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How to use SEO to build brands

As you may know by now, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of improving your website to make it more visible in search engine results. This means that if you want your brand to have any sort of online presence, SEO should be at the forefront of your mind.

When it comes to the question of how to use SEO to build brands, we know a thing or two that will come in handy…

Read on for our guide to SEO and the world of brand building…

Why is SEO important for brand-building?

At its most basic level, SEO is all about improving user experience. You know how important web design, site speed, and quality content is to the success of your site? Well, all these aspects are inseparable from SEO.

The aspects of your site that you’d tweak and change to improve visitor experience are all things that can be considered under the umbrella of SEO. Apologies if you already know this, but it’s a useful way to understand the scope and purpose of SEO.

The better your potential client or customer’s experience of your site, the better the impression they’ll have about your overall brand.

Conceptualising SEO and your brand – the first steps

Whether they have a positive or negative impression, people who encounter your brand will feel something towards it. Even if they’re not consciously thinking about it, they’ll be making internal assessments of your site’s utility, usability, credibility, accessibility… The list goes on!

To create a positive brand image, you’ll need to tick multiple boxes in terms of what it means to be an appealing online brand.

To focus your thoughts, keep this checklist in mind when assessing your website:

  • Findable: Can people find your site on search engines? How does it rank in comparison to your competitors? If you are still ranking poorly despite your best efforts, you might need an SEO expert to take a look.
  • Usable: Do you think your site is easy to navigate? Not just by you, as someone who knows your brand well, but by someone with no experience of your offering. Spend some time exploring your site in its entirety.
  • Useful: Is your content high quality and relevant? Do you have any broken links? Does your copy read well? Is it original and helpful? Make sure text directs the visitor to where they want to go and that your product descriptions are clear and comprehensive.
  • Accessible: Is your site designed with people with disabilities in mind? Everyone needs to be able to access your content with ease. Make sure you can navigate your site with just a keyword and remember to use Alt Text for images.
  • Credible: Does your site inspire confidence in people? Are you displaying relevant signs of Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (EAT)? Include your contact information, testimonials, reviews, highlight professional affiliations or trust seals, display your guarantees, and publish your privacy policy and terms of use.
  • Desirable: Even if your site is well-designed and usable, it still needs to appeal to your target audience. Does your branding reflect your company’s values? If your gut is telling you no, do a little research. Get some impartial views from members of your target market, then take them on board.

Keeping these key points in mind should help to highlight where you need to improve your site and to what end. For instance, if you’re thinking your site doesn’t display any signs of authority, you can consider how to show that you’re an expert in your field. What evidence of authority would consumers be looking for? Pinpoint the issue and resolve it.

If all of the areas above are satisfied, the result is a great user experience. Though it can be daunting to think about improving your SEO ‘in general’, it’s much more manageable when you’re assessing your site one element at a time.

We now know that lots of people end up buying products from brands they only just discovered through search results. If you manage to optimise your content, this brand could be yours.

In terms of brand image… Let’s talk about content

If you want to use SEO to improve your brand image (alongside boosting your search ranking), you’ll want to focus on content. As we’ve mentioned, there are lots of factors that can impact your SEO. The reason we’re turning to content, is that it’s the element on your site that most clearly defines your brand. And if you’re looking to make some quick tweaks to improve your site, let’s just say, there are worse places to start!

Instead of thinking about simply ‘improving’ the copy on your website, let’s unpack what this really means and what you need to do.

What are a few ways that you can improve your copy? First, make sure it’s high quality and contains well-researched keywords (to increase organic search traffic).

Get too bogged down with making your copy SEO-friendly and you’ll lose the language and tone of voice that really conveys your brand. You’ll want to hit a few frequently searched keywords (that are relevant to your brand) if you can, but readable, original copy is always preferable to keyword-stuffed nonsense. In fact, keyword stuffing can damage your ranking, due to Google’s algorithms.

Review all the copy on your website — everything from your blog posts to your CTAs. What’s the impression you get about your company? If your business is uber professional, does this convey? It might be useful to ask a few people who know nothing about your brand. If you’ve been working for your company for years, it’s surprising what you’ll assume people know about your offering. Get a fresh opinion. It might not be what you want to hear, but it will help you make your site better!

Ask an SEO or copywriting expert to look over your site, too. They will have seen lots of sites during their career and are sure to have a few suggestions for you. You could even get your site completely rewritten by a professional. They’ll be able to conduct your keyword research for you and use it to create engaging, on-brand content.

Other ways to give your brand the best chance of online success

Though it might seem incredibly logical, just as SEO can boost your brand, once you start to build a great brand identity online naturally, this in turn helps your SEO. What do we mean by this? Once you start to improve your reputation, authority, and online following, it becomes easier to consistently rank highly in search engine results. It’s difficult to do a great job with your SEO without fully engaging with your brand itself, which means engaging with your audience.

If you think an action will better engage people with your brand, the likelihood is… It will. Encourage people to leave reviews and reply to them (whether they’re good or bad); have a great social media strategy (which should include frequent posting, chatting to people in comments, and replying to direct messages). If you want people to think you’re customer-focused, responsive, and dependable, nothing can replace actually doing these things. Act first, and search engines will notice later.

To learn more about how we use SEO to build brands, take a look at our case studies. If you’re ready for our experts to supercharge your business and get you the online results your company needs, contact us for a chat today.

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