“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.“
~ Zig Ziglar
If you’re unfamiliar with the legendary Zig Ziglar, he knew a thing or two about branding.
We can all agree that online branding is incredibly important.
This is especially true if you’re in an already crowded industry, where being identified as one of the premier brands can literally make or break you.
Gaining a high branded search volume is just one of the ways companies come to prominence and build a strong reputation.
But how do you do this?
How can you increase the number of branded searches your company receives?
In this post, we’ll cover some fundamental strategies you can use to achieve that objective.
Additionally, we’ll discuss some of the specific benefits of maximizing your branded search volume (besides the obvious benefit of building brand equity).
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What are branded keywords?
First things first.
It’s a good idea to quickly pinpoint exactly what branded keywords are to ensure we’re on the same
Viden defines a branded keyword as:
“Branded keywords are words or phrases related to your company name, product, or service. These words can be used in search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns to target potential customers specifically looking for your brand. “
In other words, a branded keyword search includes your brand’s name or some variation of it.
The benefits of branded searches
Why should you put the effort into increasing your branded search volume?
Will it really make that big of a difference?
In short, yes. It can have a significant impact.
In his Whiteboard Friday last year, Rand Fishkin of Moz discussed the big rewards of influencing branded searches.
Here’s a screenshot of Rank’s whiteboard with a detailed outline of influencing brand searches:
Of course, there are benefits to improving your brand-related ranking and increasing conversions.
But what we really found interesting is that gaining more branded search volume can potentially improve your rankings for non-branded queries.
While this was only Moz’s speculation, Rand made an excellent point.
Here’s another screenshot that explains his logic:
And this logic totally makes sense to me.
If you can get your brand to appear in a high volume of searches along with a particular unbranded phrase, it’s reasonable to think that Google could associate your brand with that phrase and deem it highly relevant.
In turn, your rankings could improve across the board.
The bottom line here is that receiving many branded searches is a very good thing and can provide your company with a major boost on many levels.
Do everything possible to increase your volume of branded searches.
The way we see it, the following strategies are your best bet for accomplishing this.
Rand makes another great point in his Whiteboard Friday video mentioned above.
According to him,
“We’re going to have to work pretty cross-departmentally in our marketing teams to be able to make this happen because some of the best tactics require things that SEO doesn’t always own and control entirely.“
In other words, it’s important to branch out and spread your tentacles to several different areas of marketing.
Some of which aren’t even online.
Here are some ways you can do that.
Let’s ask you a question.
What’s the most straightforward way to get more people to search for your brand on Google?
Make them curious about your brand so they take the time to do a branded search.
But the bigger question is: “How do you create curiosity?”
That’s where things start to get a little tricky.
Rand actually suggests using old-school offline techniques like TV, print, billboards, etc.
These are totally viable outlets for brands with deep pockets.
But this approach probably isn’t suitable for smaller businesses with a shoestring budget.
However, there are two techniques that can work for almost any company.
One is simply word-of-mouth marketing.
In fact, a survey by Visible Experts listed referrals/recommendations as the number one offline medium for obtaining leads.
It’s also important to note that according to Nielsen, recommendations are still the number one way to build trust.
If you can create brand advocates who willingly spread the word about your business, the world is your oyster, and branded searches are practically guaranteed to follow.
We recommend putting much effort into exceeding customer expectations, providing great customer service, etc., to create brand advocates.
You may even want to create a formal referral program to catalyze things.
Another avenue to explore is speaking engagements.
The same study we mentioned earlier from Visible Experts states that speaking engagements are just behind referrals and the second-best way to build leads.
We realize public speaking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
But it’s definitely an effective way to generate buzz and create curiosity.
Just picture it.
You speak at a local event in front of a few hundred people.
Let’s then say half of the attendees want to learn more about your brand and search for you on Google.
Voila! You’ve just increased your branded search volume considerably.
You will probably generate a sizable number of highly qualified leads and directly boost your brand equity.
Just be sure to suggest to the attendees to check out your brand.
If you’re interested in finding speaking engagements, refer to this guide for more details.
All right, enough of this offline stuff.
Let’s bring it back to the digital realm.
You probably already know we’re huge proponents of guest posting.
In our opinion, it’s hands down one of the best inbound marketing techniques and is ideal for increasing brand visibility.
For example, in one of my articles on NeilPatel.com, we mention Bryan Harris, who built a full-time business generating over $15,000 a month with a single guest post on Okdork.
We also think this can hold the key to gaining more branded search volume for your website as well.
Here’s the scenario.
You land a couple of guest-blogging opportunities for online publications with significant followings.
You write some killer content that intrigues your audience and sparks curiosity about your company.
Now you might be asking, “Wouldn’t readers just click on the link to my site if they were interested in learning more rather than actually performing a search?”
Touché. That’s a good point.
And it’s true that a sizable portion of readers will access your site this way.
That’s not bad; it will supply you with quality traffic and leads.
However, it’s not directly contributing to a flood of branded searches for you.
It’s fair to say that a respectable number of people will want to learn more about you through a search.
This is especially true if you crush it and create engaging guest posts.
If you want to learn more about the process of guest blogging, we recommend checking out this guide from Backlinko.
It will definitely steer you in the right direction.
Now, our last point.
It’s highly likely that receiving brand mentions (especially from big-name influencers) should positively impact your branded search volume.
Let’s say one of your industry’s top bloggers or experts gives your company a shout-out.
All of a sudden, there’s going to be a significant number of people wanting to know more about you.
Bam! This should spark an increase in Google searches.
Of course, you can’t just snap your fingers and get game-changing brand mentions.
But there are two specific strategies that can greatly help.
One is to create content that influencers will link to.
We can’t adequately cover this exhaustive topic here, but you can learn all the details in this post.
The other strategy is to engage in a straight-up influencer marketing campaign.
It can not only increase branded searches but also have a profound impact on your overall marketing efforts.
In fact, “40 percent of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube.”
We suggest checking out this post from Hootsuite for the skinny on influencer marketing.
When you boil it all down, your objective is very simple.
Get people to search for your company on Google.
This is largely achieved by creating curiosity so that people can’t help but feel compelled to search for your brand.
One of the things we find interesting about this technique is that it’s an aspect of SEO that usually requires a mix of traditional, offline techniques and newer, strictly digital ones to work.
By branching out in different directions to create intrigue and curiosity about your brand across the board, you can gain more branded searches to your website and reap a host of rewards in return.