SEO & Branding Combined
Merging SEO & Branding Practices to Build Brand Awareness
As companies overcome their confusion concerning the who, what, when, and how of SEO… and how it can be used beyond simply ranking on Google search engines. They begin to see SEO campaigns as something on which to capitalize, as something that when used strategically and consistently, can improve brand awareness.
What to focus on… Branding or SEO?
Marketing teams often limit their efforts due to a confined narrow mindset, where they focus their SEO energies purely towards optimizing singular categories, rather than combining their branding and SEO efforts. As a consequence, marketers find themselves limiting their capacity to optimize results along with diminishing their scope of capitalizing on the benefits associated. It shouldn’t be a question of which one weighs more than the other, but rather it should be an expected part of your SEO strategy. The two shall complement each other. By merging aspects related to branding and SEO, you naturally increase the chances of generating further brand exposure, along with improving your overall reach due to widening the breadth of your audience’s potential search query, and as such will likely go towards improving your overall organic traffic click-through rate, dependant on the queries intent of course.
How SEO can help increase brand awareness
- Generating Links
Brand awareness, in general, describes how acquainted consumers are with a particular brand and or its products, it describes how memorable or recognizable a brand is to its intended audience. Now when we think of SEO and building awareness, we think of generating strategic links to our website, i.e., Backlinks from sites with equal or greater authority than our own. We call this Link Building.
Besides suffering the emotional trauma derived from cold call rejection, some people use a somewhat proactive method called ‘Broken Link Building’, this is a method whereby you search major websites in your niche that have any broken (internal or external) links on their website, you then take great efforts and time to recreate the content that may have been on that page and inform the owner of the said website to use your content instead… as a backlink.
In an ideal world, they will be pleasantly surprised you discovered their dead link, and be happy to use your content in its place. In either case, you have created some content for your website, so it is kind of a win-win scenario.
Other methods are directing readers via portals, blogs, websites, social media to visit your content. And hopefully in turn generate backlinks.
The eventual hope is to appeal to a greater audience, increase brand awareness, and improve your SEO efforts organically. Which is the prime goal of link building.
- Generating Branded Content
One way to help build brand awareness is to engage in producing optimized content as part of your marketing strategy. This not only goes towards advertising your company or brand, but it will also go towards improving your overall SEO.
When SEO and branding practices are merged, you yield the potential to earn huge rewards, of course, the content you create needs to appeal to your audience in terms of meeting the reader’s expectations, interests, and intent, it also demands that you incorporate standard SEO practices during the process of crafting and implementing your content.
By generating and directing people to experience great content via your website, you increase long-term opportunities that search engine crawlers will display and direct people to your content, and as such increases your brand awareness and SEO simultaneously, and hopefully increasing the likely hood of gaining backlinks, shares and so on.
When people talk about keywords concerning SEO, what they mean is defining consumer intent during the process of conducting an online search. It could include targeting a wide audience or focusing on specific niche audiences.
Below are some of the main search query types:
- Navigational Search Queries – The intent of the user is generally trying to reach a specific destination, such as a brand, website, or individual, and they are typically directed towards specific domains, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and so on. These types of queries are difficult to target unless you own the domain in question and people are already aware of your site or brand, for example, someone does a search query using “liasidik” with the intent of being directed to your actual domain associated.
One way to capitalize on this is to buy keywords associated regardless of your term is the top organic spot. Branded keywords tend to drive clicks and conversions.
- Informational Search Queries – This type of intent is more related to finding content that could potentially be found on a wider range of webs sites, such as review websites, cooking tips, travel destinations, Wikipedia, and so on, they are not looking to make a commercial transaction, they just want to find an answer to something.
Some of the better ways to capitalize on this type of query are to create top-notch SEO content to not only improve perception but to direct the reader to look further into your offerings, and as such provide an opportunity to profit.
Some methods could include writing informative blogs, and articles, how-to videos, step-by-step guides, infographics, and so on.
The goal is to position yourself as an authoritative and trustworthy source of information, but not to spam your products and services down their throat. The content still needs to appease the user’s original intent.
- Transactional Search Queries – The intent here is typically used when searching for something to buy, such as “Latest Samsung Hp”, or “Dell Laptop” and so on.
Capitalizing on this type of intent could call for investment into Google ads, while organic search results could generate some conversion, it’s potentially twice as more likely to be seen and clicked if you utilize the advantages of using Google ads, you can display info, images and so on.
Google ads are scalable and a cost-effective way to generate leads and potential sales.
- Commercial Search Queries – This type of intent is more interested in finding the price of a product, much the same process as Transactional. One way to discover these types of keywords is to conduct a search using a particular query and see what sponsored results appear at the top. You can then determine if there are keywords related that you might wish to incorporate.
Additionally, when considering what method, you want to utilize or what your end game is in terms of objective and who your audience is, you should also consider the reality that short tail keywords may yield greater volume in terms of the number of search results, they don’t tend to do so well when you are competing for the same terminology. And so, developing a list of long-tail keywords that target the intent of each audience, and in some differentiates itself from the mass, is critical in enabling your brand to reach your most optimal audience.
Start the process of shaping terminology related to your market, rather than drowning in the noise of keywords everyone else is using. Consider taking the time to conduct some research.
- Promoting your brand
Managing the means and effect of brand awareness strategically can vastly contribute towards promoting a positive brand image, the concept is similar to forming friendships, if someone likes you, chances are they will want you to be part of their lives, as with a brand, product or service, so if you can target the right audience, appeal to their needs and understand their search intent, you increase the likely hood they might not only perceive your brand as appropriate, you open the potential to increase sales.
To facilitate the goal of shaping perception, we need to optimize content that aligns with the types of queries that potential customers use to discover your deliverables, including those associated with your industry, and local competitors, whilst simultaneously urging the audience to perceive your brand in an ideal light to inspire engagement and an eventual sales conversion.
This effort requires research, testing, and patience to get a solid grasp of your most optimal keywords associated, a process that can’t be won overnight, it comes from the continual cyclic process of running ads, posting content, and so on, and then conducting a phase to analysis and redirection to improve your future SEO activities.
While the SEO Branding cycle never ends, we still want to view the results of each rotation. The goal is to discern what content earned the most clicks, which ads received the highest traffic, what content gained the most user engagement, and how your conversion rate was affected overall, from there we can attempt to better optimize our efforts for the next rotation.
If you require assistance in promoting and aligning your brand with SEO and Brand Awareness in mind?
Please contact us at lia s. Associates | Branding and Design agency in Surabaya to arrange a meeting.
We also offer customized courses on the subject, which may better suit the needs of your team.
If you have any tips you wish to add to the conversation? Please feel free to make a comment below.
If you want to read about our 5 steps to creating successful brands, additionally, please take a look at our other recent articles on the matter of Brand Research, Brand Architecture, Brand Identity, Brand Communication, Brand Experience.
Written by Michael Jordon
19 August 2021