SEO For Branding: How to Use SEO to Build Brand Awareness
February 17, 2022
So, you are searching for a product online and suddenly stumble upon an entirely new brand in the process. After checking its website and other online credentials, you immediately place an order. Later, you cannot stop smiling. ‘What a find! How did I get so lucky today?’ you wonder.
Except luck has nothing to do with it. What you see here is a successful example of SEO and branding.
Today, brand awareness SEO is one of the most effective things available to businesses, agencies and marketing professionals. However, not many recognise the immense potential of creating brand awareness through SEO.
Marketers and brands often mistakenly relegate SEO brand building to the back-burner as they focus on social media and campaigns. This means that they leave it too late. Despite all their crazy spending on digital marketing efforts, they fail to understand why they can’t drive brand awareness metrics.
But those who recognise the value of SEO for brand building know that it serves a dual purpose: enhancing both the user experience and brand visibility. No wonder, companies around the globe spend an average of more than $65 billion on search engine optimisation annually. Staggering, right?
In this article, we will explore several topics around SEO for brand building, including:
- Why is SEO brand awareness important for business growth?
- How does SEO power your inbound marketing strategy?
- What are the right SEO branding strategy and the right SEO branding tips to increase awareness?
Let’s get started.
Image Source: seattlenewmedia.com
Why is Brand Awareness Important for Business Growth?
Effective brand awareness means visibility, searchability, popularity, loyalty, and advocacy. Brand awareness gives you the power of an audience base. When a customer reaches a stage where he or she is aware of your brand, they have a better chance of relating to your values and your story. This eventually leads to higher chances of current and prospective consumers remembering your brand. Thereafter, the probability that they will engage with your products and services and develop loyalty for you shoots up. Finally, they become your advocates; this further boosts awareness.
See how the wheels move? Thus, brand awareness is the engine of your business growth. It gives you a great competitive advantage, provided your brand remains the centre of attraction.
The US-based Content Marketing Institute states that building brand awareness is the topmost priority for B2B and B2C marketers.
SEO for brand awareness: Why does it matter?
So, the question is, where does SEO for brand awareness feature in the brand-building conversation? The answer is – right at the very beginning.
Brands often launch their digital presence through a website. This is the time when the iron is hot and ready to strike. A website is a brand’s most important asset when it comes to building awareness. And this is where most marketers launch full-fledged SEO campaigns to optimise the website content to grab more attention, rank for important keywords on search engines, and increase searchability.
However, there’s much more to SEO for business branding than simply stuffing landing pages with top keywords. Here are 4 reasons why:
- Search engine algorithms have become more advanced and complex over time, which means that devising a nuanced, refined strategy for increasing SERP is the need of the hour.
- In an increasingly connected world, marketers have to account for not just local but international visibility to produce the desired results. [refer to our quick tips on boosting local SEO below]
- Digital has become increasingly cluttered with thousands of brands, millions of websites and billions of landing pages. This means that to compete for invaluable digital real estate and visibility, you need to differentiate from established players and disruptors. This requires an in-depth SEO strategy for which you will require the help of an expert digital marketing company.
- A well-thought-out SEO brand marketing strategy is not just about becoming visible but also relevant, experiential and engaging. After all, that is what SEO is all about, right? A search engine ranks websites and content first and foremost on its quality and user experience score. Quantity comes later. Hence, brands gunning to move the needle on awareness metrics must utilise SEO to improve the user experience drastically – right from content to design, loading times, mobile-friendliness, etc.
Mantras to guide your strategy for brand awareness through SEO
Marketing leaders in SEO for big brands have been following the below mantras for years to build successful brand image, awareness and perception online:
- Useful: Create useful content not for yourself but for your audiences. It should be of high quality and of great relevance.
- Findable: Thousands of audiences every day are unknowingly looking for you online. Create content that not only reaches them organically but also eases their information discovery.
- Accessible: Sensitivity is always appreciated by audiences. Make sure that your marketing experiences cater to everyone – such as those with disabilities.
- Usable: Create a friendly experience for your audience by making your website easy to navigate.
