People use Google to find the solution to a problem, or answer to a question, and the search engine results pages (SERPs) are Google’s manner of suggesting (recommending, even) the solution it feels is most suitable. If you appear high in the results, prospective customers can find your business when they are searching for a solution that you provide. Brilliant! But there is a special case that marketers often overlook. If the person has already heard of you or your products, then their search query could contain your brand name. In that case, you need to ‘own’ that branded result. Many marketers overlook their branded searches, imagining that they are accurate, positive and convincing. That is a huge oversight.
In this spotlight article, search marketing expert, author and speaker Jason Barnard gives us a sneak peek at his brand SERP focused session at the upcoming SMX Munich conference, as well as his thoughts on digital marketing trends and more. Interested in attending SMX Munich? Keep reading for special 15% discount code!
Your session topic will focus around Brand SERPs. Can you tell us a little more about what you plan to discuss, what attendees will learn, and why your session is a “must attend”?
Brand SERPs are an amazing opportunity that many companies miss. First, think about who searches your brand name and why. I bet that immediately brand SERPs seem more important to you. Then consider that your brand SERP is a Google result that you can easily heavily influence and make positive, attractive and convincing. And the SERP that is closest to your bottom line both in acquisition and retention.
If that weren’t enough, we can take this MUCH further. What shows up in your brand SERP is what Google considers pertinent to people Googling your brand. It is a reflection of what Google considers important to those searching for your brand name. If that result is dull, inaccurate or incomplete, then your digital strategy is wonky. Analysing those SERPs is a great insight into your digital strategy, and a great way to identify weaknesses, strengths …and potentially a way to simply and effectively prioritise your digital marketing efforts.
Have you participated in Search Marketing Expo – SMX Munich in the past?
I’ve spoken at SMX London before on Google’s ranking functions, but this is my first SMX Munich. I’m excited to share how brand SERPs can make such a positive impact on a companies digital strategy, and how to go about improving what shows up in a brand’s search results.
What tips do you have for attendees to maximize their time on-site at SMX Munich?
There is a lot to learn from the talks. Take notes. But during the breaks, make an effort to network… humans are all about relationships. And Google is looking to understand them. So move those offline relationships online and show them to Google – explicitly building your personal and brand E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust).
What speakers are you most interested in hearing from and why?
- John Mueller. Someone at Google who truly tries to help the community.
- Jono Alderson. Absolutely never ever less than marvellous.Marcus Tober. Always interesting and a great presentation style
- Cindy Krum. From first hand experience, she is one of the very best.
- Mike Blumenthal. From reputation he is one of the best. But I have never had the pleasure… here is my opportunity.
What do you think is the most interesting trend in digital marketing now?
Entities. Specifically the concept of brands as entities. Entities only exist if they have relationships with other known entities. Explaining and valorising the relationships between your brand (an entity) and other entities (clients, partners, events, products, prices, dates…) is the #1 most important job we all have to do in the years to come.
What are the top 5 tools or apps you use almost every day, and what do you use them for?
- Search Console is my absolute favourite. I use it for position tracking, measuring SERP visibility, and tracking brand-related searches.
- Kalicube.pro – my own tool for tracking, analysing and measuring brand SERPs.
- SEMrush – lots of options, easy to use
- Woorank – simple and effective
- Google Ads – I do a lot of DSA, so the data here bounces off the Search Console stuff really nicely
These tools, taken together give me the best possible view I want of what is going on for my client on the SERPs that are important for them.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I have never had a 9 to 5 job. What I learned is that I don’t want one 🙂
What people have influenced your thinking (and why) and might be of interest to others?
The Pogues, The Clash, The Mano Negra and Dead Kennedys for the fact that punk is an attitude. And such an attitude challenges orthodoxy and helps us move forwards as a society.
In the industry, I am deeply impressed by the incredible knowledge, and willingness to share of people such as Dawn Anderson, Jono Alderson, Bill Slawski, Lily Ray, Aleyda Solis, Greg Gifford (to name but a few)
What is your favorite quote?
“If I’d had more time I would have written less” – Mark Twain
What advice would you give yourself when you first got started in digital marketing?
The devil is in the details …but if you don’t have a solid overall philosophy, you’ll work on the wrong details and lose the game.
Early bird rates still available for SMX Munich, plus use special discount code SWYDOSMX to save an additional 15% when you register!
Jason Barnard, 100% digital nomad: Speaker, Master of Ceremonies, #SEOisAEO podcast host. Jason has over 2 decades of experience in marketing, he started promoting his first website in the year Google was incorporated and built it up to become one of the top 10,000 most visited sites in the world (60 million visits in 2007). Today he is a fulltime 100% digital nomad, host and speaker at conferences around the world, whilst interviewing industry experts for his #SEOisAEO podcast (the most fun you’ll ever have learning about digital from the experts).