Claim Your Spot: Making External Sites Rank High for Your Brand

Want to dominate the first page of Google?We all do, and common knowledge dictates that you build your own site, optimize it for the search engine, and pray that it does well. But you might actually have more success by creating a page on social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Pinterest) and review sites (e.g. Yelp), and have them rank for your domain instead. So why—after spending days and nights trying to increase your number of site visitors, their average time on the site, and the number of conversions—would we recommend you to link to these external sites? Wouldn’t it only drive people away from yours? It’s like picking up a girl for a dateonly to send her home with your friend, or spending hours polishing a project brief only to give your client someone else’s business card.

Pushing the Negative Content Down

That’s because your own site cannot dominate the entire first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs). And because negative third-party reviews are dominating the search engines for brand searches(they rank very high, mind you), you’re left vulnerable to negative content on other sites ranking for your brand name. You need to claim as much search engine real estate as possible to push negative content down the rankings, and control what searchers see. Don’t get us wrong, though. It’s better to simply provide good customer service and avoid negative reviews altogether. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes it’s natural for negative content about your brand to appearon the SERPs. Google Bad Reviews Billy Goat   In the sample above, the search results page for Billy Goat Tavern in Navy Pier is full of negative publicity. They have low reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, as well as a link to just one social profile—their Facebook account. To protect your brand’s presence on the SERPs, you should claim the spots and monopolize all brand real estate on the first page. Here’s how:

Paid Search

Obviously, one way to claim a spot on the first page is to utilize paid search. There are, however, many other ways to maximize this space, such as using ad extensions. Location, call offer, and sitelinks, for instance, increase the depth of your listing.

Facebook and Twitter

Having your social media accounts show up on page 1 is just as good as having your website itself rank high on SERPs. Obviously, a top-rank Facebook or Twitter page gives you more leads, more traffic, and ultimately more sales. Optimize your Facebook accountby  claiming your vanity URL, keeping your profile updated, and filling the info section as much as possible. Google also announced last year that they will be placing Tweets in Web search, and this is an excellent opportunity to incorporate social into your branded searches.Tweet at least three times a day, and use the power of hashtags whenever possible, as this helps increase the chances of your tweets showing up on the SERPs. Sample Facebook Business Page  

Pinterest

One opportunity many businesses often leave on the table is optimizing Pinterest boards for SEOs. This platform actually has a user count of over 50 million, with about 70% female users—and this is an opportunity no business can afford to miss. Pinterest User Metrics  
Image Source: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Will-Pinterest-Reach-Its-Potential-2015/1012103
  To optimize Pinterest for search, create as many boards related to your products and services as possible to make your profile more content-heavy. Because you can only include atiny profile image, make sure the photo you choose can be easily seen at a small size as well.

YouTube

YouTube is a powerhouse. Videos posted on the site, from tutorials to product reviews, show up in the Google SERPs fairly quickly. This occurs because the search engine giant is continually trying to promote the sites they own. To optimize YouTube for search, use high quality images, and fill in the “About” section of your profile and add links to your other social profiles.

Yelp

Yelp can be a breeding ground for bad reviews,particularly because customers only review businesses for a bad experience than a happy experience. But as long as you provide great customer service and be proactive in encouraging customers to review, you have a good chance at gettinga boost in your reputation with Yelp. Optimize your Yelp profile by linking to other pages where you have reviews. This makes it easier for reviewers to rank and support your brand.

Take Advantage, Claim the Spots

Overall, it’s important to take advantage of the pages you can create on social media and third-party review sites. They provide opportunities to dominate the first page of SERPs, and more importantly, build and support a positive online reputation. More than anything, however, you can’t pull off an effective external linking strategy without having a brilliant content marketing plan. That’s like buying a nice tie when you don’t even have a suit.But C1 Partners will give you both a nice tie and a nice suit with our expertise in content marketing and external linking. Call us today—we’ll create a strategy unique to your business and your goals.