Today I want to share with you how corporate branding conflicts with Google. One of the biggest concerns for large corporations, institutions, and franchisors is how to “control” the message. The way most groups handle this challenge is to hire an internal marketing director, ask them to create the message in the board’s words, have the message approved by the board, and then distribute the vetted content to the individual branches. The individual branches then re-post the exact same vetted content on their individual websites and social media accounts.
The problem with that approach is that Google ‘pushes down’ search results for websites and social media accounts that feature content that appears on more than one website. In fact the more websites that feature the same content the more Google penalizes you. Effectively, this approach to use vetted content hurts you.The term Google uses is “duplicate content.”
Google is founded on two principles. The first is as the leading source for information. The more often your information is updated, viewed, and shared the more valuable your message is to Google and the higher your site will appear for an organic search.
The second is geographic location. In other words, where your business is located on a map and where the device your prospects use, (computer, tablet, smart phone), is located are part of what determines where you appear on a search. Results for searches are then pulled up based on both the content on the website and the location of the business relative to the location of the device.
The other thing that’s misguided about the idea of protecting your message with “vetted content” is that visitors to your social media networks and blog don’t usually engage with that type of content. Remember, when Facebook launched there were no ads. The solution is to post content that educates, informs, and entertains your target audience and occasionally to post human interest content celebrating an employee, local charity, or team project.
Be live, post daily, be local, talk about the geographic market you serve, be topical, connect with top stories of the day and apply them if you can to your business and finally be human and engage your audience. Today through blogging, inbound marketing, and other state-of-the-art tools you can lead the conversation. So don’t just speak, listen. And if you don’t have time to manage these very powerful tools, hire a respected firm like VOX to do it for you. Do it right or don’t do it at all. Otherwise you may be doing more harm than good.