Where would we be without rank? Ranking factors into every relationship: business, career, institution, and even personal!
When it comes to the managing of our online presence, it seems like every year the Internet giant, Google gives us a new kind of ranking factor, also known as a “ranking signal.” As it turns out, “brand” is one of the top ten ranking signals – and ranking is what really matters in digital marketing for 2019.
The industry term, “ranking factors” describes the criteria which is applied by search engines when they evaluate web pages in order to compile the rankings of their search results. Understanding ranking factors is an absolute prerequisite for effective SEO (search engine optimization).
What is a Ranking Factor?
Ranking factor is something very technical, very specific, and that is, an algorithmic input that Google measures directly and uses to determine ‘rank position’ in their algorithm. This is also thought of as where a business comes up in a search on Google (i.e., on the top of the first page, or bottom of the last). According to certain cyber sleuths at Local Management, Google may use up to 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. Apparently, this is partially proven, a bit controversial, with a splash of SEO nerd speculation.
Since Google evaluates sites based on these hundreds of ranking factors, knowing exactly how and what to do with your SEO and brand strategy is going to boost your brands’ ranking signal better. And of course, Local Management can help you with that!
What is Brand? Brand Signals and Other Top-Ranking Signals
Brand is just a marketing goal that allows a company to sell their product or service for a premium. Brand signals are indicators of the level of creditability that a brand has. Google has an objective to provide accurate, useful and trustworthy information to its users. This means credibility is essential. Think about how important this is if Google sends users to a company web site that has a monetary interest when a user accesses their pages. They don’t typically like to work with thieves and crooks! If this makes you nervous, rest assured for two reasons: firstly, you’re probably not a crook or a criminal. Secondly, brand signals are really useful for your brand, especially in the long term. Doing awesome things and getting people to notice you is a brand signal. This can include charitable contributions, interfacing well with customers, being a helpful member of your online communities, and any other positive interactions that you can imagine.
Google likes to distinguish the brands that produce innovative, quality products, services, and content. To pass this muster and boost brand signals, Google wants you to be real, credible and worth trusting. With a jury of Internet peers, Google will get its proof.
How Can You Build Your Brand Better?
There are some ethical SEO strategies that you can employ to influence brand signals, and Local Management is here to help. Google uses different technical signals or factors to evaluate if your brand is behaving well, the legitimacy of your brand, and the nature of your practices. In addition to these technical signals, Google can look at:
- The kinds of people talking about your brand
- Influencers mentioning your brand (or not)
- Do well-respected consumer advocacy web sites, like if the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports have anything to say about you
- If other and more prominent brands in or out of your niche have mentioned you
- If you’ve received press coverage- this can be local, regional, national, or internationally
- How well you’ve connected your Google and/ or social media ads to your brand
Increasing brand awareness or creating more optimized brand signals is about things of value to Google, and involves consistent, persistent, long-term processes involving time and effort – and some money.
Here are some brand-building factors to check off your list to make sure you are on the right track:
- Blogs and content writing: do you consistently provide high quality informative, useful content, answering any questions, interacting with customers and fans?
- Organic linking: linking is an organic form of authority. Do you form links with others naturally and organically because of your valuable content?
- Positive news: do you focus on doing things that have a positive and newsworthy benefit? Sponsoring and charity work helps with this.
- Mix up marketing campaigns: do you vary your marketing strategy and campaigns? Digital marketing rules are key, but so is direct mail, eye-catching billboard advertisements, and even great radio commercials are still effective, especially locally. View and shared content and tags are a positive brand signal, and can also net you more followers on your social media sites.
- Be bold: go through your brand mentions, and ask to link others to you when they mention your brand. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid! Reach out to those blog post authors.
- Monitor brand keywords: does your content include your branded keywords? It’s well known but a good reminder that content creation is the least expensive way to rank for branded keyword, and is a simple SEO strategy.
- Legitimacy: are there people who list your business as their employer on LinkedIn? That’s important. Is there a Facebook page linking to your web site? Are there verified social media accounts, which are updated regularly? Do you respond quickly to inquiries and interact with customers?
- Web site credibility – location: Are you for real? Does your web site list a physical address, phone number, email address, and include a contact form? Do you have a full and complete web site, with more than just an about page?
If you are not taking these steps and many more that Local management could share with you, then you probably aren’t working your brand as signal very well and should probably enlist some help.
Brand as A Ranking Signal
Digging back over a decade, we heard about ‘brand as ranking.’ In late 2008, AdAge reported on a speech that Eric Schmidt gave at an industry conference. Back then, he said, “Brands are the solution, not the problem…brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”
That sounds a bit like brand preference doesn’t it?
Even though he was apparently not speaking about the search algorithm at all, he did mention that brands, specifically magazines and other professional content creators, were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted. This indicates that an element of trust is synonymous with the word “brand.” After all, what makes us buy something? You trust you will get what you paid for, trust what others say about it, and trust is not a trick.
The process of building that positive “commercial reputation” is what branding is all about. It involves creating perceptions such as authority, honesty, or convenience, which are all qualities that appeal to consumers.
Now here is a simple but important idea to consider: search algorithms have always aspired to identify sites with authority and relevance. Brands rank well because they have spent the time, and have built awareness and cultivated all the precursors of authority and relevance that leads to more links. Perhaps “brand” is not a ranking signal exactly; but building and boosting a brand can help cultivate the signals that will help your websites rank well. In addition, when it comes to branding signals, Google also looks at user data. It looks at patterns more specifically – the patterns of where web visitors go, and what their search experiences are like. Google would like to reward sites that are getting organic traffic, not just from searches, but natural traffic of all kinds on any particular topic. If it turns out that many people who are researching “the best digital marketing in Florida” and end up coming to us at https://www.localmanagement.us/, Google may say, “Hey, we’ve seen this pattern over and over again. Let’s boost their rankings because it seems like people who look for this kind of content end up on the Local Management site.”
Branding with Local Management: If You’re Happy and You Know it, Click “Like”
Our main goal is to develop your business the way you’ve always dreamed, in a process that’s tried and true. We take pride in the success of our clients – it’s a shared victory. We’re not happy until you are. With a little creativity and SEO savvy, it’s possible for you to be ranking at the top of the page in 2019! And if you’re like 66% of marketers, improving your SEO and growing your organic traffic is a top priority.
What Can Local Management Do for You?
Well, pretty much everything! Local Management is a full-service digital marketing company in Florida, available for anything you need to create and maintain your SEO and Internet business presence. We offer a happier, sunnier place where you will be free to express for success.
Here is a partial list of our branding services:
Our valued relationships with clients are based on trust and transparency. Clients love to work with us because we get immersed in their world. Our skilled teams of craftsman bring brands to life with original perspectives, intelligent creative thinking, and ultimately, your product that stands out from the rest. That’s branding at it’s best!
For more information about our SEO and brand as ranking services, call Local Management today. Have any questions, comments, or feedback? Reach out to us and let us know, we’d love to hear from you.