Leveraging the “Brand Factor” Feature to Rank Higher in Google Search Results


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Leveraging the “Brand Factor” Feature to Rank Higher in Google Search Results

Google constantly changes its algorithms in order to improve the quality of their service. Webmasters will figure out that something changed the moment when:

1. Their site’s rankings drop

2. Google makes changes and updates to its algorithms

Everyone’s chasing for better Google search rankings, yet very few businesses can ever reach the 1st results page. Nevertheless, established brands seem to have a better “relationship” with Google, as the search engine favors them over the small, poorly established businesses that compete over the same thing – rankings.

In today’s post, we’ll be talking about the special relationship between Google and the established brands who send “special signals” to differentiate themselves from the crowd and to improve performance. Google sees. Google rewards. Let’s begin.

Customer Trust, Loyalty, and Engagement

A brand is always dependent on its customers. This could be a good and a bad thing. From an SEO perspective, loyal customers can only bring you benefits, as the more loyal they are to your brand they will engage with your website and social channels. Big brands work hard to consistently optimize their relationships with their customers, and they’re doing it for a very good reason: it’s profitable and productive.

Content Optimized for Both the User and Google

Unlike most of today’s “small players”, true brands create content that serves their customers more than it serves Google. An established brand won’t need to manipulate Google’s algorithms and ranking factors in order to rank. They invest time, energy, and money into their customer base, making them satisfied and ready to buy again.

However, that doesn’t mean that they totally neglect SEO. Not at all. It means that their content is optimized for Google in a very natural way and the emphasis is put on the user. Media Coverage

What do most of today’s news sites write about? Brands. Whether they publish instructional articles, updates, or general news, one or more brand names are always mentioned if not presented.

Phillip Johnson, SEO Specialist at ResumesPlanet, suggests that “Google pays close attention to the news coverage sites, giving them “indexing benefits”. Whenever an established news organization publishes something, Google will immediately index and rank that post. If your brand name is mentioned in a post that ranks high in the SERPs, your site will receive ranking benefits.”

Backlinks Coming from New Sites

If you’re an established, authoritative brand in your niche, most of the “new players” will feel safe to lead their prospects to your site for further information. A website that attracts new backlinks from new domains on a consistent basis will do very well in the eyes of Google.

Authorship Coverage

Google plans to make the “authorship” factor a ranking factor. This is basically a measure that is meant to reduce spam. The reason is simple: most people will feel uncomfortable spamming under their personal name as it’ll hurt their reputation.

Google uses its child platform, Google+, to identify the publishers who are truly trusted and respected in their particular niche. A brand mention that comes from a reputable author will severely improve your image in the eyes of the search engines.

The Power of Mentions

If you haven’t heard of linkless mentions already, you should definitely give it a read. It is predicted that Google will soon adopt a new method of identifying, measuring, and ranking the interlinking signals between sites. Simply put, you’ll no longer have to use a hyperlink to make Google see that you’re mentioning another brand. It will be enough just to mention it like I’m mentioning “Google” countless times without linking to it.

Brand Related Searches

Google can easily understand which brands are truly relevant to the customers by identifying the brand related searches. In simple words, every time your brand’s name is inserted in Google’s search string, the search engine understands that “there must be something” with it. A trend, a buzz, or simply high relevance – it counts, and it counts in a positive way.

More UX and Brand Loyalty and Less Link Creation

Most of the advanced brands don’t need a team of content writers and rewriters to earn backlinks. Instead of paying big bucks for developing guest posting content (backlinking strategy), they use their budget to improve their customer’s experience:

– A well-optimized website is critical in today’s times. The user experience you’re providing to your users will highly affect your SEO performance.

– Improving your products, services, or customer service instead of paying writers for average-quality articles will pay off better in the long term.

– Analyzing, measuring, and optimizing the brand’s operations is critical to a steady growth in performance. This refers to analytics on SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and so on.

Takeaways

Publish like a brand and you’ll be treated like a brand. Simple as that. Take our tips into consideration and start optimizing your strategy and content. Don’t forget that what will set you aside and make you a better option than the competition is the value that your company brings to the marketplace. The best way to improve your business long-term success is to improve the trust of both your customers and Google.

About the author: Warren’s lifestyle is full of hiking adventures. When he’s not busy with his guitar or enjoying the sunny day outside, he excels at blogging skills and leaps through social media. You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.

Mobile First Approach – Developing with the Future in Mind

Mobile phones have become an important part of our everyday life.

Er, life?
They even become integral part of our bodies!

Users nowadays use their smartphones for almost anything, ranging from searching information to buying and selling products and services.

Just to set the scene, let’s bring some serious numbers in the game.

– Users choose mobile devices 60% of the time rather than desktop or laptop devices to browse the internet.

