For whatever reason, many business owners consider SEO as a practice separate from their company. What’s worse, they see it as something that has nothing to do with other marketing and brand awareness efforts.
This probably has to do with the fact that people still don’t understand optimization. Most companies have limited knowledge of the digital marketing process, and after hiring a reputable SEO agency, they put things on auto-pilot. On top of that, if they don’t get instant results, they are quick to withdraw the investment.
Despite skepticism, SEO is one of the best ways to build brand image in 2023. It’s a method that keeps on giving, and the more you invest, the bigger returns you get. Even better, it’s highly scalable and gets easier with time.
In this article, we will explore the connection between SEO and brand awareness. After that, we’ll share some great methods that would help you combine the two, thus increasing rankings within search engines.
How can SEO increase brand awareness?
In the modern world, every business action you take is recorded online. Even simple Google reviews can have a cascading impact on your brand strategy. Getting bad feedback can forever doom your company and vice versa.
As a digital marketing activity, SEO’s main purpose is to get you as many customers are possible. What business owners don’t understand is that it goes way beyond simple link-building or content creation.
Like previously mentioned online reviews, every promotional piece posted on your blog can increase your reach in Google search. It can get you noticed by potential customers, competition, and other stakeholders relevant to your business. Their main goal is not only to increase web traffic but also to increase your reputation within an industry.
As you start making a name for yourself, other brands and news outlets will start contacting you with offers and potential collaborations. Although being in the limelight might cause some envy, it will open a lot of doors that were previously closed to you.
Most notably, SEO is great when combined with other online strategies. Using it together with social media, pay-per-click, influencer marketing, and email outreach can help you develop into a reputable platform.
In a nutshell, combining branding and SEO efforts can provide significantly better returns.
Combining SEO, brand awareness and E-A-T
Investing in marketing goes way beyond simple customer acquisition. It helps you share the company message with a broader audience, thus sticking to their consciousness.
Every marketing activity you perform online can have an impact on your E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). It’s a concept that Google has been using for a while, and that plays a crucial part in ranking your site high within search engine results pages.
Basically, when making web pages, you’re not only trying to sell a product or provide information. You’re trying to increase your authority within an industry. The more people perceive you as a trustworthy source, the more likely they will read your articles and revisit your pages.
E-A-T is essential for SEO and works hand-in-hand with the best branding practices. According to all data, we’ve accrued so far, mastering this concept will increase the number of online reviews and their quality. It will also have a positive impact on brand conversion and credibility, and bring more partnership opportunities.
The thing about SEO and reputation is that both of them are highly scalable. Furthermore, your gains exponentially increase over time. As people perceive you as a subject matter expert, they will start inviting you as a guest post author to their site. They will also link to your articles more frequently, using you as a reference point for their own content.
But it gets even better. The effects are noticeable not only within Google but also in other third-party platforms. Given that people watch your every step, they will also start quoting you on social media. This would help you gain even more reach and referral traffic.
Unfortunately, there is a caveat to this. As you start making waves within an industry, this interconnectedness can also cause trouble to your website and brand. In other words, the audience will notice if the quality of site content starts dropping. Your competition will jump at the opportunity to scrutinize you and take advantage.
This is another reason why SEO is so important, as it can help stave off adverse effects.
7 Ways to efficiently use SEO and brand awareness
Aside from the passive effects, you can use search engine optimization more aggressively. In other words, you can purposely use it to increase your authority and reputation.
Here are several ways optimization can improve your brand visibility:
1. Using specific keywords
The best way to increase brand awareness on the web is by pursuing specific money keywords. For example, if you’re selling plush toys, your best bet is to generate organic traffic for this and related phrases.
Unfortunately, ranking for them is much harder than some people think. This is why companies usually focus on long-tail keywords instead. Later on, when users learn about your business, you can use branded search terms to drive them to specific pages on your site.
When performing keyword research, you can learn a lot about your target audience. Most notably, you can use SEO tools to execute a thorough user intent analysis. After that, you can give them a specific type of content they need at a particular stage of the customer journey.
Another great way to boost awareness is by targeting a specific group (or group) of keywords. For example, you can create pillar pages promoting a particular subcategory of plush toys. So, even if you’re not able to rank for generalized terms with high volume, you can still be recognized as a brand that sells “small plushies for toddlers.”
In other words, you can create a keyword strategy that would help you carve out a niche in the market.
2. Link building for brand awareness
Most SEO experts prioritize quality hyperlinks that can give them high value quickly. This makes sense, given that marketing agencies have to provide results so that the clients don’t leave them.
