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The Brand SERPs Guy

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

Jason Barnard, The SERP Brand Guy at Kalicube

Where do you reside currently?

Paris, France

What do you do?

I help brands / companies and people manage their branded presence on Google... specifically for their audience when they google the name - I call that result (which is your Google Business card) a Brand SERP

What is your top personal value?

An insatiable desire to understand. Both in my personal relationships, trying to better understand the point of view of others, and also professionally: I want to understand how Google decides what to display on a Search Engine Results Page when a user searches a person's name or a brand name.

What do you do when you aren't working?

I was a professional musician in the 1990s (folk punk double bassist and singer). I continue to play music and sing whenever I get the opportunity... I also made a cartoon TV series for kids in the noughties that aired in over 20 countries. I still love making animations and voiceovers... and integrate that into my work when I can't, and into my weekends when I can't :)

What makes you unique?

I keep having crossovers with unexpected people: John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Captain Sensible, Sir Tony Robinson... all fun but not necessarily incredibly interesting. Less easy to understand, but possibly more interesting is that my life has been varied (to say the least) and each "period" in my life has an accompanying "hard luck story" that either inspired it or ended it.

What do you love about what you do and how do you help others?

I have a weekly livestream event and podcast that allows me to invite incredible people to share their insights and knowledge about digital marketing. I work hard to ensure that I give opportunities to people who might not get one elsewhere, ensure they are at ease and in the best position possible to share what they know.

I played the role of a blue dog in the TV series. That dog was scripted to be 100% empathetic, and I believe that playing the role of that dog changed my personality for the better.

What is the number one goal you are trying to achieve in your professional life?

Create a new niche in the digital marketing industry that becomes a foundation to marketing strategy

What is the definition of the word Brand?

Brand is what your audience perceives you to be. And the big digital players (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft...) have immense influence on that perception. We all need to start paying attention and managing this now.

What is brand awareness and why is it important to the brand story?

Brand awareness drives Google searches on your brand name. At that point you have bottom of funnel audience searching your brand name, and the result on Google is your Google Business Card. You need to ensure that Google reflects your brand message in your words on your Google Business Card. In the awareness stage, your audience need to know enough to make them curious about the solutions you can provide to them... enough to trigger them to google your brand name. At that point, you can get Google to "recommend" you with a great Brand SERP... at which point you have an easier "sell".

Which platforms must a brand have in their digital footprint?

Depends on the industry. But Brand SERps are the best insight. Look at yours. What does Google show when your audience Googles your brand name? That is what it sees as important and valuable to your audience. Focus on those first. Then look at the Brand SERPs of your competitors to see where you are not present, but *should* be. Easy :)

What one thing must you do on Social Media when telling a brand story?

Have a personality. Hopefully your brand personality resonates with your audience. Use the vocabulary that your ideal audience uses and build that into your personality. That makes a nice balance between you and them :)

What is your favourite platform to tell a brand story and why?

I liked twitter. But now realise it is too fragmented to tell a story. But every platform has its personality, and that often distracts from your story. Perhaps LinkedIn is too "staid", Facebook too "chummy", Twitter too "throwaway" or Instagram too "visual". Reach out on those platforms with the format and style that suits the personality of the platform.... then try to pull people onto your own site where you can tell your story with a balance that suits your audience and your own personality.

Transcript of the Podcast episode

All You Need to Know About Brand SERPs by BrandAPeel - Brand Storytelling in the Digital Age

Jason Barnard on Wanting to be Known as the Brand SERP Guy and Mastering Google

[00:00:00] Shannon Peel: Welcome to BrandAPeel. We're talking about brand storytelling in the digital age. I'm your host, Shannon Peel. And today, I talked with Jason Barnard about Brand SERPs and why they're so important and why you need to ensure that your Brand SERP is saying what you want it to say when people are googling your brand name. So, listener, if you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of Google and the people who are asking questions on Google and searching for your brand, keep listening.

[00:00:32] Shannon Peel: Jason, thank you so much for joining me here today on BrandAPeel. And I got one question for you. What do you want to be known for?

[00:00:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right now I want to be known for being The Brand SERP Guy, for mastering on Google what appears when your audience googles or in fact, on Bing when they search your brand name or your personal name. Right now that's my aim.

What Is a Brand SERP and How Does It Work?

[00:00:52] Shannon Peel: For my listeners that don't understand what a SERP is, can you explain how this, what this magical SERP is and how it works?

[00:01:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That's a very good point. I always forget that people don't know what SERP means. It's an acronym, SERP for search engine results page. And there's a whole industry of people in SEO who will help you to get to the top of the rankings for something like buy red shoes. And everybody's obsessed by that. These kind of we're going to sell straight away. It's magic. It's the magic bullet, the magic solution to my business problems.

[00:01:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what most people forget is that a lot of your marketing online is communicating with people through multiple steps. And at some point, they will search your brand name. And that is the moment when you're likely to be able to convince them to do business with you. And that is where your Brand SERP, the search engine results page for your brand name, becomes so important. It's your Google Business Card. And if it looks great, Google is recommending you.

The Aim of SERPs for the Users and Importance of Brand SERPs for Your Business

[00:02:01] Shannon Peel: And that's important because Google gives you credibility and bring you traffic. Now I want to get back to that idea of the SEO world wanting to sell red shoes. Because a lot of times, people think, oh, we got to sell something right away. And most businesses aren't product based. I'm going to sell brand storytelling. Well, that's not something that someone's going to buy right away. That's something that people need to understand that they have a need for. They need to know what it is. They need to understand that I'm an expert at it. And all of this stuff can happen through SEO, but SERP helps people to find the answers to the questions they're thinking.

[00:02:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. 100%. And that's the point. The search engine results page, both Google and Bing say the same thing. The aim of the search engine results page is to get their user to the solution to the problem that they have as quickly and efficiently as possible. When you search in Google or in Bing, you are expressing a problem to which you're looking for a solution or a question for which you're looking for an answer. And their entire algorithm, their entire business model is based on the idea of getting you to that solution or getting you that answer as efficiently as possible. So what they're doing is looking through the most efficient and best solution. And it's up to you to make sure that Google understands that you are that solution.

