BRANDING FOR SEO
Branding and SEO
A logo, a slogan, or a design scheme is not what branding is all about. Branding is how you make them think and feel about what you do – it’s the experience you provide your customers.
Great branding exists in in the hearts and minds of your audience. It’s a big aspect of a good marketing strategy and local SEO / National SEO.
But you might wonder how branding relates to SEO.
One thing you should know is that branding is a significant aspect of SEO.
If you want to see for yourself, search “snowboard gear” into Google. What do you see on the first page results? That’s right – that first page is dominating with brands. National and local SEO experts have noted that established brands have been doing better and better in Google’s rankings.
Branding strategies to boost your SEO:
- Promote your brand name
- Take care of your customers
- Provide outstanding content
- Contribute to interviews
- Excel in your niche
- Associate yourself with authorities
- Participate in discussions
- Pay attention to visuals
What is branding?
Branding is not only offering a product or service that has tangible features that can be described. People who buy your product are not driven purely by the features. There’s something else to it. Something that appeals to their emotions, something subconscious they are either drawn to or repulsed by.
That something is your brand identity. There are 6 steps to create this: your market positioning, your mission statement, your uniqueness, your essence, your personality, and your message.
Branding is about having a reputation that goes before what you’re selling or offering. It yields power to produce positive connotations prior to talking about what service or product is being offered.
The correlation between branding and SEO
In order to calculate Search Engine Optimization rankings, Google uses an algorithm. To identify the ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, leading National and local SEO experts have studied thousands of search engine results. Things like: Number of linking domains, dwell time, having the keyword in the URL, and page loading speed.
These factors tend to be assessable and they can measure them objectively.
Branding is a bit more unformulated making it difficult to measure.
So what’s the connection between branding and SEO?
1. Branding can help you get links
To calculate search engine rankings, Google still relies heavily on links. The links Google is interested are natural, contextual, earned. They’re not bought or negotiated for.
When people come to your website, read your content, and then link to it – those are the best links to get!
Even though they might like your content, they may be reluctant to link to you if they’ve never heard of you before.
However, say they have heard of you before, and know you as an influential presence in your industry. They recognize and know your brand well and the reputation that matches it… they’d be way more inclined to link to you.
Branding can help you get social shares
People are more likely to drop you a mention if they are familiar with your brand, so that’s why your brand is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. This applies to social shares as well as links. More social shares equals more exposure, more social proof, and the more chance of people linking to you.
Branding can improve your click-through rates
A known SEO factor are click-through rates. Say your site is in position number five in the search engine results. If people are skipping the first ranked pages on Google, for example, to click on your site, soon enough you’ll be moving up the rankings.
If they know your brand, they’ll go with the site they’re familiar with, the one they trust – even if it’s on the second, third, or even fourth page on Google.
Branding builds your reputation
Google recently made public the full version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines. This document is used by Google’s in-house raters to assess the quality of the pages that appear in the search engine results. The guidelines offer an incredible insight into what Google is looking for in terms of quality. The sites that are rated highest for quality are the sites that Google wants to rank.
The guidelines cover a website’s reputation, specifically “What outside independent sources say about the website.” They advise looking beyond what a website says about itself and looking to “reputable external sources”.
And, to improve a website’s reputation – simply use great branding! Every digital marketing and SEO expert knows this.
Brand mentions are important
Since Google’s update, Google’s search algorithm incorporates brand mentions. Occasionally, people mention brands but fail to link to them – and Google recognizes that. By taking account of brand mentions, Google can reward brands that are popular. This means higher search rankings.
Sometimes people mention brands and link to them as well. If they use the brand name as an anchor text, this sends a solid brand signal to Google.