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Teaching Google Who We Are & What We Do with Special Guest Jason Barnard, “The Brand SERP Guy”

Join Tacey and her Special Guest Jason Barnard, “The Brand SERP Guy”.

Today’s Topic: Teaching Google Who We Are & What We Do.

Timestamp: 01:46: What is Search Optimization and how to best use it.

Timestamp: 05:13: The Evolution of Search Engines & The Improvements We Can Utilize

Timestamp: 08:14: Google Business Cards

Timestamp: Google Knowledge Panel

Timestamp: 24:35: Jason’s Speed Round

Jason’s Contact Info:

Website: https:jasonbarnard.com

LinkedIn: @jasonmbarnard

Tacey’s Contact Info

@taceyatkinson

(All social links here): www.taceyatkinson.com

[00:00:00] Narrator: Tacey Atkinson presents Customers First, customer service excellence, today, tomorrow, always.

Introducing Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and His Previous Careers Before Becoming a Digital Marketer

[00:00:20] Tacey Atkinson: Welcome. I’m your host Tacey Atkinson, and this is the Customers First Podcast, a show that brings together people from different areas of business to discuss topics like customer service, brand perception, and the customer journey. Today’s special guest is an author and digital marketer who specialises in Brand SERP. In fact, he goes by the pseudonym The Brand SERP Guy, Jason Barnard. Welcome, Jason. 

[00:00:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, Tacey. 

[00:00:53] Tacey Atkinson: I’m happy to have you on the show today. And I think before we jump in, can you tell us a bit about your journey? 

[00:01:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I actually come from the world of economics. I did a degree in economics in Liverpool with statistical analysis. Then I joined a punk folk group in Paris and played professional music for 10 years, touring around Europe. Then I played the role of a blue dog in a cartoon TV series that was released in 25 countries. And now, I’m The Brand SERP Guy, and I focus on managing your brand narrative on Google, whether you are a person or a company. That’s what I help you with. That’s what Kalicube, my company, does.

What Does SERP Mean and What Is Jason Barnard’s Aim for Brand SERPs?

[00:01:43] Tacey Atkinson: I love it. So, today we’re actually going to talk about SERP and how to make it work for us for better brand perceptions. So, thank you. I can’t wait for your expertise to be shared with all of us to help us appear better in the online world. So, maybe let’s start with what is SERP exactly? 

[00:02:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. We had a very short conversation about this before. I say SERP, and I think everyone understands. And now I realise when I started in the industry, I didn’t understand what a SERP was. And it’s a search engine results page. And today, Google is synonymous with search engine in most of our minds. Back in the day, there were dozens and dozens of search engines, HotBot and Magellan and Lycos.

[00:02:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And now we have Bing, Google, and Seznam in the Czech Republic, DuckDuckGo maybe. But what I deal with is the search engine results page, SERP, for a brand name, a company name, a person’s name, a product name. And the aim is to control and manage and optimise what your audience sees when they google or search your name.

All About Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions, and How Search Engines Show Them 

[00:03:08] Tacey Atkinson: So, another term, before we jump into how to utilise all of these things, another term that came up quite a bit when I was reading all of your data is meta. Can you explain what that is? And there’s not only just meta title, there’s meta description. So, maybe go into a little bit of explanation on that for people.

[00:03:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Right. That’s a huge question, and it’s a question that frightens a lot of people. You think, oh, meta data, meta title, meta description, you think of Facebook. Forget Facebook for this particular conversation. A meta title and a meta description is simply a title and a description for your web page that’s visible to Google and other search engines, like DuckDuckGo and Microsoft Bing. The user doesn’t see when they’re on the page. And so, in fact, the meta title and meta description is simply a repetition of your page title, your heading, and the description that goes just below it.

Search Engines Show the Title and Description That You Gave It, Which the Users Would Not See

[00:04:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the thing about the metas is that historically, Google and other search engines would simply show what you put for them. So, you could put one thing for a search engine and another thing for your user. And the search engine would show the title and description that you gave it. And then when the user came to your page, they wouldn’t see that. They would see whatever you had on your page.

