SEO and brand awareness go hand in hand. Although search engine optimization focuses mostly on driving organic traffic, this strategy also increases brand awareness.
Branding is a process in which a company creates a unique and distinct identity for itself that is memorable for audiences and customers.
By having your branding story clearly laid out, you can start to raise awareness to become a recognizable brand.
Now, check out how to use SEO to increase brand awareness and how to measure its effectiveness.
What is the purpose of an SEO strategy? For many professionals, the answer is simple: generate organic traffic. After all, placing the site at the top of Google Search means earning clicks from the majority of the users, who rarely go past the first five search results.
But have you ever thought that SEO and brand awareness are closely connected? Google’s first page gives more visibility, authority, and engagement to brands that are known in the market. And, depending on the objectives of the company, this can be worth much more than clicks.
Next, you will better understand the relationship between SEO and brand awareness, how optimization contributes to increased brand awareness, and how to apply this to your strategies. You’ll learn the following:
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What is the relationship between SEO and brand awareness?
Any company wishes to be recognized and well-remembered by the public.
But that is not only about knowing its name — people must also be able to recognize the values, personality, niche, and products of the brand. This generates recognition, but also remembrance and differentiation. The brand conquers a unique and differentiated space in people’s minds.
Increasing brand awareness is one of the most pursued marketing objectives in companies. After all, who doesn’t want to win over the minds of consumers and create a greater connection with them?
SEO consists of optimizing websites and web pages with the aim of improving their positioning in search engine results. This means reaching spots on the internet with high visibility, with content that helps people, showing what the brand knows and what it offers.
Therefore, some Marketing strategies should intend to consolidate the brand among the largest number of people in the target audience. Among them, SEO is one of the most powerful possibilities, but not always considered when brands come up with strategies to increase brand awareness.
This way, brands can strengthen their brand with a strategy that does not require media investments. Good idea, isn’t it?
Rock Content itself, for example, consolidated its image in the market with a strong SEO strategy. Conquering the top positions in terms related to Digital Marketing and Content Marketing contributed a lot towards expanding the reach of the brand and making it a leader in those areas.
In addition, the people who find us on Google know our content, perceive the quality of what we deliver, and understand the values of our brand. As a consequence, it gets more and more consolidated in people’s minds.
On the other hand, brand awareness also contributes to SEO. As the brand becomes better known and remembered, it becomes a topic on the internet and is more searched on Google. Search engines place a lot of importance on that.
Google’s algorithm is interested in knowing the public’s best-known brands. After all, it wants to deliver reliable responses to users, and more consolidated brands tend to offer higher-quality content.
The “Who is Neil Patel?” campaign, for example, was created for this purpose. Neil Patel created a provocative strategy on social networks, with women asking “Who is Neil Patel?” to strengthen his name on his arrival in Brazil.
The intention was to encourage people to search for his name on Google and thus show the algorithm that the term was relevant. In fact, searches multiplied and helped to introduce to Brazil the name of one of the greatest Digital Marketing gurus.
But brand awareness also strengthens SEO strategy in another way. Most well-known brands in the market tend to attract more clicks in the search results. And a good organic CTR is a positive sign for Google’s algorithm, which favors the page in rankings.
After all, users also tend to think that big brands deliver more reliable content. Did you know, for example, that 70% of consumers look for well-known retailers to decide which links they will click on when searching for products on the internet?
Therefore, SEO and brand awareness can help each other. Getting to the top positions on Google’s search engine page gives the brand more notoriety, while good brand awareness helps to strengthen its name for Google’s algorithm.
What are the benefits of using SEO to increase brand awareness?
Marketers can follow several strategies to increase brand awareness. SEO is often overlooked, while they prioritize other strategies such as social media, paid advertisement, branded content, and event sponsorship.
However, many of these strategies end up becoming too expensive or laborious, especially for small businesses. So, SEO can take part in planning as a more economic and efficient solution.
Now, let’s understand the benefits of search engine optimization to increase brand awareness:
It is an organic strategy
SEO is an organic strategy. This means that you do not have to (or even can’t) pay Google to place your site in the first results. Gaining visibility and clicks is free.
However, we are not saying that SEO costs nothing, okay? The strategy requires time, professionals, and tools to work well. Still, the cost-effectiveness of SEO to increase brand awareness tends to be very better in comparison to other strategies, both Digital and Offline Marketing.
This is especially important for small businesses, which find it difficult to compete with big brands. But, in SEO, you can create strategies focused on niches and less popular long-tail keywords, which will help the site rank better on Google.
It increases brand reach
Brands want people from their target audience to recognize them. SEO has great power to increase the range of brands.
Search engines are widely used. In the United States, each user performs more than three searches a day on average. According to Google, the search engine processes more than 2 trillion searches per year. So, if brands appear on top of the search result page, you can imagine their reach!
