When we include the name of a brand such as L’Oréal in a Google search, it is normal for the algorithm to show in the first results the content of that particular company and, consequently, the websites that mention it fall below it.
It usually happens, right?
This behavior, which is completely acceptable, raises a challenge: how do you get a page to rise to the first position in a brand search?
Although it may seem very specific, this challenge is quite common. Just think about the multitude of posts that offer products reviews, tips to help users with their purchases, or in short, any content based on a longtail that includes the name of a brand.
Ranking these pages can be quite a challenge, especially if you intend to jump to that desired first place in the SERP.
Can you imagine being able to do so, and to rank yourself above any company so that users see you first? Who wouldn’t like to overtake any well-known brand and steal some clicks in their searches?
Fortunately, we know how to do it. What’s more, we know how to achieve the result that overtakes all others: Google’s zero position. You can watch it in this video, or read on to find out:
I’m Javier Gázquez, CEO and founder of Interamplify, and in this new post, we are going to see another of the case studies we have carried out in our SEO Lab, where we keep developing creative techniques, checking the results, and using them for our clients.
A few days ago, we were wondering what would happen if one of our clients needed to rank a page for a branded search, for example, one including the name of L’Oréal, the prestigious beauty firm.
This type of search, as we have already seen, is characterized by the fact that pages not belonging to L’Oréal will hardly access the top positions of the SERP.
The solution to rank over the brand, in the end, was simple. To climb to the first position, it was not necessary to compete for it but to overtake it.
And how to do it? Quite easy: getting to position zero in Google.
You hadn’t thought about it until now, right?
Everyone wants the top position in the SERP´s because, in theory, it is the first place where the user clicks and, therefore, the one that brings more traffic to any website. But if getting to the first result is touching heaven, position zero is sitting at the table with the gods and having a beer with them!
Now seriously. Position zero is something that changes everything you’ve been looking for. But what is it exactly?
We are talking about the featured snippets: fragments that Google highlights and places above the other results as a response to the user’s query. For example, juts type ‘what year was Google founded’, and the search engine will display above the other URLs a snippet with the precise information answering that query:
This information is usually extracted from one of the websites in the results. Specifically, one that has optimized its data so that Google can detect and present them in this way.
Thus, the user will find this content in the first place, will see that it responds to his query, and will be able to click on it to keep reading.
In the case of branded searches, featured snippets are an opportunity to rank content mentioning popular brands, place it above them and earn a good number of clicks.
How did we achieve this for the brand search related to L’Oréal?
Let’s check it step by step.
The challenge of this case study was to rank a page in a search that included the name of the beauty brand L’Oréal within a longtail, and to do so in a specific market, in this case Spain. This same process, of course, could be replicated for any other brand –L’Oréal is just an example, as well as for clients operating in Germany, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or any other country, regardless of on which SERP we work.
The page detailed a quite specific search, with a product review of the type ‘the best XXXXXXX by L’Oréal’ for a certain age. And that was the longtail attacking their content, with a monthly search volume of 300 for the targeted country:
When searching on Google, of course, the top positions were reserved for L’Oréal´s website, with content from their corporate blog recommending their own products.
The brand in question ranked #1 and #2:
In this way, the highest place the website could be ranked was third, just below the corporate content of the beauty brand.
To overtake it, we had to get a featured snippet so that our content would appear in position zero in Google, even ahead of those of the referenced brand.
And to do so, we followed these two steps:
The first step was to make a series of on-page adjustments to optimize featured snippets.
This involved implementing some improvements to those elements of the page that, if properly optimized, get Google to detect them as featured snippets, thereby bringing them to the position zero.
In this case, we carried out some optimizations in the page’s table of contents, as well as in its FAQ section:
These adjustments were specifically aimed at Google detecting the page as the best option for the search, as well as extracting the exact information it would need to include in the featured snippet.
Once the changes were made, the only thing left to do was to let Google act and check if the optimizations had been effective.
In just about a week, it was enough to do the search where the brand appeared in #1 and #2 place to see that, finally, the optimized post occupied position zero in Google, just over the first results of the cosmetics brand:
In this way, Google had not only ranked the page above the referenced brand’s website, but it had done so in position zero, extracting the information that could be useful to the user and, of course, inviting them to click through a more visual and appealing presentation.
With this technique, the page managed to overtake L’Oréal and steal visits in this type of search, where Google usually favours the contents of the brand mentioned in the longtail.
This case study demonstrates how, with a simple technical adjustment, it is possible to achieve Google’s featured position in the SERP of any country, with the applications this can have.
It is no coincidence that position zero has caught the attention of the SEO world in recent times.
First of all, featured snippets make it possible to place a link at the top of the SERP, and not just in any way. These results are often accompanied by lists, numbering, short paragraphs, or even images, with the advantage this brings when capturing the user’s attention.
Getting a featured snippet is also much easier than ranking on the first position, making it an ideal method to overtake competitors who occupy the first results in a search.
Likewise, it is an opportunity to steal clicks from the top results. This is demonstrated by a study conducted by Ahrefs, where you can see how, in a result with featured snippets, the number of clicks the first URL receives in a standard search is shared with position zero:
Specifically, and as we have already seen, this click stealing also allows to increase the CTR in contents that mention consolidated brands, and with them, the SEO of the websites that offer them.
And this is just one more of the techniques that we develop and test in our SEO Lab to find the best solutions and White Hat methods to then offer them to our clients.