[00:04:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And these days, Google and other search engines like Microsoft Bing are much smarter, and they can see when the two aren’t the same. So, at the end of the day, it’s important to look at that. If you’ve got WordPress, you are using Yoast or Rank Math or another plugin, you can actually fill them in. But if you don’t, they will default to whatever you’ve got as the heading and description.

The Search Engines’ Capacity and Intelligence to Understand a Page and Its Effect on the SEO Industry

[00:05:09] Tacey Atkinson: Oh, okay. Wow. The internet bots out there are much smarter than I realised they were when you just said that. Okay, so now we know.

[00:05:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. But that’s a really good point. They were very, let’s not say stupid, but they were certainly simplistic. And they would say, this is what we’re supposed to show, we will show this, because we don’t have the capacity or the intelligence to understand what’s in the page. And over the last couple of years, they’ve started to say, well, we can actually understand what’s in the page, so we can now represent the page in the way that we feel is most relevant.

[00:05:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And in my industry, which is the search engine optimisation industry, some people are quite upset about that because they say, we want to absolutely control what the search engine shows. But the search engines are saying, well, what about all the people who don’t have an expert helping them? Can we not pull out some really helpful information for the title and the description to show in our results? The answer is yes, they can. And I’m glad they are because it gives an opportunity to everybody, even those who can’t pay for a search engine optimisation expert.

Why Do You Have to Manage and Optimise Your Brand SERP?

[00:06:29] Tacey Atkinson: Okay. So, now we know the terms, why should we utilise these things? 

[00:06:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Wonderful question. When somebody googles your name or your brand name or they search your brand name on DuckDuckGo or Microsoft Bing, you want to make sure that you control the narrative as much as possible. Now, when somebody is searching your brand name or your personal name, it’s somebody who’s interested in doing business with you or working with you or interacting with you in some way. They know who you are. So, they’re your bottom-of-funnel audience, whether you’re a business person or an author or an everyday human being, let’s say.

If we can show it (Google) what we want it to show, as long as we’re honest, there is no reason it would show anything else.

jason barnard (the brand serp Guy)

[00:07:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You want to control as much as possible and the metas that we just discussed. Although Google can ignore them, if you provide them, it’s a helpful hint to Google what you want it to say. And that’s hugely important in what we do at Kalicube. We focus on ensuring that Google understands what we want it to say, what we want it to show our audience when they search our brand name, but in fact when they search anywhere on Google. And if we can show it what we want it to show, as long as we’re honest, think about it, there is no reason it would show anything else.

According to Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy), What Is a Google Business Card?

[00:07:55] Tacey Atkinson: Okay. So, one of the tools that we have access to that quite frankly, until you and I connected, I had never even heard of or realised that it was a tool out there. So, I am positive I’m not the only one. What is a Google business card? 

[00:08:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. It’s a term I coined to try to explain to people what I’m talking about and why it’s important. It has the lovely combination of both explaining what I’m saying and suggesting the importance. So if you think about your business card, you design it, you spend a lot of money figuring out exactly how you want to present yourself, and then you hand the business card to somebody. That was great. 

[00:08:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But today, they look at your business card and then they google you. What they see on Google when they search your name or your brand name is your Google business card. And so, I would argue that you need to put as much effort and resource into designing your Google business card as you did your physical business card.

What Is the Best Way to Maximise Your Social Media Accounts, Websites, and Videos?

[00:09:09] Tacey Atkinson: That’s very interesting, and I never really took the time to think about that. Because you just think as a business owner, I’m doing all these social media posts, I’m on LinkedIn and Instagram, and I have a website. Those are the things that people are going to see, not thinking about the fact that how they see it is as important as what they’re seeing. So, I hadn’t really put a lot of thought into that. So, what’s the best way for us to maximise that then? 

[00:09:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, the point you made about the fact that we put a lot of effort into social media, our websites, hosting on industry websites, for example, it’s hugely important because that’s how you get your name out to a new audience, a relevant new audience. But then what they do is search on Google, and that’s where you need to control in Google. And what Google shows, when somebody searches your brand name or your personal name, is what it feels is relevant and helpful to that audience. 

