Most companies get a huge percentage of their leads through brand traffic – much more compared to non-brand traffic. Most clients I worked for get about 30-40% of all their leads from their brand search!
It’s a given that increasing brand search volume will increase the lead count too, and that’s why businesses – big or small – must focus on boosting brand searches.
What is brand search volume?
Brand search volume is the average number of times Google registers a search term that has your brand name over a month. It includes the phrase that has only your brand name and those that have additional keywords.
For example, if you brand is called salesoftware, here’s a rough list of brand search terms:
- Salesoftware signup
- Salesoftware login
- Salesoftware pricing
- Salesoftware plans
- What is salesoftware?
- How to use Salesoftware?
- Salesoftware support
People looking up these terms have a high intent to learn more about your product or services, if not signing up with you. There is a good chance they will land on your features, sales, or product description page, which usually convert at a high rate.
Now you don’t just want to increase the number of such terms, but also increase the count of people searching for it. The best way, in fact, the only way to do that is by discovering the platforms where your potential audience frequents and getting your brand in front of them.
How to increase brand search volume?
1. Create helpful shareable content with original data
Content is king. This statement was true decades back and will be true for years to come. You can distribute content in many ways but the efforts will be successful only if it can effectively address pain points.
And that’s why it’s essential to create helpful content. However, the term – helpful content – can be confusing. What that means is, your page should have the answer to the question that the visitor typed into the Google search bar. That, along with answers to related questions.
A lot of brands rewrite content that others have written. They build skyscrapers which is essentially an existing article created by another brand plus a bit more content. Often, such content is not helpful.
What really helps is adding information that no one else has. You can get it through original research.
Once your written content is ready, it’s time to make it shareable. By adding design elements and highlighting stats, you can elevate important aspects of an article. You can also add social share icons to make it easy for readers to distribute.
That would help you with not just spreading brand awareness but also building natural backlinks that boost your content’s ranking on search engines.
2. Create thought leadership content
SEO content often sits at the center of all content marketing activities. Even though SEO is an awesome way of promoting content, it often takes quality away without the author realizing it.
SEO limits content to search intent and keywords. As a result, if writers do not decent the search volume for a topic on their tool, they won’t cover the piece. It makes sense from an RoI perspective, but this practice ignores zero-search content.
Not every pain point gets searched on Google, often people do not realize that they have something to fix until they read the topic of an article. It’s then they realize that they had been blind sided to a data point of a potentially detrimental problem.
It’s a powerful position to be in if you offer a solution to an unknown problem. You truly stand out from your competitors. When you create unique solutions to problems and back them up with original research, you come across as a thought leader – As an influencer whose opinion matters.
Now, the question remains – how do you promote this content and get it seen by the right audience?
The answer lies in your current source of traffic. Assuming SEO generates the most traffic, pick a bunch of high traffic blog posts that are only peripherally related to your product or service. Add the thought leadership asset as a CTA on an in-page element in the top fold – to give it high visibility – in case you want to keep the primary CTA focussed towards the money page. You can choose to gate the asset to capture email leads.
Additionally, you can promote these pieces through many other mediums as we will discuss later.
3. Conduct webinars
Webinars contribute to increasing your brand search volume in more ways than one. They help you attract an audience base that aligns with your product or services and help you bank on the brand value of the guest speakers, and of the speakers’ company.
Pick topics that are pressing pain points for your audience – even if there is a lot of content already around it. You are bringing in a new perspective through your guests – a unique way to solve a problem. People would signup for that unique perspective.
Try to bring in an influencer or a micro influencer to speak. Shortlist them based on the niche of audiences they attract, plus, the kind of engagement they get on their content.
The goal here is to attract people based on the value you offer and the influencers they follow.
4. Ride the trend
Social media has the power to boost brand awareness which would eventually result in an increase in the brand search volume. For that, your social media posts must be seen by a relevant audience over many months.
You must be prolific and identify social media trends and ride on the wave. For example, #halloween starts trending towards the end of October, figure out if you can connect your services to Halloween and use the hashtag in your posts.
It’s a good chance that a lot more people would be interested in Halloween compared to your product. However, out of the 100 people who see your posts, even if 5 are interested in your product, you have already built some brand awareness.
Over the next few months, the more those 5 people see your posts through different hashtags, the more inclined they will be to follow you on your social media platform and see you as a trusted brand.
