SEO and brand awareness can go together. Although search engine optimization is mostly used to generate organic traffic, this strategy also strengthens branding and increases brand awareness. Now, check out how to use SEO to gain 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 almost never go past the first search results.
But have you ever stopped to think that SEO and brand awareness are also a great fit? Google’s first page promotes a gain in visibility, authority and engagement for the brand that increases its recognition 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:
What is the relationship between SEO and brand awareness?
A company that wishes to increase brand awareness wants 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?
Therefore, some Marketing strategies are used to consolidate branding definitions, with 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.
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 has to offer people.
This way, brands are able to reinforce their branding and gain brand awareness 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 for 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 follows, branding 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 also becomes a topic on the internet and is more searched on Google. And search engines place a lot of importance on that.
Google’s algorithm is interested in knowing which brands are best known to the public. 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 with 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 his name on Google and thus show the algorithm that the term was relevant. In fact, searches multiplied and helped to introduce in the country 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 are looking for well-known retailers to decide which links they will click on when searching for products on the internet?
Source: Search Engine Land
Therefore, SEO and brand awareness can help each other. Getting to the top positions in Google gives the brand more notoriety in the market, while gaining brand awareness helps to strengthen its name for Google’s algorithm.
What are the benefits of using SEO to increase brand awareness?
Several marketing strategies can be used to increase brand awareness. SEO is often overlooked, while other strategies such as social media, paid advertising, branded content and event sponsorship take priority.
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 what the benefits of search engine optimization are 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 media, 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 beneficial 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 gain positions on Google.
It increases brand reach
Brand awareness wants the brand to be more recognized by more people in its target audience. Therefore, this aim is also related to reach. And SEO has great power to increase the range of brands.
Search engines are widely used on the internet. In the United States, each user does more than three searches a day on average. According to Google, the search engine processes more than 2 trillion searches per year. And, if brands appear in the results of these searches, in the most viewed positions, just look at the reach they gain!
What is even more interesting is that this range is quite qualified. The brand gains visibility within the public that is interested in what it offers. After all, people are searching for content and solutions at that moment.
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 references. 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.
They are materials that show how the brand can help people. These contents are not only about sales, products and services, but about solutions to the doubts, difficulties and needs of the persona.
This educational and informative characteristic of Content Marketing, one of the backbones of SEO, strengthens branding and confidence in the brand. And when the content gets to the top spot in Google, 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 already be able to 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 an authority. With On Page SEO, you will strengthen the pages for your niche keywords and offer the best experience on the site. With Off Page SEO, you will show Google that other sites recommend your content and that the brand is a leader.
However, here are some tips for those who have brand awareness as their main SEO objective. This means that branding is a priority, but traffic, conversions and leads will not be left behind, OK?
Check out our tips:
Create valuable content for your persona
This is a basic tip, but it cannot be left out of an article about SEO and brand awareness. If you want to strengthen brand awareness with SEO, you need to create content that people want to read and that are useful to them.
Therefore, the content needs to be focused on the persona. Understand the persona’s characteristics, intentions, doubts and needs in order to create relevant posts, with the appropriate language to communicate with them.
In this way, you are able to strengthen ties with the public, showing that the brand is at their side and wishing to help them solve their problems throughout the journey.
Use your experience to create content
Strengthening branding depends on creating differentials that make the brand stand out and win over a unique space in people’s minds. In SEO, how can you differentiate yourself?
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.
With authenticity, you can engage consumers around the brand and differentiate the content from the thousands of publications that already exist on the internet.
Provide the best user experience
User Experience on the site 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 get a good perception. Several factors contribute to this, such as:
- loading speed;
- site security;
- links and buttons 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 brand and consumer.
So, put some extra thought into the design. Align the website layout with your visual identity to convey the values you want to be associated 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’s personality is relaxed, 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 do choose your guest posting and co-marketing partners well, okay? Look for reliable, popular, quality and authoritative sites that convey relevance to your pages. Pay attention also to the potential partners’ brand personality, values and purpose.
When making 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, in order to strengthen your branding, instead of damaging your reputation.
Optimize for no-click searches
When the focus of the SEO strategy is brand awareness, clicks and traffic don’t matter that much. What matters is to strengthen your brand, isn’t it?
So, realize that SERP — the Google results page — brings more and more ready-made responses, which often eliminate clicks and traffic to websites. Google wants to reduce the steps for users, that’s why it has been investing in elements such as the knowledge graph and the featured snippets.
Google’s strategy seems to be working: according to Moz, about 40% of searches do not result in clicks. This is positive for the user… but for websites, is that any good?
When the focus is on brand awareness, think that your goal is to create awareness for your brand. So, the important thing is to have your name on the SERP, with the answer that the user wants to see, regardless of whether he will click on it or not.
So, optimize your site for searches without a click. First, create snippets for the SERP that add value to your content. This is true for the main snippet (title, URL and description), but also for featured snippets and rich snippets.
Optimize these elements to deliver the answer that the user wants and possibly attract the click, but also to be present — even if the user does not click on it, seeing your brand always present in SERP, in the main searches for your niche, will highlight that you are also an authority.
Also, optimize for searches with local intent. In this type of search, Google brings a summary of Google My Business, which often does not generate clicks to the site.
But your company is there, among the main local results, with contact data, photos, evaluations and all the possibilities of registration, which will increase brand awareness.
Customer reviews, in particular, weigh heavily on the perception of the brand and the ranking of local searches by Google. So, encourage customers to leave their opinions and interact with comments on Google My Business. The more positive reviews you receive, the more points you earn on Local SEO.
How to measure brand awareness in SEO?
Measuring brand awareness is a challenge for brands. Data-obsessed professionals may be uncomfortable with the difficulty of measuring brand awareness, which is much more on a subjective than a measurable level.
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 realizing 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 ideal 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.
They can be used in Google search to have 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 is 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 the brand is mentioned. On social media, you can use monitoring tools to identify the amount 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 brand recall, and the second is related to market visibility. They show the strength of your brand, in relation to competitors and in people’s minds and conversations, respectively.
Share of mind generally depends on market research by specialized companies. The share of voice on social networks, on the other hand, can be measured using mentions monitoring tools, as we mentioned before.
Measuring brand awareness also involves knowing what values and attributes people associate with the brand.
However, this is a more subjective perception, which will hardly be captured in cold data. For this reason, it demands more in-depth research, with questionnaires or interviews that identify the person’s perceptions about the brand.
For this, you can use search forms like Google Forms or Typeform. 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, you now 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 with organic and efficient media.
Now, if your company needs help creating an SEO and brand awareness strategy, know that you can count on Rock Content. Talk to one of our consultants to find out how we can help your business!