[00:10:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you look at that result, you can immediately see what Google feels is helpful and relevant to them, and therefore where you are making good progress and where you are making mistakes. Because if you are investing in video but Google doesn’t show video, it either means that your audience isn’t interested in video or it means you’re investing badly in video and Google hasn’t understood they’re interested.

What they’re showing on your Brand SERP is its reflection of what it (Google) thinks your audience is interested in.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:10:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it’s a beautiful way to do a market analysis of how effective your digital marketing actually is, because no other company or engine in the world has more information than Google or Bing. And what they’re showing on your Brand SERP, search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name, is its reflection of what it thinks your audience is interested in. So, it’s a really great critique of your digital marketing strategy.

[00:11:21] Tacey Atkinson: I love that.

[00:11:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I like the way you’re so enthusiastic. It’s so delightful. 

[00:11:27] Tacey Atkinson: Oh, I do. I think because, as my family here knows, we’re going through a brand refresh and all of these things about making sure I optimise everything is at the forefront of my mind. And I happen to know there’s a lot of people in the same boat right now. I don’t know if it’s the end of the year people are thinking, but it’s definitely very topical and I’m so excited to learn more.

The Things You Need to Consider Each Time You Produce Content and Package It for Google

[00:11:57] Tacey Atkinson: Now, I wonder are there maybe a few easy things that we can do when looking at doing a blog post or tagging a podcast, for example, anything? Are there little maybe top five things that we could think about each time we go to post something to try to get it to be optimised in the land of Google?

[00:12:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It’s a great question. What I love is that I come from the world of SEO, search engine optimisation. That’s traditionally been terribly techy and geeky, and you need to know code. And SEO is now actually simply techniques for packaging what you should already be doing for your audience. So, it’s the content you produce for your audience that you then repackage or package correctly for Google so it can a) digest, b) understand, and c) represent it to your audience in the way you want it. 

[00:13:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that all starts obviously with your website. If you don’t have one, you need one. As an individual or as a company, you need a website with a unique domain name. I see you’ve got taceyatkinson.com. That’s a brilliant start. And you need to be very clear on that website about who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve.

Besides Packaging Correctly Your Content, You Need to Be Decisive About Your Audience and What You Can Offer Them 

[00:13:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And you need to be decisive. You need to decide who are your audience, what can you offer them where you are truly a great solution to Google’s users. Because when somebody searches on Google, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. So, you need to make sure Google understands for whom you will be helpful, for whom you can provide the correct solution. 

[00:13:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, on that website, you need to focus on talking about who you are, what you can offer, to whom you can offer it, and also why you are a credible solution for Google’s users. Because the person searching on Google, even if they’re your audience, they’re still Google’s users at the point they’re searching on Google. So, you have to rely on Google to show them the brand message, the brand narrative that you want. So, number one is your website.

Optimising Your Social Profiles and Websites by Being Clear About Who You Are, What You Do, and Which Audience You Serve 

[00:14:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Number two is going to be your social profiles. I see you’ve got your LinkedIn ranking quite well, your Instagram, your podcast ranks well, your TikTok video. You’ve got two, brilliant, wonderful. These are great. Because what Google is thinking is, right, the person is searching for Tacey Atkinson because they know who she is, I want to give them options for interacting with her.

[00:14:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, they can choose her website, they can choose her LinkedIn, they can choose her TikTok, they can choose her podcast on Apple or her Instagram. So, Google is saying, let’s give them the options, we’ll see where they want to go. And then basically, that’s your business card. They can choose. So, you would want to optimise, first of all, your website, but it’s not optimising in the search engine sense. It’s basically being clear, once again, about who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve.

[00:15:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And being similarly clear on LinkedIn, addressing the LinkedIn B2B audience, on Instagram, addressing the pictorial audience, if we can call them that, and on TikTok, the video quick consumption audience. You need to address the audience on the platform in the way that audience wants to be addressed and engaged. And when Google sees that, it will represent you correctly on your Brand SERP.

Knowledge Panels: What Do They Represent and How to Manage Them 

[00:15:53] Tacey Atkinson: Love it. Now, another term I read in one of your blog posts on your website, which I love. Everyone, I will put the links to those in the show notes, just so everyone can have access to that. You talk about a Knowledge Panel. Can you tell us a bit about that?