– 40% of users are likely to move on to a competitor’s website if you fail to provide a good mobile experience to the user.

– 80% of Internet users own a smartphone.

– 71% of marketers firmly believe that mobile marketing is the next big thing for their business.

– Over 53% users abandon webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

– Mobile searches often lead to purchases. 70% of the time, users searching for products or services make a move within an hour.

Developer’s Point of View

Among the leading UX designers to raise awareness on Mobile First approach, Jon Fox says that the next generation of users is upon us. “Their context is touch, mobility and speed. Reaching them requires intuitive design. For better or for worse, they are mobile first.”

The increased usage of mobile phones needs a fresh approach, one will cater to the increasing number of smartphones. To provide greater user experience and well developed applications, developers are now shifting towards creating mobile applications first and then modifying them for other platforms.

Development Approaches

There are two techniques for mobile web development: Graceful Degradation and Progressive Enhancement. Both offer their own unique advantages, with implementation dependent upon the judgment of developers.

Graceful Degradation

In graceful degradation, development is prioritized for desktop rather than mobile. After the website is completed, it is scaled down to suit mobile versions.

While it may cater well to desktop versions, the transition to mobile platforms often ends up in loss of content and removal of features which would otherwise be essential. This causes issues for mobile users since their access to content is limited, which negatively affects their user experience.

Progressive Enhancement

As a result of majority of users surfing the net using smartphones, a new approach is being implemented called progressive enhancement. Web page is built for mobile from the start , and after its completion, it is further developed to suit desktop and other platform variants.

Since most users use smartphones for web surfing, it is appropriate to create webpages keeping in mind that you should provide thebest possible user experience. Through progressive enhancement, a webpage can’t only be built to suit mobile standards but can be upgraded easily to suit other platforms as well.

Going Mobile First the Right Way

Developing with a mobile first approach requires careful consideration of the following elements:

1. Make a list of the modules and individual features which will be a part of the mobile design. Arrange them accordingly, placing critical features under high priority and those of lesser functionality under lower priority.

2. Instead of developing the entire mobile UI in one go, develop separate features and then integrate them to create a larger module. This way, each part can be modified and chances of entire UI failing is very low. Moreover, the approach permits rapid development and is easy to implement.

3. Remember hardware and software constraints. Choose graphics which can easily be processed by mobile devices and design the UI while keeping in mind viewport size.

4. Dedicate a larger space for items which require touch, since fingers occupy more pixels as compared to cursors. Items such as drop down menus, buttons and links need to be modified to suit mobile UI.

5. Hover effects are unsuitable for mobile UI because no such feature has been created for finger touch.

6. Subject your application to testing on device during all phases of development. It yields actual results of behavior for the platform you are developing it for, which allows error identification and modifications.

Limitations of Mobile First Designing

While mobile first designing offers significantly better user experience and functionality for mobile platforms, it does have its limitations.

– Hardware and Software constraints.

– Smaller viewport size, meaning lesser data can be shown at a time. Requires data to be modified to be displayed suitably.

– Greater technical skillset required.

– Processing power of device needs to be considered.

– Building mobile UI cuts out development of certain features, whose addition proves troublesome during later stages when migrating platform to other devices.

Google and Mobile First – What will Change?

Being the largest search engine on the internet, Google is arguably the deciding factor in many things, including mobile application and website rankings. With the recent news that it will develop a separate mobile first index, it is obvious that Google has recognized the significance of catering to mobile platforms separately.

Although both mobile and desktop webpages will be analyzed, having a mobile website isn’t all so necessary. Google will check both pages and compare the content on them. If there is less on mobile version, it will definitely affect its rankings. To counter this, mobile first and responsive web designing is the best option because it allows creation of a webpage for both platforms and also adapts well to all mobile versions. 

With the changes on our doorstep, the following things need to be considered.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) will also be considered similar to mobile pages and ranked accordingly.

2. Mobile optimized webpages will be ranked first, even if they are slightly outdated with regards to development technology.

 

3. The new algorithmswill display Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) based on mobile page results. This means it will determine the rankings based primarily on mobile pages.

Future Proofing with Mobile First Development

While desktops and other platforms will remain indispensable, general purpose and web surfing has taken a turn for mobile platforms due to their portability and ease of use. With that in mind, development has shifted towards mobile and even Google has changed to accommodate these developments. With the number of mobile users growing daily and development progressing at a striking pace, it is only natural to assume that mobile first development has a bright future.


Asad  has been working as a digital marketing executive for almost 7 years now. He is currently working as leading executive in GO-Gulf – a Dubai based custom website company where he is working on numerous projects for search engine optimization, conversion boosting and targeting relevant audience for the clients. You can reach him on Linkedin.

 

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