Over the last five years the term ‘brand awareness’ has become a buzzword in the world of digital marketing, and rightly so. It’s so important to your website’s performance in the search engines, and today’s blog post explains why.
As well as discussing the important relationship between online content, brand awareness and SEO, I also explain how you can optimise your content so your brand shines online, and gets the recognition it deserves. At the end, you’ll also get my brand awareness content audit, if you want an actionable checklist to make sure you’re on the right track!
Let’s start by clarifying what we mean when we use the term ‘brand awareness’. Officially, it’s “the extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.” And put loosely, it’s how much a potential customer really understands your brand, your ethos, what you’re all about and what you have to offer them.
Most people will reach your site because you have a blog post that matches their search query. Or they’ve been pulled in from a juicy blog title shared on social media. This is really important because this is your first opportunity to portray your brand to this potential new customer. This is your opportunity to showcase your brand through your online content.
Also, when a brand is strong enough to warrant a load of ‘direct searches’ (the ones where you type the brand name directly into the search bar and hit ‘enter’) then the higher that brand’s website will rank in the search engines. More detail on how this works below.
Let’s take a quick second to understand the relationship between brand awareness and SEO before we delve into the audit.
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. The first point to consider is this algorithm update. It was one of Google’s biggest, back in 2013, and received its name for being ‘speedy and accurate’, as the Hummingbird. It changed the way online content is viewed entirely; placing much greater emphasis on natural language queries; considering context and meaning over individual keywords. It also looks deeper at content on individual pages of a website, with improved ability to lead users directly to the most appropriate page, rather than just a website’s homepage.
Direct search results. Another biggie to consider as mentioned above is ‘direct searches’. This is when people search directly for you; i.e. they search for ‘Fishpool Marketing’ over ‘SEO advice’, because they know you’re what they’re looking for. The stronger your brand, the better this will become. And more direct searches mean more positive signals being sent to Google… Winner!
A note from Andy:
“Brand name searches (or people heading directly to your website) is a huge ranking signal for Google, in fact, it’s currently the biggest most important signal we’ve found with our current partners here at Fishpool. It’s a clever signal that shows your growth as a trusted brand or authority figure in a certain niche.”
Great on-page and off-page content. We all know that great content equates to improved results in the search engines. The more you utilise your website or blog to discuss relevant, interesting topics related to your brand, the better. But each time you do this, there’s an opportunity to tell readers about your brand and services. Whether the content is on your blog or across social media, being on-brand is key if you want to improve your SEO!
Hopefully, you’ve now got a good idea about brand awareness and its importance to your online content and SEO strategy.
Bringing that knowledge together and making things happen is the fun part. Here’s how to check if your content successfully promotes brand awareness… and what to do if it doesn’t!
And your audience. If you’re not 100% sure of your brand and what you stand for, who else will be? Before you get started on the audit, make sure your branding is clear and relatable to your target audience. You could create an ‘audience persona’ and ensure your efforts cater to this. Consider creating brand guidelines to really keep things in check.
Ask yourself this question for each page and post on your site: Is my product, service or brand, clear? If what you sell, do or stand for isn’t evident, then tweak it. Consider including basic information about yourself, what you do, why this blog exists on your site and who it’s aimed at.
We all know that good content takes time. And planning in advance works wonders for your brand and strategy.
One of our content creators Sophie gives us some tips: “Getting ahead of the curve is crucial, and it’s all about timing! Think about key events in your industry, and plan to get relevant, topical content online about a month in advance. This gives Google time to index the content, which means it’s ready to go once the search volume peaks!”
Always ensure your content is not only informative and interesting, but digestible. Include clear subtitles and summarise take-away points where possible, to make your content shareable and memorable.
Increase brand awareness by collaborating with a like-minded brand. Offer a guest post on another site with a similar readership. Take the opportunity to seek collabs and push your brand or service, where possible.
One mistake I’ve seen in the past is people taking branding too seriously. Yes, it’s important, but it’s essential to have a human element to bring your brand alive too. Consider adding some personality to your text, and imagery that reflects your branding, to really make things pop. Or leverage social media to show behind the scenes to add a human element, too.
This will shed light on what your customers need from your website and content. Knowing your customer journey leads to a high-converting website, as essentially, you’re answering the right questions and making the journey to purchase smoother and speedier.
Answer questions with your content.
In line with knowing the customer journey, also put yourselves in the shoes of your audience… What interesting stuff do they want to read or learn about? The more you can answer their long-tail search queries, the better the chance they’ll return to your site for more info.
Social media is an incredible way to push your brand’s key message, ethos, tone and style. Social signals are also a key ranking factor for Google, so really utilise social media to drive brand awareness and get people talking about your brand online!
Once you’re happy with your online brand and content, consider getting brand ambassadors on board. A brand ambassador is someone whose ethos and interests are aligned with yours. They’re usually bloggers or online influencers. There are loads of ways to work or collaborate with them to amplify your own brand, such as outreach campaigns, content collaboration or gifting but more on that in a later blog post!
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