7 Important Digital Assets To Optimize Brand Exposure

It’s no secret that personal branding is important. So is branding your Brand. Basically, what I am trying to say is, we all want to get found online. Well, in some cases, people don’t. But generally speaking, the goal is to get more exposure. Which is why, it boggles the mind as to why some people only focus on the standard “SEO signals” but ignore other important optimization opportunities.

Optimize All The ThingsA couple things recently happened which caused me to do a digital self evaluation:

  • My Meta descriptions on my blog weren’t showing correctly (apparently Yoast and Thesis don’t play so nicely).
  • I accidentally deleted my blog about page. (FML)
  • Google sent me an email that they were going to start integrating my Gmail into my search results. (This came up in a meeting, and to be honest, I live in the world of archive. Inbox Zero yes, but Archive 100 Billion! It occurred to me how utterly useless this feature “might” be for me personally, but nevertheless still got me thinking.)

Once I noticed the above, I started thinking about other areas of my site and my social media presence which could probably use a tune-up.

If email is starting to get integrated, what will be next?

The Missed Opportunities

Here are 7 important digital assets I have identified to help you take advantage of often overlooked branding opportunities.

  1. Email.  Are your marketing emails descriptive? With the new integration in Google, I would say keeping in mind certain key terminology in emails is more important than ever. Besides the fact that a non-descriptive message is likely not articulating what you had hoped it would, now, certain keywords are causing Email results to show up in results. This is additional – free – real estate for brands. I couldn’t completely identify what caused results to show up, however, it seems as though people’s names and industry organizations, for sure work. Brands names and even searching on specific subject lines do not always trigger it. Stay tuned to see where this one goes.
  2. RSS.  Often, what shows up in an RSS feed, is extremely unimpressive. This is not about debating whether or not you should have the full article in RSS or just a snippet. Personally, I put the full article in RSS, but that is me. My goal is to get people to read my content, not necessarily drive them to my blog. But again, that is just my preference.

    For most brands, driving users to the site is of the utmost importance, understandably. So why would you leave the RSS snippet to the first paragraph, which could be misleading and miss the main point?

    Try a TL;DR at the beginning of a post.

  3. Twitter.  Are people tweeting what you want them to? A few articles ago, I wrote about a tool I created which allows you to add in a tiny piece of code and tweet what you want to (cool name for the post still pending). It’s pretty simple and allows you the chance to let your audience tweet what you want them to, in order to better convey your message.

    But don’t limit yourself to just my tool. How about giving them a few options? If they agreed with the article let them tweet a message about how they agreed and if they didn’t, well, let them tweet that they didn’t agree, but on your terms.

    Control the message. Like This ← (FYI: If you tweet this, you contractually agree to buy me a beer at SMX East :P)

  4. Google Plus.  This is another area that shows prominently in search results. But beyond just the profile showing, Authorship markup is huge. Who wouldn’t want to see your beautiful head-shot? Everyone does. And even if they don’t, they won’t have a choice in the matter. Has this been implemented correctly? Did you test it?

    AJ Kohn wrote a great article on optimizing Google + and Rick DeJarnette also wrote an amazing guide on authorship.

  5. Open Graph.  I have spoken about this in my SMX presentations before. Besides the speculated character lengths I wrote about a while ago, how about simply having this available? Let’s not forget, information discovery happens in a completely different way on Facebook.

    No Open Graph Moron

    Are you differentiating the description? Or are you leaving it up to chance for engines to grab whatever they want? This is a different type of user after all.

  6. Images. This is more an addition to Facebook and Google +, but has massive impacts for image search. I personally was having an issue getting certain images to show up on Facebook from my blog, and couldn’t diagnose the issue. Rather than pulling in the images I uploaded for the post, it was pulling in the Social Sharing icons I had set. Bad user experience for anyone else sharing. I found a great plugin to fix the Facebook like thumbnail which brings the images you want to the top, and adds a tag to identify those as the preferred images for the post and for Open Graph.

