Three Minutes With Hendrikus van Katwijk

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Welcome to our Three Minutes With. From igaming to affiliate publishing, we talk to movers and shakers, breaking boundaries and blazing new trails. Brand Legends Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hendrikus van Katwijk took three minutes to speak with Oken’s content director, Jennifer Kite-Powell, about the importance of search visibility for your brand and the most significant tech shifts that are affecting SEO today and in the future. 

Jennifer Kite-Powell (JKP) Brand Legends specializes in SEO services for the iGaming industry; as the COO, what kind of value is the company bringing to this market? 

Hendrikus van Katwijk, Brand Legends, on the importance of search visibility for your brand and the most significant tech shifts affecting SEO today and in the future.

Hendrikus van Katwijk (HVK) It is all about protecting a brand’s search presence. Brand Legends provides specialized SEO services to the igaming industry, like keyword optimization and backlink strategies. But what sets us apart is our unique Brand Protection product, which ensures domination by SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Think of it as your brand’s guardian in the vast world of search results. When someone looks up our client’s brand, we ensure they find either us or the brand itself at the top. A streamlined search result not only helps customers find you faster but also gives your site a credibility boost, especially when big names like Google give you a nod. Our Brand Protection is all about keeping your brand’s online visibility in peak form.

 

JKP: What are some of the challenges your clients are facing when it comes to brand protection?

HVK: One of our client’s biggest challenges is competition bidding on their brand keywords. We see about 70% of our clients facing this challenge. Other challenges include negative SEO attacks and unauthorized use of their brand name. With negative SEO attacks, For those unfamiliar, negative SEO refers to malicious practices aimed at sabotaging a competitor’s search engine rankings. For instance, one of our clients experienced a surge in low-quality, spammy backlinks pointing to their site. This was an attempt by a competitor to harm their site’s reputation and rankings. Unauthorized use of their brand name is another issue we often encounter.

We conducted a thorough backlink audit to address the damaging SEO attack, identifying and disavowing the harmful links. We also set up regular monitoring to promptly catch and address future attempts. 

To compound this problem, Algorithm updates, mobile-first indexing and the rise of AI search have also reshaped the SEO landscape. There are ways to combat this, like optimizing existing content, creating better meta tags, or building a backlinking strategy, but it takes a lot of time and knowledge to do this. And because the landscape is constantly shifting, just like the competitors, brands need to have a plan to tackle issues like this. To ensure our client’s online reputation remains intact, it’s crucial to be proactive and vigilant in these situations.

JKP: What are the most significant technology shifts that will affect your clients in the coming years?

HVK: The most prominent technology shift I see is the rise of AI-driven search algorithms, increased emphasis on user experience signals, and the growing importance of video and voice search. These rapidly evolving technologies will have a significant impact on our clients. This means that more than traditional keyword-based strategies might be needed; we’ll need to anticipate and adapt to how AI interprets content and user behavior.

The rise of video and voice search is reshaping how people access information. With the proliferation of smart speakers and the preference for video content, optimizing for voice commands and video searches will become crucial. Brands must think beyond text-based content and consider how they can be discoverable through these new mediums.

Another issue is Google’s frequent algorithm updates, which sometimes catch companies off-guard if they aren’t prepared or companies are using outdated SEO practices. Tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEMrush that fail to keep pace with these evolving changes risk providing clients with inaccurate data. This, in turn, can result in ineffective digital strategies that jeopardize your brand’s online reputation.

I think one of the single biggest overall threats out there is complacency. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and companies that don’t adapt to the latest SEO practices or aren’t proactive in protecting their brand online risk losing their search visibility and, consequently, potential business.

JKP: Since you protect your clients’ brand online with a strong SERP, how are you protecting your brand?

HVK: Well, we practice what we preach. We use our Brand Protection service to dominate the SERPs for Brand Legend’s brand keywords, ensuring our online reputation remains positive and our clients can find authentic information about us. 

For example, we work with Okens Domains for our domain acquisition: they provide domain names from specific countries where company registration is required, allowing us to establish a local presence and enhance our SEO strategies. This collaboration is more than just about securing domain names; it’s a strategic move. Owning country-specific domains allows us to establish a local digital footprint, enhancing our SEO strategies in those regions.

Moreover, this partnership addresses potential privacy concerns. Registering domains in countries with strong data protection regulations ensures that our online activities and clients’ clients comply with local laws. This safeguards our brand and provides confidence in our clients, knowing their data is handled with the utmost care.

Furthermore, having these country-specific domains empowers us to craft localized SEO strategies for our clients; this means better search visibility in target markets and a more personalized user experience for their customers.

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