In the previous two posts I discussed two of the three difficult digital marketing strategies to wrap your head around:
Today I want to discuss Part Three; Make branding take a back seat to SEO. Often a traditional marketer will make branding the priority. They want a catch phrase or tag line prominently displayed on the website, within blog posts, social media accounts, newsletters, through hashtags, and press releases. When there’s good research behind these tag lines then often there are keywords included in them. But sometimes that tag line is not based on research but rather on a vision, concept, or idea about what it could be. Research including key word research may show you things you should be paying attention to and even focusing on while branding may not directly relate to the business or include key words important to being found.
Let’s be clear, SEO, search engine optimization, is about being found. When you identify your self though branding without an SEO component then the very audience you’re trying to reach won’t be able to find you. SEO is who you are and branding is who you perceive yourself to be.
When we write and publish client content to the internet that content is based in some part on data. One of the biggest questions we get from prospects and clients alike is, “how do you know what to write about?” The answer is research. That research shows us who your competition is, who the leading media outlets and writers are, and what they’re posting. Using this approach we collect key words within all these conversations. The most used words are collected in a ‘word cloud’ and become the basis of the topics we will begin writing about. If everybody is hash tagging a word that doesn’t match the branding statement and we decide to hashtag just the branding statement, then we just ignored the biggest conversations about that industry. We’re not talking about what they’re talking about and therefore we’re not in the conversation.
You can always move the branded statement into the conversation and if the audience picks up on it we are able to move your branded statement into the word cloud and the general discussion about your industry. It will work if it’s on target but only if you’re already in the mix and part of this largest conversation. So you need to start where the conversation is already happening before changing the subject. The other thing that SEO will show you over time is whether your branding is on point. The key here is to always start where the people are and talk about the things they are already talking about. SEO is how you get found. Branding is how you want to present yourself. We think it’s more important to get found and if necessary to adjust the brand until it more closely aligns rather than conflicts with your search engine optimization. Your SEO includes the key words your target audience is already typing in to find groups like yours. You need to be among the choices suggested when those words are being entered into a search query.