Technical SEO

AI SEO for Brand Names

Consumers often search a company’s name on Google when considering a purchase. Branded search is crucial for just about any business.

Brand name queries may include other keywords, such as “reviews” or “coupon codes.” Most imply a commercial intent — an opportunity to convert a searcher into a buyer.

If Google’s Search Generative Experience becomes public, converting such shopping journeys will likely be harder because the AI-driven snapshots are personalized and may include answers to a searcher’s past queries, not necessarily the brand.

The image below is an AI-generated answer to the query “spirit halloween reviews.” The snapshot states, “Reviews for Spirit Halloween are generally negative.” Not many consumers will likely buy from that brand if they read it.

SERPs for "spirit halloween reviews"

Branded search can produce negative results, such as this example for “spirit halloween.” Click image to enlarge.

Controlling branded search results, especially in Google’s autocomplete suggestions, is key for the coming AI-powered search.

Here’s how.

Branded Subreddit

Reddit threads increasingly appear in search results, frequently in higher rankings. Google’s “Discussions and forums” section is mostly Reddit. Here’s an example of Reddit dialog ranking for “spirit halloween reviews” in “Discussions” and immediately below it in an organic listing.

SERPs for "spirit halloween reviews" showing Reddit listings

Reddit threads increasingly appear in search results, such as this example for “spirit halloween reviews.” Click image to enlarge.

“Reddit” itself is a popular query, indicating searchers value discussions of a product or brand on that forum. Thus a good way to control branded queries is creating a Subreddit for your company and using it for customer support and community building.

Comcast has two Subreddits, which rank 1 and 2 on Google for “comcast reddit.”

SERPs for "comcast reddit"

A search on “comcast reddit” produces two Subreddits ranking 1 and 2. Click image to enlarge.

It also comes up in the branded SGE answer.

SGE SERPS for "comcast reddit'

An SGE query for “comcast reddit” also shows the company’s Subreddits. Click image to enlarge.

And a query for “comcast” shows “comcast reddit” in the autocomplete suggestions. By maintaining its own Subreddits, Comcast helps control top organic positions for its name search, SGE answers, and autocomplete suggestions.

Autosuggestions for the query of "comcast"

Searching “comcast” on Google produces a “comcast reddit” autocomplete suggestion. Click image to enlarge.

Knowledge Base

Google’s organic results encourage searchers to ask (more) questions. “People also ask” boxes from brand queries often prompt searchers to explore the business further. SGE snapshots include “Ask a follow-up” questions that frequently correlate with “People also ask.”

SGE SERPs for "spirit halloween sale"

SGE snapshots include “Ask a follow-up” questions that frequently correlate with “People also ask.” Click image to enlarge.

Answering all questions in brand-driven “People also ask” boxes is crucial for bringing these searchers to your site.

AlsoAsked is a handy tool for collecting questions from “People also ask” boxes. However, for vital brand queries, manually search and interact with the questions directly. “People also ask” boxes are dynamic — clicking results produces more questions. No tool can generate all queries of your company.

A Q&A knowledge base section on your site can answer many of these questions. Some could combine into a single answer on a page. Others require unique responses. Regardless, interlink all questions and answers so the pages rank well in brand queries.

Many brands have launched impressive knowledge bases using various platforms.

YouTube Playlists

YouTube is a sure-fire traffic and conversion generator. It also ranks well in organic search and can produce listings for brand queries.

To drive branded search results from YouTube, turn user-generated content into videos. Start by inviting customers to send videos of unpacking and using your products. Separately, create YouTube alerts for new videos mentioning your company or products.

Next, curate those videos via YouTube playlists titled with primary branded queries (e.g., “spirit halloween reviews”). The videos on the playlists will interlink, helping to rank in organic search.

Videos are prominent in Google’s search results. Brand-driven videos can drive traffic and conversions.

SERPs for "spirt halloween reviews" showing video listings

Searching Google for “spirit halloween reviews” produces YouTube videos. Click image to enlarge.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty
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