[00:03:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now that's in the case and you are right is that people look at this last moment thing, red shoes, buy red shoes. That's where I need to be. But a lot of businesses, as you rightly point out, are actually trying to educate people, to bring them down the funnel to something that they didn't necessarily know they needed. And you and I are both in that situation. So what we end up with is these multiple touch points as we educate people and we bring them down the funnel. And that ends in the brand search. There aren't any keywords. There aren't any things that people actively search for that we can aim at.

[00:04:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So we're necessarily in this marketing, more traditional marketing is educating, helping people towards the understanding of this need that they didn't know they have, and that, as I said, necessarily ends in a brand search. And when they do that brand search, what Google shows them, your Google Business Card, is phenomenally important. Their perception of your brand. They've almost made the decision, and that can tilt it negative or positive.

Do People Google the Solution or Do They Google the Problem?

[00:04:31] Shannon Peel: Now a lot of the things that you were talking about is how people search, what are the questions they're asking Google. Can we ensure that when people are asking questions about problems that we help them solve, but we're not really, we're so busy talking about ourselves and the solution, do people actually google the solution or do they google the problem?

[00:04:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. Brilliant. They google the problem. We are all the stars of our own films, and we tend to look at things from our own perspective. And from there, we're looking at saying, I need to look at what my users' or my audience's problem is, and I need to make sure that I clearly have the solution to that problem. And if I have the solution to this specific problem they have in terms of Google, my question is how do I explain to Google that I have this solution to this specific problem. So that when it understands that the user is looking for my solution, they will find my solution.

[00:05:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And secondly, how do I convince Google that mine is the best solution. And when you look at it that way, you're actually saying, all I'm doing is educating a machine. And this machine is a child. It's a child who wants to understand, who wants to learn, and it's up to us to educate it who you are, what you do, who your audience is, and then what solutions we have in which circumstances, which are going to be truly useful to the user, and why we are the better solution than our competition.

[00:05:59] Shannon Peel: Wow. That sounds complicated because there's a lot of moving parts in that.

[00:06:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It is complicated and at the same time, it isn't. Because your landing pages, the pages on your website, sorry, should provide the solution. So it's not a question of changing a strategy. It's a question of explaining it better to Google. And that simply means packaging it.

Making Sure That the Content People See Is Yours by Packaging It So Google Understands

[00:06:21] Shannon Peel: How can we make sure that we get seen when they're searching for the problem? How can we make sure that it's our content that they see?

[00:06:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. And that's the crux is packaging for Google. Google is a consumer. It's a user like everybody else. So it's looking at your page, and it's saying, what's in here, what's the solution, what am I looking at. And the difference between a human being and Google is simply the way Google consumes content. So what you need to do is make sure that you are packaging the content you've made for your users in a way that Google can easily digest, understand, and then use in order to propose it or suggest it as a solution when it's appropriate for its users.

[00:07:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it actually becomes a very simple process whereby saying, I'm a marketer, I have a solution to a problem. That person somewhere on the internet, who is Google's user, is looking for the solution that I provide. The intermediary is Google. All I need to do is take my solution that I've presented beautifully to the user who might find it. I just need to repackage it so Google fully understands and understands that it's the best, most efficient solution for its user when they're searching. So it's a question of packaging, not a question of content.

In Presenting to Google: Keep It Simple, Keep It Clear, Keep It to the Point, and Stick on Topic

[00:07:39] Shannon Peel: When it comes to packaging, what kind of things should we be making sure are talking about here?

[00:07:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that's where a lot of people get very frightened. They think this is all terribly technical, and you have to be a web developer, and you have to have lots of experience with HTML and PHP and all of these geeky languages. And it used to be the case, but it isn't anymore. It used to be, let's say, 80-20 in favour of the geeky developer person. Now it's 80-20 in favour of the person creating the content.

[00:08:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google has got so smart that all you need is to make sure that the, let's say, the geeky technical wrapping is understandable by Google. And after that, it's a question of what have you gotten? How are you presenting it? Now, multiple great examples of that are your copywriting style. Keep it simple, keep it clear, keep it to the point, and stick on topic. But those are four things I would've said to you as a marketer for your user anyway.

Avoid Talking in a Passive Voice and Using Flowery Language

[00:08:37] Shannon Peel: Well, that's true. That's exactly true. I've seen copy when I go to a website, and they're talking in the passive voice, and they're being really flowery with their language or trying to sound really smart by using big words. That doesn't really work, does it?

[00:08:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. And you've just said one of the things that I, it's one of my pet hates is the passive voice. It's not that it's bad. It just isn't appealing. And for the machine, it's probably fine. But even if the machine brings the user to your website and you're using the passive voice and that the machine has understood, that's fine, the user isn't going to be convinced. So you need to find that balance of saying, I need to make sure that I'm using an active voice and that the machine understands so that it does offer me as a solution to its users when they have a problem.

[00:09:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And you talked about flowery language. It's so tempting to think, well, I can say it in this incredibly poetic manner or I can use these massively big, impressive words with five or six syllables. But that isn't going to work for your audience or for Google.

[00:09:41] Shannon Peel: If I need to grab a dictionary, you got a problem.

[00:09:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, exactly. A hundred percent. And Google actually has this massive dictionary, so it does understand. Google has the equivalent of Wikipedia but a billion times bigger in its brain that it can reference this encyclopedia, this machine readable encyclopedia called the Knowledge Graph in nanoseconds. So, it has absolute knowledge. But if it sees that you are using a vocabulary that your audience are not using, it simply won't match the two, because it was what it's not appropriate, because they're not using the same vocabulary. So, you need to stick to the vocabulary that your audience are actually using, not because you want to aim at search terms, but because that's what Google is trying to map.

Being Clear Is Good for Your Audience as Much as It’s Good for Google

[00:10:23] Shannon Peel: Not only that, your audience will be using really big words to find the answer, unless you only want people who are highly verbose in their language coming to your website. That's the only way that people are going to find you is if they're using that vocabulary in their searches.

