Some companies feel that SEO is everything, and while it is important, branding should not be overlooked by SEO professionals. Here’s why.
Why Rankings Aren’t Everything
One opinion shared by some companies is that as long as they rank for certain keywords, they don’t need to worry too much about branding. In some cases, they might throw out branding entirely.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Digital Branding Misconceptions
For some verticles or instances, this can be true, but it is not a good strategic assumption to make overall. In many niches ranking above your competitor can be worth thousands in ads and sales.
However, rankings are never the whole story and only factor in play. Cultivating and growing a digital business is complex. There is almost never only one answer or only one step that leads to overnight success.
Branding Helps Customers Make Decisions
For example, one company may rank below another according to search engines. However, if the searcher recognizes the lower-ranking company and has positive associations with it, they will be more likely to click on it.
Keep in mind that, according to Status Labs, 90% of customers haven’t made up their minds about a brand before starting their search.
While SEO is incredibly important, it is not the entire picture.
Companies with Strong Branding Convert Better in the SERPs
63% of companies say that generating traffic and leads are their biggest marketing challenge.
The fact of the matter is, companies that have an established and relatable brand presence get more organic traffic than companies who do not. Advertising across multiple channels and a concerted social media presence makes people aware of your brand. Most importantly, it helps to ensure they have positive feelings about it.
SEE ALSO: How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
This can be very powerful. After all, people often make decisions based on how they feel. Cultivating a positive reputation and emotional connection between your brand and consumers is important. It results in organic traffic and will ultimately positively affect the bottom line.
What is Digital Branding?
It can be difficult to define branding in a short and sweet way, which is why marketers can sometimes miss the big picture when it comes to the process. Sometimes parts of the process are mistaken for the entirety of branding itself.
For example, brand guidelines are a very important part of a company’s branding. These guidelines dictate the look of a brand and make sure it’s cohesive.
However, this is only a single part of the whole branding process. It is not where the work stops. If you create this well but don’t go further, your business may ultimately suffer.
The Aspects of Digital Branding
There are many aspects of branding and all of them need care, thought, attention, and resources.
The same can be said of aspects of branding like:
- Knowing your target audience
- Quality reviews and testimonials
- A logo
- Customer service
- Consistent design
So, if all of these things are parts of branding, but not branding itself, what is branding?
Digital branding is the art and process of making an online company image and personality that causes consumers to prefer that company and its products or services.
SEE ALSO: What Is Digital Branding
The IBM Example
The benefits of name recognition can be huge. When faced with the choice of several brands, most consumers will choose a brand they know over ones they don’t. IBM is an excellent example of this.
There is an old saying in B2B marketing that “no one was ever fired for hiring IBM.” A few decades back, when computers were still somewhat new, this was incredibly true.
Back then, there were actually a few companies in the same market offering lower prices and/or better quality products than IBM. However, IBM’s famous name and reputation for quality products pushed them to the top.
The Importance of Name Recognition
Many people felt that if they hired another company for their workplace and something went wrong, the blame would fall on them for failing to choose IBM. However, if they chose IBM from the start and there were technical issues, they did their best by choosing the best.
While name recognition alone cannot push you to success in the modern market, it is a big part of branding that works well.
Why Branding Matters
Ultimately, there are many parts when it comes to cultivating and growing a business. Name recognition and consistent relatable branding can do wonders toward conversions and growth. SEO is one incredibly powerful tool for building brand recognition, but it should be part of a larger strategy.
This strategy should include numerous avenues to get consumers aware, excited, and thinking and feeling positive thoughts about your company, products, and services.
Building a recognizable brand can be as complex as dictating a brand’s entire personality, to as specific as choosing its signature color. Keeping these things consistent across platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
How SEO Pros Can Create Brand Awareness
As SEO Pros, making sure to answer the questions that customers have is a large part of building brand awareness. You want to make sure to optimize SEO for customer questions. Not doing so is a large oversight.
After all, it is only when your brand seems to offer sensible and accessible answers to customers’ questions that the brand can start to build trust.
Think of it this way, potential customers will likely be looking for a solution to a problem. Your company will provide a product or service that fills that need. You want them to keep seeing your name and successfully create brand recognition, so when it is time to make a decision, they choose your company.
The Function of Brand Awareness
In every niche, there are businesses offering similar products and services. Branding is a big part of what sets them apart and can give certain companies an edge over others.
Name recognition can be enough to make a #5 listing in the SERPs perform as well as a #1 listing.
SEO Pros Should Take a Seat at the Table
Even if SEO is your specialty, you should take a seat at the branding table. Both are aspects of building a business and a brand and are important to the reach of a business. Make sure that your work supports branding efforts and that you have a clear understanding of their goals and objectives.
Ultimately, an effective brand that builds trust and authenticity can give a search engine presence with the right SEO an incredible boost.
What are some ways that you think SEO can make branding stronger? Comment below…