Building your brand isn’t the main purpose of SEO, but it can be a welcome side benefit. If you’re ignoring the branding possibilities of SEO, you could be missing out.
Why branding matters for SEO campaigns
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, but brands whose organic search results appear “above the fold” (in the top half of the search engine results page) gain up to 30 percent more brand awareness than those that appear below the fold.
And if your organic search results and PPC ad both appear at the top of the listings, that’s even better for branding: Research by Google found that brand recall was 16 percent better if both the search result and paid ad appeared at the top of the page.
PPC and SEO: better together
Merely putting up PPC ads with a big budget doesn’t guarantee that the right people will see the ad – so your branding efforts should take into account your SEO efforts, and vice versa.
Here’s an example for B2C retailers: Instead of aiming for keywords that are only about your brand, product or service, you should target keywords that have more to do with the lifestyle your products are a part of. For example, use camping or fishing terms (not just product names) to draw more customers to your outdoor supplies shop. You can also choose keywords that emphasize quality, such as “durable cookware set.”
Use branding in meta tags and page content
We know, we know: It’s a matter of debate how much search engines pay attention to meta tags. But as long as you don’t overstuff your meta tags in a spammy way, it doesn’t hurt to insert your brand name in both your meta content and your page content.
Keep your message consistent
Each of your landing pages may (and should) target a specific product, service or aspect of your business. But they should also form a cohesive message, with the content reinforcing what your brand is all about. Promote a lifestyle (for B2C websites) or a better, more efficient way of doing business (for B2B websites) and show very clearly how your company helps customers achieve those goals.
Use branding in social media
This technique is also known as “interacting with your customers.” A shoe brand that showcases its newest styles on the company’s nicely branded Facebook page, and answers user questions, is reinforcing its brand with both loyal customers and potential customers.
Also, be sure to promote your social media campaign on your website and in print ads. That helps you raise awareness about your promotions and is yet another way to build brand awareness.
Take the “all of the above” approach to SEO and branding
Not only should you make sure your SEO contributes to your branding, but you should reinforce your brand image everywhere you can: social media, PPC ads, print and everywhere else you possibly can. Effective branding really is about keeping your message consistent across many channels, and it’s an ongoing effort – but one that can pay off handsomely.