A leader in small business loans and funding procurement, Seek Capital recently partnered with ConsumerAffairs to unlock greater insight on customer experience. Below, Director of SEO Jonathan Zacharias shares how to build trust with consumers and enhance organic search results in Google using ConsumerAffairs for Brands.
When you Google your company name or motto, what pops up on your screen? Some business owners find nothing, while others discover outdated reviews or listings with inaccurate data. This is frustrating, especially for existing and potential customers who want to learn more about your business.
If you want a Web presence that attracts consumers rather than sending them away confused, you have to improve your organic brand results on Google. Niche-related keywords drive traffic to your website, but so do organic searches for your business. These are known as branded searches, and represent users specifically looking for your company.
For example, customers might find a business called The Tastiest Pizza in St. Louis by searching for terms like "Tastiest Pizza STL," "Missouri The Tastiest Pizza," and "Tastiest Pizza near the Arch." Google's algorithm recognizes that these users want your site, so it sends them to a page of relevant listings about your restaurant -- most of the time.
If a business with a similar name outranks you in branded searches for your company, customers might visit a competitor or log off without learning anything about you. The first result during a Google search generally averages a click through rate (CTR) between 20 and 30 percent, but that number drops to around four percent for search results in the fifth slot. Your company must secure the first spot -- and the ones around it -- to ensure that customers looking for info about your site can actually find it.
If you're not sure how to make that happen, here are three major (but simple) ways to improve your organic brand on Google.
Add Your Info to Other Sites
Consumers are often wary of businesses without an established Web presence. It's not enough to have a user-friendly website loaded with important information; you must also appear on other reputable websites.
Create listings on well-known websites that feature businesses if you want consumers to trust your brand. This shows consumers that you value feedback and strive to deliver exceptional products or services. Simply put, it lets them know you're a legitimate business.
After that, add your profile to sites that allow users to review businesses. This ensures consumer access to positive feedback about your brand. Don't get discouraged if you also receive some criticism; it gives you a chance to improve. Many consumers don't expect perfection, but they do read reviews to see how a business handles negative complaints. Always strive to remedy situations that trigger mixed or unfavorable reviews so readers know you value your customers. And remember: response tone of voice matters.
ConsumerAffairs is another option for businesses that want to improve their organic brand results on Google. This website provides unbiased reviews and ratings, and it gives paying business owners Accredited Member titles, as well as data insights on consumer reviews and behavior.
Try Google My Business
Did you know that you have some control over what appears in search results for your brand? Google My Business is a free tool that lets you customize contact information, hours and availability, and photos for your business. This tool also lets you respond to online reviews and track requests for calls and directions.
You can combine analytics from Google My Business with Google's AdWords tool when you're ready to create marketing campaigns. This makes it easy to target customers with a genuine interest in your brand. It's also good to track your progress so you can see if your brand's search results are increasing or declining.
Include Non-branded Keywords
Make sure you don't neglect non-branded keywords on your quest to improve organic branding. Some large businesses shell out $50 million per year on Google Ads, and the average small business spends between $100,000 and $120,000. There's nothing wrong with spending that kind of money if you can afford it, but it's also wise to focus on non-branded keywords. After all, people are more likely to click on organic results than they are to visit AdWords-generated links.
Mastering the use of non-branded keywords takes weeks, sometimes even months or years, so don't panic if you don't top the search listings right away. Take your time, and provide valuable, well-written content that readers want to share. This is how you end up with authentic backlinks without pressuring or paying someone to include your website.
There's no single-step solution to getting your brand noticed by Google and its searchers. Combine the practical steps above, and watch your organic brand flourish.
About Seek Capital
Seek Capital is a leading provider of start up business financing in the United States, funding close to $100 million for startups in 2017. Seek Capital has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, is a consistent Top 3 rated or Winner of Lending Tree’s Lender Award and was Ranked #44 by Glassdoor Best Place to Work 2017. For more information, visit Seek Capital