how great branding helps SEO

How Awesome Branding Enhances SEO

We know SEO brings many benefits. Part of the reason SEO is so beneficial to your website is that it is related to so many other facets of digital marketing, including branding. But did you know that great branding helps your SEO? Just like on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO, branding also figures into Google’s criteria in ranking well on search engine results. Focusing your branding on aspects like your brand following, brand recognition, and brand identity can directly figure into SEO success. How can you leverage branding for SEO success? We can explore that – but first, let’s review what makes great branding.

What Makes Great Branding:

For any good marketing strategy, the base of it is branding. The power of presenting a strong brand through an integrated marketing strategy should not be overlooked! Below are the factors of what makes great branding, according to Douglas Spencer:

  • Consistent messaging across all forms of representation from the logo to printed materials use in ads
  • Has a clear identity a positive emotional response from your audience
  • Credibility
  • Reflects your corporate culture, mission, and values
  • Encourage customer loyalty through recognition

How A Great Branding Strategy Helps SEO:

In marketing, it’s always encouraged to know how your brand is perceived. Those who search for a specific service or product online, companies with better brand perception and awareness will often see better results in organic search. In this regard, SEO is no different from Email Marketing, Paid Search or any other marketing channel.

Here are the benefits that great branding can bring for organic search:

Higher Amount of Branded Searches

This one may seem obvious, but it’s actually something that can be very useful. The users typing in your company name into Google are much more likely to engage with your site and purchase something. Google wants to show great results in search engines, and a high number of branded searches helps determine sites that are worthy.

Increased Click-through Rates

Great branding can increase click-through rates in searches on keywords you want your site to appear on. Search engine results with unique titles and meta descriptions that fit your brand and appeal to your audience are more likely to be clicked on over other listings that do not have as good branding.

More Engaged Users

When users are more engaged with your website, it can lead to better SEO results like keyword rankings – particularly if that user engagement ends in a conversion – whether it’s a form fill or something else. In terms of tangible numbers, these are things like time on site, bounce rate, pages per session – even the number of conversions on your website! Yes, these are all things Google takes into account in its algorithm and having a great brand helps!

Better Link Building Prospects

For bloggers and influencers that are familiar with your brand may find your brand more desirable to work with, and making getting backlinks to your site more likely. Even if they do not know your brand, good branding can still attract bloggers and influencers to work with you to increase exposure and get backlinks to your website.

Greater Content Amplification

If you have large social media following that is engaging with content, you’ll see an increase in the amplification of content. Concerning SEO, this can also increase the likelihood of someone linking to your content.

The takeaway is – your brand matters! So in addition to SEO, be sure to work on your brand and take the necessary steps to improve your brand presence.

5 Google Chrome Plug-Ins Making SEO Faster, Better, Stronger

In a world powered by software, apps, and programs, SEO is an industry that is no different. SEO Chrome plug-ins can help improve your  SEO for both pros and beginners alike. Not only are Chrome plug-ins time-savers, but they are super helpful in presenting the data needed to move forward with SEO projects and campaigns. Here are my 5 SEO Google chrome plug-ins you should have installed, and how you can use them to improve your results.

 

Moz Bar

Type of SEO: Off-Page SEO

Key Attribute: Identifying Link Building Prospects

MozBar is a free Chrome plugin that provides on-page access to Moz’s link metrics and site analysis tools. It measures the domain authority of websites on a search engine result or when on a website. In terms of seeing real results for your SEO campaigns, Moz bar can best be utilized to measure the domain authority for websites you may want to reach out to for a link building campaign.

 

SEOquake

Type of SEO: On-Page SEO

Key Attribute: Finding keyword density

SEOquake is a free plugin that provides key SEO metrics, along with other useful tools for SEO Audits and research. SEOquake scans a website and gives you technical issues that should be fixed. It also provides page-level data, like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, as well as keyword density of a page.

 

SERP Trends

Type of SEO: On-Page SEO

Key Attribute: Keyword Tracking 

SERP trends is a free Chrome extension that helps analyze keywords. It is a free alternative to using keyword tracking tools that would otherwise cost you hundreds of dollars per month. It can help you analyze which websites are ranking higher or lower on keywords over time.

 

Redirect Path

Type of SEO: Technical SEO

Key Attribute: Finding Status Code Errors (301s, 302s, 404s)

Redirect Path flags any status code errors for 301, 302, 404 and 500 HTTP status codes on a webpage. It also detects client-side redirects like Meta and Javascript redirects, bringing potential issues that may not otherwise be seen to your attention immediately.

