Building Brand Awareness Through SEO

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results. Essentially, with your SEO strategy, you are determining the best ways to get your website to the top of Google and other search engine pages. 

Effective use of SEO falls right in line with the BROCSway approach to business. This is because optimizing SEO is about getting into the potential customer’s mindset. To properly use SEO to build your brand, you have to think about what potential customers are searching for online, what words they are using, and how they want to receive that information. 

Yes, there are ways that you, the business owner, can manipulate SEO in your favor. However, by considering SEO through the customer lens, SEO becomes much more than keywords. It is an algorithm based on the total customer experience. Getting your website and brand noticed also involves a site’s speed, web design, high quality content marketing, mobile-friendliness and so on. 

So if SEO involves the foundations of building your brand, then SEO should never be an afterthought. In fact, considering SEO should be one of the first steps you take after building your brand persona and voice. 

Essentially building awareness and SEO go hand in hand because in order to make customers aware of your product or service, you need to be discoverable. Let’s look at how you can get started with building your SEO strategy. 

Importance of Keywords

The first step to making your brand more visible is to find the right keywords for your business. What will people be searching for that would make your business pop up? While keywords aren’t the only aspect in SEO, they are vital to organically building your visibility. Websites like Keyword Explorer can help you determine which keywords are not only applicable to your company but it can also help to determine which ones you should be using. 

When you are making the final list of keywords that will be used throughout your content, you want to make sure that the words you choose have the right balance. By this, we mean that the best keywords for you to use are ones that have a high volume and low SD. High volume increases the probability of traffic to your site. Low SD indicates a low level of competition. This means that your business has a better chance of not getting buried by bigger competition. 

When to Utilize Keywords

For search engine results, you want to make sure you are using your keywords in 3 specific places. The title of the webpage, the meta-description (short blurb under the URL), and the URL itself. Using keywords in these three places helps to boost your SEO and thus make you more visible. 

Since SEO involves more data than just searches, you should also be implementing keywords into your site content. The quality of your content on your site is taken into consideration when determining where your website shows up in a search. However, you also want to be sure that you aren’t overusing keywords in your content. Part of the measure of quality in SEO is the authenticity of your content. The algorithm will pick up on overuse which then negative impacts you because it does not perceive original content. 

Your determined keywords should be utilized whenever possible, but you also need to be sure you are balancing the use of those keywords with your original content. 

How Your Website Affects Your SEO

With so many factors contributing to the success of your SEO, it is important to know what factors negatively impact your SEO and what to prioritize when designing your website. 

The responsiveness of your website should be a top priority. A lack of responsiveness first gives the visitors to your site a poor user experience. If potential customers have a negative experience on your website, not only are they less likely to trust you and your brand, but users are also less likely to recommend your business if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website. From the SEO perspective, without a mobile-friendly website, Google won’t even display your site in the mobile search results. Overall, the lack of visibility will hinder your ability to grow awareness for your brand, and you are missing out on the increasing number of people who use their phones to conduct searches. 

The speed of your website also needs to be prioritized. Slow speed kills engagement as people will quickly abandon slow websites. Unoptimized images, cheap hosting and uncompressed code often bring down a site’s speed. So you need to be sure that you are investing in quality hosting, using optimized images, and compressing code. From the SEO side, Google will also use speed as a ranking factor because the user experience holds weight in the algorithm.

Even how you design your website has an effect on your SEO ranking. In a recent update, Google penalized sites that had too many ads in the above-the-fold area. Again, going back to the user experience, Google considers too many ads in this area as blocking the user from immediately seeing the pertinent information. To avoid this penalty, Google recommends offering the value of your business right away. Users shouldn’t have to scroll or search to find the information they came to your site for. 

You also want to avoid embedding keywords into the images on your site. The reason for this is that search engines can’t read images. Therefore, if your keyword heavy wording is in the images, you won’t reap the benefits of using those keywords in the first place. Instead, keyword-rich content should be used in the text of your website. 

Sitemaps should also be a priority of your website design. Creating a sitemap allows for search engines to understand the structure of your site. They also help users find the important pages on your site. If they are a new visitor, ease of navigation is essential to the user experience. 

SEO and Social Media

Utilizing some of the same tactics you use for SEO can also be applied to your social media content. While social media helps you speak directly to your target audience, putting just as much effort into keywords and quality of content can actually help your SEO as well. Social media is indexed. What that means for you is that the same indicators that pick up on your internet presence will also pick up what you do on social media. If you have a great social media strategy, it will simultaneously help you with your SEO rating.

Other Factors to Consider with SEO

Not all of your SEO strategy has to deal directly with your website and content. Off-site SEO is also a big contributor to your site’s performance in search results. 

One of the biggest ways to build your off-site SEO is to cultivate backlinks. Backlinks are when your content is linked on someone’s page or within their content. Think of when you read an article where a particular word or phrase is hyperlinked. When you click on the hyperlink, it takes you to another website that builds on the information you are reading. The reason backlinking is so effective for your SEO is because everytime your content is backlinked, your content is gaining relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. 

The downside to backlinking is that it is time consuming. It requires an already established awareness of your content, and to do that you’ll need to spend some time cultivating relationships and engaging with forum communities. Ultimately, backlinks happen through other people buying into your content and deciding to lead their followers to you. When you engage in online forums such as Reddit, backlinks can happen naturally. For example, if you were to answer someone’s question on Reddit and post your material as a guide, then they might, in turn, decide to link your content on another platform or their own content. You can also manually build backlinks by getting customers to link to your website or by connecting with influencers. 

Other ways to improve your off-site SEO include creating infographics and guest blogging on larger platforms. Basically, anything you can do to positively get your content or brand mentioned and linked outside of your own website will improve your SEO. 

Finally, as an extension to your original keyword decisions, you can expand their impact a few different ways. While keywords are essential to your SEO strategy, types of keywords can make all the difference. Try cultivating long-tail keywords for your brand. Long-tail keywords are more specific and usually involve longer phrases. Because of the specificity, the search traffic decreases; however, long-tail keywords also have higher conversion rates because you are appealing to a particular search. For the same reason long-tail keywords can be effective, so can targeting your keywords to a particular niche group. Because you are targeting a specific group, your conversion rate will be much higher than using market standard keywords. Niche groups also come with the added bonus of promoting for you thereby helping you build your brand awareness. 

Determining Which Approach is Right For You

As the graph below indicates, many factors play a role in your overall SEO ranking. Much like approaching your social media strategy, how to make SEO work best for you will take some decision making on your part in regards to how and where you spend your energy making your SEO as effective as possible.  

As with most methods of building your brand awareness, you will also have to determine how much of your own time you can dedicate to your SEO or how much you can delegate through paid options. There are companies that will handle your SEO strategy and analytics for you, but that, of course, comes with a hefty price. If you want to ensure your site is at the top of a search, paid ads are also an option. Just like social media, these ads can get pricey quickly. Completely cultivating SEO on your own is the cheapest way, but it comes with a learning curve and much of your time capital. There isn’t one right way to go about building your brand awareness through SEO. Ultimately, the best strategy for you will come down to which balance of your time, money, and energy is right for you. 

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Chapter 1: Getting started

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Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

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Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

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Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

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