Once clouded in mystery, search engine optimization (SEO) has been debunked, making it easy for anyone to build an online presence through the search engines. However, it has also only been in recent years that brand building and SEO have become aligned. Today we will take a look at how you can use SEO to build an online brand and excel in your industry.
1. Focus On Your Niche And Make It Easier To Do Well
Of course, giving yourself too much to do, or too many areas to focus on will dilute your efforts, and your results. Using content to build your leadership position or expertise, is one of the fastest ways to accelerate your brand building efforts. Why is this? Well, according to a Moz.com article,
Proving your field expertise in one or two areas of your industry can be a strong unique selling point (USP) for your brand. It’s easier to expand and delve into the deeper and more competitive parts of your industry once you’ve already established yourself as an expert in your chosen field. Obviously, search engines favor brands known to be experts in their respective fields.
And it is also important to remember that the way to build your brand is through quality and not quantity. Use great, well written content to show everyone that you are an industry leader.
In days gone by, or the earlier days of SEO, most website owners and marketers used a very generic approach to gathering keyword data. Thanks to the plethora of algorithm updates that have recently swept the web though, semantic search terms are now of utmost important.
So what is semantic search? Well, it is the way people would actually use a term, based on the intent of what they are looking for. Google’s Adwords platform can help you out for free, if you are a Google Advertiser, and provide you with the relevant synonyms that people are searching for online.
The other way to obtain this data, is through your own market knowledge. If you do not work full-time for the company for which you are optimizing a website, then you should think about interviewing the front-line sales people in the company to find out more about their target audience. Maybe your keyword plan does not incorporate industry jargon or technical keywords that are being searched for. Or conversely, maybe you are not being colloquial enough with your keyword reach and omitting the layman from your efforts.
3. Build A Specific Audience With On-Target Content
Based on your in-depth understanding of who you will be talking to, you can create a content strategy that not only attracts the search engines, but also speaks directly to your people. As this article on entrepreneur.com points out,
Creating content without understanding your audience is a complete waste of “time and money. Companies with a website-content strategy designed around their audience’s preferences are nearly twice as likely to convert as those without. Further, 73 percent of online buyers get frustrated when website content appears to have nothing to do with them.
Sure, it may make sense to post a piece of content because it will attract search engine attention, but is it enough to stop that traffic from bouncing once it reaches your website? Look at your content from a high level point of view of the entire buying cycle. Make sure it is strong enough to make the entire journey and convert that click into a paying customer, otherwise it is just a waste of time.