Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting YOUR brand more visibility.
That’s really the name of the game.
You are optimizing your online properties such as your social media accounts, website(s) and listings on directory sites to get in front of more eyeballs.
Building your Brand is all about visibility.
This is why it makes complete and total sense that the two go hand in hand.
How do these work together you may be wondering?
Glad you asked, let’s explore this a little deeper to see just how it’s done.
For starters, a lot of what we do in our world today is based on the major search engines that we use like Google, Yahoo! Or Bing
We live in a fast-paced society that has come to heavily rely on the Internet.
Where we once used libraries, phone books (do those still exist?) and word of mouth recommendations, we now turn to search.
Let’s take a look at some everyday common occurrences and you’ll see how true this is…
Your Morning Commute
You wake up in the morning and wonder what your commute will be like for the day.
Will you be stuck in traffic? Will you be able to make your train? Are there any road closures?
What do you do?
If you are like most then you probably are going to some website or phone app that can tell you EXACTLY what the traffic looks like in your area.
If you don’t have one to speak of, then you likely turn to the…wait for it…
Yes, you do a simple search and the first few results get your attention.
Even if you have a favorite out of all them, YOUR favorite is also A brand.
Think about it.
Okay, let’s take a look at another one.
Your Lunch Break
It’s lunchtime and unless you packed a lunch or have some place in mind, then you have some choices to make as to a place to have lunch.
So what do you do?
Well, you can ask around the office or think about WHAT you feel like eating.
If you are like many working adults, then the chain of events, or rather the chain of thought processes probably looks a bit like the following:
You start to get hungry and want to try out someplace new for lunch. You are really craving some down-home spaghetti, but just don’t want one of those fast food type places, so you pull up your favorite search engine.
Upon pulling up your favorite search engine, you enter something along the lines of…”Italian Food Atlanta.”
Based upon your results from the first page, you get some pretty good information and can now narrow down your choices by:
If you haven’t already guessed it, there is A LOT of SEO that was done on a few of those sites that have landed in your potential choices.
Let’s look at the first.
Selection. Since the person behind that website probably knew that you would be looking for terms like “Spaghetti” or “Chicken Parmesan” or “Orzo,” along with “Italian Food Atlanta,” then there is a very good chance that the site was optimized for such words.
Can you guess which restaurant may be getting a visit from someone in the area craving Chicken Parmesan for lunch?
Reviews. Yes, reviews play a VERY big role in building your brand. Bad reviews can ruin your brand, while great reviews can do quite the opposite.
You can bet that the reputation management for some of these restaurants as well as the optimizing of reviews was also done, in order to help.
Proximity. You can’t go to a restaurant you can’t find, right? Maps show up in the search engine results and optimizing these maps for the results pages can have a positive effect on your brand.
While it may not appear to play into your building your brand, it truly does.
They say things like:
We offer some things that others don’t
People know, like and trust us and that’s why they keep coming back
We are in a great location, we are easily accessible and easily found
If that doesn’t speak to building your business’s brand, we’re not sure what will.
SEO plays a big role in showcasing all of these things properly.
You could have a great website selection, but if your on-page optimization is not done properly OR if those keyword phrases aren’t even on there, then how are the search engines supposed to display it?
Much less display them on the first page for potential new clients and customers to see?
You could have great reviews of what people think of your business, but if they aren’t being encouraged to post reviews (with the right phrases) OR if they are being posted on low authority sites that aren’t on the first page then how are the search engines and searchers supposed to see them?
If you have a great location and haven’t even claimed your business in some of the search engine listings and optimized your maps, then how are they…you get the idea, right?
Everyone and their dog seem to have a social media account.
You can’t seem to get away from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
EVERYONE seems to have one of these kinds of accounts, and yes, they play an EXTREMELY big role in your brand building.
In fact, we may even go as far as saying that they can make or break your branding if you do it incorrectly.
The first thing we have to bring up though is the image you want to portray.
Personal Vs. Professional
Now, unless the brand is you, then you will really need to think this one out.