- Desirable: Focus on getting the design appeal and character of your brand right – whether it is the words that you use, the colours you play with, or your graphics.
- Credible: Strive to create an authoritative and trustworthy brand perception.
At the end of the day, the golden rule for creating brand awareness through SEO is to make sure that your brand is present in your audience’s moment of great need. This is where the inbound marketing strategy comes into play. Let’s learn about it in more detail and figure out how search engine optimization empowers it.
Image Source: https://neilpatel.com
How SEO Helps Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
Did you know that 3 out of 4 marketers worldwide pursue the inbound approach to marketing?
The strategy essentially involves attracting the customer to the brand by satisfying their needs throughout the buyer’s journey. Its various stages include:
- Attract – Attract prospective audiences
- Convert – Enable them to subscribe to your brand
- Close – Make an offer and complete the sale
- Delight – Service the audience to use the product and achieve their goals
Various SEO strategies play a critical role across all these stages of the funnel. They enable your inbound marketing to earn brand awareness most organically and intuitively. These include:
- Generating traffic and leads with content optimisation
- Building better engagement by optimising your digital real estate’s performance
- Enhancing credibility and domain authority by link building
- Establishing trust by credible storytelling
- Enhancing brand experience and recall by crafting user-friendly design and UX
Let’s now dive into the 5 most critical SEO branding strategies and 6 additional SEO branding tips to help you get your inbound marketing strategy spot on.
5 most critical SEO Branding Strategies
Blending storytelling with SEO
One of the best SEO branding tips that you can follow is crafting a brand story that engages with your audience. But merely using flowery, high-quality words is not enough. You must strive to fit every single user touchpoint in your brand story. That way, you can create higher recall and generate brand awareness. Here’s how to do it by integrating SEO:
- Talk about customers and how your products and services can help them fulfil their needs.
- Research keywords and phrases relevant to your customers, then sort the most important ones out that can be a part of your brand.
- Plug these keywords into your brand story naturally and craft your end message.
TIP – Keep updating your brand story from time to time to reflect the changes in audience expectations and to add new trending keywords.
Scaling up content and copywriting with SEO
The hallmark of a good SEO brand marketing strategy is optimising your content with the right keywords. This is necessary to uplift your brand visibility on search engines, thus boosting awareness. At the end of the day, optimised, high-quality content will help your brand generate the requisite traffic, leads and sales.
- Incorporate keyword phrases – The most obvious strategy is to use relevant keywords. Long-tail keywords can also help new brands outrank competitors and generate better leads.
- Choose the most productive keywords – A monthly search volume of 1,000+ is ideal. Target low and mid-volume keywords that are moderately competitive. Certain tools also provide an SEO Difficulty or Keyword Difficulty metric that can help you shortlist keywords that are easier to rank for in organic search.
- Optimise your copywriting and content headlines – Make sure your headlines have click-worthy phrases and just the right level of engagement. This will enable you to entice more customers to click on them.
- Don’t forget to optimise the tags – Title, meta description and the URL must have your target keywords.
TIP – Why go manual when you can use some amazing tools to optimise your copy and content for SEO? Blog Title Generator by SEOPresser or Impact and Content Idea Generator by Portent are some good ones to start with.
Also Read: What is SEO Automation
Powering UX and Design with SEO
Your brand’s digital visual identity should be search-engine friendly. That means using brand SEO to emphasize both on making the content discoverable and delivering a refreshing user experience. If your brand website is not responsive or user-friendly, then Google won’t rank it as well as your competitors on SERPs. Focus on:
- Speed – If your website is too slow to load or glitchy, then your brand will not be able to engage and convert the audience. Don’t let uncompressed code or unoptimized images bog your website down.
- Responsiveness – A fluid, responsive and adaptive design will ensure that your website’s users have the best user experience across platforms, screen sizes and devices. You can check for responsiveness using Google’s test tool for mobile friendliness.
- Navigability – Ensure that your sitemap is spot on and follows the instincts of your users. Also, make sure that information on products and services is easily discoverable on your site.
