SEO isn’t just about optimizing your own content to be easily found by people performing search queries directly in search engines or social media platforms. More sweat is involved to ensure your brand is facing its audience correctly and competently.
As many know, social media plays a significant role in how consumers perceive brands and even in how easily they can find them. Because of this it is more important than ever to include brand monitoring as part of a comprehensive SEO plan. Here is how to do it.
Where to Start
To effectively implement brand monitoring you will need a tool. Relying on Google Alerts is a good start but there are far more effective apps available which provide detailed information and analysis.
Connecting with Influencers
People care about what other people say. Especially if the ones saying it are public figures. Or influencers for that matter. Now, it’s important to understand there are three types of influencers:
- Local Influencers – their opinion impacts the local industry.
- Industry-Specific Influencers – these are people that have high authority over specific topics, skills, and industries.
- General Influencers – people who are public figures, have often hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers on social media.
Five years later, and this post from Copyblogger still outlines the best way to connect with influencers. A few ideas, besides social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram, include:
- Signing up for their program, product, service – putting some money in before asking for "free" stuff.
- Joining their on-site events or meetups: hey, if you have an opportunity to connect 1-on-1, do it!
- Asking the right relevant questions: One smart question can open many doors for you. Prove that you are smart, and that you know what you want from other people in terms of information.
Using Brand Monitoring Tools: Introducing Brand24
Brand24 is one of the newest faces on the brand monitoring tools scene, and has gained a lot of popularity among brands. The tool provides real-time insight into what is being said about your brand and your competition.
Membership plans start at $49 and can go up to as much as $399, plus customer plan for larger brands. However, a $49 plan is sufficient enough for an early-stage startup to monitor their brand successfully. Bonus: this is a pay-as-you-go type of service, which offers the user more flexibility and doesn’t force him into a 12-months contract or an automated payment scheme. The tool is fully automated, offers Slack integration, and has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.
The analytics section provides unique factoring such as advanced search queries, interactivity analytics, estimated social reach, and so on. A demo is available for testing if you need more time to think about it.
If you’ve read my recent article on customer journey mapping examples, then you should understand why knowing how people find you matters in the evolution of your services/products.
How Brand24 Works
Signing up for a free Brand24 account can be done with an email or using their Facebook integration.
Once you sign up, you will be asked to type in your target keywords or phrases. You can also specify what language you want results to be targeting.
The menu is located on the left of the dashboard and offers intuitive controls.
The overview portion of the dashboard is equally intuitive. It allows users to sort information by days, weeks, or months and to view by the most popular mentions or the most popular authors.
The bottom of the dashboard is especially valuable for identifiying the influencers who dominate the converstaion for your project’s keywords. Users can view the most influential profiles or sites and view associated statistical information.
The free version of Brand24 is robust. Those who want additional features can also choose to upgrade the service to one of the paid subscriptions.
Once you are monitoring brand mentions there are two powerful ways to use this knowledge to support your SEO efforts.
Request Mentions beyond Citations
Just because someone has cited a brand somewhere doesn’t mean they have linked to the website. Inbound links from authoritative websites are a valuable portion for your marketing efforts.
If a person is already citing a brand by name, they are more likely to be willing to include a proper mention with a link to their website, social media, or email address. You can use services such as HARO, or simply go the old fashion "blogger outreach" way.
Control the Narrative
If people are talking about your brand on social media, you need to be part of the conversation. Brand monitoring makes it possible to take action and instantly reshape the narrative if the brand is being mentioned in a negative light.
Alternatively, if the brand being complained about is a competitor why not swoop in and save the day? Monitoring your brand is a powerful tool but monitoring the competition can offer even wider perspective into what potential customers are happy with and what need has yet to be fulfilled.
Brand monitoring can maximize marketing efforts by providing direct consumer insight from those consumers who are already invested in your service or product. This allows you to learn exactly what they want so you can provide it and gain greater brand loyalty.
It will make it easier to identify the platforms on which they are most active so marketing efforts can be directed toward the right locations. If you know more people are mentioning your brand on Snapchat suddenly, it makes sense to invest the resources into developing a presence there. This is true for the reverse as well. You can avoid those platforms that have limited brand engagement to maximize marketing resources.
Any tool will work to a certain degree, whether you choose to pay $500+ a month or settle for $49. But people make the difference – and Brand24 excels in helping you reach those whose opinion counts. Other than that, you should make sure to have behind every brand monitoring tool, a sharp, detail-oriented employee or contractor who knows what they’re doing. The human factor should also be part of your marketing efforts, not just from a customer perspective, but also from an "in-house" operational point of view.