If your business is your brand, then you will probably want to steer away from using your personal social media accounts for your business.
You really shouldn’t be mixing the two anyway, as the image you want to portray of your business is likely a professional one.
Social Media can get used incorrectly, haphazardly and wastefully.
What we mean by incorrectly is that you may find yourself bombarding your audience with self-serving posts.
What does this look like?
Well, it looks a little like this:
“Come out to our latest sale this weekend!”
“Everything is 20% off on Saturday!”
“We’ve got some great deals at the shop come on by!”
Here’s the thing, when all people do is sell to us, we are more than likely to hit that unfollow button.
Do yourself a favor and temper your promotions with some ACTUAL content that people will want to read.
You can use a content curation service like Quuu.co. They will even post it for you!
If you own a T-Shirt shop, then don’t just tell them about stuff you want to sell them.
Perhaps posting about the differences with different fabrics, and what types of shirts to wear for the different seasons of the year.
Perhaps another post about tips on selecting the right style and cut of shirts for your body type.
Maybe even a post on how to choose shirts as presents for others.
You can’t constantly sell to people.
It gets annoying, trust us.
Social Media posting can also become haphazard, which is why you need to have some type of calendar and schedule in place to make your posts.
Buffer has a great social media content calendar built right into their system as you can see below.
Sure, if you have a fresh piece of content then definitely post it and promote it, but if you have no schedule in place, then you just may find yourself going days or weeks in between posts.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would constantly check up on your profile if you weren’t posting regularly, why would they?
How often should you post and re-post? Tweet and Retweet?
Well, that’s up to you.
The best way to decide and get a handle on it is to set up some type of schedule, then test it out and change it up as you see fit.
Lastly, you do run the risk of being wasteful with your posts.
Just posting to post, that’s how – You need to be intentional, you need to be purposeful.
This again is where SEO comes into play.
If you want more visibility on specific posts that you are making, then you will need to use the right keyword phrases, putting them in the right keyword driven categories and adding in the right keyword hashtags.
When you are able to do this, then you are able to get your content in front of the right eyeballs.
Optimizing of your content through SEO methods will ensure that your target audience sees your content FIRST.
Whether that is in the regular search engines, or within the search functions on social media sites.
If you aren’t optimizing your content and profiles with the right phrases and keywords and not posting on a regular basis, then it will be difficult to build your brand.
When you are constantly in the public eye for your niche, due to your SEO efforts, then people can’t help but think of you when it comes to your industry or time to buy.
For example, if someone is searching online for a T-Shirt shop to get some shirts for a friend’s birthday, and your social media account pops up in the search engines first, guess whose shop may be getting a visit soon?
As you can already see, SEO plays a very major role in your branding.
SEO actually acts as your business’ biggest cheerleader and ultimately helps to build up your brand.
EVEN if you are new to your field or niche.
When SEO can put you in front of people searching for what you offer and can do so by having you rise to the top of the searches, then you can’t help but get a piece of the action.
Your brand can’t help but be built up and put up front and center for your target audience to see.
To help illustrate this point, let’s take one last look at this idea of a cheerleader, and pull together all of the areas we have already discussed.
Let’s say that you own a tire shop and someone online has been searching for a tire shop in his or her city.
When they go to Google and type in “Best Atlanta Tire Shop,” then…
Your website shows up at the top of the page
Another link pops up showing your wide selection of tires
Yelp pulls up as another link showing your rave reviews
A pin on a map shows up that you are just a few miles away
Your social media post on Facebook shows up on HOW to best select tires
You proactively had all of your web properties SEO’d with the right phrases and now dominate the first page of the results for that keyword phrase.
Your SEO efforts have the search engines cheering and singing your praises and essentially telling the searcher:
“Hey searcher, you should REALLY check out this shop! Can’t you see it’s one of THE best in Atlanta?”
You’ve been branded.
You’ve been branded as one of the BEST in your industry in your area.
You’ve been branded thanks to your biggest cheerleader – SEO.