The Correlation Between Brand Awareness & SEO Rankings .

brand-seo-correlation

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!


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Julia Charlton Thumbnail
Julia Charlton
Digital Marketing Account Manager
Julia has over 11 years’ experience in marketing strategy to Sagittarius, having built her career working with a broad range of brands across multiple sectors, including beauty, travel, home and garden, healthcare, public sector, FMCG, electronics and sports/entertainment.
Julia Charlton Thumbnail

Julia Charlton

30 May 2017 - 5 minute read
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