Written by on . Pegasus.

Increasing your brand’s online visibility during COVID-19

Paul Edge explains why it’s never been more important for businesses to be visible and easily found online.

Online demand has soared during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.1 This has mainly been driven by concerns around the virus and constraints on consumer movement, alongside the mass closure of non-essential stores. But surprisingly, with stores now open, this demand has not eased – online sales grew 73.4 per cent year-on-year in June.

To find out how SEO industry experts and professionals are tackling this increased demand and online competition, I joined a Q&A hosted by SEO platform SEM Rush. Here, I share some of the responses from the Q&A and discuss what it means for you.

Q1. What role do searches for brand search terms play in an SEO strategy?

“Exact match brand searches are going to be super important for top of funnel prospects and for ensuring your front of house is as tidy as possible – so using Google platforms like Google My Business or review platforms like Trustpilot/Feefo should be part of your SEO strategy.”

So what does this mean for you?

Everyone who matters to your business will Google their brand name at some point in their journey.

Try it for yourself! Consider reviewing your online presence by jumping on Google or Bing and searching for your brand name. See where or if you rank on page one.

Q2. How to audit your online presence; what should you be looking for?

“You should look out for potential competitors, threats or negative press. If you find those, take action and do what you can to get those negative results off of the first page of your branded SERP.”

So what does this mean for you?

If you do find negative press online through an audit, reach out to publishers and request that content is amended or provide new evidence to enable the publisher to make the article more balanced.

I would always recommend auditing your backlink profile to check which sites are linking to you. Backlinks with high spam scores can be removed through a request to Google and Bing because they’ll be reducing the visibility of your website.

Q3. Quick wins: what search engine features are the easiest to get and optimise for?

“Get a #knowledgepanel for your brand by setting up a Google brand account. Entities are the future of SEO – your brand needs to be a recognised named entity.”

“Utilise all of Google’s platforms such as Google My Business and submit as much rich information about your business as you can”

So what does this mean for you?

Not owning your Google business profile will mean it’s up to Google what it can find and pull in. Submit all your successes and most recent information. Even down to your office image! As standard, you’re likely to get a glamorous office car park image profile picture and the company branding displayed may not be up-to-date.

Q4. What are the top three best practices for a Brand SEO strategy?

“Work out what is your brand message, what content is valuable and useful to your audience?”

“Control what you can control such as owned website or social content.”

“Carefully research and plan every page title and meta description to tell searchers and search engines precisely what your page is about and why they should click through.”

So what does this mean for you?

SEO can appear complicated but fundamentally it is supported by three pillars: content, technical and authority. Keep these three SEO concepts in mind and you’ll have a brand SEO strategy that will increase your place on search engine result pages.

Q5. [Google AdWords] Should you bid on your own exact match brand keywords or is it a waste of money?

“If you’re in a highly competitive vertical, it might be a good idea. But if it’s relatively quiet, your budget may be best spent elsewhere.”

So what does this mean for you?

If you’ve just launched a site or page it can take months to rank highly. Google Ads will get you to the top of page one until your organic efforts catch up. Remember competitors can bid on their brand to appear higher than yours even if your brand SEO is on point.

As these questions show, you can tackle SEO in several ways, and time and budget will limit you. But ultimately, launching a website or a new page without considering SEO for your brand terms is like having a billboard in the desert.

Without SEO, a consumer may be looking for you but find only your competitors. SEO can ensure your consumers find what they’re looking for – your brand!

If you would like me to audit how your brands SEO is performing in search engine results then just drop me a line here paul.edge@thisispegasus.co.uk

References

UK Online Retailing: Inc Impact Of COVID-19 Market Report

https://store.mintel.com/uk-online-retailing-market-report

@semrush

https://twitter.com/semrush

is a Digital Account Director with over six years experience making engaging digital content convert.