Even though business owners neglect low-quality links, each one of them still serves some purpose. For example, a Facebook link posted by an obscure website can still drive buying customers. People who share information on forums can also be a great source of referral traffic.
SEO link building and link building for brand awareness are different yet the same. As already mentioned, when you perform optimization campaigns, you usually focus on sites that can give link juice. These sites can also provide excellent referral traffic, making them ideal for building brand awareness.
The only difference, in this case, is that you’re more receptive to bad and low-quality backlinks. For example, the adult industry and gambling links are hazardous for your SEO as they can penalize your site. However, in theory, they can be good for your awareness as more people will learn about your brand.
That doesn’t mean we suggest you start building awful links (if you get penalized, you won’t achieve anything anyway). We’re just trying to say that you have more leeway when using them for branding purposes. Of course, if you get more traffic via SEO and organic search, you will also increase brand awareness.
3. Localized results for search engines
Local SEO is one of the best ways of promoting small companies that primarily work in a single city or a narrow area. In this particular case, you’re not that dependent on links and content but more on reviews. Still, to make the most out of this approach, you need to implement a few basic optimization steps.
To be precise, you should start by creating Google My Business account. This would allow you to list a company and connect it with Google Maps. You should also add other data such as work hours, phone, email, and all other info that’s readily available within the search engine.
In this particular case, having a company that focuses on online reputation might be more valuable than hiring an SEO expert. Then again, once people start reaching your site via Google search, you still need to have excellent content that will convert them into paying customers.
The most significant benefit of SEO for local branding pertains to how you execute content creation. To be more specific, the search engine optimization team can introduce keywords in every article and other pages. You can then try to rank the site in a particular region. That way, you can combine optimization with other marketing efforts in the local area.
4. Branding through writing
When creating pages, you can introduce a specific language that would become your trademark. For example, you can use a jovial voice in a relatively serious industry to separate yourself from the competition. Or you might use a specific phrase or phrasing on every page.
Aside from creating a competitive advantage, this type of language can be used to increase conversion. In fact, many sites are trying their best to introduce call-to-action and various other tricks that would prompt visitors into action.
Keep in mind that conversion can pertain to different things. For example, you can use it to effectively increase the number of followers on social media and users subscribed to your newsletters. These small tricks are also fantastic ways of boosting brand awareness.
They might not immediately increase your profits, but they will definitely help your message resonate with an audience.
5. Branding through website design
One of the first things they teach you about branding is to have the same visual appearance on different platforms and products. You should use a logo and similar designs/color schemes. This pertains to everything, including your site.
When creating a new online platform, it’s very important to consult your SEO team and designer ahead of time. Going with a complex solution is often not the best choice as it might affect your site speed and mobile-friendliness. While you need to create a message that would be compatible with other marketing efforts, it still needs to be within technical limitations.
SEO experts can not only help with visual appearance, but they can also make your site more useful. These experts can improve architecture allowing visitors to reach every page in just a few clicks. They might also introduce other solutions that will make your message more memorable. For example, they can showcase your business goals in a prominent spot on the website.
6. Combining SEO, brand awareness, and other digital marketing practices
You should always remember that branding goes way beyond search engine optimization. It should also be included during social media marketing campaigns, emailing, influencer marketing, and when creating promotional material.
All of these elements and strategies work in cohesion. When you create a Facebook profile, you need to have a similar visual appearance as the one on the site. Logo and digital signature should be included with every email you send or every video that you create for the site and social media.
By using each one of these, you’re boosting your SEO efforts and, thus, brand awareness. Business owners often forget that the best branding practices should be used both internally and externally. For example, when you create a guest post, you should add an image and bio within the footer that would reflect your company’s messaging.
7. Avoiding negative search engine optimization practices
Having an SEO expert in your corner can not only help you boost brand awareness but also avoid negative practices. Most of them pertain to risky link-building and content marketing strategies.
Previously, we’ve talked about potentially harmful backlinks. Business owners who have limited knowledge about the process can easily fall into the trap of implementing SEO strategies that send a negative message to future clients.
Aside from toxic links, you might start using a link exchange, PBNs, link spam, low-quality guest posts and blog content, and other troublesome techniques. While average web users might not notice what you’re doing, site owners will.
Even if you manage to get some benefits by using a volatile SEO strategy, you will be stigmatized within an industry. In the long run, this can ruin your good name and diminish branding opportunities. If someone decides to air your dirty laundry, it can have even worse ramifications for your business.
Whatever the case might be, you always need a professional in your corner who will tell you what’s acceptable and what’s not. This is why you should contact MiroMind today and ask for assistance.