If I were to sit in a meeting with a big client now and tell them to slash a little of their traditional SEO budget and instead spend more time optimising the top 30 SERP’s for variations of their brand names, they would literally laugh me out of the room.
People and big companies have only these last few years got their heads around SEO, they now know that in order to get more traffic, more sales and more revenue, you need to optimise your site and make its targeted keywords appear as high as possible in all the major search engines.
But moving forwards more and more independent SEO’s are going to be jumping onto the scene, as well as this more and more SEO companies opening up shop. So with even more SEO’s and more companies competing for the same term(s) every sector is going to be a battle field, but there are a few options:
- Optimise for long tail terms and drive traffic through with ranking for quantity terms rather than the quality ones. (Again this will start receiving huge amounts of competition).
- Optimise for local terms and then slowly optimise for all the locations that you cover, you will have a lot less competition, but will the search volume and customers be there?
- Finally and this is what I see expanding rapidly in the next few years, especially for mid sized companies and large companies that are already advertising by other means and already get a lot of direct traffic.
If you look at some of your client’s analytics data you will see that, some of the terms that actually bring the most visitors are their brand terms. As an example, do you know how many people actually go to Google and type in Facebook rather than just typing it in the browser?……. 1,680,000,000 that’s how many!
Now that is not even including mis spellings, so now imagine your client getting a fraction of brand searches, or for the rich and famous reputation searches. Currently there are not many SEO’s concentrating on this factor, but let’s just think about what happens if you do not own the rest of the sites, in the Top 5 or the Top 10? You are basically going to be losing traffic that you could have easily grabbed and converted. But what is even worse is imagine that Top 10 for your branded term had 3-4 bad experiences or false negatives about your clients company or image, you could potentially be missing out on lots of click throughs even though you are number one for your brand term, because people are seeing the negatives about you.
Brand and reputation searches are on the increase, just take a look at the above graph, this is persistent with most brand terms.
Over the next few years Brand management SEO and reputation management SEO will literally have to be offered as a separate service to clients, because although you may be number 1 for your brand. Is that really enough? What do you think?