[00:10:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that's a really good point is that you need to think about the vocabulary we're using to say, well, actually, yeah, maybe I do only need three people to come to my site, and it's the three people who use this very big word that nobody else uses. And that's fine, if that's your target audience. If you want to aim wider, then you need to use the wider vocabulary.

[00:11:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing is you're talking about flowery language and I don't talk about it quite like that. But one thing to understand about Google is it doesn't have a sense of irony, it doesn't have a sense of humor, it doesn't have culture, it doesn't get sarcasm, and it doesn't get poetry. And that doesn't necessarily mean you have to write very boring prose. It just means you have to be clear. And being clear is good for your audience as much as it's good for Google.

[00:11:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So once again, we're coming back to saying, let's make sure that we are clear and helpful and valuable to our audience. And Google is aiming for that exact same thing. Google has an aim and that is, once again, to get its user to the solution to their problem as efficiently as possible. And from that perspective, all Google is trying to do is to understand your page from the perspective of its user. It may not be able to do that today, but it will be able to do that tomorrow. So you need to aim where Google is going and not necessarily where it is today.

How Does Google My Business Help Businesses?

[00:12:10] Shannon Peel: Now, I want to shift a little bit over to Google My Business. So how does Google My Business help us? Because there are a lot of pieces to that. It almost looks like a social media thing that you can hang out on and post this and post that. But that's not really what it's for, is it?

[00:12:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I like that kind of analogy with the social media side is that you will fill in your profile like a social media profile. And that social media profile that is Google My Business is being posted on Google mostly when people search your brand name. So you're actually talking to people who already know who you are through your Google My Business. And so you have to be really, really clear once again about what you are communicating to that audience through Google.

[00:12:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we get, I keep coming back to that idea. Google is a lens, and we need to see it that way. It's a lens that is a) in this particular circumstance, aiming at people who already know us, but it's a lens that has the possibility to expand out and introduce us to a new audience, which is the part we were just talking about.

[00:13:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The other thing about Google My Business that I find very interesting is a social media idea that as you say, I fill in the form and I make sure that it says the right category, the right address, the right telephone number. But then Google supplements that with information it has understood by itself. So we want to again have this child that is Google that said, well, you've given me this information and I will show that. That's fine, but I'm going to add some extra information that I learned from my head teacher, from the baker down the road. And we're going to add this information into that business profile.

[00:13:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it's not simply a question of you controlling what Google shows your audience when they search your brand name and your Google My Business profile appears. Google will supplement that information, and you need to learn to educate this child to make sure that that supplementary information is correct, helpful, accurate, and valuable for your audience.

Letting Google My Business Guide You in the Marketing You Are Doing

[00:14:09] Shannon Peel: Yes. And there's a lot of things in that Google My Business where you can put up pictures and add posts and do this and do that, but it's not social media. People have to understand that your social media post isn't going to land properly on your Google My Business profile.

[00:14:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. No, a hundred percent. I don't think about that because for me, it's something I wouldn't have done, but you're right. People say, well, I can repurpose this social media content, put it on Google My Business, fine. But the context is totally different. And one thing that Google My Business does very well is special offers and events is that you can add them to your Google My Business profile, and it will show them. And if you think about special offers and events, who are they aimed at? They're aimed at people who already know who you are, because they're searching your brand name on Google.

[00:15:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, Google My Business basically guides you in the marketing that you are supposed to be doing on this channel. And if you let it guide you down that path, generally speaking, you will be doing okay. And if you overthink it, you're probably going to get it wrong.

[00:15:15] Shannon Peel: Oh, ain't that the truth. Overthinking is a bad thing, people. Sometimes that first impression that you have, that first instinct, that first thought is the right one, but yet we doubt ourselves, and we think, oh, I'm not sure I'm going the right way. And I think a lot of people right now listening to you are thinking, I've been doing a) maybe I've been doing it wrong.

“You're not fighting Google. You're working with Google to help Google solve the problems of its users.” - Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:15:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. And if you look at Google and what it's aiming to do, once again, I keep coming back to it, but I think it bears repetition is saying, it's trying to solve a problem for its user. And so, Google My Business is simply its way of helping you to explain to Google, package what you have for Google so it better understands, so it can better present it to its users. So, you're not fighting Google. You're working with Google to help Google solve the problems of its users.

If You Want to Be Seen by Google as an Expert, You Have to Stick With What Is Generally Accepted to Be True

[00:16:14] Shannon Peel: And you're having to train Google as well, as you said, because a lot of times people use words wrong. This is a big issue to me as a writer. And buzzwords are a big issue right around this whole idea of people starting to use a word that they hear in order to sound like they're in the in group, and they use the word wrong, and then the meaning of the word becomes so convoluted. And so, there's so many meanings to the word, the word has no meaning. So can we educate Google as to what the definition of a word is?

[00:16:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. The thing about it is you can't go against the common definition. Google goes by what is generally understood. So if you want to make this tiny niche by having a slightly different definition of a particular word, you're putting yourself at a massive disadvantage. Google's going to go with the definition that is generally accepted to be true. And one major thing within Google today is expertise, authority, and trust, people talking about EAT, basically boils down to credibility. But if you want to be seen by Google as an expert, you have to basically stick with what is generally accepted to be true.

[00:17:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you want to make a niche, you need to start, I think, with the generally accepted use of the word. And then further down the article, you can twist it around to the way you are trying to look at it and bring people into your approach. But going completely against the grain in terms of at least convincing Google to present you to its audience is always going to be a very big struggle, but probably also with your audience.

Aiming for the Idea of Credibility Within Your Niche or Geo Region

[00:17:59] Shannon Peel: Well, there are certain sites that Google considers credible and other sites that it considers questionable. So it's going to award your site points based on how close you are to the credible and how close you are to the uncredible. If you're...

[00:18:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That's a really fair comment and it's a very good way of putting it. The question of authoritative, credible, expert, credible is we are really looking at this credibility idea is you don't necessarily have to look to the big sites. Google is very much able to push things down into very niche markets. So I often use the example of I live in Paris in France.