[00:16:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. This is my favourite topic, and I get terribly geeky.

[00:16:18] Tacey Atkinson: It’s okay.

The Knowledge Panel on the Right Hand Side Represents Facts and the Brand SERP on the Left Hand Side Represents Recommendations

[00:16:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if I overdo it, just tell me to stop. The Knowledge Panel is the information box on the right hand side. So if you search my name, Jason Barnard, you will see on the right hand side a Knowledge Panel, which is an information box which has a description, my age, my partner, my mother, the book I’ve written, and the TV series I was in. And it’s basically Google’s understanding of the facts. 

[00:16:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And on the left hand side, which is my website, my LinkedIn, my Twitter, it’s Google’s recommendations of how you might want to interact with me as my audience. So if we look at it that way, the Knowledge Panel, which is on the right hand side when you search on Google, is facts according to Google, and the left hand side is recommendations according to Google. And so, the Knowledge Panel is something that you can manage, i.e. you can explain to Google, I like to say educate Google like you would a child, as to what the facts are so that it can represent the facts in the right hand side in that Knowledge Panel.

How Do You Educate Google to Represent You Correctly in Your Knowledge Panel: Be Clear About the Facts and Be Decisive With Your Facets

[00:17:29] Tacey Atkinson: How do we do that? 

[00:17:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s really simple. You need to be clear in your own mind what the facts are. And that sounds like a very silly thing for me to say, but most people aren’t clear about who they are, what they do, and which audience they serve. They think, oh, I serve lots of different audiences. You’ve got to be pretty decisive here. Google struggles with multifacetedness, i.e. having multiple talents. I’m a musician. I’m a cartoon blue dog from a TV series. I’m a digital marketer. I’m the founder and CEO of Kalicube. 

[00:18:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google needs me to explain to it which is the most important facet for it to present and which are the other facets that it can present secondarily to help my audience understand more. Because somebody searching for me might want to know about the blue dog in the TV series, but more probably they want to know about the digital marketing things that I do and the founder and CEO of Kalicube. So, I need to be decisive about which is the priority in my mind and present that priority on my website and on my social media channels. So, basically, Google is a child looking to you to be the decisive parent in the room who tells it what it is you want to explain to your audience.

How Does Google See and Understand a Person’s Multifacetedness? 

[00:18:51] Tacey Atkinson: So, whatever you talk about the most is what Google is going to pay attention to. Is that correct? 

[00:18:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. There are multiple facets, and that’s really interesting that you should say that. It’s what you talk about the most. It’s what you talk about first in a web page or a video. It’s the first paragraph, the first minute of whatever you say, and it’s in a what we call a semantic triple. It’s what you say first in the phrase. So if I said Tacey Atkinson is a business transformationist, Google would see you as a business transformationist. If I said Tacey Atkinson is an author and business transformationist, it would see you as an author principally and secondarily as a business transformationist.

[00:19:37] Tacey Atkinson: Got you. 

[00:19:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Although that might not exist as a thing. I don’t know. 

[00:19:39] Tacey Atkinson: Sure.

In Communicating About Who You Are to Google, You Need to Clearly Identify What You Are Principally, Secondarily, and So On

[00:19:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, one of the games we play at Kalicube, and it’s a game for me because I don’t really mind a great deal, but it’s serious for our clients. The first thing I say to people is, what are you? And it’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. And I need people to say I am an entrepreneur or I am an author. And they say, well, I’m an author and an entrepreneur and a cartoon blue dog, in my case. And I need them to tell me what they are principally, what they are secondarily, what they are in third place, whatever that might be called, so that we can then communicate to Google.

[00:20:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because Google is asking us, expecting us to be very clear and explain clearly who we are, what we do, and which audience we serve, starting with who we are. So, that’s repetition, top of the page, the first part of the sentence. You need to be clear. You need to be decisive. And if you are not, Google will get lost. It’s all so simple, isn’t it? It’s delightful.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Treating Google Like a Child and Explaining Technicalities in Simple Terms

[00:20:48] Tacey Atkinson: Well, it is simple to someone like you, maybe not so much for us, but I do love that you explain it in such simple terms because, as my Customers First family knows, I’m 60. I’ve been around a long time. I’ve watched the internet grow and develop. And I come from the generation that thinks you have to be a coder to know how to get searched better and all of those things. 

