You won’t hear Google state that brand is a ranking factor, rather they allude to the fact by placing emphasis on factors that encompass brand and that they deem of the utmost importance, also quality of content is not the factor, check it you will get surprized: Trust, Authority and Expertise.
Nisanth is known for breaking with traditional, staid, methods of SEO and is not afraid to pursue radical Digital Marketing strategies.
Salavudeen Director | LanguardIT
Brand building is now more important than ever, especially as evolving technologies such as voice search transition people away from the traditional methods of typing in searches. While “brand” is quickly becoming the element that can elevate your business above your competition, it shouldn’t come at the expensive of ignoring your site’s fundamentals.
Yawn! Boring! I know. Before you switch off though, consider this; the most expensive house in the world isn’t going to last long enough to impress anyone if it’s built on quicksand.
Poor technical SEO is like termites in your site, slowly eroding all your good work as it quietly weakens everything you’ve strived to build.
Nisanth Sasidharan Wordpress | SEO | Digital Marketing Specialist
The technical fundamentals have changed little as SEO has evolved, but get them wrong and your quest for strong brand building will count for little.
So what are the basics? It’s all about creating a rounded, enjoyable customer experience, and in that, you must consider the Googlebot as a user of your site. Avoid having a messy site with poor navigation, slow speeds, duplicate and poor quality content, bad code and errors. Anything that is bad for the user is bad for Google. So fix it!
- Speed affects all channels
- A page load time halved equates to 80% traffic increase!
- Domain Authority is a fabricated metric
- Measure everything with Google Trends
Nisanth.com went from 200 visits per day to over 5000 per day after optimising our technical SEO issues.
Digital Brand Building
Now you have a strong foundation for your site it’s time to build your brand. As mentioned earlier, brand is not one single identifiable component, more the successful amalgamation of Google’s core principles of Trust, Authority and Expertise.
Google’s Vince update in 2009 was a Trust “Change.” A consequence of that was that brands ranked higher. Why? Because people trust brands. The top ranking sites have been proven to have the most amounts of direct traffic.
Ultimately, brand is a reflection of your business.
Get people talking about your brand to increase your popularity. The more people that directly search your brand the higher you will rank for non-brand search related phrases.
It’s imperative that you have a strong brand within your buyer personas.
Google admits that “Off Site Sentiment,” that is, people talking about you and people searching for your brand, count to them. For example, the current media exposure for StewArt Media due to the auDA situation resulted in traffic doubling to our website with over 10k impressions and increasing the rankings of non-brand related phrases like “marketing speaker.”
- Brand is a path to a destination
- Strong brands rank better
Google should not be your first source of traffic. Word of mouth and quality products or services will help attract a loyal following. Google is the all-seeing eye. It will observe activity around your brand and reward popularity with higher rankings.
URLs that are more popular on the Internet tend to be crawled more often to keep them fresh in our index.” – Google January 2017.
Brand Building Blocks
Firstly, you don’t need a massive budget to build a brand. Knowing your buyer personas will help you hone in on marketing only to those with a greater chance of conversion.
Built a substantial brand through growing a Facebook group to over 140k members and an Instagram group to 28k members, resulting in them winning a Business model “Build a Bigger Business” competition.
It’s important to understand the facets of modern “content marketing” and understand that when we say, “content marketing” we really just mean, “marketing.” Learn to leverage the right content and medium at a suitable buyer persona, whether it be a YouTube video, Facebook ad, or LinkedIn connection.
Work towards obtaining a Featured Answer as this will help you rank for other related phrases.
- Build your network (They don’t have to be customers initially, just be involved in conversation)
- Be the category with increased brand keyword search
- The stronger the brand, the higher the conversion rate
Remember the steps to branding success:
- Build brand with content and customer experience
- Promote with ads, blogs, videos, crazy stunts, and social
- Refine technical SEO
- Be awesome!
Digital search is changing, and although a solid foundation of technical SEO is still imperative, it is important that you place as much effort into brand building as you would into technical SEO.
Brand related searches are fast becoming the norm and increasing conversions using brand will increase revenue. Strong brands rank better via direct search and it is Google’s obligation to elevate popular searches to the top of the rankings. It’s time to forget about Google and focus on your brand and customers to pave the way for future business growth.