First comes branding, then comes SEO, then comes a top-ranked website? Not always. For new businesses, it is important to recognize that involving optimization in your initial branding process can have substantial payoffs.
Geographic Optimization for your Business Name
For national corporations, geographic optimization of your brand may not matter much. However, for small-to-midsized companies in major metropolitan areas, this initiative could have considerable payoffs. If you are, for example, a Manhattan auto dealer—you should consider including the word “Manhattan” in your company’s name. Including your city or geographic area into your business name will offer better rankings on Google Places.
In the example below, I have searched for “Auto New York”. Note that all but one business listing has ‘Manhattan’ in the name. “Manhattan Auto Mall” is going to be picked up faster by the search engines than “Big Bob’s Deals on Wheels”. Why? It answers the questions of WHAT and WHERE; in turn boosting your organic search rankings.
Optimizing Your Brand for Social Media
So you’ve got a great optimized brand name—what next? Keep your business relevant! Use your keywords in your Twitter profile, on your Facebook fan page, in your blog, etc. Even though Facebook hasn’t been a particularly strong tool for SEO in the past, optimizing your fan page title will push up your rankings in the search engines.
As you may have already noticed, Facebook has been offering Bing search results for quite some time now. In mid-October, Bing began offering search results fed by friend connections from your personal Facebook data. What that means is if you have a “Manhattan Quality Automotive” fan page on Facebook, consumers searching for “Manhattan cars” can also find your business if their Facebook friends are a fan of your page.
Below is an example of the new Facebook-fed Bing search (courtesy of Facebook’s blog). It’s common knowledge that peer recommendations are more influential than cold web searches, giving an added benefit to businesses found through Bing.
The Bottom Line
With the inclusion of social media and rich content in search results, it is important that your brand remains consistent and optimized across all verticals. By doing so, your business has a better chance of showing up in numerous locations on the front page of Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engines. Rule of thumb: ALWAYS BE OPTIMIZING.
Do you optimize your branding for multiple verticals? If so, what website do you see the most conversions from? Drop us a comment and let us know your best business practices!