Note that most social media platforms do not want to let people move to another website. They want them to stay on their domain and see advertisements because that’s how their business works. But what social media platforms do instead is show high-engagement content to even more people.
That’s why focus on zero-click content that improves your brand image, don’t focus on getting people back to your website. Remember, that goal is not to generate leads from social media but to get more search volume for your brand from Google.
5. Video testimonials
Asking your customers to create a video testimonial can do wonders for your brand awareness. They provide social proof to your brand which inspires people to look you up.
Video testimonials are also very shareable which means you can promote them though social media too.
6. Secure a sponsored post on popular newsletters
When people subscribe to a brand’s newsletter, they are permitting them to enter their inbox. In today’s time, it translates to a high degree of trust. People have limited attention and they subscribe to only those newsletters that have something unique and of value to offer.
The said brands have done the hard work of building that trust and keeping people subscribed for years by offering value.
By buying a slot on their newsletter, you get your brand seen by a highly relevant audience base on a platform they trust. It also means that the click through rate is high and so is the engagement of referral traffic. Now, you may not drive leads immediately but you get one step closer to getting to their top of mind.
The first step to this process is finding those newsletters. The best way to do that is by subscribing to relevant subreddits and following people in your industry on social media channels – specifically LinkedIn and Twitter. By following tens of such folks, you will constantly stay updated on where they get their information from.
Heads Up – getting on any of the popular newsletters will cost a lot and you won’t be able to prove the RoI immediately. However, audience engagement and increment in search traffic over the next month might be a good indication of how that campaign worked for you.
For example, Aleyda Solis is an SEO influencer who owns a popular newsletter. Every Monday you get to see sponsored content along with high value items she publishes. It’s wise of SEO agencies and even big brands to create content and pay to get it featured in that newsletter.
Similarly, your industry will have such influencers or brands that can boost your brand search volume fast.
7. Try YouTube and Google search Ads
As we discussed earlier, you need to be on the platforms where your target audience hangs out. With Google and YouTube being the top two search engines, you can be sure that some percentage of your potential audiences is looking for services there.
You can publish Ads on both platforms while targeting your competitors. For example, if you were an eCommerce store that sells shoes in Orange County, you might want to target Amazon related searches in that specific location. This means, anyone looking for Amazon shoes in Orange county will see your Ad.
People who visit your website, buy stuff, and feel happy with their purchase might look up your brand the next time they want to buy something.
Similar strategies work on YouTube – you can run video Ads on your competitor videos.
8. Write for high authority websites
To increase brand search volume, collaborating with high-traffic and authoritative websites is a win-win solution. On the one hand, you can provide them with relevant, valuable, and high-quality content. On the other hand, you can demonstrate expertise and improve brand awareness and authority. You’ll benefit from the search side too.
Leszek Dudkiewicz from passport-photo online agrees, “People interested in your articles will want to read and know something more about your company and business, and this will boost brand search traffic.”
While submitting guest blog posts, remember to leave a link to your social profiles in your byline. This serves two purposes – your social profiles will get more impressions and Google will know that the author is an expert in the niche.
Next time, when you publish content anywhere, including your own website, you might get brownie points in SERP positions as Google sees you as a source of authority.
9. Getting potential users to a social group
Building up a strong community of users who can support your brand and spread awareness about it, is certainly the best way to increase brand search. This can be achieved through social media pages, blog articles, and other marketing materials.
The goal is to get people to a platform that you own and keep them there. You can do that through Slack groups and LinkedIn groups. Think about this, you get to keep influencing people who are interested in what you say – without having to reach them through newsletters. You can also knock the competition out of the park as you will have far more influence on your subscribers than anyone else.
Luciano Colos from PitchGrade adds, “When people enjoy your brand and believe in its mission, they are more likely to search for your name online. With a strong community, you will see a significant increase in brand search volume.”
10. Get in touch with micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are social media personnels who are trusted by a very niche audience base. Sticking with the example of Amazon shoes, someone with an experience in hiking in Santiago Oaks would own a very niche audience base.
If you get them to promote your brand, you can be sure that your product will get huge traction on social media immediately. This will increase your brand search volume. The challenge, however, is finding those micro-influencers. Araminta Robertson, form Creatory has a solution for that:
1. Use a tool like Sparktoro to see what kind of people follow the big names in your niche.
2. Look for people with higher than average engagement on their Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn.
3. Reach out to see if they’d be willing to work with you – either for a small fee or a free product.
4. Schedule the micro-influencers to launch all their campaigns at once.
She adds, “If you have 50 micro-influencers talking about your product within the same week or two, your branded search volume will shoot up.”