What is even more interesting is gaining visibility among the public that is interested in what it offers. After all, people are searching for immediate solutions to their problems.
It establishes authority in the market
Whoever is in Google’s top positions has the recognition of the public and the search engine. If a page is in that place, it is because it delivers the best response and the best user experience.
Therefore, the user who sees the first results understands that those sites are reliable. This perception is essential for brand awareness since it associates authority with the brand, and it strengthens its image in the consumer’s mind.
It discloses content that strengthens branding
A page only wins first place in search when it offers valuable content to users. This is what generates and sustains its authority in the market.
These contents are not only about sales, products, and services, but about solutions to the questions, difficulties, and needs of the persona. They show how the brand can help people.
Content marketing is one of the backbones of SEO. And when the content ranks on top of Google SERP, it gains visibility to reach more people.
Improve the website experience
In addition to offering relevant content, a page must also create a valuable browsing experience to win over Google. It must comply with User Experience principles, such as being easy to use and accessible on all platforms and languages.
Therefore, SEO also contributes to providing a valuable experience within the site. The user feels at ease, well-guided, and welcomed to accomplish what they want. In addition to contributing to conversion, this is also important for brand awareness, as it associates positive perceptions and feelings to the brand.
How to create an SEO strategy focused on brand awareness?
In general, a well-designed SEO strategy will boost your brand awareness. So, the main tip here is to follow good SEO practices.
With relevant content, you will engage readers and show them that your brand is authoritative.
Here are some SEO tips for those who need to increase brand awareness. This will impact not only ranking, but traffic, conversions, and lead generation:
Keep the SEO Four Pillars in Mind
SEO is an umbrella term that covers a lot of digital ground. When we say “SEO”, it can refer to many different types of optimizations and tasks. Therefore, to ensure a well-rounded SEO strategy, you need to keep the four pillars in mind:
- Technical SEO: Technical optimizations help to make your content more discoverable. It allows Google or other search engines to crawl your pages, index them, and make them findable. Other factors like speed and mobile-friendliness are addressed in technical SEO.
- On-Page SEO: Rather than focusing on the technical aspects and backend, on-page SEO is all about the individual pages that you create and their structure. This includes things like page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, links, and structured data.
- Content: The content that you create for your web pages is another essential component of an SEO strategy. You need content that is relevant to the needs and interests of readers, rich with value, provides a call to action and is exhaustive in its scope.
- Off-Page SEO: The final pillar is often the most difficult one to accomplish. You need to prove your authority with SEO tactics. This includes gaining backlinks to your website from other reputable sites, local search indicators, a social media presence, and reputation management strategies.
While these are the traditional four pillars of SEO that every digital marketer should be aware of, it’s also to remember to contextualize branding in your SEO strategy. Branding could essentially become a fifth pillar in your strategy, since it has a major impact on your ranking and provides indicators for Google to establish the authority of your website and your pages.
Create valuable content for your persona
This is a basic tip, but it must be mentioned in an article about SEO and brand awareness. As we know, content is one of the four pillars of SEO that should drive your marketing strategy. If you want to strengthen brand awareness with SEO, you need to create useful content that arouses interest in people.
Therefore, the content needs to focus on the persona. Understand the persona’s characteristics, intentions, and needs to create relevant posts, with the appropriate language to communicate with them.
In this way, you can strengthen ties with the public, showing that the brand is by their side and wishes to help them solve their problems throughout the journey.
One of the main ways to do this is to create differentiated content, which no other site is doing. And do you know what is something that only you have? Your experience. So, use it when creating content: tell stories, give examples, bring customer cases, talk about lessons learned, and reflect on the company’s failures and successes.
But creating relevant content is easier said than done. An in-house content team can be expensive and hard to build, especially since you need content now. A freelance writing platform like WriterAccess could be the perfect solution.
On WriterAccess, it’s easy to place an order, find a writer, and get the content you need. You can specify keywords for writers to use and give directions on order lengths, layouts, formats, and other essential elements. And the team at WriterAccess has already vetted writers for you, making connections with freelancers easy and pain-free. To learn more, get a 14-day WriterAccess trial to see how it works.
Provide the best user experience
User Experience on the website is crucial for positioning on Google and for the perception of the brand — and, therefore, to strengthen brand awareness.
A brand that offers good usability on the website wins over consumer involvement and trust. If the user can easily accomplish what they want, without obstacles and difficulties, they tend to have a good feeling about the brand. Several factors contribute to this, such as:
- loading speed;
- site security;
- links and button functionality.
Insert the brand personality on the website
Throughout the visitor’s experience on the site, they must be able to assimilate the personality of your brand in every detail. This is essential to create a connection between the brand and the consumer.
So, put some extra thought into the design. Align the website layout with your visual identity to convey the values you want to associate with your brand. Colors, images, element combinations— all of these things help convey the brand’s personality.