[00:18:41] Shannon Peel: Oh, I'm so jealous. That is like the one thing on my bucket list, the one thing.

[00:18:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. The poodle parlour of Paris doesn't need an article in the New York Times. It doesn't need to agree with the New York Times. The poodle parlour of Paris needs to agree with the poodle association of France and the dog hair clipping salon in the street. They actually have their business. So you're looking for the geo relevancy, the topical relevancy. And the New York Times might be massively powerful, but it's neither geo nor topically relevant to the poodle parlour of Paris. So, you can really, really aim for this idea of credibility of a given website within your niche, within your geo region. And you don't have to aim big is what I'm trying to say.

Sticking on Topic and Being Expert, Authoritative, and Trustworthy Within That Topic

[00:19:32] Shannon Peel: Yeah. But you make a good point because we're always talking about keywords, keywords, keywords, keywords, but I was reading something that the Google machine, just to sound as untechnical as possible, looks at topics and assesses where your site fits based on the topic of your site. So how can you let Google know which topic you fit into and how do you fall out of the right topic? A lot of times we have a website, and Google doesn't know where to place it.

[00:20:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, the idea of topicality is something quite new, because before, as you said, we focused on keywords, we were counting words. Google doesn't do that anymore. It understands the topic, it understands which topic you're talking about, and are you talking about it in a credible, authoritative manner. And so if you talk about a topic consistently, Google will understand that that is where you're focused, and it will be able to match you to your audience. And that's phenomenally important. If you start to try and spread out and try and talk about lots of different things to try and attract a wider audience, you're going to lose that topical authority as we call it. So it's better to stick to your topic and stick to your core topic.

[00:20:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And when you're talking about your topic, think about what we call context clouds. And it sounds slightly fluffy because it's a cloud, but it just means using the right vocabulary that disambiguates the words you're using. And one great example is wave, the word wave. If Google was just word counting, it will see wave and it would say, okay, that's fine. But it doesn't understand the difference when its word counting between wave as in goodbye, wave on a beach on the sea, sound wave, multiple meanings already.

[00:21:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you are talking about sound waves, you would want to talk about music, mixing desks, microphone. Those words make up that context clouds. It's not synonyms that matter. It's the words that surround. And somebody once said, you can judge a word by the company it keeps. So the company you're keeping with the word wave on the beach would be sand, sea, umbrella, oh no, what's it called, a sun shade, excuse me, sun cream. And if it was wave goodbye, it would be station, train, mother, arm, goodbye. So you need to think about context clouds. You need to think about sticking on topic and making sure that Google understands what your core topic is and that you are expert, authoritative, and trustworthy within that topic. That's when you win the game.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Getting a Niche and Managing to Educate Google on What a Brand SERP Is

[00:22:11] Shannon Peel: Now, when I think about what you've done, because you've gone from this big topic of SEO, which is massive, and there's lots of pieces to SEO and you have focused in on one niche piece, which most, all of my guests have said niche, niche, niche, have used the word niche more than once.

[00:22:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Getting a niche is really, really important. The more focused you are, the easier it is for Google to understand, but of course, the smaller your audience is. So you've got to balance that idea of niche with my small audience with making sure Google understands. And my niche is Brand SERPs, what your audience sees when they google your brand name or your personal name. And it's a very small niche in the sense that nobody talks about it, but it's a very big niche in the sense that everybody needs it. They just don't know it yet. So I'm in this constant fight of educating and pushing the message out. But what's been very interesting is because I invented or coined, rather, the term, nobody else talks about it. So I've absolutely nailed the niche. And I've managed to educate Google what a Brand SERP is and why it might be useful.

[00:23:17] Shannon Peel: So even though it's Google's tool, Google's feature, you've named it and educated Google about how to make it, how to get the best out of it.

[00:23:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That's really interesting. Philosophically, Google knew that this thing existed. It just didn't have a name for it. Now it has a name for it. And I gave it the name. And it does mean that what I've seen with Google and it's been very, very interesting is I've educated it as to what I'm talking about. And I can see it appearing in searches where it shouldn't necessarily appear, because Google sees it as being potentially helpful and interesting to that search audience. And so what Google's doing is becoming increasingly smart about saying, this person is searching for this or a solution to this problem. Here are some other problems they might have that I can also immediately suggest to them.

Google as the Star Trek Machine

[00:24:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Google becomes this guiding engine. Google talk about it themselves as the Star Trek machine.

[00:24:16] Shannon Peel: Oh, the Star Trek machine.

[00:24:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. If you remember in Star Trek, the machine talks to, let's say, Captain Kirk, and the machine will say to Captain Kirk, don't forget to take your stun gun because this planet is dangerous. So, Captain Kirk isn't searching or asking for anything. He doesn't have a problem. The machine is pointing out to him the problem he's going to have and is providing the solution before Captain Kirk even realises he has a problem. That's where Google's trying to go.

[00:24:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so what it now does with the search engine results is it says you are searching for A. After A, you are probably going to be looking for B, C, D, E, and we're going to bring you down that path. And so our trick from our perspective is that, although I don't appear for a search on whatever the problem A is, I can potentially get Google to present me as a solution to problem B on the search results page for the initial problem A. Does that make sense or is that a bit confused?

[00:25:12] Shannon Peel: No. Because when you were talking about that, I'm thinking of Alexa.

[00:25:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

Providing the Solution Before Even the User Realises the Problem

[00:25:17] Shannon Peel: The other day, I noticed that my Alexa had this green ring and so I said, Alexa, what is the green light mean? Oh, you have a notification. And I'm like, say yes if you want to hear them. Yes, I'll listen to it. Last month, you bought this. How many stars would you give it? I would never take the time to go and rate something because I'm so busy. The fact that I do a magazine in four days, that is not just the only thing that I do in four days. I have a lot of work as an only person working on these projects. I don't have a team. So I don't have time to go in and give a review on Google, Amazon about a product that I bought last month. Amazon just solved that problem for me, and it was a problem I didn't even know I had.

[00:26:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You're Captain Kirk, all of a sudden.

