Standing out from the crowd in the world of business is critical and it’s precisely for this reason that branding is so key – it defines your business and is how people identify your company. But branding has been seriously overlooked as a tool of SEO and digital marketing. So, what is it about branding that makes it so crucial and what role does in play in SEO?
What is branding?
In the minds of many, branding is just the colour scheme on your website or what your logo looks like. But while these elements are important, there’s far more to branding than just visual details. When branding is done well, you’ll find it woven into the very fabric of your business, from customer experiences to your values and reputation. Tone of voice and messaging, values and personality all fall under the umbrella of branding. In other words, there are non-tangible elements to your business that your branding is responsible for, which help a customer pick you from the crowd.
How can branding help SEO?
Google uses algorithms to decipher where a website needs to land in the search results. There are various factors that play a part in this ranking system, from the keywords used and the quality of the content, to links, time spent on page and how quickly a page loads.
The good news is that each of these elements can be tracked and tweaked easily for a higher success rate. Branding is one of these elements, but the difference is that it works indirectly, making it harder to measure. But that doesn’t detract from the importance of it when it comes to page ranking. Here are some of the reasons ways branding affects SEO.
A boost for your inbound links
Inbound links from authority domains are one of the main ways that Google determines search engine rankings, but these links need to be relevant and placed naturally in-context; they need to be earned through editorial merit rather than traded or purchased. When links are included from a trusted, respected brand with a strong reputation, click-through rates will typically be higher due to more people being attracted to the site, which is great news for your business.
It encourages social sharing
Social proof accounts for a small but significant percentage of ranking factors. In the same way that inbound links indicate that your brand is trustworthy and reputable, a greater volume of shares on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram equates to increased visibility and reliability in the eyes of Google.
Click-through rates are enhanced
Click-through rates, check-ins and clicks to call are all behavioural cues that tell Google your business is a trusted establishment. For example, if a dependable site ranks lower on the page but users skip higher results to click through to the link that’s believed to have the most dependable information, Google will push this result up in the rankings as it can see that it’s the business that people trust most.
Branding and SEO can help shape your reputation online
The Search Quality Rating Guidelines set out by Google mention reputation on numerous occasions, particularly in relation to ‘what outside independent sources say about the website’. What this proves is that what others say about your business is just as, if not more, important than what you say about yourself, whether that’s in the form of news articles, forum discussions or third-party rating sites.
Having a great brand reputation sits at the heart of this and it goes a long way towards where your ranks. It’s for this reason that brand mentions are so critical – when your business has strong branding and a great reputation, more people are naturally going to mention you.
But while brand mentions are important, so is SEO. The two work together to boost your position in the rankings, as those higher up in the SERPs are more likely to be trusted than those several pages back. In order to build brand awareness and see a positive return on investment from your SEO strategy, you need to develop your branding and vice versa.
A thoughtful and considered brand-building strategy will boost your reputation as a business but it will also support your SEO efforts. Both SEO and branding are critical to any business success, impacting your visibility, sales and profits. When strategising, it’s important that these two factors are developed in harmony with one another for the best results.
At Artemis, we are specialists in SEO and we understand how to use branding to maximise your website in order to boost conversions, sales, and profit. Get in contact with us today if you would like to learn more about our SEO services.