually can test on the Brand SERP. For instance, on my SERP, if I don’t tweet for 6 or 7 days, the Twitter carousel, it disappears. And if I tweet suddenly, usually Google indexes it in two 20 minutes. But if after 7 days, it takes 2 hours. So it means that actually they stop checking it. And instead of checking it, maybe every 20 minutes, they start to check it in every 2 hours. So even this type of small configurations, it shows how the search engine thinks. They’re trying to save energy. Instead of, if I didn’t tweet for 7 days, it means that they start thinking, okay, this guy is just on holiday or some vacation. So, we should check other people’s SERP from after that moment.
[00:59:35] Koray Gübür: So even these type of things can show it. For instance, sometimes there are really, really big trending things in the Twitter. And I always wonder how they unite the hashtag and also the query, because, let’s say, there is a big event and when you search that thing on the SERP or on the Google, on the SERP you will have a Twitter carousel. And I always wonder how they choose which tweet should be there from which account. So even these type of things might be relevant to the entitisation of the brands. They can choose the most authorative and most relevant and most active brand from Twitter just for that topic.
[01:00:14] Koray Gübür: There are lots of APIs, the paid programs, just for Twitter and imagine that Google, what kind of technology they have for the tracking their social competitors. So I believe they use their own data too. At least in the patents, they use them to track or even to give points or scores to the influencers. Even it exists. So in this context, if you’re able to think like them, after a point, the SEO will be easier. And Knowledge Panels are a great hint or the Brand SERPs are a great hint to read their minds.
The Concept of Autocomplete as Part of a Brand Search and Another Quick Win in Checking the Schema of the Website
[01:00:50] Dave Davies: Before, if I can, before we move on to the next question, I just want to draw attention to something I’d never thought of before. That was a great answer, but there was a gem in there that I just want to point out because I’ve never thought of it so I’m wondering if other people might not have. I have never thought of autocomplete as part of a brand search. I’ve never, I just, it’s never entered my head that that is part of a brand search.
[01:01:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ll make a point is Koray keeps pointing it out to me and I’m desperately trying to think, how can I incorporate that into Kalicube Pro? Koray has got so much, so much of a head start on me on that particular aspect. I’m going to desperately try to catch up.
[01:01:26] Olesia Korobka: Okay. Myself, my quick win is usually checking the Schema of the website I’m dealing with. And there’s usually so many mistakes or so many missing things that you just fix them and this works like a charm.
[01:01:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Have you finished? Sorry. Excuse me.
[01:01:47] Olesia Korobka: Also the structure, but, okay. Yeah. I better give you the…
Rich Sitelinks Are the Best Quick Win in the World of Brand SERPs
[01:01:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ll give my quick win and then go back to you for another quick win. The Rich Sitelinks underneath the homepage, they’re the best quick win in the world. If you don’t have them, you should have them. 50% of brands don’t have them, which I think is a phenomenal miss. And that’s all to do with site structure, proper meta titles, actual content in your contact page, your login page, your About Us page, because those are the pages that Google wants to put there, your category pages. You have to got a chunk of content that explains what the page does, what role it plays, what help it can give to your audience when they’re searching your brand name. It won’t become a Rich Sitelink. And that’s why I thought about it is because Schema Markup, the type of page, webpage, about page, contact page, incredibly powerful, incredibly helpful. And I did an experiment with Wix so I’m going to write that up. And we did this in a couple of weeks. That’s a quick win.
The Importance of Checking Your Entity and Your Brand in Google Trends
[01:02:42] Olesia Korobka: And also, when we were previously talking about all that when we are testing the webinar, Dave, you’ve mentioned that it was very important for you to check your entity and your brand in Trends. Can you tell about that for everybody because it was very interesting?
[01:03:00] Dave Davies: Well, it’s, and I do think it is just generally important. Where you hit, depending on the brand, of course, it’s going to host different values. But, for example, if you’re looking at a scenario where, I’ll go with the company I work for and we were doing a funding round, understanding what’s going on in the Trends around your brand is incredibly important. Understanding, maybe not necessarily where it is because Google Trends only shows you out of a hundred, but so you don’t know specifically what that means. You’ll have to go into your analytics and reverse engineer that back. But understanding how your branded queries are over time, either strengthening, weakening, or peaking at specific times, I think is incredibly important.
[01:03:52] Dave Davies: If you’re doing something like, say, doing a funding round or throwing a promotion or doing whatever it is that your company might be doing at a peak moment, just for timing, to make sure that, oh, okay, we know that this trend happens or we know that we’re in a growth pattern right no, so we can predict the future. There’s a whole bunch of questions that could be answered, so I can’t tell the audience these are all the questions. We were looking for growth and peak points. That’s what I was looking for was I want to be able to report on growth and I also want to report on peak points. Is there a right time to do this over others, which can be hard to tell if you’re in a peak point because you don’t know when that might end. So you might just have to pull the trigger at some point and go, okay, that’s just done.
