Many are misguided into thinking that ranking high in the SERPs is the greatest thing that can ever happen to their website. Yes, you can accomplish so many things if your blog is consistently on the top of the first SERP:
- You’ll be the recipient of outreach efforts and be requested to create backlinks for other websites
- Your credibility as an authority site will be easier to establish.
- Branding will also be easier.
- Your site will benefit from users who never go beyond the first SERP.
- Even if Google fills up above the fold with its own advertisements and sponsored results (ex: Google Maps and Google Places), your website may still fit in the three or four organic results that are listed after.
However, getting into the organic search results of Google is not the only way for your website to gain recognition as a brand or earn conversions. You may think of this as a dreamer’s folly, but it is possible to get users to forgo the search engine and go directly to your website. There’s one thing that can help websites accomplish this: branding.
Become a brand, not a commodity
Instead of working with your trustworthy SEO company and using all of your resources to propel your page rank, work just as hard at branding. You’ll know you have succeeded when Internet users no longer bother with keyword searches and will immediately go to your website. The only reason they will go through the Google search engine is to find out what your exact URL is.
The principles of branding lead us to one goal: making your name known so that people will immediately think of it when they speak of your niche. That means having a wide audience and a strong customer base who will all willingly talk about and promote your name to other people. Just think, in this manner, other people won’t even have to go through Google’s search engine. By word of mouth, they will be immediately directed to your website. Now that’s transcending the search engines!
Branding is not easy though. Not everyone has popular backers or sponsors, and there’s a high chance that you’re starting from the ground up. It can be achieved by extensive marketing and tapping on online social media—in fact, the methods of branding deserve their own article.
To go back to the point, branding is definitely one of the things that will help reduce your dependency on search engines and page rank.
Why explore branding and other methods to outrank Google
Google is the most dominant presence in the Internet today, and with that power they have managed to influence the success or failure of online businesses.
It is indeed outrageous how Google seems to be placing more importance in their sponsored ads and in-house products in the SERPs instead of displaying relevant organic results. This practice has the potential to harm the very integrity of Google’s search engine and sacrifice the real organic results. Unless the user is sensible enough to understand that the results that matter the most may well be found on the second results page, you’ll have at least one user who’s not going to go beyond what Google wants him to see.
This is why it would be wise to be independent from the Google search engine once in a while—better yet, most of the time.
Branding is just one effective way for that. Here are some more time-tested methods that will help your website become unaffected by the competition which is Google itself:
Become the only known provider of a particular need
Or be part of an oligarchy. This is very difficult to achieve, especially if you already have so many competitors even before you entered the scene. We’ll just include this for the sake of demonstration.
Take a look at Amazon. This is the first place most bookworms go to when their favorite authors have an upcoming book. When people want to read synopses, they also go here, or to Goodreads. For gadget reviews, people usually go to Endgadget, Gadget Reviews or Cnet. These sites have become oligarchs, if not outright monopolies, of information, goods, and services. Even if users do a traditional keyword search, they’d still be on the lookout for these websites.
Practice international SEO
Promote your products/services overseas. Google may be the most dominant presence on the Web, but it is not the biggest search engine in every country. Besides, even if we do stick with Google, the organic results for different country-specific domains often vary. It’s possible that you’ll have an easier time branding in a different geographical domain.
Have a strong community of supporters
This is closely associated with branding. Usually, you can only accumulate supporters and loyal customers when they are already very impressed with the product/service that comes with your name. Bear in mind that a smaller community of loyal customers is better than a very huge population who are generally distant and not so ardent in supporting and promoting your name. What’s going to be tricky is finding those people and interacting with them to keep their interest alive. The most effective method for this? Outreach.
Ranking in Google SERPs is still very important if majority of your conversions start from there. However, if you wish to be unaffected each time Google rolls out an update or competes with the organic search results, your presence should still be potent even if your website is not on the first SERP.
How are you ranking in Google SERPS? Share by leaving your comments below.
About the author: Emma writes for a Vancouver based SEO company–Pitstop MediaInc. The company has a strong presence in North America, where it has helped several businesses increase their online visibility. To know more about Pitstop Media’s services, please visit the website www.pitstopmedia.com
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