“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.”
SEO BRAND AWARENESS AND RETAIL
SEO can help optimize your site for search engines. It can improve your position in search rankings. You can improve your probability of a click after a search. Its likely you know this. But did you know SEO can be used to help you create brand awareness. This is crucial in a retail market. What retailers are finding out is that SEO for the sake of rankings cannot deliver as well as SEO with the intent to increase brand awareness. A recent report found that there are a few contributing factors that increase the likelihood of a click. In the report Search Engine Optimization: What Drives Organic Traffic to Retail Sites? one of the most major factors for gaining organic clicks was general brand awareness. Searches that yielded options between a well-known brand (in this case a brand with a sponsored link) did better than links from businesses that did not appear with a sponsored link. It also found that moving your rankings to the first five pages of a search could yield a 1 to 1 ratio for rank to organic clicks.
The Usual Suspects
All in all, the success of major brands will often yield results when it comes to organic link clicks. The question to ask yourself is : “Why would a potential customer pick me out of the line up of usual suspects?” That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked. It might be because the majors have let them down and they want to try something new. Trends don’t show that category growing by itself. Besides, there are plenty of other companies out there relying on the same hope. Maybe its because you show as the very first link? Well, that might be likely, but then again what about the major player in your field directly below you or on the first page of results? Will the ad and the image on the screen draw their attention away? More than likely it will require building your name and brand to the point people recognize you and prefer to check your link over the others. Why? Because they trust you.
5 TIPS FOR SEO BRANDING AWARENESS SUCCESS
People click on links of brands they know and trust. Following the suggestions in Search Engine Optimization: What Drives Organic Traffic to Retail Sites? , I recommend five tips to use SEO branding techniques to increase your brand awareness and hopefully your organic clicks:
Focus on the site
Top of this list, you need to make sure your site is properly indexed to assist the search engine to find your page. “This includes making effective use of anchor texts, descriptive headings and meta tags, robot.txt files, and using accurate and unique page titles.” Beyond that, you need to remember that search engines are only a portion of how people search online. One other major search option is the search option on your site. Make sure your site is user friendly and will help visitors find what they are searching for when they come by (or back).
Target a demographic
SEO found that different demographics were affected by different measures. One example was a customer from the higher income demographic. They found that higher income shoppers tended to select organic links at a higher rate. Brand awareness made a significant difference on the higher income demographic. You need to know who your business is built for and tailor your SEO approach accordingly.
Use SEO alongside your branding campaign
What I mean is this: SEO with a focus on improving brand awareness should be one piece in your overall branding puzzle. Branding can use several different media forms like tv and radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads, social media campaigns, and events. You will want to plan your branding campaign with SEO working alongside, not replacing, the other types of media you plan to use to build your brand. SEO brand awareness campaigns can strengthen your brand in ways that naturally yield future site visits as brand loyalty grows.
Use the right search terms
“Some search terms and phrases are more likely to generate clicks than other keywords.” If you are selling brand name merchandise, make sure you are indexing your site accordingly. You want the search engines to see the brand name and the product. Tailoring your site with SEO can help make sure the right information is available to the search engines and, ultimately, to your customers. SEO brand awareness campaigns rely on the proper coding and construction of your site, including the way you index your site.
Use sponsored links to increase brand awareness
If you are looking to gain the trust of the market, it is worth considering setting aside a portion of your branding/marketing budget for the purpose of securing a sponsored link through a company like Google. You will need to make sure this step is completed last. To maximize the success of your campaign and secure long-term customers, you will want to have the previous four items in place to impact the customer experience. Remember that a SEO brand awareness strategy may use sponsored links to grow recognition of your brand, but the more organic link clicks you get, the less likely your sponsored link may appear. There is a give and take. Use sponsored links to strengthen your brand, not as a “forever” plan to sustain it.
For more on Branding, check out our blog series: