How Brand Signals Positively Impact SEO Efforts for All Businesses
Is your business branded? It better be! Learn how brand signals positively impact your SEO efforts – today!
Let’s take a short break from SEO. Not entirely, but just enough to get a better view of the bigger picture. We know that optimizing your website to gain that #1 search engine ranking is the main goal here – and we are all with you on achieving that.
Nonetheless, ranking high – or the first page even – is not really the end goal of your business. If anything, it’s just a means to get you there. We’re talking about sales, profit, and ultimately – returning your investments. And behind every successful SEO venture, is an even more successful brand to back it up.
What is a Brand?
Think about it. Even if you were to rank first, but people generally don’t know who you are or what you are, they’d rather go for a familiar name in the industry regardless if they ranked second, third, fourth, or all the way down the next page. SEO offers you immediate visibility to the audience, an image of reliability and trustworthiness, but anything more than that comes down to the amount of influence your business has.
A brand, in layman’s term, is your business’s representation in the minds of people. Branding is the process of creating, modifying, or changing that representation. When I say “Coke or Cola” you’ll probably think of something red or black, cold, and if you’re thirsty right now, reading this probably made your throat feel dry.
Coca-Cola is an example of a business who has successfully “branded” itself in the minds of many people. This is something you’d want for your business – and something this guide will help you achieve in the most practical way possible.
When you boost your branding efforts, you increase your probability of success at SEO. Simple as that.
What Makes Up A Brand?
If you look at a brand carefully, you’ll see that it has two aspects – the seen and the unseen. Okay, these are just terms I coined to explain this idea better. The “seen” or the physical aspect of a brand rely heavily on how a brand is represented visually. The logo, graphics and website design, taglines, and the like, give the brand form and appearance. Having started a business, I’m pretty sure (or hoping) you’ve got this one down already.
The second one, for which I have no other term but the “unseen,” would refer to the brand’s level and scope of influence, its network, market base, and other components of a brand that’s identifiable but are not physically tangible. Between the two, it’s harder to measure – let alone, improve – this second aspect for reasons that you may have already guessed.
The seen can easily be modified. You can redesign logos, create catchier taglines, or revamp an entire website. But the unseen, on the other hand, would require time, effort, and patience to develop – all that plus some linking magic.
What are Brand Signals and Why Do I Need It?
Any great brand started somewhere. And there’s no better place for this “somewhere” than the encompassing world of cyberspace. If you’re planning to build a brand empire, this is the best place to start.
Assuming that you have taken care of the physical aspect of your brand and that you’re satisfied with how it turned out (if not, we have creative articles to address your dilemma), let’s shift our focus over improving the unseen aspect. And we’ll start with populating the web with your brand signals.
Brand signals are anything that makes people (and Google) take notice of your brand. It’s a way of seeking attention – the good kind – to get your existence recognized out there. The stronger your brand signals are, the greater the regard for your brand will be. As an online entrepreneur “slash” future business tycoon, you want this mainly because of two reasons:
- Google loves brands
- People love what Google loves
When you come to terms with these two irrevocable and irreplaceable reasons, you’ll reap the internet’s love in no time.
How Can Google Tell If A Business Is Branded Or Not?
Okay. In SEO, you want Google to fall in love with you more than any other site in the world. That’s a surefire way to rank. And just before this section of the article, we mentioned that Google loves brands. Therefore, if A => B => C then A => C which means that if your Website loves Google and Google loves Brands then wouldn’t it be logically justifiable to say that your website should become a brand?
Or more ideally, your whole business becomes the brand, this is exactly what we have done with Tayloright.com
Google can really tell if a website is branded or not. And this time, there is no way to fake it – not that I’m planning to in the first place (don’t drag me into this). However, we can uncover the criteria as to how Google differentiates the branded from the generics.
Luckily, I found just the thing to explain this very simply and it’s all thanks to this helpful chart created by Rand Fishkin of Moz:
As you can see, Google runs a very intensive search on your website’s identity to evaluate whether you’re a branded site or not. If your website can identify with several things listed on the criteria for “branded sites”, then great. If not, then you’ve got your work cut out for you.
What Can I Do to Strengthen My Brand Signals Online?
After assessing the current state of your website based on the given criteria above, you can more or less decipher your business’s standing as a brand. Regardless of what state you’re in, the very fact that you know where you are is a good start. Next, you just have to figure out what to do next – something that we’ll happily assist you with.
The most ideal thing to do is to fill what you lack from the criterion. However, this is not the most feasible option for the majority of online entrepreneurs – physically and financially speaking.
- Can you suddenly hire people?
- Can you immediately launch real-world marketing and advertising campaigns?
- Can you buy or rent out an office at the drop of a hat?
If you said yes to all three, consider yourself lucky. But not everyone lands it big and let’s not even talk about resources. Ugh.
BUT all these setbacks do not mean you should give up all hope in establishing your own brand.
If you can’t do anything about those things at the moment, start with what you can do – ONLINE.
How Can I Start My Brand’s Link Empire?
- Find Your Niche & Secure It
The quickest way to earn some recognition is to make yourself or your website visible in places that count. Get to know your niche and do your research on websites that are highly inquired upon about your niche. Find out if they run online communities, social platforms, or group activities and look for opportunities to get yourself (and your website) inside.
There are around thousands of community-based websites out there that are just waiting to have your profile registered – better grab hold of these opportunities before it’s too late. You can manually register yourself, or ask aid from services like Lock My Brand. Just remember to be niche-specific and set up profiles on websites related to your line of business first!
