How Should SEO Play Into Your Brand Strategy?

Remember those heavy yellow things called phone books? Before they became a fire-start, they used to be the Google of the times.

Need a plumber? Go to the phonebook. Need your driveway repaved? The phonebook has all your options.

Flipping through one of the big yellow issues, you may have noticed a common trend. Since service providers were listed alphabetically, the best way to get your listing at the top — and seen first — was to start your name with the letter A. As a result, there are tons of businesses that still have names like “ABC Laundromat,” “AAA Driving School,” and “Aaron’s Motors.”

Today, your prospects are searching for your services just the same. Only they’re not paging through the Yellowpages anymore. Instead, they’re looking online for solutions to their problems, ways to reach their goals, and services to minimize pain points.

Just like selecting a name at the beginning of the alphabet increased visibility a few decades ago, there are some strategic steps you can take when establishing your brand to increase your visibility online.

How does SEO influence a brand name?

Consider how buyers today search for services. If you don’t have high brand awareness, they’re probably Googling pain points they want to resolve and the desired service functions.

By considering how you want prospects to stumble upon your organization online when branding, you can give yourself a head start on SEO.

For example, if you’re a local home painting business, a name like “Jim’s Interior Paint Services” will give you a more beneficial boost than “Jim’s Design Studio.”

How should you develop a site to rank on Google?

You should think about search engine optimization before website development begins. A good place to start is by Googling relevant industry search terms that you want to rank for. Look at the websites that show up in the top results and identify anything they have in common. Consider various elements, including:

  • Website layout
  • Website page topics
  • Page content
  • Length of copy
  • And more

You can also use the free tool Screaming Frog SEO Spider to analyze a competitor’s metadata to look for trends.

Take your learnings into account when developing your site. If all the top pages have lengthy site copy, it’s probably a good idea to be thorough with your content. Additionally, if everyone in your industry lists their price outwardly on their website, you probably should too.

As you develop your content, include relevant keywords in page slugs, headers, titles, and body copy. Since Google can’t yet read images, you should also be sure to include alt text describing any graphics on your website.

How should SEO drive content strategy?

Just behind providing value to your audience, SEO should be a primary consideration when planning and developing your content. Consider what questions or search terms your target audience is Googling and identify ways to create relevant content to answer those questions.

You should start by focusing your efforts on keywords with low competition but sufficient volume. Keywords that are too competitive will be impossible to rank for as a new site. Meanwhile, search terms with limited or no search volume provide little to no value to your site. This means you’ll have to find a balance between going for a keyword you can rank for that provides good traffic. Use a tool like SEMRush, Surfer, or Ubersuggest to find keywords and complete keyword research.

SEO takes time.

While publishing frequent, excellent, and strategic content can speed up your timeline, the reality is that climbing Google search results takes months. Consider that the majority of clicks go to results on the first page of Google. As your website is slowly rising from position 90-15, you might not notice much of a difference. Once you start landing multiple pages on the first page of Google search results, you’ll begin to build momentum and see an increase in traffic.

It’s essential to remain patient and stay the course — if you follow best practices, you’ll start climbing the rankings. Over time, it will get easier and easier to rank, and you’ll be able to target more competitive keywords.

Is your brand aligned with your 2021 goals? Use our brand scorecard to evaluate your brand.

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