[01:04:35] Dave Davies: But, yeah, I think Google Trends for your brand can be incredibly telling. It can be difficult at times, incredibly difficult. I work for a company called Weights & Biases. That’s also just a term. It’s also just a machine learning term. So, it can get a bit clouded, but that’s also something else. It can be very telling when you’re looking at Google Trends is, does Google understand that Weights & Biases is both a search term and a company. And if they understand that we are a company and we are a search term, that tells us something about crossing that threshold.
Give Your Company a Unique Name to Avoid Ambiguity
[01:05:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that indicates that you’ve managed to disambiguate that incredibly ambiguous query because it’s exactly the same thing. And it says, yes, this is a company. And if you’ve got a company that’s named after something that’s incredibly common, Yellow Door is my favourite example, it’s incredibly difficult to disambiguate. And I know Koray’s had a lot of experience with that. But if you’re going to name your company, give it a unique name right now, because otherwise you’re creating a big, big, big set of problems for yourself in terms of Google understanding your brand. Sorry, Olesia.
More About How Google Trends Helps Your Brand and Entities
[01:05:43] Olesia Korobka: Because Koray explained his work with trends. Can you repeat what he told us when you were trying to disambiguate and to differentiate your entity for one of your clients? And it was not a company, this one, for your trends.
[01:05:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That was for Koray, yeah? Is that correct?
[01:06:02] Olesia Korobka: Yes. Yes.
[01:06:02] Koray Gübür: I couldn’t hear the question, Olesia, sorry. Can you repeat it for me?
[01:06:08] Olesia Korobka: Because we were discussing trends and entities, do you remember that case when one of your clients looked themselves in Trends?
[01:06:16] Koray Gübür: Yeah, yeah. Okay. I remember that. So, the thing is this is actually a bit more complicated because I believe they store this type of data in different databases. And sometimes there is no correlation between them. For instance, I have created one entity within the knowledge base with the help of Wikipedia and it appeared in Google Trends. But when I click that entity, for instance, it says 404. It doesn’t show the entity there for instance. And this is like that over six months. So I really don’t know why they didn’t correlate it yet. So maybe it was a kind of bug or maybe they didn’t buy it in the Trends.
[01:06:54] Koray Gübür: So, another thing is that in Google Trends, when you search for one of the entities, they always show the kind of entity there. And the other day, one of my clients, he was just asking that our company or our organisation has been named as a topic there, but our competitor is clearly a company because Google defines them as a company. So, there are multiple possibilities there. Because the competitor on their Wikipedia page, these type of things a little bit require Wikipedia understanding. And I can tell that Wikipedia is also a search engine and there are lots of different annoying rules there. Even if because of just one single comma, you can lose your two weeks of webpages. And they even don’t have to make any kind of explanations to you, so be careful about that.
[01:07:42] Koray Gübür: But the thing is on the competitor, there is a kind of knowledge table. And on the table, it is defined as company. So in our situation, actually, I didn’t create that because I know that if I update that webpage, one of the editors will start to dig in the latest updated pages and they can delete it. So to be able to not risk it, I didn’t change it, but it also shows that how they can define a specific entity just based on the most authorative webpage and the key facts or key points there.
[01:08:17] Koray Gübür: So if the Google Trends says that your entity is actually a topic, it means that they didn’t define or they didn’t give an entity type in a clear way there. And they can use multiple different attributes or general attributes there. But if it says that this is a company, it means that actually there will be specific attributes and they will especially focus on these type of queries or these type of information to relate that entity to the other sections. Topic on the Trends is a kind of general term. It means that it’s an entity and also it can be read in the Google Trends documents on the support section on Google.
The More Firm Definitive Attributes of Your Entity as a Company, the Better Your Chances of Disambiguity
[01:08:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Which makes me think the differentiation between a company and a topic, you’re talking about attributes. The more firm definitive attributes that you can attribute to your entity as a company, so founded date, founded country, founders, address, and so on and so forth, the better your chances are of disambiguating between topic and entity, once again, and becoming an entity, sorry, a topic and company. But I would love to do a whole new episode on that because digging into attributes, they’re attached to entities. And avoiding using Wikipedia is a whole topic I could spend three or four hours talking to you, guys, about. So, let’s not start because we’ve already done an hour.
Claiming Your Business, Looking at Your Brand and Your Competitors’ Brands, and Figuring Out Which Message to Control
[01:09:40] Olesia Korobka: Yeah. Because we now need to wrap up a bit, but I’d like you to say something because we’ve not, we could not cover all the questions and we are much more ahead of time, but maybe you wanted to mention something, some example, some case, anything that you like. Dave, is there something you want to share that we have not touched upon?