[00:21:19] Tacey Atkinson: Optimisation is something that sounds foreign to most people, but you’ve put it into layman terms that we can understand. Now, do I fully understand? Maybe not, but that’s why there’s lovely people like you out there. And I feel like we get stuck thinking, oh, Google is this big thing that we can’t touch. And you’re making it far more accessible to all of us.

Educating Google Like a Child and Advocating It Through the Three C’s: Clarity, Consistency, and Corroboration

[00:21:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Right. Google is a child, a child wants to understand the world, and we need to educate it about our little corner of the internet. It’s really simple. So, Google isn’t this big frightening machine. It is, but in our context, it’s a child that we need to educate. And we advocate it through three C’s: clarity, consistency, corroboration. 

[00:22:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We need to be clear about who we are, what we do, and which audience we serve. We need to be consistent across every single platform, from our website, to our LinkedIn profile, to our Twitter profile, to our Goodreads profile. Every single time we have a page where we’re expressing ourselves of who we are, what we do, and which audience we serve, profiles and other pages that talk about us, we need to be consistent.

Since Search Engines Got So Much Smarter, Things Became 20% Technical and 80% Content 

[00:22:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And number three is we need to make sure that our peers and our clients consistently corroborate what it is we’re saying, because Google will learn from what we say, but then it will go out and check with our peers and our clients. And when it checks, it needs to corroborate. So, that’s super important and none of it is technical.

[00:23:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It used to be 80% technical and 20% marketing and content. And Google has got so much smarter and so is Microsoft Bing, and now it’s 20% technical and 80% content. So, you can actually pretty much, as long as you’ve got the very basic technical stuff, which is that Google can access your page and crawl it and get the information. Once you’ve got that sorted out, the rest is purely how consistent you are and how clear you are and how much you can get corroboration from third parties.

The Importance of the Order of the Words for Your Description and the Consistency Across the Board

[00:23:41] Tacey Atkinson: So, reviews and testimonials and that kind of thing for the last one. 

[00:23:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Phenomenally important, reviews, testimonials, feedback from your peers on social media, guest articles. You mentioned that earlier on, what can you do with a guest article. If you’ve written an article on entrepreneur.com, let’s say, you want to make sure that the bio at the bottom of that page links back to your personal website. You want to make sure that it says the same thing on there. For example, Tacey Atkinson is an author and business transformationist, if that’s what you’re saying on your website. And the order of those words is very, very important. And so, you need to aim for consistency across the board.

Tacey Atkinson’s Favourite Part of the Show: The Speed Round

[00:24:24] Tacey Atkinson: I love it. Okay. So, we could go on about all this stuff for days, I think, because it’s such a big topic, but now it’s time for my favourite part of the show, the speed round. So, I have three questions for you, speedy or not, totally up to you. You take as much time as you want. Okay? 

[00:24:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay.

First Speed Round Question: What Was the Catalyst for Jason Barnard’s Decision to Focus on Google?

[00:24:43] Tacey Atkinson: All right. So, the first one is what was the catalyst to you deciding that Google was going to be the focus of your business? 

[00:24:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The blue dog. I was a cartoon blue dog in a TV series. We created a website that became phenomenally successful. We had 100 million page views a month, 5 million kids come into the website every month, and a million of them came from Google every month. And I realised that I was quite good at convincing Google that the content that we were creating was a great solution for its users or the subset of its users who were our audience, which were children and their parents and schools and grandparents.

To Change His Search Results From Being a Cartoon Blue Dog to a Digital Marketer, Jason Barnard Started to Control His Narrative on Google

[00:25:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And when I stopped doing that, I converted myself into an SEO specialist, a digital marketer, a brand specialist. And when you search my name in 2012, the top of the page said Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog. I thought I have to change that. That’s bad branding, if I want to get clients on board. And that’s where I started looking at controlling my brand and narrative on Google. And it has become an astonishing, for me, astonishing career because I thought it’ll take me a few months. And it has taken me 10 years, and I still haven’t got to the bottom of it. And it’s a huge rabbit hole. And if you drop into it, you never get out.

