How can doing things a large company would do help your SEO?
The simple message in this article is; level up!
SEO continues to evolve, and as Wil Reynolds almost prophesied back in 2012, doing real company stuff and taking a consumer-first approach remains the only viable way to send quality signals to search engines and rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Google has been saying since 2008 that “brands are the solution, not the problem“.
This means when all things are equal, they will rank a large respected brand above a small website with no history of relevance. The fastest way to sort trustworthy content from mediocre content is to favor sites, companies, and brands that have earned public trust.
SEO of the Past vs Today
In an interesting but highly relevant Tweet, JH Scherck remarked how unbelievably easy it was to rank back in 2009 and years before.
Back in this era, many SEOs could win by spamming blog post comments, obtaining listings on relevant directories, and using article marketing. Adding infographics and worthy content to your website meant you were competing with “the big guns”. Basically, these efforts could make a domain authoritative.
Though it is laughable today, in 2009, writing product descriptions usually meant copy-pasting from a manufacturer’s website to the e-commerce sites. Copywriting didn’t count as much and black hat SEO strategies, if applied efficiently, brought in results within two weeks.
Doing any of the activities listed above in the 2020s can send low-quality signals to Google, which leads to lower rankings. In some extreme cases, Google may mete out stiff penalties to deter further violations of its webmaster guidelines.
The bar for ranking metrics was lower in 2009 than it is today. However, a handful of people foresaw the unsustainability of these standards, and advised domains to focus on emulating large companies. The few SEOs who heeded this call continue to reap the rewards of their efforts to this day. This is in stark contrast compared to those SEOs who overlooked this advice.
Here’s more on “Real Company Stuff” and what that means for SEO (Wil Reynolds from MozCon 2012).
Worthwhile SEO Takes Time…and Work
In one of our past articles, we discussed the value of patience when undertaking SEO.
Over the past decade, SEO evolved and search engines raised their standards to elevate quality content on reputable sites that make users happy. Combined with a better understanding of search queries, Google’s ranking algorithm is much closer to infallible than it was at any time in the past.
What is Real Company Stuff?
Search engines look for clues that a website or brand is worth ranking. In the past, these trust signals mostly equated to the amount and diversification of links from other websites.
Today, search engines are more sophisticated, and look for additional clues that a company is well-established, prominent in their industry, and trustworthy.
Doing the same things that larger brands do means putting in the work to level up in specific areas. The goal is to show search engines that your domain is an established brand in its niche. In the words of Wil Reynolds, “How are SEO companies ever going to get real budgets if they are still engaging in practices that neither add value nor bring business conversions?” Most of these outdated practices reek of superficiality, generalization, rigidity and attempt to bypass the necessary SEO guidelines.
Branding and SEO
Oftentimes, most people can pinpoint products and services associated with such multinational companies. Looking at face value, some of the traits associated with these brands include innovation in their niche, aggressive marketing, and genuine market leadership.
Imagine how many people look forward to the next iPhone release. Why do you think this happens?
There are specific characteristics of trusted brands, including brand perception, thought leadership, and innovation. There are other, less abstract qualities that can be measured by search engines in quantitative and qualitative means.
Content Marketing and Thought Leadership
Multinational brands spend a sizeable part of their marketing budget on creating continuous buzz. Press releases, blog posts, videos, social media posts, and traditional advertising help ensure that their products gain traction.
Small and medium-sized businesses may lack such resources to deploy all of these tactics—hence the need to engage in content marketing. It’s an area that allows brands to target specific keywords and rank in search engines by creating content that helps and educates customers.
In SEO, an oft-repeated phrase is “content is king“. Google eliminated any doubt by asserting the importance of quality content, a strong backlink profile, and signals filtered through machine learning as their top three ranking factors.
Quality content builds your brand as reliable and helpful in meeting search intent. Instead of anticipating revenue growth to correspond directly to content growth, focus on content as a method of building your long-term traction. It is very possible to grow your company through aggressive content marketing in your niche, but it will take a long-term effort. Make Google view your domain as both authoritative and factual by offering new, valuable, and relevant information to the users.
If you don’t have a large budget to hire people to help you with content at first, you will have to budget your time and energy to build a content library. As your business grows, your marketing budget should also grow.
Consistency Over Time
Household name brands held on longer than their competitors and established a positive public image. Look at the longevity of Coca-Cola and see the value in building a brand. However, the consistency comes from doing things large companies ritually do.
Start with a clear business name, phone number, and address, irrespective of the size of the company. Establish your core competency and expertise and publish content that reinforces this thought leadership. Make your presence felt in the appropriate media and channels. This same principle applies to any SEO-worthy business. Register the business at Google Business Profile (GBP)/Google Maps to help Google figure out whether you’re a true company or not. Extend the same to Yelp and any industry lead-generation sites. Make sure the same company details appear across multiple sites, so Google sees consistency.
Note: Always use the same details to avoid sending mixed signals to search engines (Business Name, Address, Phone, Website). Ultimately, Google interprets satellite profiles as a large company looking for lead acquisition. Encourage customers to leave reviews to further shore up your case and look legitimate.
Robust Social Media Presence
Most small businesses are satisfied in running one or two social media profiles for their businesses. Merely having an Instagram and Facebook account is inadequate to look like a large company. Big brands are always looking for ways to acquire new customers, and increase brand visibility. You can bet your last dollar that national and global companies have multidimensional social media profiles. This means they have branded social accounts on YouTube,LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, and anywhere else they might find customers. Your team should do likewise, and create branded accounts that have the same information as your Google Business Profile. Your organization should keep these profiles updated regularly with news about products, services, and other trending news. You can also go to local and industry directories and follow a similar script while linking back to your website.
Need for Company Workforce
Any well-established company is always on the lookout for new talent. On your website, have a Careers page dedicated to attracting a new workforce. I’d encourage you to go a step further and create a company profile on popular job recruitment sites. It doesn’t matter whether one is on the lookout or not; it matters that Google sees your company as a large company worthy of respect.
These are all examples of how you level up your brand!
SEO for Industrial and Manufacturing Companies
Here at Lockedown SEO, we keep celebrating milestones in helping clients meet their SEO goals. Our professionalism and competence as a reputable SEO agency transcend the confines of our original headquarters in Sacramento. We help manufacturing and industrial companies find organic traffic and generate qualified leads.
If you’re interested in working with with us, reach out and contact us.
In the meantime, keep leveling up your web prescence!