Most businesses will appreciate the importance of branding on some level, it’s the face of your company after all, branding has a big impact on the ways your customers interact with and perceive your company. From your logo and business cards to the way your business interacts with its customers, branding is undoubtedly a big part of any businesses marketing strategy. What you might not understand is the importance of branding to your businesses SEO strategy.
Over the last few years it’s become more and more noticeable that established brands with good reputations are doing better in the search rankings, this is no coincidence.
First let’s examine what branding is in the context of a business.
Let’s be clear on what exactly the term ‘branding’ means. Usually when you buy a product or service there are a number of clear benefits or reasons to buy the product, usually these benefits are tangible but they are not the only determinant of whether or not you will purchase an item.
It’s usually more intangible, or emotive factors that result in a purchase than purely a products features. Customers seek out products that appeal to them on a personal level. Customers like to purchase products when they have a brand identity that appeals to them on a personal level. Your brand identity is about the personality or message of a brand. Is your brand ‘young’, ‘cool’, ‘unique’? It’s identity will probably appeal to a younger, millennial market.
How branding relates to SEO
Search rankings are determined by Google’s algorithm, the algorithm utilise a number of key factors that produce quantifiable results. Some of these key factors are well known and understood, like keywords or backlinks. A lot of these factors can be measured objectively.
Branding is a little bit more complicated. So how does the relationship work between branding and SEO?
Well, branding has a big impact on customer loyalty and trust and this can in turn impact on your rankings in a few ways.
Branding can get you links
Links are still important to determining rank, Google still relies heavily on links to understand if your websites content is considered to be trustworthy and valuable. Links are like votes of confidence, although the quality of links are also important. The holy grail of links are when someone reads your content, includes it in their own and organically links to you as a resource. Brands with well established reputations are more likely to experience these kinds of links, and people will know their name and seek out their content. Linking to a well-known brand can help other brands to boost their reputation or trustworthiness, so it’s often the case that people are more than happy to link to your brand if it is well established.
Brands get social shares
Social shares might not have a direct impact on a websites ranking, but they do increase exposure and the likelihood that people will link to you. They also help branding as they spread brand awareness.
Better click-through rates
Click-through rates impact your ranking, they’re a well know ranking factor. Branding improves customers feeling of familiarity with your brand, improving the likelihood that they’ll choose to click on your page over the other results.
It used to be a real pain when people would mention your brand or content, but not link to them. Whilst links are still very important, Google new algorithm update recognises that people won’t always link to you. Google is now able to recognise and and factor in brand mentions into your ranking.