If you’re trying to increase awareness of your brand, then one tool that you need to use is SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is essentially what is responsible for ensuring that your website appears under the correct search terms – here’s what you need to know.
SEO has changed, and so your strategy also needs to.
Back in the early days of the internet, optimizing your website to feature in search engines was as simple as stuffing your company name into your website as many times as possible. Sadly, if you try this now your website will just look strange and you probably won’t notice any SEO improvement. As technology has advanced, search engine algorithms have gotten smarter as they try to rank the ever-increasing number of businesses vying for space on the internet. This means that now if you want to use SEO to improve your brand awareness, you need to introduce a modern SEO strategy.
Five things that need to be included in a modern SEO strategy.
1. Quality content.
In the Panda update of 2011, Google redefined the meaning of quality content. Keyword stuffing and spammy blog posts would no longer rank highly with the new algorithm, which forced businesses to invest in content that actually provided value to their readers. Now, if you want your content to rank, it needs to be well written and provide added value.
2. Local search.
Local SEO has been changing slowly since the early 2000s but is now almost unrecognizable from what it was. Google now actively rewards locally optimized sites making local SEO optimization and an important part of an overall SEO strategy.
3. Mobile optimization.
In 2015, mobile search queries surpassed desktop queries for the first time, and Google began prioritizing sites that were optimized for mobile traffic. Today mobile optimization isn’t just preferred, it’s essential, so if you want to rank for SEO, even on a desktop, you need to be optimized for mobile too.
4. Keyword diversity.
Whereas once it was enough to simply spam your site with your brand name and key search terms, now you need to develop a far more complex keyword strategy. The Panda update of 2011 killed off keyword stuffing, and updates since have made it easier for Google’s crawlers to look at semantics rather than locating specific keywords and search terms. In some ways, this has made it easier for businesses to rank, but in others, it has made improving your SEO a little more difficult.
5. Natural and valuable link building.
Last but not least, spam-based link building is now a thing of the past, and Google actively penalizes sites found using spam links. Today, only natural and value-added link building through guest posts will earn you SEO points.
Focus on top-of-the-funnel content.
Given what you’ve just learned above, it’s clear that the best way to use eCommerce SEO to increase your brand awareness is to create value-added, mobile-optimized, top-of-the-funnel content that includes a variety of keywords and incorporates natural and valuable link building. Top of the funnel content is the kind of thing that brings potential leads to your site and should be informative without any obvious sales focus. This kind of content does very well on Google because it is seen as providing real value to the user. If you’re confused about creating content in the awareness stage, then think about the kinds of things you research before stumbling across a brand. For example – if you were a dog food company, then you may create awareness content comparing the best dog foods for senior dogs or discussing the nutritional requirements of different breeds. This content is the kind of thing that dog owners will be searching for if they are concerned about their pet’s nutrition, ultimately leading them to your site and causing them to associate your brand name with knowledge on the subject.
Don’t forget to add visuals.
Although you may not directly associate images with SEO and brand awareness, posts that contain pictures or infographics earn on average 94% more views than those that rely on text alone. People enjoy visuals, and it shows when it comes to the kinds of content that they like to read. If you’re creating an informative article with a lot of facts or data, then consider condensing this into a visual infographic that can be shared within the posts and also added to your social channels such as Pinterest. When adding visual elements into your posts, also don’t forget to caption them and to add in an alt-text to tell Google what is in the image.
Don’t forget to implement SEO reporting.
Creating an SEO strategy and starting to build quality content is all well and good, but it will fall short if you fail to implement proper SEO reporting that allows you to monitor the performance of your articles and the popularity of key search terms. Keywords and popular search terms are constantly evolving, and so to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be able to anticipate where future trends are heading. SEO reporting doesn’t need to be rocket science to be effective, and there are a number of platforms out there that can help you to keep track of your data. You can find more details about SEO reporting here.
Remember – be natural and add value.
To summarize, today, the key to raising brand awareness through SEO is to be natural and to provide your audience with real value. Although you may have a complex SEO strategy in place, it should not feel like it to Google or your audience. Keywords should be varied and not stuffed, content should be informative and not spammy, and you should move away from targeted landing pages towards the more informative awareness-stage top of the funnel content.
So there you have it – a quick guide to getting started with SEO to improve your brand awareness. Although it may take a little time to see a return on your efforts, improving your brand awareness can dramatically improve your sales figures.