How SEO Can Support Branding

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Getting your company in front of potential customers is only half the battle when trying to build your business. People not only need to hear about you, they also need to feel as if you are trustworthy and as if you can provide them with what they need. Often, these two parts of the process are compartmentalized by businesses. An SEO team, for instance, will work on improved search visibility, while another team will work on creating an appealing brand. What you may not realize, however, is that search engine optimization can actually support your branding efforts (and vice versa). Following are a few ways in which SEO can contribute positively toward branding.

Successful SEO builds brand awareness.

Brand awareness refers to how broadly your brand is recognized and understood by consumers. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more likely they will be to consider buying from you. Your SEO company supports brand awareness by getting your business’ name in front of more people. For instance, higher search result rankings mean more visibility (and more website visitors exploring your brand). One study has shown that people recall specific brands up to 16 percent more often when those brands appear in the top search results. The result of successful search engine optimization, therefore, is not just higher search rankings and more website visitors but also greater brand awareness as more and more people become familiar with your company.

Successful SEO builds brand authority.

Successful SEO also builds brand authority for your business. People are more likely to give their business to a company that they perceive as being an expert in its field. As a result, the more authority you have as a brand, the more business you will earn. SEO contributes to this important aspect of branding in a number of ways.

First, search engine optimization places your brand in favorable spots in the search rankings. People tend to associate these spots with expertise and reliability, which is one of the reasons they click on the top-ranked websites so often. In addition, certain SEO strategies, such as blogging, also build your reputation in your field. For instance, as people read the blog and become familiar with your brand’s knowledge, they will be more likely to perceive you as having thought leadership in your field.

Carefully chosen keywords can support branding goals.

Carefully chosen keywords, which are a fundamental aspect of SEO, can also support certain branding goals. For instance, one of your goals as a brand should be to communicate certain values to customers. To this end, good branding uses a certain vocabulary that helps to define the brand’s expertise and values. When your SEO service¬†goes about selecting keywords to focus on, they should choose words and phrases that reflect this branding vocabulary. The resulting SEO optimization on your website should be focused on the vocabulary that supports your brand’s values and that reflects your customers’ needs. Your brand will subsequently be more accurately perceived by website visitors, and your SEO efforts will be more likely to bring in website visitors who are looking for what you have to offer.

Inbound links improve more than just search rankings.

Inbound links are links from outside sources to your website. For instance, a blog post on another site may cite something on your website and include a link, or a member of social media may post a link to your blog. These links, while they improve search rankings, also contribute toward brand awareness and brand authority for your business.

For instance, good link building encourages links from authoritative sources within your field. As potential customers see your business mentioned more and more by other sources whom they consider to be reliable, they will begin to perceive your business as reliable as well. This increased brand authority can work wonders for your brand reputation. In addition, successful link building will increase brand awareness for your company. The more people see your business being referenced in other places, the more they will become aware of your brand, and the more likely they will be to explore your products and services.

Local SEO keeps your brand appealing for local searches.

Finally, local search engine optimization efforts can contribute toward branding by keeping your brand appealing and relevant to people conducting local searches. This type of SEO focuses on making your business the go-to place for people looking for companies within your particular area. For instance, local SEO is a necessity for businesses such as a local pizza shop, a hair salon, a boutique clothing store, etc. Local SEO contributes to brand awareness and brand authority for local customers in much the same way as broader SEO efforts do for broader audiences (i.e. through blogs, link building, keyword usage, etc.). It also ensures that data about your business remains up to date so visitors find what they need when looking at you as a potential local business to visit. In addition, local SEO drives positive reviews of your business. These reviews not only build your SEO rankings, but also create a positive view of your brand.

Search engine optimization and branding are more closely intertwined than you may realize. By building brand awareness, building brand authority, engaging in careful keyword research, using inbound links, and engaging in local SEO, you can create not only better SEO but also better branding.

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Posted in: Internet Marketing, Marketing, SEO

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