[00:26:05] Shannon Peel: Exactly.

[00:26:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But that is where all of these machines, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google, they're all going that same way is they're saying we want to provide the service that you need, but we also want to present the service you didn't yet know you needed but you're going to need in 5 minutes time or 10 minutes time or 2 days time. And it is that real personal assistant idea.

Google and Other Big Tech Companies Are Using Machine Learning and Not Artificial Intelligence

[00:26:33] Shannon Peel: Is that machine learning or that deep learning or the AI component that a lot of people are talking about right now as to where technology is going? And a lot of people are excited about it, but a lot of people are also very scared of it.

[00:26:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. A hundred percent. Now, I get that a hundred percent that the idea that the machine is taking over, and it is slightly concerning from the perspective if you don't understand how it actually works. The engineers are not just giving control to the machine. Once again, we have a child. The machine is being told, this is the result we're looking for. Here are the ingredients. You need to figure out how to get from these mixed up ingredients to the result we're looking for as efficient as you possibly can in every circumstance.

[00:27:28] Shannon Peel: Predict what's going to happen next. And that's the piece that a lot of, as any executive of any corporation will tell you, sitting there trying to predict what's going to happen in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, a year, five years, ten years isn't easy because you're dealing with consumers, you're dealing with people. Although there are certain things that we can predict, most of the time they will throw wrench in and boom. It's nothing like we expected because we're dealing people. People are people.

[00:28:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the machine will be caught out just as much as everybody else in the sense of something unexpected. But what you have to remember with machine learning is the aim of machine learning is to do a given task better, more efficiently than a human being would do it. And Google and all these other big tech companies are using machine learning and not artificial intelligence.

The Difference Between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

[00:28:23] Shannon Peel: What's the difference?

[00:28:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Artificial intelligence is the idea that the machine can think in the place of a human being. Whereas machine learning is saying we can do the task with the machine more efficiently and better than a human being would do it. The concept here is say the human beings are saying to the machine, this is what we're aiming to achieve. Can you achieve it more efficiently and effectively than we can?

[00:28:46] Shannon Peel: Chances are yes.

[00:28:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Chances are yes. And for me, that makes it less scary in the sense that the machine isn't taking control. The machine is simply doing the job better than we would've done it. As human beings, we can't retain all the information, and we can't do it in real time, and the machine can. So the machine is going to do a better job than us. And the fact that it does a better job than us is actually serving us very well.

The Incredibly Powerful Way of How Google Maps Works

[00:29:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): If you look at Google Maps, Google Maps is incredibly powerful. It can get you from A to B and it can tell you if the shop is short and it can tell you what the best route is to get there. Something that a human being could not do because it could not manage or the human being could not manage the amount of data the machine can manage. The machine, and this is a little bit scary is if you've got your Android phone in your pocket, the reason that Google My Business can tell you the shop is probably quite full at this time is because it's tracking the Android phone, and it knows that there are more Android phones in that shop at that time than there are in another time in the day.

[00:29:47] Shannon Peel: And if they know that a percentage of the population owns Android phones compared to iPhones, they can then say, okay, well, there's probably this many people there with an iPhone and…

The Importance of Reviews to Businesses

[00:29:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And if you want to get even more scary, you were talking about reviews. Reviews are phenomenally important.

[00:30:02] Shannon Peel: They are.

[00:30:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Reviews, it goes way beyond just people saying how great you are because Google uses reviews to understand what it is you offer better, both from a qualitative perspective, but also actually the details because, and I'll give you a good example. When I was looking for a coffee shop in Melbourne, Australia. I typed into Google coffee shop with good wifi. The coffee shop in their Google My Business did not mention wifi, but the reviews of the coffee shop mentioned great wifi. So it brought up these reviews, and that's why that particular coffee shop appeared. So, Google is learning the details of what you offer as a local business in this case through the reviews of your users, which is why you should never ever ask for reviews saying, did you enjoy your meal?

[00:30:47] Shannon Peel: What you want to do, but when you are asking for a review as a human and as a business, when you send out a review request by emails, SMS, whichever way you're doing it, give them three questions. What problem were you having before you made a Google search? How did Google solve your problem? And what was the result? Now, it becomes a story about your brand and your business, which then becomes more valuable. And you have a better understanding about why people choose you, why people, what you did to help people and the results. So when you go into sell something, guess what, you have stories that you can utilise. And those stories are backed up by the fact that they're actually reviews on a preferably third-party site, like Google, or one of the many other third-party sites out there and not your website.

[00:31:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That's a really good point, both from the perspective of saying third parties. Websites are very, very powerful because obviously you don't have control so Google trusts it more. Your users will probably trust it more. The idea of, I just say open-ended questions, but you are saying, yeah, ask them three specific questions that tell the story. That's absolutely brilliant. Wonderful. Delightful. From that perspective, your users are then telling their story with you. And they're going to give details that you would not necessarily have given on your website, which gives Google even more understandings.

Google’s Use of Phones to Understand User Behavior and Client Behavior

[00:32:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we take it, that's the scary side of it is with the phone, once again, not only does it know if the place is busy, but it knows if you keep going back to the same place again and again and again, which is an implicit review. If I live next door to a coffee shop and I go in once and I never go back, that's an implicit one star review.

[00:32:34] Shannon Peel: Even though you didn't review them.

[00:32:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep, exactly. So these Android phones, which I'm waving around for people who can't see it, are a very, very powerful way for Google to understand user behavior and client behavior. And they then use that masses and masses of data to understand how they can, once again, serve their users better in any given individual situation. Come back to this idea of if you want Google to offer you as solution, you need to educate it that you have that solution and that you are the best solution from the multiple choices it has to offer its users.

[00:33:09] Shannon Peel: And I can assume 60% or more of my listeners just cringed knowing that Google knows where, well, if they have an Android phone, knows, an Apple, if you have an Apple phone, same difference, come on, people, it's the same thing, know where you are and what you're doing.

[00:33:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep. A hundred percent. It's astonishing how much they know. And the thing with Google is in particular is you've also got the Chrome browser. You've also got Google Analytics, which is on pretty much every site in the world. You imagine the amount of data. They've got Google Ads. They've got the display network.

