Brand SERPs

Ignore Brand SERPs at your risk!

Google Search queries in the SERPs for your brand are the vital touch-points for both people and search bots and absolutely essential to your business.

You should be tracking, evaluating, and improving them, consistently.

People consider Brand SERPs as your new Business Card.

Prospects, investors, partners, clients, journalists, job candidates, readers, subscribers…

Most people will search for your brand at certain point earlier or throughout their working relationship with you.Brand Ethics

What they see when they search your brand name is vital. Their insights for your brand, when that first page displays is a factor that could very well tip the balance in the decision they are making about doing or continuing to do business with you.

Do those SERPs precisely communicate your brand message?

Does it exactly reflect who you are and what you do? Is every single result accurate, up-to-date and positive? My experience has been that business owners assume Google shows complete, accurate, positive information to prospects whose search their brand name. They are wrong.

Even if the results are not obviously negative and are reasonably accurate, {Brand} SERPs are never perfect — it can always be improved. Have a good look, and see where SERPs could be better, then set out to influence those results to make them as accurate and positive as possible. Sending out a clear, positive message to prospects is essential to any long-term business strategy.

Insight and Action: Getting Started

First, set up tracking for brands. At an absolute minimum, I track both {Brand} and {Brand review} for my clients. The list can be extended depending on the market, the specifics of the brand and the business aims.

Second, evaluate what message the SERPs are bulging about your brand to people checking up on you. Try to put yourself in the place of a prospect, investor, client, journalist, job candidate, reader, subscriber or whoever else you seek to be an attractive intention for. Take a step backward and evaluate with a neutral view and a super-critical eye.

Third, set out to make every single result accurate and positive. Work to ensure that Google present the brand image you wish to project to its users (the people you want to do business with!)

Start with improving the first page of results, then move onto the second. The second page is optional here since relatively few people look further than the first page. But SEO and ORM (Online Reputation Management) both require that you improve the second and third SERPs, as we will see below.

Stick to the facts.

Google wants to present you in an honest light.

It has no reason to present you inaccurately or unfairly.

Brand SERPsSEO, AEO, and Google

SEO and AEO (Answer Engine Optimisation) is the second valuable reason you should be tracking and improving your {Brand} SERPs. The first pages of results for the search query {Brand} indicate how well Google understands your brand, and the first 2-3 pages of results for the search query {Brand + review} indicate Google’s assessment of your credibility.

Consider {Brand} SERPs as Google’s assessment of you.

Big Bonus: ORM Protection

If you have built very accurate and positive results for {Brand} queries through an on-going cycle of ‘Track -> Evaluate -> Improve’, those SERPs will tend to be more stable in search engines. And as a bonus, should there be a little bad press in the future, the negative results are tend to rise to page 1 and ruin your {Brand} SERPs in the eyes of your prospects. And, if they do hit on page 1, you will have already developed the skills in-house to boost the quality results of pages 2 and 3 to move the negative PR.

Track, Evaluate and Improve. Repeat.

If you want your business to thrive long term, you do need a perfect “online business card”. An on-going strategy of tracking, evaluating and improving {Brand} SERPs will boost your brand image in the eyes of both people and search engines and put you in the driving seat for the long haul.Online Reputation Management

Track and Evaluate = Easy.

Trickier: How To Improve {Brand} SERPs…

The results/snippets that appear in your {Brand} SERPs can be grouped into 3 types:

  • Those you control directly.
  • Those you control indirectly or partially.
  • Those you do not control.

Obviously, the easiest thing you can do today is work on improving the results you control directly – those on your sites. For example, Meta titles and descriptions are often sub-optimal (and sometimes missing entirely). Make them shine for you in Brand SERPs!

Write the Meta titles to communicate the basic message, and then the Meta description to expand on that in a helpful and informative manner.

Note on missing Meta descriptions: If you don’t have a Meta description for a page, Google will show a description from one or more pieces of content from the page. And, that may not be the message you want to convey. Using the Meta description tag correctly gives you more control over what Google shows in SERPs.Google Brand SERPs

If you also optimize the less obvious brand pages that appear in {Brand} SERPs, the first result for a search on {Brand} can go from this…

How Many Brand Searches?

The volume of brand searches varies extremely from business to business and from market to market.

But whether your company is a local business or a multinational corporation, brand volumes are well worth keeping an eye on.

Higher search volume means:

More People on the last, crucial step before doing business with you, and perhaps helpful, positive signals for Google. For example, high brand search volume implies that a brand is credible, and the dates when brand searches peak gives clues that help Google better understand different traits of the business (like, low {brand} search query volume on weekends could indicate that a brand is B2B). And, the words users associate with brand names can help with both understanding and credibility through semantic relationships and sentiment.

So, how many times do people search your brand name? It is easy to find out using Search Console.

Getting the Data from Search Console

Search Console gives you reliable data about the volume of brand searches.

In the following URLs, replace with the full domain name (make sure you get the correct protocol – http or https and with or without the “www”), your brand with your brand name and copy paste into the address bar of your browser.

I am assuming here that you have a Search Console account, are logged in and have added your site as a property.

{Brand} Searches!yourbrand&breakdown=query&page=!

Look at “impressions” – that is the number of times people searched your exact brand name over the last 4 weeks.

For {Brand review} Searches!yourbrand+review&breakdown=query&num_of_days=28

All Searches Containing {Brand}

It is also very useful to look at all queries with your brand name. Any user search query that contains your brand name is potentially a big deal.

Disclaimer: Generic/Ambiguous Brand Names

With a generic or imprecise brand name, {Brand} searches bring up irrelevant results for users and the Search Console data on {Brand} searches loses much of its meaning. Plus, ambiguity is something search bots are pretty uncomfortable with.

If you are looking for improve your brand presence in Google. Write us at [email protected]


  1. Very interesting! Thanks for breaking this down in such a clear way. I’ve never really thought much about Google “understanding” my brand. I’ll keep this in mind!

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