- Relevance – Give your users valuable information right at the top in the above-the-fold area.
- Effectiveness – Avoid keywords and content embedding into images.
TIP – Check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to create a brand website that search engines will love!
Integrating Social Media with SEO
Can SEO be integrated into social media marketing as well? Of course! Social media platforms are emerging as the new-age search engines. These are the platforms where you can find, target and engage with the highest quality audiences for your brand. As such, you need to be discoverable on social media. Here’s how to do it:
- Social media pages can rank highly in search engine results, so it pays to optimise them.
- Use the right hashtags in your copies and messages to make yourself more discoverable.
- Connect with influencers to market your brand campaigns and high-quality social media content. Their following and reach can truly boost your engagement and traffic.
TIP – Leverage social media trends for creating content to grab eyeballs now and then. These trends are all the rage today, especially amongst millennials and younger generations. By plugging your brand in relevant trends, you can ensure your brand’s virality and capture new audiences.
Enhancing brand reputation with SEO
As you look to garner more awareness about your brand, it is important not to forget you’re your current audience’s perception of you. Unfavourable and negative reviews will not only shatter the trust in your brand but also affect your Google ranking. This is all the more important because these reviews constitute user-generated content that matters highly to search engines.
Thus, online reputation management is an essential part of your brand SEO. You can use it effectively to generate brand awareness by:
- Setting up search engine alerts about brand mentions and weed out any negative ones.
- Disavowing spammy, fake or damaging negative backlinks that tarnish your brand’s reputation.
- Quickly responding to customer queries and grievances, while also plugging in branded content and humanised responses.
- Sourcing authentic reviews and using them in your content.
TIP – Many online reputation management tools can help you keep track of your mentions and brand sentiment. They can also help you with automating customer response management. Try out SEMRush, Meltwater, Reputology, and Hootsuite.
Also Read: Semrush vs Ahrefs vs Ubersuggest
Image Source: https://www.toprightpartners.com
How to Use SEO to Build Brand Awareness
Keyword Optimization for Organic Traffic: Up your organic visibility by using long-tail keywords, branded search terms and non-commercial keywords. While long-tail keywords can get you up to a 5% higher click through rate (CTR) than generic searches, optimising for branded search terms can boost your CTR by up to 25% . You can also leverage structured data to make your brand stand out via rich snippets.
Create Optimized Content: Combine paid campaigns with social media to maximise brand visibility. By spending towards paid campaigns and using relevant keywords, you can further boost your brand reach. Using social media here is a good long-term strategy to create relevant content that gets indexed highly on search engines. It also allows you to use paid like/follower acquisition campaigns and sponsored posts to further drive traffic to your website.
Target Niche Audiences: Doing so helps bolster brand awareness. By focusing your content on niche keywords, you get to own a space on the internet. This way, not only does your brand improve its authority amongst existing audiences but also becomes the first name in the search bar for newer ones.
Link-Building Strategy: Focus on link-building to earn serious traction. Although it is a cumbersome process, you can ace it with a few tricks up your sleeve. These include broken link building, using social media communities to promote your brand, or creating infographics and slides.
Optimize for Local SEO: Given the fact that 46% of all search engine queries have a local intent, it pays to localise your content, including your visuals as well. By geo-targeting, you can connect with multiple regional audiences and put your brand at the forefront. Other strategies to optimise for local SEO include adding local schema to your website, acquiring local reviews, listing your businesses location-wise on Google, and collecting backlinks from local websites.
Promote Brand Image: Using SEO, you can shape your brand perception by associating your brand with and optimising your content for desirable and influential keywords.
The value addition that SEO brings to the table is immense, especially for moving the needle on brand awareness. You can have the best website design in the market or the most engaging content. But if it is not discoverable, then it barely serves its marketing purpose.
The best part about SEO for brand awareness is how multi-pronged it is, encapsulating everything from content to design to ORM to social media. But that also makes the process complex. In that regard, partnering with an SEO brand marketing agency like Techmagnate can be a great idea. We’ve helped many big brands with their SEO branding strategy.