Having a proper digital presence for your brand is more important than it has ever been. The internet is now the place where people are going to engage with your brand, along with talking about your brand among each other.

Remember the way searches worked in the early days? searchers on a particular brand would return the company’s website as the very top option. Google analytics would track the keywords that were giving your organic search visitors onto your website. And companies did not have to worry about buying branded keywords, unless they were consumer retailers.

But search results pages have become more sophisticated over time, with the paid search results and knowledge graphs changing the most. It means that a company’s digital ecosystem has grown beyond their website. It now includes many social media accounts, review sites, news pieces and forums. Local search has also become so much more important than it was a few years ago.

SEO is now a strategy that you must have – it is no longer optional. Recent surveys showed that around 54 percent of marketers view the use of SEO as increasing in 2016 and beyond. So now that we know about the current landscape, we can assess some of the best strategies that you can employ in order to ensure your brand is as unique as possible among various searches:

1.Local Searches –

Given the increase in people using their smartphones when they want to search for something online, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. This happened in 2015 and the gap is only going to increase. It means that local searches are now a crucial aspect of brand management.

Most brands still have very poor local results, even if they are taking care to improve their SEO standards. If you want to have a proper presence for local searches, you need to make an effort to maintain certain elements. And in order to get the job done, you can use tools such as Google My Business, Apple Maps Connect, Bing Places and Map Maker. These will allow you to manage your business details and they can also help track performance. You can also use tools like Google Analytics to measure impressions from local searches.

2.Social Media –

Consider these questions in relevance to your social media pages:

– How is your Facebook page appearing in branded searches?

– Is your Twitter account integrated in terms of branded search results?

– How well does your page look within the search results of a particular social media site?

– What terms can you add to the branded searches to help people find your page?

– Are the URLs for your company’s social sites optimized? (youtube.com/user/brand)

Most users cannot distinguish between a page that is verified or one that is unofficial. You have to ensure that your strategy is making such things as clear as possible.

Organic Searches:

In the past, meta title tags and such elements were a little less daunting. But now you have to make choices – are you going to include your brand in the front title tag or the end? Marketers must remember that they have 55 characters to create their tags, and Google can always change up the specific requirements.

You could comfortably pinpoint the ways your brand was getting searched by using organic keyword analysis, but it is not possible anymore. Thanks to secure searches, the organic keyword data that Google Analytics provides is a very small sample of the searches being made.

Paid Searches:

The strategy of buying branded terms for searches is more relevant than ever before. A study from 2014’s B2B Content Marketing Research indicates that paid searches were around 26 percent of the marketing budget for companies in that year. We estimate the amount has only increased in the two years since then. Why is the rise happening? Because the position on a results page, analytics and control matter more than ever before. Unless you are sharing your brand with other companies, you should not have to spend too much money to get on the top of branded search results pages.

Thanks to Sitelinks and similar extensions, you can create ads that are very effective and much more sophisticated than regular paid search ads. And in contrast to organic listings, you have complete control on the copy and destination pages for these ads. And with paid searches, you get all the data for keywords through AdWords or Google Analytics.

Managing your brand’s online presence is a full-time job that a company cannot sleep on anymore. Searches are still the crucial piece in this endeavor, and marketers have to ensure they are constantly reevaluating their strategies to make sure they match with the current landscape.

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