 

Email Hunter

Type of SEO: Off-Page SEO

Key Attribute: Finding Contact Info for Email Outreach

Hunter makes it quick & easy for you to immediately find who to contact when you visit a website. Hunter can be used to speed up your link prospecting and outreach process. In addition to finding email addresses, you also can get the names, job titles, and phone numbers, all of which can help increase your success in getting backlinks.

Start-Ups & SEO: Basic SEO Startups Should Know

Startups have a lot of things to worry about and let’s be honest, SEO isn’t always going to be one of them. But, having an SEO game-plan that fits into your growth strategy is crucial to many start-ups long-term success online. Whether you are working with an SEO consultant, or want to try to take a crack at SEO internally, here are some areas you’ll want to know in order to improve your site’s organic search performance.
 

How to do Keyword Research (the Start-Up edition)

Keyword research is the fundamental part of how customers can find you through organic search. What are the searches that a user is going to type in to find your product or service online? It should be a combination of transactional and informational keywords. For revolutionary, new-to-market business ideas, keep in mind there will be no searches for what you call your product, but instead, users will type informational searches about the problem that your business solves.

 

When to Use 301 Redirects

Using 301 redirects are a good solution for a few instances. It’s encouraged to use 301 redirects in most cases of duplicate content. They are also necessary to use for 404 errors on the website. 404 errors are dangerous because they offer a poor experience for users, but they also have negative SEO implications that 301 redirects can solve. By implementing a 301 redirect to the next most relevant page to what the 404-page content contained, you solve both problems.

 

Blogging & Content

Content should be an essential part of your SEO game plan. In addition to educating your audience, blogging has two main benefits. The first is to target informational searches. The second being improving your website’s domain authority. To improve your domain authority through content, you will need to promote content beyond your brand following and reach out to other publications to get them to link to your content.

 

Have a PR Strategy that Supports SEO

Being able to leverage PR with an SEO strategy will help you grow your site’s domain authority. Make sure your PR and SEO on the page! When PR contacts get links, it’s important to check to see what the domain authority of the linking website is, and also what page on your site the backlink points to you (quick tip, instead of the homepage, get the backlink that leads to a product or service page!).

 

Does your startup practice all (or some) of these SEO strategies? I’d love to hear about it! Email me at fishmandigitalconsulting [at] gmail.com.

Quick-Win Link Building Strategies

Now more than ever, backlinks play a major role in how Google evaluates and ranks your website, and in all probability, will continue to play a big role moving forward. Admittedly, Link building is one of the most difficult parts of SEO and often takes a lot of time. Here are some quick-win link building strategies to follow that will not eat up much of your time.

But First, (A Refresher) What Are “Backlinks”, And Why Do I Care?

Backlinks are external links from other websites that point to your website. From a search engine’s perspective, these links are seen as “votes of confidence” that your website is a trusted, authoritative site.

Not all backlinks are created the same. Backlinks from credible, more established websites are more important to your site’s organic search success than a website that has no backlinks and low domain authority. So, remember to link wisely!
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Proven Quick-Win Link Building Strategies (That Work)

Now that we have reviewed what backlinks are and how they can affect organic search performance, here are some quick-win link building strategies to consider. These strategies are designed to get you backlinks with the least amount of time put forth.

Fixing Broken Links:

An easy win for your website is to fix external broken links. Broken backlinks happen when you send users to a 404 error on your site. It’s an easy place to start because you have direct control over getting a link. The easy fix is to redirect the 404 error to what is considered the most relevant page. However, it’s worth reaching out to websites that have a link to the 404 page and have them update the link on their website.
Estimated time per link: 0.5-1 hour per link
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Unlinked Brand Mentions:

Similar to fixing broken links, you’ll have to identify which sites mention your brand and then find the webmaster email address to ask to link. Although you can use simple Google searches to do this, tools like SEMrush’s brand mentions feature can help speed this process up.
Estimated time per link: 1-2 hours per link
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Niche Directories:

Some may think that this tactic is outdated, but there are still plenty of directories that offer a lot of value to people. Directories don’t necessarily have to be a website; they can also be one webpage of brands or companies listed on a site. Look for directories by niche, industry, or geographic area – the deeper you research, the more you’ll likely find suitable for your business.
Estimated time per link: 2-3 hours per link
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Round-ups:

