Search & Social: Solving the SERP Puzzle
2. Social Profiles Won't
Add Value Without Effort
McDonald's is just one marketer strategically controlling the presentation of its brand name by Google. Wendy's, Taco Bell and Burger King are managing the space similarly. Subway was the only one of the five restaurants studied that did not fit the model. Subway's Twitter page appears on the third page of Google results, which makes sense given it does not have a strong presence on Twitter—fewer than 5,000 followers compared with McDonald's 233,000.
We noticed two other issues related to Subway. First, there is an embarrassing inclusion in its site links: A link titled "Oh no!?" goes to a dead page. Site links are prime real estate, and Subway has an opportunity to demote that site link's presentation within webmaster tools.
We also looked at each of the restaurants' Google+ pages now that they are available for businesses. McDonald's was the only one of the five with a Google+ ranking on the first page of the search results. Again, it makes sense because McDonald's circle of friends was three times larger than any of its competitors.
The point here is you cannot assume your social profiles will automatically rank highly. The management of each profile needs to be driven by a branding, engagement and linking strategy.
3. Actionable Insights
We conducted similar analyses for other business verticals and the results were the same as what we found for the restaurants discussed. We recommend that marketers use social platforms to monitor and improve their branded search results.
Regularly conduct a Google search for your company name, take a moment to analyze the results and then ask these questions:
• Do you have a profile setup for each of the major social sites? That sounds very basic, but you shouldn't focus all of your energies on managing one social profile while neglecting the others. Build a customer-centric search strategy that includes all of the major social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It should be seamless for customers to conduct a search for your brand on any device they choose and interact with your brand on any marketing platform.