The Power of Knowledge With Google Versus the Power of Sales With Amazon

[00:33:49] Shannon Peel: Oh, Google has more power than any other corporation in the world.

[00:33:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But do you want to know what one of their disadvantages is Amazon has the moment of sale.

[00:34:01] Shannon Peel: True.

[00:34:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so Google has a disadvantage there is they have all the information and they can get you to the point where you're about to buy, but they don't have the point of sale. Whereas Amazon don't have all that information, can't get you onto the site, but they've got the point of sale. And they're both trying to solve the problem that the other one already has solved, and heaven knows where that's going to go.

[00:34:22] Shannon Peel: Yeah. Who has more money to buy the other one out? When I think about it though, what is more powerful, knowledge or sales?

[00:34:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Ooh. Now there we're getting very philosophical. I would love to say knowledge is more powerful because that appeals to the philosopher in me. But at the end of the day, Jeff Bezos and Amazon are massively, massively rich, but then so Google. Google are all about knowledge and Amazon are all about sales, so open debate, and I don't have the answer.

More About Google’s Understanding of the World Where It’s Increasingly Building on SERP Experience

[00:34:54] Shannon Peel: It is a hard answer because data is the new oil, as we all know. And we are putting a lot of our data into the hands of corporations and not governments, which either way, if it's a government or a business, it's the same deal folks. But the thing is knowing what you're going to do, knowing what you want to buy, knowing what the next step is is definitely more powerful than being at the bottom of the funnel where the purchase is made, because Google gets to decide who you're going to purchase it from, unless you write the Amazon.

[00:35:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that's a really good point about the Google's understanding of the world. We're looking at this child who wants to understand the world and who has a limitless memory that is perfect. And what it's now doing is building increasingly what we call on SERP experience on the search engine results page where you can research a product on the Google search engine results page from pricing to reviews to videos and then where do you want to go and buy it.

[00:36:08] Shannon Peel: Yeah. Because when you google it on Google, Google gives you all the options.

[00:36:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the point about where you're going to buy it is you would think it would always be advertisements, but it isn't, because Google cannot afford to just have paid results. It has to mix them up with organic free results.

People’s Trust on Google Is Important to Keep Clients or Convert Them

[00:36:27] Shannon Peel: Their credibility goes down the toilet and they're all about credibility. Their whole, if you give one word to any company about what their mission is or what their brand is, sorry, what their brand is, what does their brand mean? Credibility would be Google's, in my opinion.

[00:36:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. And you're a hundred percent right. And the idea that when we search, I come back to Brand SERPs because it's my thing, is that what Google shows your audience when they google your brand name, your Google Business Card is their recommendation or not, if it's a bad result. And we use Google because we trust Google. We believe that Google provides good result even if we complain about it a great deal. And Google's stamp of approval with that Google Business Card is so phenomenally important to you because the people searching your brand name are bottom or post funnel. They're the people you've worked so hard to convince, and they're on the cusp of converting or they're already a client and you want to keep them.

The Relationship of Offline Activities and Online Activities

[00:37:28] Shannon Peel: And that is why that is so important. And I was selling advertising. It was during the time when print and online, where online was beginning to take print over, but people were still, oh, it's all about print. I don't want to spend any money on online. And it was really cheap to get online advertising at the time. I would have this conversation with them about keywords when they search realtor. And I look at them and I say, well, by the time they've gotten to Google and they're searching for a realtor in such and such a place, you lost, because what you want to do is have them sit down and search your name, realtor, in such and such a place. And the only way that happens is if they see you in print on the buses, on the billboards, on the bus, benches, wherever it is, or they meet you and they know you because you've been out there volunteering and being part of the schools and the community and stuff like that. Offline activity drives the online activity, and online activity gives you offline results. They work together, but everybody is so focused on, we got to be digital or we got to be analog.

[00:38:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. No, a hundred percent.

[00:38:44] Shannon Peel: It's not.

[00:38:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And businesses miss that point, but people like me, who are online all the time, forget that the online is just a representation of the real world. And because the thing about the offline is, as you say, you're working so hard, you need to bring that online. There are two things. One of which is you need to transpose the person, who you've been talking to in the real world, online, bring them into your website, potentially convert, and as you say, give value offline. But also, if you are engaging with your audience offline, Google doesn't see it. And it's to your advantage to then take that information and write it online, put it on a place on your website so that you can actually, once again, inform Google.

Bringing the Offline Online in Situations Like Events and Conferences

[00:39:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a good example is conferences. I have a client who do a lot of events or conferences. And they said, oh, I met this person from Orange, the big company, the big telecom company in France and the UK. And they were terribly pleased with themselves, and they'd spent the afternoon with this person. And you go, that's brilliant, why didn't you write a blog article about it? And it simply didn't occur to them that there is value to be had there because that outflying meeting is simply not visible to Google, but writing about it immediately tells Google that this person was talking to the boss of Orange major company. And obviously, if Orange then reciprocate and confirm it, you've got that two way confirmation. That's now a fact, and Google is incredibly impressed by your credibility. So bring the offline online.

Calling Offline Activities as Dark Marketing Because People Cannot Digitally See It

[00:40:21] Shannon Peel: Yes, yes. And I was just at Ad World, which was a virtual conference with two days of all these experts going on and talking about advertising and marketing in the digital realm. The big thing was the metaverse and TikTok. Those were the things they were really talking about. Now, one of the things that they kept on talking about though was the dark marketing, dark advertising, the dark consumer, the dark part of the consumer journey. It took me a while to understand, okay. Finally, somebody put up a slide with a picture, and I was like, oh, that, yeah. So dark just meant that Google, Facebook, Amazon, all of these people that are watching us digitally cannot see it. This is the stuff that you do offline, this is the stuff that happens between you and customers, any networking that you do, any community service that you do, a referral that you get. All of that stuff fits in this world of dark marketing.

[00:41:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Wow. Sorry. You just put a name on something I've been trying to describe. Unfortunately, dark marketing sounds like Voldemort from Harry Potter or something like that.

