Although SEO is practically mandatory for any business that wants a successful online presence, many misunderstandings exist about using SEO techniques effectively.
Business owners also often fail to realize the extent to which you can use SEO and how it can help your business grow.
Since at e-Marketing Hacks, we are all about empowering marketers with the best advice and online resources, we decided to shed some light on this topic.
To help you stand out from the competition and get more attention in online spaces, we will cover how to use SEO to improve brand awareness. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a newfound understanding and respect for what SEO can do for your business.
What is SEO?
Before we dive into how you can use SEO to improve brand awareness, let's first cover some basics. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it includes a set of web design techniques and practices intended to help you rank better.
With the proper use of SEO, your website can achieve a good rank on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Therefore, SEO is a way to appeal to Google's algorithm in hopes of ranking above your competition for your chosen keywords (relevant search queries).
While this sounds technical, Google itself never revealed the details of how its algorithm ranks websites.
Instead, they came out with webmaster guidelines and said that you should try to make your website interesting and helpful for users if you want a good rank. Thankfully, many online resources and tools can help you optimize your website.
How SEO Can Help You Attract Customers
However, there is one critical element that business owners and web designers commonly overlook. They get caught up in website metrics and forget the primary purpose of SEO.
All your optimization efforts aim to achieve a high rank on Google's first page. The reward for doing so is an increase in organic traffic to your website.
At the same time, many consider organic traffic a free form of traffic (since that traffic doesn't directly come from your marketing) – but that isn't entirely true.
Performing an SEO audit and optimizing your website requires time and hard work. Sometimes, business owners will even outsource their SEO to a third party.
You could have used the resources you invested in SEO for something else, which means it isn't free. However, SEO can attract paying customers for your business when properly implemented. Therefore, SEO is, in every sense, a marketing tool, and you should treat it as such.
What is Brand Awareness
Business owners often fall flat on their faces when trying to explain and define what a brand is, so let's cover that one as well.
A brand is an intangible business and marketing asset that can be used to differentiate your company and your products from your competitors.
Therefore, just by looking at how we defined brands and SEO, we can see that these concepts go hand in hand and are much more intertwined than most people think.
You can use SEO to create an engaging brand story and make your company a household name that is easy to recognize. Now that we clearly understand what we are talking about, let's see how we can use that knowledge to grow your business.
How to Use SEO to Improve Brand Awareness
Brand awareness represents consumers' familiarity with the aspects and qualities of your brand and your products. For example, would customers be able to pick out and recognize your products from many similar items?
Would the situation change if you removed all the branding from your products? Does the mere mention of your brand lead to assumptions about the quality and value of your products?
These are all critical questions that relate to brand awareness and can influence customer shopping decisions. Of course, there are ways to build awareness for your brand, and SEO can be a vital instrument in achieving this goal.
Here are the best ways to use SEO to improve brand awareness:
Improve Website Performance
If SEO boosts your organic traffic and drives users to your website, you must first ensure that your pages load before users get tired of waiting and leaving.
On average, users rarely wait for a page to load for more than a few seconds. It's up to you to remove any problems that prevent your site from loading and reduce bounce rates.
Bear in mind that SEO offers a wide array of techniques that you can use to speed up your website's load times.
Optimize your images and media files.
Crop and compress images to make them smaller and faster to load. Disable autoplay features for videos, and consider hosting them on other websites like YouTube and only embedding them on your site.
Fix or remove broken links.
Fix or remove broken links. If any pages or images are missing, you should fix those links. Waiting for the server to load a broken link is just a waste of resources and the patience of your website visitors.
Use browser caching
Caching includes locally storing data that might be used again during the same session. This can help you reduce the number of HTTP requests individual users make each time they visit your website.
Get faster hosting
Get faster hosting. Perhaps some of the loading issues are due to limitations set by your hosting provider. Fortunately, there are many website hosting options to choose from, some of which even provide CDN. Distributed networks can further speed up your load time, especially for remote users.
These techniques can allow users to interact with your website meaningfully. Fast load times can also increase the volume of incoming organic traffic since Google will promote faster websites over ones with slow load times. However, your work is far from over.
Create Engaging Content
One of the best ways to improve brand awareness is through content marketing. Of course, SEO has a say in this as well. While you can run content marketing campaigns on social media, we suggest starting with your website.
Social media platforms often restrict how much you can post or how long your posts may be. They also tend to prefer particular forms of content, such as vertical video, which can be very limiting for businesses that don't have dedicated video production employees.
As you grow your business and bring in more talent, you can slowly expand to these forms of content; however, you can achieve plenty with a website blog.
We recommend that you start a blog on your website and use it to grow your audience. One of the main benefits of posting on your website is that you will have complete control of what you post and practically no restrictions.
Your content needs to be informative and engaging and offer genuine value to your website visitors. It would be best if you remember that being overly promotional can alienate your audience.
Feel free to use your content to highlight how your products can help solve problems for your users, but the content itself needs to stand on its own merits.
Of course, you should use SEO guidelines to optimize your content. This includes appropriately structuring your content with headings, subheadings, alt-tags, and meta descriptions.
Have an internal linking structure that helps users navigate your website and leads them to related topics. Include bulleted and numbered lists since Google often uses these as snippets when delivering results.
Find Your Voice
Making technical improvements to your website and content are definitely good ways to get more traffic. However, you will also need to determine what you want to say and how you want your message to come across.
Therefore, it could be time to look at your mission and vision statements for guidance. It's always good to take a refresher course on what your brand is about. But it would be best to remember that brands can shift and evolve over time.