[00:26:24] Tacey Atkinson: We don’t want to do that, which is why we hire people like you. I love it. Okay. 

[00:26:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I’m Alice in Wonderland here.

Second Speed Round Question: What Are the Common Mistakes People Make on Their Websites? 

[00:26:34] Tacey Atkinson: Yeah. A hundred percent you are. All right. So, next, what do you find the number one mistake people make on their websites? 

[00:26:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right. Not having an about section. Google explicitly looks for an about section on a website. People will focus on their product pages, their blog, their homepage. Google wants an about section, and it’s not just the about page. It’s the about page for the company with contact us, with where to find us, with who are the people who work with us, potentially our partners. That’s an entire section of your website that explains, once again, who you are, what you do, which audience you serve, but also why are we credible. So, you would include your reviews in that as well. 

[00:27:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it’s this entire section that convinces Google to trust you, convinces Google that you are a good solution for its users, and explains to Google what solutions, globally speaking, you can bring to its users. Most people forget that. Most companies forget that.

Besides Not Having an About Section on Their Websites, People Also Usually Present Their Content in the Wrong Order

[00:27:43] Tacey Atkinson: It’s very interesting that you said that, my friend. Because the About Me, when most of us think about the About Me page, they are not thinking necessarily about who we are, what we do, and who we serve. We’re thinking more about, I’m going to tell people my history, things I’ve done, and all that. But you’re saying, in order for Google to love us, we need that to be almost a highlight reel of everything else. 

[00:28:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Hugely. And the other mistake, which is actually something you just mentioned, is people do it in the wrong order, both for companies and for people. They say, I was born in 1966, in my case, blahdy blahdy blahdy blah. You get right to the bottom, and you find out that I’m now the Google whisperer, let’s say. And it should be completely the other way around. What do I do today is important both to Google, but also to your audience. If my audience is coming to my website today, it’s because they’re interested in what I do today probably.

For Your Website’s Content, You Have to Put the Most Relevant Information Today at the Top and Write Your Bio Upside Down

[00:28:54] Tacey Atkinson: Not what you did 25 years ago. Yeah. 

[00:28:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And if they’re interested in the blue dog or the folk punk group, they can scroll down to the bottom. And Google takes it incredibly literally. What’s at the top is most important, most relevant today. And as you read down, it gets less and less relevant in terms of time, at least. And so, you need to write your bio upside down, but I would suggest you do that for a job application as well, to be honest. 

[00:29:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And for a company, it’s not when you were founded, who founded you in 1898 or whenever the company was founded. It’s what do we do today. And if you really want to know about the history of the company, you go to the bottom of the page, whether you’re a user or whether you’re Google.

Another Mistake Companies Generally Make Is Filling Their Mission Statement With Marketing Guff 

[00:29:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other huge mistake that companies make is the mission statement. They will put on their about page a terribly fluffy explanation about our values and our desire to serve the world in a better way, which is lovely, but it isn’t understandable either. And I would suggest to Google or to your audience, a lot of that is what I call marketing guff. It doesn’t actually help me understand who you are, what you do, and which you need to serve, and why I should trust you.

[00:30:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): If I’m on your about page, it’s because I want to do business with you. I want a clear explanation that convinces me that you have the solution and you are the best provider of that solution. Your mission statement in that circumstance doesn’t actually interest me as a human or as Google.

Before Stating the Mission Statement, You Have to First Explain Who You Are, Why You Should Be Trusted, and What Are Your Best Solutions 

[00:30:27] Tacey Atkinson: Wow. That’s fascinating. That’s probably one of the most important things you just taught me. I love it. Fantastic. Wow. 

[00:30:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that doesn’t mean you can’t have the mission statement, but it isn’t the first thing you should have on the page. The first thing on the page is to explain to me who you are, why I should trust you, and why you have the best solutions for me, then give me the mission statement. That’s not a problem. 

[00:30:55] Tacey Atkinson: So, it would appear farther down on a page, basically. 

[00:30:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. 

[00:30:59] Tacey Atkinson: Yeah. I love it. It’s fantastic. 

