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SEO Best Practices: Is Your Site Ranking for Branded Searches?

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
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Local search is the category of search engine optimization focused on connecting you with products and services in a nearby location. Ranking for local searches often goes hand in hand with branded searches, since people tend to look for information about companies in their neighborhood by name.

Here are some things to think about as you work to improve local and branded SEO.

A Blended Approach

Ranking in branded searches requires a blended approach that includes:

  • On-Site Content Marketing: Put your company name and its variations into your content, including homepages, content marketing landing pages, headers/footers, service pages, meta content, and blogs.

  • Agency Support: A local SEO marketing company will offer insights on how to use your specific location to show up in Google searches by reviewing data and activity from past months according to most searched items that relate to you, your services, and your area.

A combination of in-house efforts and marketing agency expertise can help you move up the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Your SEO work should get you ranking very well for branded searches within 30-90 days. After that, your SEO marketing company will help you rank for non-branded searches, as well as branded paid searches.

Creative Variations

You should be consistent in branding, especially with a case sensitive company name on critical pages of your website. But the more you build out your content and SEO campaigns, the more variations of your company name you'll see in your keyword reports.

Some companies we work with have seen as many as 100 variations of their name in real keyword data. This can be helpful as you continue to build out pages with more branded keywords. For example, if you're seeing "Dodgeball Nashville marketing," you know your geographic identifiers and service area are important to people looking for you online. If you see "DodgeballSEO advertising" or "DodgeballSEO social media," then you have a sense of which services and service pages could become most active in your lead generation strategy.

Bonus Points: Off-Site Branding

Just because on-site digital marketing is huge doesn't mean people aren't learning about your brand elsewhere. Here are some efforts that could be helpful in tandem with your inbound marketing and SEO work:

  • Traditional Marketing: Especially in your service area, trucks, signage, and other traditional, branded advertising can still get people interested and let them know you're nearby. Including your domain name in that advertising can boost your credibility and send people straight to your site.

  • Maps, Apps, and Directories: Google My Business (GMB) is where to start off-site when it comes to branded keywords and local search optimization. Once you complete your GMB listing, you'll have much of the boilerplate info you need to complete listings for apps and directories related to your products, services, and industry.

  • Social Media: Social media marketing is still a viable lead source, and it's often the first place someone finds a brand by name. Build out pages on the platforms your potential customers are most likely to use. Use image names, alt text, and hashtags to maintain consistent branding that won't be overwhelming.

  • Video: Video marketing can send people to your website via YouTube, the world's second largest search engine. You can use branded tags, titles, descriptions, transcripts, and image/video filenames.

With an intentional approach, you and your marketing agency should start seeing significant improvements in branded search performance at the 30, 60, and 90 day marks. It should be among the metrics you're checking regularly, especially after rolling out changes to products, services, websites, or branding.

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