- Think Social
Let’s face it. The world is now all about social media and everyone who’s anyone have accounts across the biggest and most visited social media websites. Set up your profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, WordPress, Youtube, and even Snapchat if you have the gall to post your doggy poses for Pete’s sake!
Kidding aside, involving yourself through these websites should boost your website’s authority significantly – especially if you take advantage of your individual profiles to link to your website and other profiles. For example, in Facebook, you can always add links to your other profiles and websites in the “About Me” or description section. Plus, you can make this part keyword-rich to increase its chances to rank.
Don’t screw it up by linking out to each and every profile you have (you could have hundreds!), 4 or 5 links including your website should suffice. Shuffle them up and link out to different profiles on different social media websites. For example, on my LinkedIn account, I’ll link to my Website and profiles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Reddit. But on Facebook, I’ll link out to my Website, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube account. It’s simple but it works.
This helps not only in adding exposure to your brand but for increasing your profiles’ Page Authority (PA) as well.
- Divide and Conquer
It’s not really enough to have a horde of accounts spread out in cyberspace; you also have to add some weight to them by “feeding” them enough data regularly to thicken up their feeds which will then eventually lead to higher PA. And when you link Profile 1 to Profile 2 with a significantly positive PA, this also increases Profile 1’s PA.
These cascade of events will make it look like your pages are working together to hold each other up. This works in the same manner blogs link internally; it basically increases authority using the same principle too. If you want to know more about internal linking, here’s a great resource we have on site. Alone they’re good but together, they’re pretty awesome!
- Relevance and Meaning is Key
You can fill up your profile using a variety of ways. Some invest in digital graphics and create or outsource very helpful infographics. Others create PDF content or e-Books to educate viewers. Some create videos, some sponsor live conferences, and a few others constantly flood the public feeds with tweets and posts. But more commonly, websites use blogging as a primary activity to generate content and to get people engaged. According to several studies, blogging positively correlates with higher website activity and ROI’s.
I’ll be pretty blunt with you. You probably wouldn’t be reading this very informative blog article if it weren’t for those studies. However, you can be sure that whatever we deliver isn’t a bunch of fluff but something that actually matters to all people concerned with SEO. This brings me to my point:
CREATE RELEVANT, TIMELY, AND USEFUL CONTENT.
It’s that simple. Make a resource that can be a big help to many and link it out to your profiles for the world to appreciate and learn from. It throws your website out there, you get the perks of internal linking, and you get to contribute to man’s pool of knowledge. It’s an irresistible package if you ask me.
- Become Your Websites’ Biggest Fan
If we are creating useful and relevant resources, then we should be proud of it. Don’t expect your article to get so many backlinks if you can’t even ride it on your other articles internally.
Valuable information cannot be enclosed in one article alone – so try several. Link older resources to newer ones and post them on different accounts. Be careful though, try not to link using keyword match anchor texts, or Google might interpret this as link manipulation. Check how I use internal links in this blog!
What Can I Do To Make My Brand Last?
When you’ve gone this far already, that means you’ve got a couple of things going well for you. We’ve amplified your presence online through setting up various accounts across social media and other community-based platforms – the hardest part is not letting all of your efforts go to waste.
At this point, people may already have formed an idea of what your brand is and how it functions as a business. However your pages, if left unattended, will just dwindle down into the never-ending abyss of the internet along with the forgotten. You’ve already worked yourself hard, so you might as well see it through.
- Keep the Content Rolling
You need to update your profiles regularly. A short, meaningful post, new learning material, posters, videos, articles – it could be anything. What you ultimately want out of this is to simply let people know that you’re active, business is great, and they can tap on you anytime they need it. Mind you, people are quick to forget. Former applications and websites, like MySpace and Friendster, who used to reign the internet scene can definitely attest to that. So if you don’t want your website to end up sleeping with the fishes, urge yourself to keep publishing great content.
- Update Yourself
Aside from updating your profiles with content, it is also important that you keep yourself updated. Continue to educate yourself about new trends, applications, and websites that people are crazy about – and get your brand out there.
For example, Tayloright is a website that specializes in helping educate people about SEO. Every time a new trend or study about an SEO technique comes out, you can expect us to either blog, vlog, or create other forms of content about it (which is likely to happen this year of 2018 so you better watch out for it). In any case, keep your eyes and ears peeled; you’ll never know what comes next until it does.
- Involve and Evolve
The best way to keep the flame burning is to make (relevant) people want to keep talking about you. And you can make this happen either by involving them or by evolving your business.
Involving people means what it means. Get them to be part of your website. Start opinion polls, open forum discussions, or place comment sections in blogs. People remember websites better when they’ve had an engaging experience with it. The same thing goes for your social media profiles.
This guide basically tells you to START introducing your brand online which is by far the cheapest and most practical way possible for start-up businesses. But don’t stop there. If anything, we encourage you to keep going and evolve your business online and offline. When you think you’ve reached a certain amount of influence, and the cash starts coming in, you can try investing to the other factors that Google looks for in a brand and make your business even bigger.
There you have it. At the end of this article you should be able to take with you the following:
- The meaning of brands
- The importance of brands to SEO
- The things you can do to start branding online
- The many ways social media can help you establish your brand and your website
- The things you can do to stop your brand from fading away
SEO and branding come hand-in-hand – never forget that. No matter what business you’re in, it all typically works in the same way. Secure your brand first, then next comes full-blown efforts at SEO.