Round-ups are pieces of content in which you feature multiple expert’s opinions in your niche. From a linking perspective, the more experts you feature, the better the chance of getting a link to your website. There are a few drawbacks to round-ups. One, there’s no guarantee experts featured will site your roundup with a link to your website, and two, in order to be effective, they take a long time to create & publish. Because of those reasons, you could obtain multiple links, or you could come up empty. This why the estimated time to get a link varies.
Estimated time per link: 4-8 hours per link
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Guest Posting:

Contrary to popular belief, guest posting still works! With guest posting, the time incurred comes with finding opportunities to write for other websites or publications and then writing the article. It can take a long time to do, but the results of getting a backlink are almost guaranteed.
Estimated time to get a link: 5-6 hours per link

How Online Communities Fit Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Creating a marketing plan can be an exhaustive process. There are so many channels and platforms to advertise on to reach your target audience. You’re often tasked with deciding where to spend your time, energy, money. Perhaps what is most overlooked is reaching your target audience through online communities.

Online communities are becoming more prominent in a user’s purchasing behavior. Users will often leverage online communities to seek the opinions and experiences of other community members before committing to spending their money on a product or service. Online communities are a prime example of word-of-mouth marketing and present a huge opportunity for many small businesses. Here are some thoughts on how businesses can use online communities.

Why Online Communities Work:

Why are online communities so useful in a marketing strategy? One word: credibility. Users in a community are bonded together through a commonality. In life, not everyone’s opinion is weighed the same. You’ll value the opinions of family and friends and family before anyone else. But for product or service that family and friends don’t know much about, that opens up the idea of getting advice elsewhere, and many people turn to communities. These people are seen as more credible than the average person. And if you have community members vouching for your business, your business becomes more credible.

 

The 411 on Online Communities:

As a business owner or marketer, you should join these communities to monitor what goes on and seek opportunities to participate in posts. Before joining communities, it’s important to understand how these communities function.

  • Types of Online Communities: Online communities can take on many forms, including websites, blogs, forums, social media groups, hashtags and more. Online communities span across many topics, interests or bonds: they can be about a geographic location, hobby, or just a group of friends, family or peers.
  • Private vs. Public Communities: Some online communities are public, and some are private. For private communities, you may be required to answer a few questions about why you should be part of the online community.
  • Public Admins & Rules: There are public admins that patrol the community. Public admins will set rules to abide by, which often include a rule about posts solely for advertising and publicity for businesses. Be sure to read these rules once you are a member – if you break them, you will risk being kicked out of the group by the admin.

 

How to Leverage Online Communities as a Business:

We know the importance of online communities, and the role they can play in a purchasing behavior. To understand how to leverage online communities as marketers, let’s dive into how online communities affect purchase behavior. Quite simply, people just want answers. Some will ask for advice, while others will ask for recommendations. In both cases, a community member is asking for answers from other members.

Example 1: A real-life example is when someone asks for a recommendation on the best kid-friendly nail salon to take her daughter to for her birthday in the town’s unofficial Facebook group.

 

 

Example 2: When someone recently joins the Reddit group r/woodworking and asks for a recommendation on the best wood finish for heavy resin pine, another member of the community answers and cites a blog post on the topic, created by a woodworking e-commerce company that he has purchased from multiple times, and saw this article shared by another friend on Facebook a week ago.


At this point, you’re hoping that your company is top of mind for the members looking to answer the question asked. Whether or not that happens depends on if community members have interacted with your brand and the level of satisfaction with that interaction. The strongest interactions for your brand come from positive purchasing experiences. These customers will likely vouch for your business in online communities.

Online Communities & Post-Purchase Marketing

To get success from online communities, a good post-purchase marketing strategy must be present. Marketing is not done after a purchase is made, and online communities are a great example of this. If you’re familiar with HubSpot’s inbound methodology, “customer delight” is the term used to turn purchasers into brand promoters. You want to establish brand loyalty, by offering customers value after a purchase.

To build brand loyalty, two marketing channels to focus on are social media and email. Your ideal brand promoters are likely following and engaging with your company on social media and subscribing to your emails. Using these two channels, you can offer value to your current customers to keep them engaged, and promote your content – think newsletters, blog posts, referral programs, discounts, contests, giveaways, and community events. For current customers aren’t following your social channels or subscribing to your emails, the quality of your content or offer should give them a good reason to.

When executed well, post-purchase marketing keeps your business top-of-mind for customers. When your customers turn to promoters, they will freely share positive opinions about your business in online communities. Identify your promoters, make sure they are engaged, and be aware of the online communities they participate in.

Does your business see success from online communities? Drop me a line – I’d love to hear about it!