[00:31:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And for me, that makes sense both for Google and for the user. I don’t see that my clients, if they’ve got that deep into my site to find my about page, they’re interested in some factual information and they want to be convinced.

Last Speed Round Question: Who Is the One Celebrity That Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Wants to Talk With?

[00:31:17] Tacey Atkinson: Love it. Okay. So, the last one, this one is just for fun, okay? 

[00:31:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay. I like fun. 

[00:31:25] Tacey Atkinson: Me too. All right. We always get to find out lots about people with this question. So, living or dead, name one celebrity you’d like to sit down with and tell us what you would discuss. 

[00:31:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. I actually can answer this without any hesitation. I would say I would like to sit down with Brian Setzer, who is the guitarist from the Stray Cats. I would have nothing to discuss with him at all, and he would have nothing to discuss with me, but he’s my huge hero because I was a musician. And I think he is absolutely wonderfully glorious. He plays guitar like he breathes, he sings like he breathes, and he has written some of the great songs that I love deeply and dearly, but I would have nothing to say with him.

Jason Barnard’s Question for Brian Setzer: How Much of His Talent Is Completely Natural and How Much of It Did He Work to Attain? 

[00:32:14] Tacey Atkinson: So, I’m going to put you on the spot then. So, you are given an audience, five minutes, but you have to ask one question to him. What’s it going to be?

[00:32:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, I’ve got to ask him a question. Oh, no, oh, no. I actually don’t know. The thing is he is so talented. I think I would ask him how much of that talent is completely natural and how much of it did you work to attain? 

[00:32:46] Tacey Atkinson: That’s a good question. 

[00:32:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I actually now want to know the answer. Can we get Brian Setzer on?

Because He Worked Hugely to Get Where He Is Today, Jason Barnard Thinks He Could Be the Brian Setzer of the Double Bass in 10 Years Time 

[00:32:53] Tacey Atkinson: See, we learn a lot about ourselves and others when we find out the answer to this question. All right. So, thank you for playing the speed round. It wasn’t too painful, was it? 

[00:33:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. That last one where I actually was thinking, oh, I don’t have to ask him a question. I can just sit down with him and look at him and think how great Brian Setzer was or is, if he’s still a musician.

[00:33:13] Tacey Atkinson: I’m pretty sure that’d be a little uncomfortable for him.

[00:33:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. But as you said, actually, when you forced me to think about it, there was this huge pause, but the question isn’t actually that bad. And I would be very interested to know. Because for me, he’s somebody who just picked up a guitar and he could play it when he was 10 years old. And he must have worked absolutely hugely to get there. And I’m a double bass player and I’ve worked hugely to get where I am, but I don’t think I had the natural talent he had, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he just worked a lot. And maybe I could be the Brian Setzer of the double bass in 10 years time.

Some Final Thoughts About Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels From Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) 

[00:33:53] Tacey Atkinson: There you go. You never know. I love it. So, do you have any final thoughts today for us?

[00:34:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I’d like to just say I’ve been googling around your name. Like you were researching me, I’ve been researching you. And you actually have a Knowledge Panel on the right hand side of a desktop search on Google. Google has understood who you are. It has managed to figure out, despite the fact that your site isn’t desperately clear. It’s got Tacey Atkinson. Google has recognised who you are. And from there, building up a great Knowledge Panel and having that factual information when somebody searches your name is a super small step.

[00:34:36] Tacey Atkinson: Love it. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for sharing all of this information today, Jason. 

[00:34:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolute pleasure. It’s been delightful.

Reminders About Jason Barnard’s Information and How to Interact With the Customers First Podcast

[00:34:45] Tacey Atkinson: Jason’s contact information will be in the show notes. The show notes will also have ways for you to interact with the show and myself. You can rate and review the episodes, which is greatly appreciated. Be sure to share with your friends and family. Tell them why you’re enjoying the show. You can subscribe or follow the show on your favourite platforms so that you’re noticed every Tuesday when a new episode drops. You could follow me on Instagram or connect with me on LinkedIn or newly added TikTok. Those links will be at taceyatkinson.com. And remember, Customers First, today, tomorrow, always. Until next time. 

[00:35:27] Narrator: Customers First, customer service excellence, today, tomorrow, always.

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