Strategies for Solving Your Brand Issues in SERPs

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Branding and reputation are everything in the business world. Businesses work very hard to make sure their brand is perceived by their customers in a certain way. When a business comes in at #3 on SERP, with competitors coming in at the #1 and #2 spots, then adjustments must be made to correct such branding problems.

When this happens, it is time for a serious investigation into what is causing these results to determine what needs to be done to solve the branding issues.

1.   Understanding Client’s Requirement

Our client not only wanted to rank at #1 on the query for brand name, but also wanted to have all of their website pages on the first page of SERP. So it was a matter of taking over the whole first page for this single brand.

2.   Analyze the Situation

In order to perform an analysis of the situation, first we needed to figure out what brand names actually were ranking on that first page. If any of the website pages were under investigation, then we can just ignore those for the time being. We asked the following 3 questions about the pages ranking for brand.

  1. How similar are the brand names that are ranking?
  2. How many backlinks do those pages have? How many come from brand name as anchor text?
  3. Is the brand name mentioned in prominent places of web pages (like title, content, etc.)?

When you find these answers jump to next step.

3.   Create a Plan of Action                 

Once we had the information we needed, we took steps to correct the problems and achieve the desired SERP rankings.

  1. We decided to have only a few (2-3) website pages in top 10 rankings.
  2. Register for social media profiles and get them in top 10 rankings.
  3. Work on establishing a presence on authority websites and get them in top 10 rankings.

(Reason for this action plan was considering Google’s domain crowding factor)

4.   Getting Plan into Action

We have taken the following steps to change SERP results.

  1. The brand name was integrated in the content, the title, the header tags, and the Metatags.
  2. Targeted keywords were used for internal linking.
  3. The brand name was integrated as an alt tag in the logo.
  4. Build the footer by integrating the copyright line and the brand name.
  5. Used formatting to integrate the address and phone number.
  6. Created a Google place account.
  7. Google authorship was also configured.
  8. Updated and improved all appropriate social media profiles, and linked them to the website. Choose Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  9. Distributed content to relevant websites in the form of PPT, Videos, white papers etc.
  10. Improved or created new profiles on authority websites and created backlinks to the main website. Choose yelp, yellow pages, squidoo, crunchbase, etc.
  11. Used the brand name for anchor text, and created quality backlinks from chosen authority sources.


It took approximately two months to see the positive results of our action plan. Within that time, the first page was filled with our client’s web pages, social media profiles, and authority sources which booted their competitors to lower ranks.

Have you done similar job? I would love to hear your strategy, and what you have done differently in the comments below.

Altaf Gilani
Altaf is VP Marketing at Eminent InfoWeb LLP. He is passionate about Digital Marketing, but is handsomely experienced with Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing,... Read Full Bio
Altaf Gilani
Altaf Gilani
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  • Nice post Altaf. We have clients with similar problems and have found on many occasions that they simply don’t have the social footprint. Once the social media aspects are resolved (as you refer to) then we have tended to see a lift in the SERPS. Of course, this isn’t the main mitigating factor, but it’s a very simple one to solve and can typically be done by the client themselves, as the SEO specialist or agency cracks on with the more advanced tasks.

    • I am glad that you liked the post, Marc.

      Yes, these are simple tactics but works very effectively in many cases. Although it looks quite simple but sometimes it’s quite complicated and tough when you have to downgrade your competitors or negative review webpage which has high authority /footprints in search engines.

      I would highly appreciate if you can contribute some advance tasks that can help in such situation?

  • branding is obviously the key to get higher SERPS. i would suggest to increase the density of backlinks with brand name anchor text. Good work altaf.

    • Syed, you’re right. Getting backlinks from Brand Name as an anchor text is of significant importance to concur top position for your brand query but I believe you need to concur atleast top 10 position for best branding.

  • James H.

    Hi Altaf,

    These are all very effective ORM tactics. The only thing we do differently is that we suggest our clients to tell their customers to write reviews on their own sites, not third-party sites like Yelp. The problem with third-party sites is not only the fact that you can’t control what gets posted but also the fact that you can’t easily respond to the upset customer writing the negative review. This lack of good interactivity with the customer makes it harder for a company to fix their own problems.

    Plus, review sites like Yelp have also been accused of using a company’s negative reviews to their advantage by extorting them into paying for advertising space with them. Feel free to visit my blog and look for an article titled, “5 Reasons Yelp is a Monster.” You can learn more about this problem there.

    Hope that helps!

  • James, I am glad that you liked & agree to the tactics written in the content. I read the article on your blog about Yelp, and I am literally surprised on read.

    Now about the reviews, Even I join you in saying that customers should post review on client’s website, and not third party. I am sure positive reviewers would have no issue in doing that. But when it comes to a negative review, reviewer would not post on client website because s/he would be afraid if that is actually going to be published? And in most cases, it does not.

    So like Third party websites, we cannot control negative reviewer to post review on other websites.

  • Altaf,

    We have explained very well, a person who are not aware about social media and its importance can easily understand what are the impacts of Social Media and in SERPs.

    I was looking for an effective action plan to create brand awareness and to be visible in the SERPs, and here my search gets ends.

    Thanks for this and yes please #KeepRocking to #KnowledgeSharing

    • I am glad that you liked it Nikhil,

      Doubtlessly, Social Media is one of the major platform to analyze how your brand is perceived by your customers. If they are happy they’ll write about it, and if they are sad then they’ll surely write about it!

  • Incredible post!!! This is very easy to understand built the marketing strategy step by step..


  • A.Satish

    Really Good one Altaf Gilani. Same strategy i also follow as you written, it almost takes 2 months to get the positive results of our action plan.

    • Great mind think alike, Satish 😉

      Happy to head that you had the positive results…

  • I’ve implemented similar tactics on a brand new website, an online magazine and needed month and a half to see it ranking on the first spot for it’s brand name in medium competitive niche. However, I must mention that the website is well-designed, and has quality content which helps a lot!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience…. And I am glad that you agree and liked it….