Carefully pinpoint your brand values; if you struggle to pinpoint what your brand stands for, you can always ask your customers.
Perform research on how your audience currently perceives your brand and use that insight to find the right voice for your brand.
Your voice will determine the tone of your customer interactions and how people perceive your articles, social media posts, and public statements. Determine if you want to be warm, friendly, and welcoming or if you want to take a more professional and distanced approach.
Now that you've found the right voice for your company, you should ensure that all your employees use it when addressing customers and website visitors.
Additionally, you need to write all your blog posts to reflect your brand values and your chosen voice. Otherwise, your customer interactions may sound disjointed and chaotic. Instead, you want your brand identity to be instantly recognizable.
However, consistency isn't important only for what you say. It would be best if your entire online presence and the website design took a holistic approach.
This includes using the same color scheme and font across all your business profiles. You can use SEO to improve brand awareness by ensuring you are consistent in your visual style. Create a design bible for your employees, and ensure everyone knows how to use your digital assets.
SEO also takes into account off-page factors such as business listings. You can set up alerts and look at your online mentions.
Check if your NAP (name, address, phone number) information is consistent across all listings. Using different names for your business will only confuse users and make it difficult for them to find you. Google might also drop your rank if your listings are inconsistent.
Interact With Your Audience
A good way to grow your brand is to foster communication with your customers. You can do this on your website, but we suggest having a presence on social media.
Users are more likely to comment and share content on social platforms. Moreover, you can inspire them and be a conversation starter. Pose open-ended questions and build a community around your business profile on social networks.
Give users reasons to share your content and interact with your brand. For example, you can host contests or giveaways.
If many users interact with your profile, your business will most likely appear on their friends' feeds. Repeated exposure will lead to improved brand awareness, and you will also get a boost from the social media algorithm.
While there is a saying that any sort of coverage or exposure is good for your brand, we suggest that you pay close attention to what users say about your business.
Some companies make the mistake of only responding to positive comments and ignoring or deleting the criticism and negative comments. Instead, we suggest that you respond to the negative feedback constructively.
Show your audience that you care about what they are saying and are willing to accept constructive criticism. Do your best to solve any complaints and show users that you are making changes based on their feedback.
Maintaining a positive community around your brand will help you gain the trust of your audience. You will quickly develop loyal fans who will spread positive word of mouth on your behalf. Consider recruiting some of them as brand ambassadors and hiring a community manager to help you improve brand awareness.
Make it Easy for Users to Contact You and Interact With Your Brand
Sometimes, fostering social engagement is easier said than done. Occasionally, customers will need to speak to one of your employees. Have clearly defined customer support channels and make it easy for users to get in touch with your staff.
Unfortunately, some users get disincentivized from completing a form on your website because they are difficult to understand. Thankfully, you can use SEO principles to streamline the forms users have to fill out.
We suggest you rely on proven strategies, such as implementing click-to-call buttons and using CRM to monitor customer interactions. With the use of digital tools, it will be easy to solve any issues your customers may be having.
Utilize Social Proof and User-Created Content
We already mentioned the importance of developing a content marketing strategy. However, creating exciting and engaging content is highly time-consuming.
For this reason, many companies are relying on user-created content. Encourage your customers to take photos with your products or share their personal journey with your company. You can entice users to create content in several ways:
Social media hashtags. Consider running a social media campaign and inviting your users to join by using your branded hashtag.
Develop a custom app. A custom mobile app can offer your users additional features. Currently, apps for photos with AR filters, stickers, and overlays are popular.
Feature content centered on users. Invite your customers to talk about or even write something for your company. Be proud of their successes and share that with the public.
From there, you can run a marketing campaign that features elements of social proof to improve brand awareness.
You can use SEO techniques to optimize your PPC ads and run simple A/B tests to determine the best copy. Remember to feature elements of social proof on your website since it can help you improve your rate of conversions.
Have a Link Building Strategy
Another common SEO strategy is to have a link-building plan to create backlinks on external websites, which can lead users back to you.
Reach out to relevant websites in your field and offer to guest write an article for their blog that includes a link back to your website.
The article you write needs to be optimized and well written and offer readers actionable information regarding the problems your customers commonly face.
If you approach the topic as an expert in your field, many readers will be interested in what else you have to say and will visit your website. This is a great way to boost your reach and improve brand awareness immediately.
Use Local SEO
Most businesses use SEO to reach the widest possible audience, often neglecting to optimize for local searches. However, having strong support from a local base of customers can help secure a stable line of profit and grow your business.
This can be particularly important for service-based companies, and the digital marketing experts from Movers Development suggest creating dedicated landing pages for local searches.
You should also optimize your Google Business account since that can help you appear as part of the map pack on the first page of search results.
Rely on Google's guidelines and use SEO to improve brand awareness with local customers by regularly updating your Business profile.
Have some of the content on your website cover local events and include location-specific keywords to get more users from your area to visit your website. Local reviews are especially crucial if you want to get recommended to local customers. Create a specialized URL for reviews that you can send to customers.
As you can see, there are many ways to build awareness for your brand. Proper optimization for search engines can promote your website to users and help you grow your audience and generate more leads.
Now that we have covered how to use SEO to improve brand awareness, you can determine the best strategy for your business and start making adjustments to your online presence. Continuously monitor the results of the changes you implement to see how well your brand performs.
Meta description: If you want to inform more users about your business and products, here is how to use SEO to improve brand awareness and get more customers.