Branding is not all that exciting to someone who does not work in an area related to marketing. Similarly, SEO doesn’t get the juices flowing in people who don’t work in the field. So as boring as both topics may be to some people, those who are tasked with improving a company’s brand have to be up to speed on both. They have to understand just how critical SEO is to effective branding.
Branding is defined by Entrepreneur magazine as follows:
“The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”
If you asked the SEO professionals at Salt Lake City-based WebTek Interactive, they would take Entrepreneur’s definition one step further to include messaging. In the internet age, a company’s message is its brand more than anything else. This is why SEO is so important.
In light of that, here are five reasons SEO is critical to branding:
1. Social Media Dominates
Social media is now the undisputed champion of online conversations. It is the preferred method of communication among the coveted millennial demographic on which so many companies rest their hopes of success. To utilize social media to your advantage, you have to do so with certain white hat SEO practices in mind. Social media is still very much like the Wild West in that going into it without clearly defined principles and practices can harm a brand more than help it.
2. Lasting Impressions Require Visibility
Next, lasting impressions do not happen by themselves. A company that hopes to solidify its brand in the minds of customers must be visible to them. SEO is critical to this endeavor in that it drives search engine traffic that, in turn, increases visibility.
3. Brands Don’t Exist in Vacuums
A big mistake a lot of companies make is assuming their brand exists in a vacuum. That’s not the way it works. People think of brands in groups. Need proof? Just ask one of your friends to name his or her favorite restaurant. You will probably not get a single response. Most people will think of two or three they really love. They do the same with all their favorite brands.
SEO is critical in this regard because it connects like-minded organizations with equally strong reputations. Associating an organization with others that perform well in search engine results improves the reputation of the organization whose brand is being optimized.
4. Brand Messaging Evolves
If branding in the internet age is all about messaging, what do you do when your message changes? SEO is critical to modern branding because it accounts for evolving messages through a seamless process that continually keeps customers engaged. Those customers may not necessarily be cognizant of a change in messaging, but that doesn’t matter. They are already on board.
5. Trends Influence Brand Perceptions
Finally, trends play a crucial role in how people see the world around them. More importantly, trends influence how people perceive their favorite brands. The most powerful brand in the world can be tarnished overnight by a trend that works against it rather than in its favor. How can SEO help?
An ongoing SEO strategy that keeps an eye on current trends is nimble enough to respond before a given trend trashes a brand. That brand can be tweaked, modified, and polished so as to remain unaffected by the negative trend. And when a trend is positive to a brand, SEO can amplify it to boost the brand’s reputation.
Branding in the internet age is not the same as the branding of previous generations. It is an entirely different exercise that relies heavily on SEO practices keeping positive messages going while simultaneously mitigating any negative messages.