A companies most important search term is its brand phrase. Google recognizes its importance by giving brand results a substantial share of on page real estate.


Depending on how you account for it brand click through rates vary from 45% – 80% of click through for a typical search depending how you account for CTR – I have written about the brand CTR debate here. In any case, brand results are really important.

The Power of Persuasion

The next thing is to understand how persuasive a set of results is for your brand. Persuasiveness is the important part here because that’s what you need to get more conversions. You have already done all your work around brand building and attention seeking…now its just about converting.

To help understand how persuasive your results are, it’s useful to have a metric to work with, so we have adapted something called the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and creatively called it  Online Net Persuasion Score 😉 I have written about it here.

Once you have a metric, it’s easy to have a benchmark to work from.

Next it’s a case of working with the client to understand what about them is persuasive. If it’s a manufacturer of widgets, then what about their widgets do people really like? Why do they buy? Do other people buy the widgets (social proof)

Having a social profile from Facebook doesn’t really answer the question around why someone buys…it, like a lot of social media, it just shows users someone is ‘home’. As I say, the persuasive content answers important questions for users from which they take actions.

Gaining Insight

Once you understand this, its time to get on and identify three groups of sites that could potentially carry positive content about a brand:

  • Sites that show ‘someone is home’:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Linkedin
  • Sites that are trustworthy like certain blogs related to your area
  • Wikipedia, if you can get an entry on there (Adding company content to Wikipedia is a whole universe of hassle. Read this from Wikipedia and this from contentmarketinginstitute.com before you do anything)
  • Your company Google plus profile, because Google will leverage it.

Then you prioritize your hit list. So you might start with

  • emailing your clients asking them to review on your preferred review site 
  • stimulating some activity on your preferred social media site
  • reaching out to your hot list of preferred blogs to find out if they will take content about your brand

Reaching out to 3rd party blog sites is an important one.  Here you might organise and interview with the chief widget engineer and go through the materials used in your widget production. Why? Because this helps answer a question about the quality of your widgets. You then get this written up and get placement in this site. Of course this is a very shorthand account of a fairly complicated process which I will write about in the future.

Now you have content and it’s time to get it ranked around brand.

Creating Visibility

This is where SEO comes in. Fortunately with brand keywords, the competition is relatively low, so ranking on brand is relatively easy. If you have chosen your 3rd party sites well they will rank on brand. A good rule is how many keywords the site ranks for is useful. If Google ranks the site, Google likes the site… SEMrush is very handy for this:


Of course, you may need to do some link building to those sites, but that’s going to be easy enough.

Now you have a lovely grouping of sites ranking around your brand phrase and you have a persuasive line up of content for the user.

So to recap: When a user does a brand search most of the hard work is done, all you need to do is persuade and build confidence so they go and buy from you. This happens because people other than you say good stuff about you that answers those ‘buying’ questions we all ask.

Nick Garner

Nick Garner

Nick is founder of 90 Digital. Previously he was head of search at Unibet and prior to that search manager Betfair.

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