In addition to the visual language, pay attention to the textual language. The tone of voice of the brand must be present in the content of the website. If the brand has a more relaxed personality, the texts must follow this mood, for example. So, unconsciously, the user goes on building the brand image in his mind.
Look for link-building partners in line with your values
Link building is more than just an opportunity to earn backlinks. For brand awareness, it’s a chance to show a new audience how useful and relevant your brand can be. So, use this strategy to increase brand awareness, with valuable content for the audience.
But choose your guest posting and co-marketing partners well, okay? Look for reliable, popular, and authoritative sites that add relevance to your pages. Also pay attention to the potential partners’ brand personality, values, and purpose.
When establishing link-building partnerships, remember that your image will be associated with the partner brand. Therefore, it is necessary to find partners in line with your values, to strengthen your branding, instead of damaging your reputation.
Optimize for no-click searches
Not every search result ends in a click. In fact, around 40% of searches never result in a click at all. This is due to the featured snippets that Google creates. A featured snippet is a special box or pop-up that shows up during a search that displays information without clicking on a link. It might include maps, other related searches, definitions, or lists.
These featured snippets allow readers to get information without ever clicking on a website. While on the surface, this might seem bad for SEO—after all, you aren’t getting clicks!— it’s actually valuable for branding in the long term.
If you have a focus on your brand awareness, you can optimize for featured snippets to help raise brand awareness and become a trusted authority for answers. When someone searches for an answer and your brand provides it easily, it helps to ingratiate your brand in their mind. And when you are consistently the top source for featured snippets, it further establishes your brand as a go-to source of information.
Other “no-click” searches that can help build brand awareness include local intent searches, which can display your business on a map or as a featured local business. There, readers can look at your Google profile and see things like services and reviews without visiting your website, which also helps increase brand awareness in your local area.
How to measure brand awareness in SEO?
Measuring brand awareness is a challenge. Data-obsessed professionals may be uncomfortable with the difficulty of measuring brand awareness, which can be subjective.
But there are some indicators that can help you understand whether the brand and its attributes are winning over people’s minds.
Another challenge, when analyzing the gain of brand awareness, is to identify how much SEO contributed to it. After all, brands possibly have other marketing strategies running around, which also contribute to branding. So, the idea is to control, from the time you carry out optimizations, the impact that they will bring to brand awareness.
To do this, you can apply these resources:
Branded searches are searches that involve your brand name, that is, that use branded keywords.
Users usually perform it to acquire more specific information about your brand, such as address, products, and prices, or simply as a shortcut to get to your website. Regardless of the search intent, branded searches show that your brand is in people’s minds and arouses interest.
In Google Analytics, you can keep an eye on the list of keywords that drive traffic and identify the growth of those searches. Depending on the relevance of your brand, Google Trends may also capture the growth of searches involving it.
Direct traffic means visitors who come to your site by typing the URL directly into the browser bar or via a saved bookmark. Like branded searches, direct traffic shows that users actively know and remember your brand.
Traffic reports in Google Analytics also provide this information. Keep an eye on the growth of this metric as well.
Mentions of the brand on the web and social networks, with or without a link, show that it is part of people’s conversations. They help to increase awareness and make your name known.
You can monitor mentions on the web through Google Alerts and receive notifications whenever another page mentions the brand. On social media, you can use monitoring tools to identify the number of mentions and the feelings associated with them (positive, neutral, or negative).
Share of mind and share of voice
Share of mind and share of voice are market share indicators — the first is about a brand remembrance, and the second is related to market visibility. They show the strength of your brand, in relation to competitors and in people’s conversations, respectively.
Share of mind generally depends on market research by specialized companies. Monitoring the share of voice on social networks, on the other hand, is possible with monitoring tools, as we mentioned before.
Measuring brand awareness also involves knowing what values and attributes people associate with it.
However, this is a more subjective perception, which cold data will hardly capture. For this reason, it demands more in-depth research, with questionnaires or interviews.
For this, you can use Google Forms or Typeform, for example. Another interesting tool is HotJar, which allows you to include forms and capture feedback from visitors directly on the site.
In summary, now you know the power of SEO for brand awareness. If you thought that Search Engine Optimization was only about organic traffic, now you know that it also contributes a lot to branding.
Understand, therefore, that SEO is one of the most complete digital marketing strategies that can help your business achieve different marketing objectives — all of that organically.
Brand awareness and SEO are two interlinked strategies that impact your rankings on Google and other search engines. By including branding in your SEO strategies, and making sure to measure its impact, you can boost your rankings while becoming a recognizable brand name.
To accomplish your SEO goals, you need great written content. That’s where WriterAccess comes in. WriterAccess can help you find the best writers to create high-quality long-form posts and scale your content production. You can get a 14-day Writer Access trial to get a feel for how it works today.