For site owners and newbies
It’s great if you already have a beautiful and functional website, but if you don’t pay attention to SEO, you will use its potential by a maximum of 50%. This is a big oversight in terms of branding.
In this article, we will explain why search engine optimization should be part of a company’s development strategy and how branded traffic can become your competitive advantage.
Why search engine optimization is needed and where does branding come in?
Branding is the process of developing, developing and promoting a brand, that is, a holistic image of a company (the way customers see and perceive it). Think of Ferrari – bright and fast cars for a luxurious life. Or Raffaello – the most romantic of sweets. It is this perception that is the personification of the brand.
Branding includes a whole range of actions: from naming, developing a corporate identity and pumping the founder’s personal brand to creating a website and using search advertising in promoting a company.
But how do you get people to search for your brand name? How to bypass competitors on Google and Yandex? How to drive more converting traffic to your website? There is only one answer to these questions – to develop a brand and engage in search engine optimization, in particular, work on brand traffic.
SEO goals within branding
Search engine optimization is a way to make yourself known to potential customers who are really interested in buying a particular product. After going to the website of your company, the buyer can find out everything he needs and decide to order. Therefore, it is important that you are in the top 10 search results for relevant queries. If you are on the second or third page in the search results, consider that you are not.
SEO is actively used by representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. So they manage to attract customers and spend less than on advertising (one advertising post from a blogger can cost more than the services of an SEO specialist for 2-3 months). Optimization is carried out based on the semantic core, a list of the most effective queries that are already targeted and selling.
Search engine optimization, as a rule, is used to attract traffic, increase sales, and with it, profits. However, SEO is not limited to these goals. It is also a tool for increasing company awareness and image, building loyalty. After all, if a person found your brand in the search, this is already a plus to loyalty.
Why Brand Traffic Can Become Your Competitive Advantage
Branded traffic – referrals for key queries, including the name of the company. For example:
- showroom Luxury Life;
- educational platform LinguaLeo;
- branding agency ENDY.
Such requests rarely have a high frequency (we do not take into account world market leaders), but the very fact of their appearance suggests that your company is already fixed in the minds of people as a brand.
What brand traffic gives:
- optimization of behavioral factors on the site (duration of sessions, number of viewed pages, bounce rate) due to a motivated audience;
- top positions of a “vital” site, regardless of the modernization of Yandex or Google algorithms;
- high CTR (click-through rate of pages in search);
- referrals of loyal and “warm” potential customers who are ready to buy (which means a high conversion rate).
It is useless to wait for such transitions to appear on their own. You need to work on branded traffic purposefully by attracting people to the site and telling about yourself outside of it. For this you need:
- create a strong brand and develop it offline and online;
- broadcast the benefits and values of the brand at all available points of contact with customers in order to build a pool of loyal audience;
- use display, contextual and targeted advertising (always be on the radar, increase brand awareness);
- engage in internal and external content marketing.
Before creating a brand, you need to decide on your strength – the benefits that you give to the consumer. Further, on the basis of each point of contact, you need to convey this benefit, building a strong, coherent image that will ultimately carry value.
For example, you have an online ukulele store called Sounds of Hawaii. Your strength can be the fastest delivery day to day in Moscow and the Moscow region (functional benefit) or unique wood, actually brought from Hawaii, which speaks of the authenticity of the instrument (emotional advantage). And you must convey this power through social media, retail locations, email newsletters, advertising.
It is important to include the personal brand of the founder or charismatic representative in the development of the company’s image. The explanation is simple: people are more interested in following people. The brighter and clearer your brand is, the more people talk about it, the more it will be “Google”.
In addition to the obvious use of advertising to increase company awareness, you can also pay for contextual advertising specifically for brand queries. This has 2 advantages at once:
- attack… Attracting as many clicks as possible on brand queries (increasing brand traffic);
- protection… Pushing back competitors who are using your brand to promote themselves.
Yes, all your money, time and effort invested in brand development can be used by competitors. Many of them may pay for context to display their own site in search results when they are asked for your company name. Thus, you lose some of the people who purposefully searched for your site.
One way to combat this is to buy brand context. Then, when you search for “Sounds of Hawaii Ukulele Store”, your site will definitely be ranked higher than competitive offers.
Content marketing works equally well as a PR tool and as a tool for search engine optimization. Interesting and useful articles show your expertise, increase the level of trust in you, as well as collect clicks on information requests, build up the base of natural links, and optimize behavioral factors.
Your online ukulele store “Sounds of Hawaii” does not provide room for maneuver for purely commercial requests. But you can drive traffic through general information on the topic.
Step 1. Start a corporate blog, publish interesting voluminous articles in it, based on your products. For example, “Top 5 Ukulele Songs That Will Conquer Any Girl.” Yes, the conversion rate will be lower compared to commercial queries, but it will help to increase the reach of the brand.
It is not a fact that people will buy a ukulele right away, but they will surely remember you. Believe me, this really gives good results:
Example blog statistics ENDY
Step 2. The created content should be distributed in all possible sources: in the company’s accounts on social networks, thematic VKontakte publics, threads on Reddit, information guides on the topic (for example, in Yandex.Cue), popular resources in your area (for example, tj.ru). This can be called external content marketing.
The mailing list shows itself well in this respect. It is enough to recruit the first hundred people to the subscriber base to start sending letters and communicating with the audience. Share links to your materials in letters, and if they turn out to be interesting, people will definitely go to your site.
Why is this done? Brand development, active posting and interaction with different points of contact with the audience is a way to tell potential buyers about yourself and be remembered by them, as well as a tool to increase loyalty for the current base. At the same time, your brand is rooted in the minds of people who will subsequently search on Google for a particular ukulele store “Sounds of Hawaii”, and not just a “ukulele store”. And with this you can bypass your competitors.
In the dry residue
Working with branded traffic, like all working with SEO, is about looking ahead. The potential return from this tool is worth all the effort invested, since it affects the growth of brand awareness, leads to more conversion traffic (people are obviously more inclined to buy when visiting a specific site), reduces sensitivity to changes in search engine algorithms and becomes your advantage over competitors.