How SEO can shape brand perception in 2021 and beyond

Back in March, Rand Fishkin (a long time SEO thought leader and founder of the industry leading MOZ platform) shared a tweet that couldn’t be more relevant in 2021:

This is a far cry from the strategies that normally come to mind when you think SEO – link-building, keyword rich content, meta data, technical audits, local SEO, etc.

We normally think ‘bottom of the funnel’ when it comes to SEO, actively targeting consumers while they are searching for your products and services. But with an increasingly growing focus on privacy and the impacts on digital marketing, stepping further out of the funnel and focusing on how to build a strong brand positioning is now as imperative as ever.

Brand positioning is all about owning a certain position in consumers’ minds, and this quote from Jeremy Bullmore, WPP, sums it up well:

“Consumers build an image [of a brand] as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon.”
Jeremy Bullmore, WPP

We can look at a consumer’s interaction with a brand in search as a ‘scrap or straw’. Brands need to ensure that their positioning and brand idea is clearly communicated not only in the search results but also on the page they land on when they click through.

Let’s have a look at how we can influence brand perceptions in both search results and on landing pages:

In Search Results

Appearance in rich snippets – This is an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their expertise and thought leadership on certain topics, building credibility in the process.

Google Reviews – Nothing is more important than social proof. Consumers will often read the thoughts and opinions of others before making a purchase or signing a contract.

Page titles and descriptions – The meta data used as the clickable link and text that sits below it. Brands can control what the keyword optimised messaging is here, ensuring consistency with broader market comms.

On the landing page

  • Key messaging – The value proposition needs to be strong to entice users to scroll further and click deeper
  • Page speed – The experience one has on a website can alter their perception of the brand, if pages take forever to load they become frustrated. Not ideal for their opinions of you.
  • Mobile experience – No one likes to pinch and zoom, so if your website sucks on mobile not only will it piss off your customers, but Google simply won’t show it in its results.

An SEO strategy needs to be supported by other brand building activities. As Rand tweeted, being consistently visible with resonant and memorable content will ultimately help brand recall when consumers chance upon your search result, leading to the all important click through. And your website content and experience has to be compelling enough to prevent the need for them to click back to the search results, and choose another brand over yours.

After taking out the title in 2020, Juicebox was recently named a finalist for the Search Engine Optimisation Effectiveness. If you’re keen to talk more about a brand building SEO strategy, get in touch today.

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