11. Generate reviews
Encourage customer reviews. Whether it is through Google Reviews, Facebook, G2, Trustpilot, etc. it always pays to have as many positive reviews as possible. Ultimately it comes down to trust, and if you’re not a household name, potential clients want to know that they can depend on your product/service to be as good as advertised.
Peter Bryla from ResumeLab says, “Showing that others have had a positive experience interacting with your business can go a long way in ensuring their concerns.”
Positive customer reviews can help grow your traffic directly, improve your SEO, and raise your brand awareness and equity in the minds of potential clients.
This is similar to getting video testimonials, the only difference being that reviews are usually hosted on external, third-party websites.
12. Invest in affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the strategy in which you pay people a commission for bringing in clients for you. You can sign up with a trusted affiliate network to find affiliates to promote your product. The affiliate network allots unique URLs to your landing pages to affiliates and pays them a commission each time someone buys your product or service through their link.
It’s up to affiliates to show that link to their audience and generate sales. Now, irrespective of them generating sales, they will try their best to reach as many people as possible. That’s because, the more people see their link, the greater the probability of someone clicking and purchasing through it.
This way, you reach a wider audience base, one that otherwise you would never know existed.
Madhav Bhandari from Early Stage Marketing says,”When you invest in an affiliate program, you’re essentially opening up opportunities for blogs to include you in comparisons with the industry leader. When you reach a certain scale with affiliates promoting you aggressively, you’ll notice an uptick in your brand searches as more of your ICPs see you being compared with the industry leader.”
13. Brainstorm with cross-functionalities
The marketing team owns the metric of the brand search volume. However, other client-facing teams can give useful suggestions. Sales and support can reveal important pain points that most clients face.
You can consider including those suggestions in webinars, or even structure campaigns around those topics. You can get a lot of traction to your content, irrespective of the platform, if it’s relevant to your audience.
14. Enhance a personality if you can
One of the most steady ways to build a brand is to center it around one or a set of individuals. This will help you humanize your brand by giving it a face.
For example, Sam oh is the face of Ahrefs’ YouTube videos, a lot of people see him when they think of the brand.
The shortcoming though, is people leaving your company, that’s why you want a set of people to be the face of your brand, not an individual.
15. Provide stellar product, services, and support
None of the above tips will be useful unless you have a truly helpful product that’s backed by stellar customer support. Without that, you may still increase brand search volume but for all wrong reasons.
Focus on getting the ship in order before planning to increase brand awareness.
How do you increase branded organic traffic?
Branded organic traffic can be increased by investing heavily in creating quality content across all platforms. You must try to rank for non-brand traffic which will eventually give Google enough confidence in your domain to rank it among sitelinks too.
That, coupled by campaigns around brand search volume, social media marketing, and paid efforts will help you boost organic traffic through brand keywords. Bear in mind that the process takes months.
How do I find branded search volume in Google Analytics?
- By connecting Google Analytics to Google Search Console, you can easily import all keywords and see them under Acquisition > Search Console.
- You can also find brand keywords by using Google alphabet soup. Just type your brand name into Google, hit the spacebar and see what suggestions show up.
- Finally, by just looking up your brand name, you will find related keywords towards the end of the SERP. You will also find relevant questions about your brand under the People Also Ask section.
How does SEO improve brand traffic?
SEO helps your website get organic traffic for non-brand keywords while you are still building your brand name. Google observes how well people interact with your website, quality of backlinks you earn, and other ranking signals. Based on that, it starts showing your brand name in rich results.
Eventually, with more people searching your brand and mentioning them on different websites and platforms, you earn sitelinks with items in your primary navigation.
How do you rank brand keywords?
Ranking brand keywords is fairly easy if you have the same domain name as the brand, Google often ranks websites if the keyword searched matches with the domain name. It also helps to create individual pages for each brand term.
What is organic branded search?
Organic brand search represents the activity of people typing your brand name in search engines. The traffic generated is non-paid – completely organic – and that’s why the name. Often, this category of search brings highly motivated audiences to your website who convert at a better rate.
How do I find brand keywords?
Brand keywords can be identified through Google search console under the Queries tab under Search results. Add a keyword filter with the brand name to see keyword variations with your brand name.