One subtle but important aspect to your inbound marketing efforts is branded links.
What exactly are we talking about here? We’re talking about the URL, that link in the user’s browser bar. Sometimes, you’ll go to a company’s social media site and you’ll see a string of random characters. This is what I call an unbranded link. More effective is a URL that ends in the company name or a major brand name.
While most people will find a company’s social media site by route either search engine or by clicking on an icon at the company website. Some people will specifically type in the URL trying to find the site by brute force. It’s not a weighty reason to brand your URL, but it does make things easier for that low volume traffic.
More importantly, a branded URL simply looks more professional. Additionally, your brand should be a keyword for your business website, and branded social media sites can add some positive mojo to the search rankings if the spiders can find a connection between the website and social media site.
As we’ve discussed in the past, Google’s algorithms are some of the most closely guarded corporate secrets in the world. That said, a lot of empirical evidence has been generated that indicates linking and keywords in social media sites can add positive SEO weight. If that’s true, it stands to reason that a branded URL should be a net positive, as well.
We must remember that Google’s search engine objective is to enhance the end user’s experience. That means Google is actually trying to bring meaningful traffic to you, so it’s logical that we do everything in our power to make Google’s job easier by identifying ourselves wherever we participate online.
If you are still using default, auto-generated URLs in your social media effort, take some time and make those changes. Facebook, by the way, has an old version of the branded links that includes a random string of numbers at the end. Take the time to use the new branded URL capability.