    Do yourself a favor and ensure that the images on your site are descriptive, and they are being picked up by social networks and Google image search.

  7. LinkedIn. This is yet another prominent spot as it ends up showing up often in search results. So do yourself or your company a favor and add detailed information to your profile. There isn’t a whole lot you can do to change what shows in search results, but I now go full circle back to the Email section. LinkedIn messages tend to dominate in this Gmail integration. Are you sending personalized, branded messages? Are you including keywords you want to be found for in the message?

I am sure this list goes on. There are lots of opportunities to capture those easy wins, and stand out from the crowd. This is just a sampling of different tactics. What else am I missing? What would you add?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Search & Social


About The Author: is the Director of SEO for Kahena, a Digital Marketing agency focused on sustainable SEO, vertical search optimization, and online advertising. At KDM, he leads strategy for all accounts and is experienced in SEO ranging from local, digital marketing, to national and global search marketing. Aaron also specializes in social media strategy development and its convergence with SEO, content creation, image and video optimization. Follow him on Twitter @AaronFriedman.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


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  • Elan Sherbill

    Hey Aaron,

    Thanks for the post.

    Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounds like the Facebook Like Thumbnail
    plug-in uses the FB thumbs-up if you don’t have any images in your post.

    Do you think that readers would prefer to see the thumbs up displayed
    every time, assuming there is no other image on the post? I feel it gets
    a little repetitive, especially when you scroll through the page and
    see the same image associated with every post.

    It’s why I always try to include even just a stock image into posts and tag the image.

    If I don’t have an image in the post, I prefer to delete the associated image when I share on social networks and go with plain old boring text.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerHakes Tyler Hakes

    SEO is quickly approaching a whole new meaning that people seem to be missing. For one, the technical aspects are beginning to overshadow the content in terms of actually optimizing for search.

    For two, SEO has become more than simply climbing the ranks of the search page; it’s no longer enough to just be number 1 in the rankings. It’s about the technical details that allow you to actually “optimize” the content that people see (not just optimize the number of people who see it).

  • http://profiles.google.com/ajfried Aaron Friedman

    Hey Elan,
    The Facebook Like Thumbnail plug-in just ensures that the picture you want posted is the one that actually shows up on FB. What happened to me was, I had these social media icons showing up since they were the closest to the top of my code. FB was confused and pulled those in. So all this plugin does is ensure that the photos you want at the top are really there.

    But I am with you, I always like to have images associated as well. Makes the post dry without them (in most cases).


  • http://profiles.google.com/ajfried Aaron Friedman

    Hmm… I am not sure I agree with that. SEO is becoming more about the content than anything else. And the contribution on Social too that, I suspect, will bring even bigger changes in the near future.

    That being said, I do agree that with social media coming into play more, there are important technical details that need to be implemented. But still, goes back to content. Content is still king.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerHakes Tyler Hakes

    Well, let me clarify what I meant. I didn’t mean that content isn’t (still) important.

    Instead, what I’m saying is that SEO is more than just your placement on the SERPs. It’s about how your result is displayed and how you utilize that space.

    That goes back to a whole host of technical implementation (semantic mark up, etc) to get the most of your space and capture the searcher’s attention, So, what I mean is, as far as driving traffic through search engines, technical implementation and maximizing that display is becoming more important. Your actual placement is being minimized.

    This is almost irrelevant or tangential to your post, so sorry to take it off topic. You referenced some of these technical changes to the SERPs in your first point, which got me thinking about other ways that brands can maximize their search visibility other than just being #1.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ajfried Aaron Friedman

    You make a good point for sure.

    And actually, I would add that to the above list for sure (whoops, totally left it out). Schema and markup. Because why not!?!? It has not been widely adopted by webmasters (would like to see a stat on that) but its completely a missed opportunity to get MORE information into the SERPs.


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