[00:41:36] Shannon Peel: That's just it. So this digital world of advertising was basically saying that anything that wasn't digital isn't good because you have light, the opposite of dark is light, right? And the dark web is the evil web. It's the part of the website that all that bad stuff happens in. I want to push back on that and say, well, I think that's the wrong words to be using, even though that's the words that they are using. It just means that it's unseen. The unmeasurable, it's that piece, hidden.

[00:42:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): From an online perspective, it's hidden from the online world. So it's not dark and unseen. It is seen by some people. Yeah. I actually wrote unseen down and you said that.

Digital Marketers Tend to Forget the Real World

[00:42:21] Shannon Peel: But I do understand why our digital advertising group of people would call it the dark because they don't get paid for that. They don't see it. They can't measure it. They can't analyse it. They can't, but yet the photo that the person used was an iceberg, and the dark part was everything under the water. And as we know, 90% of the iceberg is under water, which I found was very interesting as well in that all of the things that he was listing out, we do do a lot of things that are offline to differentiate ourselves from our customers and differentiate our story, make it more clear, provide more feeling, more emotion.

[00:43:02] Shannon Peel: When our customer, if we sell a product, let's say you're an e-commerce store. Google sends you to the store. You buy the product. You close the website. The feeling, the connection with that brand happens when it shows up on your doorstep, not when you hit by, but when you actually see it, feel it, put it on, that's when the connection between your brand and the customer happens. It happens in the real world, not in the virtual world. Opportunity lives in the real world. It's when we connect and talk that we've, oh, there's an opportunity there. Oh, I want to hire you. Those kind of things happen when there is real connection.

[00:43:45] Shannon Peel: There's very few people. In fact, I can probably count them on one hand as to the type of person that I would think, yes, if they said buy this, I would go buy that. I don't understand this whole, oh, Kim Kardashian wore it so I want to buy it. I want to wear it too. Is that really opportunity? No. That's opportunity for Kim Kardashian, not opportunity for the customer, not opportunity for the follower. If the follower wants opportunity, they have to actually meet the person in the real world and connect with them one on one.

[00:44:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The real world is something that as digital marketers, myself included, we tend to forget. And I did love your Alexa example from earlier on because that's the perfect loop round is I went online. I bought from Amazon. It got delivered to my door. That was the moment I connected with whatever it was I bought and therefore the person or the company that delivered it to me. And then Amazon was able through Alexa to then reconnect me online, which is the part you were saying you never really do full circle. And that's the trick.

Going Back to the Importance of Giving Reviews and How Businesses Need to Invest Time, Effort, and Resources Into It

[00:44:42] Shannon Peel: And then it also allows Amazon to know I didn't like that product.

[00:44:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep. And from a small business perspective, the equivalent would be selling something to somebody and giving them instructions as to or an encouragement as to giving it as a review online. And I think a lot of local businesses in particular fail to do that.

[00:45:06] Shannon Peel: It's not that they fail to do it. They try. It's that it's not easy enough. We haven't taken the pain out of writing a review. We've tried to incentivise it. We've tried to reward it, but it's removing that pain from the process. Now, some people will write the review and say, hey, what do you think. If you like that, please post it. And some people will do that, but that's only taking away some of the pain. Alexa took away all of my pain. She vocally asked me and at the time, I gave her the answer. Hence, they have this two star, but they didn't get the full story. They only got stars.

[00:45:46] Shannon Peel: They still hasn't removed the pain of having someone who is happy with your service, the pain of spending time and effort to write you a good review. We still haven't reduced that pain enough that it's just, yeah, I'll go do that, I'll go do that. Unless they like writing reviews. Unless they're the type of people that, oh, I enjoy this. I enjoy giving kudos. I enjoy doing this other stuff. And there are people that do, but most people in this world will not exchange their time and effort to write a review for a company or product, even if they're happy, because it's too much pain.

[00:46:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): At least from a Google perspective, but also from convincing your potential customers. Perspective reviews are phenomenally important. And the effort that we need to put in as businesses I think is, however much effort it is, it's necessary. And it's something we need to invest time, effort, and resources into.

If Google Has Seen Hundred Articles You’ve Written, It Can Recognise Your Writing Style

[00:46:47] Shannon Peel: Yeah. Some people do write it and say, hey, if you like it, please post it. But they're so inauthentic. They're not real. I'm sorry, but when you write it, you're writing it in your voice. So you do that enough times, all your reviews start to sound the same, and they all start to be sound inauthentic, which means you start losing credibility for all your reviews, even the ones that you didn't write.

[00:47:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Actually, there's a really interesting point about that. If we come all the way back to when you were talking about copywriting is Google can recognise style. And it will recognise if I write, if it's seen a hundred articles that I've written, if I get an article ghost written and put my name on it, Google will be able to figure out that I didn't write it. The more we move forwards, the more that, for example, if whatever it is, whether it's writing an article or writing profile page or writing reviews, is that we have an innate style that Google at scale will be able to recognise. And if we come back to the frightening aspect of that is increasingly with the machine learning, the machine is going to learn this and we're going to be less able to get away with cheating.

Getting More Involved and Being More Authentic in Your Writing for Google to Recognise It’s You

[00:47:54] Shannon Peel: You bring up another really good point. I know that we're past our time, but you bring up such a great point there because... Don't say sorry. It's a great point from someone who does write blogs for other people and ghost writes and books and things like that. There has to be effort put in by the person that I'm writing for.

[00:48:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes.

[00:48:15] Shannon Peel: They can't just say, okay, go write this, go write that, go write this, because guess what? It is going to sound like me on 50 different sites. I like to talk to the person that I'm writing a blog post for. I ask them questions. I record their voice. I take those words and reformat them for the written word. So it's still their voice and it's still how they would say it. But there still is a bit of me in there, but not as much as if I wrote the article on my own.

[00:48:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And you're a hundred percent right. You can't just hand over the responsibility for writing to somebody else and expect either your audience for that matter or Google to believe that it's you. It has to be authentic. It has to have your voice. You have to get involved, and you have to invest the time and effort to make sure it does actually represent what you would, what you want to say.