[01:10:00] Dave Davies: There’s a million different roots to go on this one. I don’t want to go with the tip because I’ve already noted that the courses are handy. But for folks, go to Kalicube. Even if it’s just the free tools, there’s some useful stuff there to just play around with to get an idea for what’s going on. But in the beginning, for folks that haven’t paid attention to this so far, if this is your first introduction into Brand SERP, get back to, I would start with basics.
[01:10:35] Dave Davies: Olesia, you talked about Schema. Dig in there, understand it, understand how to expand it as much as you can into the related, get your same asses in there. Go here’s my founders, right? That’s a big one to me. Disambiguate as much as you can from different ones. My name’s Dave Davies. I have to disambiguate because there’s more famous versions than me out there, many of them.
[01:11:00] Dave Davies: So, getting back to Schema, getting back to claiming your business and making sure it’s full, and then just looking at your brand or your competitors’ brands or yours, and just figuring out which message do I control and how do I move them up? And that’s the biggest thing that I would say people just starting out really need to be looking at.
Using Schema and the Programmable Search Engine Expansion of Google
[01:11:21] Olesia Korobka: And, Koray, what would you add on your part?
[01:11:27] Koray Gübür: Maybe I can add something about Schema. Because for a long time, I actually used the programmable search engine expansion of Google. The programmable search engine is basically customisable search engine from Google. I believe most SEOs already used it. And they have added two new sections there. And one of them says topic. The other one says the Schema. So in other words, in your programmable search engine, you can actually tell to the sub Google systems, create my search engine result page for this query and only takes the web pages that use this specific Schema or that dimensions, that specific topic.
[01:12:07] Koray Gübür: So, it actually shows that they create different types of indexes or index samples from different Schema types, from different topics. And when you search for a query, they take all of the possible contexts and then they start to distribute these possible indexes to the final product according to the probabilities, according to the relevance, and according to the dominance. So in this context, using the programmable search engine for understanding these type of entities, a little bit debating it, a little bit poking it or testing it, basically, it might be useful to understand how my SERP is created there. So you can create your own test environment by using Google’s own subsystems.
You Can Manage Your Brand SERP Without Getting a Developer Involved
[01:12:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Wow. Can I add one thing that isn’t Schema? Because I’d really like to point out, Schema Markup is incredibly powerful. It’s incredibly interesting. It’s incredibly geeky. And if you know nothing about Schema Markup and you’re not interested in Schema Markup, I just wrote a book and Schema Markup gets two mentions on one little paragraph of the entire book. And the book allows you to actually do all of this. Schema Markup doesn’t even come into it. Schema Markup comes into the course and it comes into Kalicube Pro. For me, those are more advanced techniques.
[01:13:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): If you are looking at this and saying, what can I actually do to help my Brand SERP without getting a developer involved? There are so many things to do, starting with your homepage, your Rich Sitelinks, fundamentally important, all your social media channels. We said it at the beginning and I’d like to reiterate. Social media channels, your social media profiles, three, perhaps four on your Brand SERP, and all you have to do is engage with your audience. So you win on both sides.
[01:13:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So from my perspective, those quick wins we were talking about, start with your homepage, start with your Rich Sitelinks, your social media channels, which includes YouTube. Get all of those nailed. All of that will start to build towards Google’s understanding and its confidence in its understanding of who you are, what you do, who your audience is. Once it’s understood that, it will represent your brand with your message to your audience when they search your brand name. And that is the foundation of everything I’m talking about.
The Convenience Kalicube Pro Provides and the Importance of Reviews
[01:14:24] Olesia Korobka: Okay. So one of my quick wins which I didn’t mention, it was Kalicube Pro actually, because you can just go into Kalicube Pro and you don’t need to think about anything at all. It’s all written there and you just follow whatever it says to you. And it’s no brainer, it’s easy, and it’s quick. It saves you lots of time.
[01:14:45] Olesia Korobka: And the second one is reviews. We have not touched upon reviews a lot, but I suggest people creating different places for their reviews of their own, which they do control this. I do suggest you create another review sub domain review page on your website and on other everywhere, not just Yelp or some big companies or big websites. Create something that you can control for reviews especially, and you’ll see how advantageous it can be for you in the long run.
[01:15:21] Olesia Korobka: So, thank you very much for everyone who has been watching us. You can contact our experts, Dave, Jason, Koray, in Twitter and just maybe google their names and see what appears there and go and contact them there. Thank you very much once again. I think we are, yeah, it’s Brand SERP Guy, Jason. And you can also leave your comments under the video and maybe Anton will tell us and will return to answer them, especially Koray, Jason, and Dave. So whatever you may need, maybe will be written up.
[01:16:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, Olesia. That was brilliantly hosted. I much appreciate it. And you three, as I said, my dream team to talk about this stuff.
[01:16:14] Koray Gübür: Thank you so much.
[01:16:15] Dave Davies: Thank you so much.
[01:16:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thanks, everyone.