Why Is SEO for the Dental Industry Tough?Dental SEO expert Justin Morgan explains that there are several reasons why it’s hard for dentists in particular to be found online. First, dentists tend not to be savvy about how they go about SEO. They don’t invest in the process or go to a dental marketing expert and learn the ins and outs of how it works. Morgan says that, instead, dentists “typically use the ‘pay and pray’ model of SEO, which involves choosing the company that looks most legit for the lowest price possible.” The reality is that it’s highly beneficial for companies to outsource their SEO needs and find a reputable company to help them. Dentists who become proficient in understanding how SEO can benefit their practices see a dramatic rise in their success compared to dentists who take a more apathetic attitude. Those who stand out online have determined to find and pay for the best SEO service available and so have a higher commitment to helping their patients.
Search Engines Love Strong ContentBut one of the most important reasons why SEO can be so difficult for dentists is that “dentists’ websites rarely have useful, engaging content that supports what bloggers, journalists and editors are conveying.” Visual content, and video in particular, is the type of content that research shows users enjoy the most. Google and other search engines will like you using video because it demonstrates you are offering information that is compelling and relevant. Further complicating the SEO woes of dentists is the fact that they are not likely to have relationships with online publishers. Not only do dentists typically not have linkable posts but they also don’t know anyone who would link to them if they did. However, as your dental practice routinely puts out content that is pertinent and useful, your site will become a trusted source of information. So an obvious strategy is for you to include a blog on your website that has helpful content for site visitors. Make sure you design your blog in a way that interests the people who visit your website. Write about topics that will remain relevant over time, write catchy titles and, of course, include visuals. Here is an example of practical, evergreen content that a dentist could include on his or her blog.
Getting StartedDepending on your budget, you might decide to tackle SEO yourself instead of hiring an outside agency. But even if you do decide to hire a dental SEO expert, you should still educate yourself on what SEO requires. One reason why self-education is so important is that you want to make sure the SEO company you hire has ethical link building tactics. To someone ignorant about the nature of SEO, the way a company goes about getting links might seem beneficial. But if Google has a problem with that company’s strategies, it could penalize your content, devastating your business. For those just getting started in SEO, digital strategist Marcus Miller has compiled a thorough list of basics starting steps, some of which we’ll outline here. Begin by reading Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Other additional, useful resources are Moz Beginners Guide to SEO, The Art of SEO, and Eric Ward’s Ultimate Guide to Link Building. Next you should register with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Both will help you to improve your website in the long run.
Google My Business and Other DirectoriesIt is crucial that you list your company on Google My Business. Doing so is free, and the site has a domain authority of 100, which is extremely high. You want to have a credible online presence? Here is a prime opportunity to boost your likelihood of getting found, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. Keep in mind as well that if you don’t claim your business on this platform, you’re leaving an opportunity wide open for someone else to do so. If another person claims your business instead of you, at best that means users will find someone else’s information when they search your company. At worst, it means that this person could destroy your reputation. Be thorough, polished, and accurate when you fill in your information on Google My Business. In addition to claiming your spot on Google My Business, you should research local directories. Do what you can to get your site listed on them. Online databases fuel mobile search. If you are listed in databases and directories, when people search for you on their smartphones, they will be more likely to find you. Being listed in such directories means claiming your spot on major search engines, social media sites, yellow pages sites, business directories, and any community relevant to your industry.
Keyword ResearchA major aspect of SEO is keyword research. To do your own keyword research, put yourself in the position of your customers. If you needed to find a dentist in your area and were going to Google to search for one, what terms would you enter? What about if you had a specific problem? What phrases would you search in that case? Start by simply searching these keywords in Google, paying attention to the search suggestions Google offers as you do so. Don’t forget to brainstorm long-tail keywords, which can be highly valuable even though people search for them less often. Use these useful resources to find keyword phrases relevant to your business:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ubersuggest Keyword Tool
Don’t Ignore Something All Companies NeedSEO is important for all businesses. It’s just that it’s easier for those in the dental industry to neglect it than it is for people in other fields. If you’re wondering how to increase the number of people your practice helps, consult a dental SEO expert today.
- Building additional sites
- Paying to host multiple sites
- Renewing multiple domains
- es.wikipedia.org for Spanish
- de.wikipedia.org for German
- it.wikipedia.org for Italian
How Search Engines Recognize LanguagesWhile search engines can detect languages, it is best to use the <html lang=”xx”> tag to indicate the language a page is in. For more details, read Multilingual Sites and Search Engines: Part 1. According to that post, “global corporations as a rule have separate sites (and most often separate domains) for the countries they operate in.” While that is the most effective method, it does require more work to create and maintain. SEOChat Supermod GabrielG suggests you can even “get sophisticated and detect a user’s language, geolocation, or other characteristics and serve the appropriate language site, in case Gooogle doesn’t do that automatically.”
Duplicate Content on Multinational WebsitesIf the languages involved are totally different (English and German, for example), there is no duplicate content issue. Having the same content on pages written in languages that are closely related – such as UK English versus US English – would definitely create a duplicate content issue.Use Plagiarism Check to verify that all your site content is unique and original:See the Brick Marketing post Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites for more details about duplicate content. Nick Stamoulis wrote:
“If your site takes a massive hit in visitors and rankings for at least three months (enough time to call it a trend), your site might have been flagged for duplicate content.”