You Can’t Bait and Switch the Machine That Is Google

[00:49:04] Shannon Peel: Which is why I get so frustrated. When you are online and you're reading something and you think that you know them, and then you meet them and they're nothing like what they wrote up, what you saw.

[00:49:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right.

[00:49:20] Shannon Peel: It's a bait and switch, right? And then your credibility is thrown out the window, because you realise that the person that you were connecting with isn't the person that whose name it is.

[00:49:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A hundred percent. And from a Google perspective, bait and switch simply will not work over time. You can't bait and switch the machine.

[00:49:40] Shannon Peel: It doesn't work in the real world either. It doesn't work in the real world either, right? Because it throws all your credibility out the window. And one thing about social media is that most, all social media out there that is not personal but business oriented is written by social media marketing people.

[00:50:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right.

Your Brand SERP Should Represent the Brand Message of Your Organisation

[00:50:01] Shannon Peel: And a lot of people with a personal brand are using social media marketing people to create that personal brand, which is actually, now, for the most part, it's fluff, because most social marketing people don't really know the person well enough or don't know the topic well enough or they're not experts in what they're trying to create for this person, especially if they have more than one client. The personal brand can be skewed because it's either it's really shallow fluff or it's completely off the mark because it's actually someone else with a person's name on it. It's just inauthentic.

[00:50:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. And that actually probably circles around to pretty much the very beginning, which is that has just struck me is the reason that I'm pitching to people saying your Brand SERP, what your audience sees when they google your brand name, doesn't represent your brand message that you have crafted so carefully within your organisation. And what you have just done is put your finger on why is because they've let go of that consistency. They allow other people to write for them, the marketing people.

[00:51:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so what then appears on the Brand SERP is not their own brand message. It's the brand message reiterated and adapted by the marketing people that they have employed, who don't really know what they're talking about. Come back to say to my clients all the time, that's reflected in your Brand SERP. Google's Brand SERP is a reflection of how it perceives the world perceives you. So if it's full of all this fluff that you've just mentioned, you're creating too much fluff. Google hasn't understood, and it's reflecting back at you the, let's say, rubbish that you're pushing out there.

[00:51:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google's constantly looking over your shoulder. It has a perfect memory. And it's looking for that credibility, that expertise, that authority, and that trustworthiness. You have to be expert, you have to be authoritative, stick on topic, and you need to make sure that Google understands that you're trustworthy, that you do deliver when it sends its users to you for a solution for their problem that they have asked Google to help them to solve.

The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business, the Book of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:52:14] Shannon Peel: I just want to thank you, Jason, so much. And I wanted to ask you one quick question or actually two quick questions, because one, I see that you have a book behind your shoulder there. Can you tell me what it is?

[00:52:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. I wrote a book and it's The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business. And it's basically how do you make sure that what your audience sees when they google your brand name is accurate, positive, and convincing. And the answer is it's not geeky. It's not techy. It's marketing and common good sense. And it will really help your digital marketing strategy. Anybody can read it, anybody can understand it, and anybody can get value from it, because it's marketing and common good sense.

Find Out More About The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard) By Searching His Name on Google

[00:52:55] Shannon Peel: Find you, if they want more information about Brand SERPs and how they can ensure that they show up on Google searches.

[00:53:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. We've got the book. I've also got the Kalicube Academy, where we've got courses, where we teach people the slightly more technical stuff. It takes the book and digs deeper. Google my name, Jason Barnard. One of the nice things about the Brand SERP is that it gives you the choice of how you want to engage with me.

[00:53:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You'll have my site at the top if you want to learn more about me personally. You've got the Knowledge Panel on the right hand side, which will give you the facts about me. You have Twitter. If you want to come on Twitter, that's a great place to engage with me. LinkedIn, my company website, if you want to do business with me. The video boxes, if you want to watch the videos of the presentations I've done. And as you can see, I've just described the results of what Google presents my audience when they search my name. And it's simply a list of the ways they can engage with me and a summary of who I am, what I do, and who my audience is.

Understanding Your Digital Footprint and Having Your Own Website

[00:53:55] Shannon Peel: That's amazing. That is absolutely amazing. And it does take time to build all that. My name dominates five or six pages of Google because I have so much online. It is important to have all of those pieces, but it is also important to sit down and map out your digital footprint so that you know how it all works together, and you can let Google know how it all works together. Make sure that you're linking properly, otherwise Google goes, woah, we got this thing over here and I got this thing over there and I don't know.

[00:54:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. A hundred percent. You've got to understand your own digital footprint and you need to have a website, your own website.

[00:54:32] Shannon Peel: That's the hub.

[00:54:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That joins all the dots. That's the hub. And as you just said, yeah, it's the hub. And this is where you point Google to the places where it should be looking to find information about you that's relevant, helpful, and valuable to your audience.

Comparing Optimising Brand SERPs to a Broken Umbrella

[00:54:49] Shannon Peel: Yeah. It's like a broken umbrella. You got your hub, which is your website right in the middle, and all the links going out to all the different places. And sometimes, those links come together. And you've got the nice fabric going from one little spoke to next spoke. Sometimes, it doesn't. That's why we don't really have the wheel going around and you got this, you're missing a little bit of fabric there, but at least it is linked to the hub, even if it isn't linked to everything else. You need to just make sure it's linked to the hub. And yes, it'd be nice if everything linked, and you had this great wheel, bicycle wheel happening.

[00:55:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely brilliant. I love the umbrella. I'm going with that. I'll be quoting you.

[00:55:36] Shannon Peel: Yehey.

[00:55:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Thank you so much. That was absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed this conversation.

[00:55:43] Shannon Peel: Listener, I hope that you enjoyed today's episode and learned a ton about Brand SERPs and how you can get more out of Google than you are today. I encourage you to google your brand name, google your personal name, and then drop into, go to the community, and let me know in the BrandAPeel community what you found when you googled your brand name and your personal name and how complete your Brand SERP is. Until next time, peel out.

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