Published: 30 May 2017
Over the years, there has been some debate about whether brand awareness is considered a ranking factor in SEO. Well, whilst it’s not technically part of Google’s ranking algorithm, it’s safe to say that studies are showing a correlation between the two.
So, if it’s not part of the algorithm, why does it impact rankings? Fortunately, there’s a logical answer… or 5!
- Quality Content
Good quality content has become increasingly important to Google, and in order to measure what ‘good quality content’ is, it looks for signals in the engagement metrics – average time on page, pages/session and bounce rate, for example. The more engaged the traffic, the better the content. Makes sense, right? But the fact remains… the bigger the brand, the bigger the marketing budget and, therefore, the better the content.
- Quality links
If you’ve got good content and you are a well-known, well-reputed source, it’s likely you’re attracting a decent amount of natural, high quality links as a happy coincidence. It’s an infuriating case of ‘the rich get richer’, whilst smaller brands work tirelessly to identify and secure a single backlink opportunity… sometimes to absolutely no avail. It’s just another example of what investing in brand awareness will do for you!
- Click Through Rate
CTR is assessed as just one of many ranking factors and, when analysing the results from a search for ‘hotels in Brighton’, I’m far more likely to choose a site that I’m familiar with. That’s probably because I know and trust the brand – after all, they’ve gone to a lot of effort to build a relationship with me over the years through advertising. The more we contribute to the big brands’ click through rates, the higher they continue to climb in the SERPs…
- Paid Advertising
So, naturally, the next one is paid advertising. Love it or hate it, you can’t expect to get your brand in front of the masses without it. There’s no better way of fast-tracking your brand to popular heights! But remember, bigger budgets will buy larger scale campaigns, with higher frequency, better production and, ultimately, heightened recall. So you could say, there is also a correlation between what a brand spends and where it ranks. Controversial?
- Social media
It’s not just broadcast media. A good presence on social media, with a strong, engaged following has its benefits too. I don’t need to point out that most social networks have made it next to impossible to get your posts seen by the masses organically - we all know this by now – which means that only the brands with budget to spend are being seen and engaged with. Google values these social cues and rewards your site with another tick in the box!
So, what does this mean in practice?
The old rules of SEO still apply! Pay attention to best practices and make sure that your website complies. If you want to crack page 1 of Google in a competitive market with big competition, though, silo SEO at your peril.
Whilst brand awareness isn’t technically a ranking factor, it does indirectly influence rankings through a pre-disposition to meet the ranking factors that do count. So create a joined up strategy that invests in brand awareness and SEO simultaneously to unlock further opportunities and become truly competitive in the SERPs.
Check out our other blogs for more SEO tips, from voice search to schema mark up. Have a specific question and want to chat it through with our team of digital marketing experts? Get in touch on 01233 467 800, we’re always happy to lend an ear and our thoughts.