Using SEO to boost your brand awareness may not seem like an easy task, but it is essential.
A strong SEO strategy distinguishes your brand as trustworthy in the eyes of Google and other search engines – but how and why does that matter?
It takes an average of five to seven impressions before a person will remember your brand so a keen attention to SEO is critical.
It’s Google’s job to answer every query with the most accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information possible. First-page SERP rankings don’t happen overnight because Google needs to spend some time getting to know your brand so it can be sure you’re credible and trustworthy before it will feel comfortable presenting your pages as solutions to its users.
That’s why consistent and attentive SEO is the best way to help Google learn about your brand, your website content, and the type of information you provide.
Think of it this way. You aren’t just trying to please Google – you’re trying to curate a comprehensive and consistent online brand presence. When you achieve that, Google will help get your content in front of the right audiences in the right places.
But building a reputation takes time and involves much more than ranking for relevant keywords. It may seem impossible, but it can be done. Here’s how to do it with SEO.
What is Brand Awareness and Why is It Important to Prioritize SEO?
Before people can trust your brand enough to spend money with you, they need to learn who you are so they can familiarize themselves with your company. Familiarity naturally breeds trust. By using SEO to increase your brand’s overall visibility, this, in turn, builds foundational trust in your brand simply by making users aware you exist. That’s why SEO is so important for brand awareness.
Consistency is key. We don’t trust people who say something different or speak in a different tone every time we speak to them. The same is true of brands. By presenting your brand in a consistent manner across all platforms, research shows you can increase revenue by 23%.
Imagine a scenario in which you’re getting dressed for your first day of work at a new job. You buy a new Italian suit, get it dry cleaned, and iron it. You take every step to ensure you present yourself perfectly. You speak eloquently and pay close attention to every detail.
On your second day, you show up in jeans and a t-shirt. However, you still use the same eloquent speech and attentiveness you brought the first day. The following day, you wear your fine suit again but change your language to an extremely casual tone.
It’s safe to say that your new boss and coworkers wouldn’t trust you after the third day. You’d have to work much harder to appear credible among your new team. Not only did you likely fail to “read the room” by both over and underdressing for work, but your personality and work ethic would appear unstable.
This is how you appear to Google and its users when you fail to invest in a consistent SEO strategy for brand awareness.
9 Ways to Boost Brand Awareness and Credibility with SEO
1. Focus on Keywords and Content in Your Niche
To rank in search results, you need to publish pages and posts that contain expert-level, authoritative, and trustworthy content – also known as EAT.
You can’t be an expert in everything. If someone has built their brand around their expertise in scuba diving, it would be odd for them to suddenly begin blogging about industrial farming. Their trustworthiness, authority, and credibility among both topics would diminish.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on targeting relevant keywords in your niche. You can branch out a bit, where relevant, but every piece of content you publish should tie into your main niche somehow. This allows you to prove yourself to Google time and time again.
Once you do that, you’ll build a consistent digital presence for all keywords that relate to your niche, like REI has done for all-things outdoors:
Keep your content educational, new, high-quality, and to the point for users. This will help you start building trust and gain the brand awareness you deserve.
2. Include Graphics and Multimedia in Your Content
Do you notice anything special about those REI screenshots? They contain written content, videos, and images to promote multifaceted brand recall.
By including multimedia in your website content, you can optimize each piece of multimedia for your target keywords as well. This increases your chances of ranking in search results for images, videos, shopping, and more.
Multimedia also gives you a chance to showcase your brand’s:
- Unique voice through video scripts and image text
- Colors in the form of text overlays or filters
- Logo in the corner as a watermark
- Values and culture in the content itself
All of those factors are invaluable for solidifying brand recognition after you’ve established brand awareness, earning long-term trust and credibility for your brand.
3. Build Quality Backlinks from Relevant Sources
There’s a major downside to increased visibility. Building online authority and brand awareness almost inevitably leads to receiving a higher number of toxic backlinks. Backlinks are “toxic” when they come from low-authority no-name domains, spammy websites, backlink farming websites, or websites that have nothing to do with your brand’s niche.
To get rid of toxic backlinks and the damage they cause your SEO, you need to disavow each of them individually in Google’s tool. This is a time consuming process for high-traffic websites so don’t hesitate to reach out for help from Sure Oak if you need it.
You’ll also need to accrue high-quality backlinks from credible domains. Authoritative backlinks are essential for impressing search engines because they show that your content is trustworthy enough to share. Search engines reward websites if they have backlinks that are genuinely helpful and not misleading.
According to Ahrefs, 66.31% of pages do not have a single backlink and 26.29% have links from three websites or less. The more quality backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google. In other words, a link to your site from a credible source acts as a vote of confidence, and search engines reward that vote.
4. Regularly Optimize and Tweak Your Product Pages
Holding onto SERP rankings will only become more critical as you rank for more competitive keywords. Dropping one or two spots for a valuable keyword phrase can significantly impact leads and sales.
Nowhere is this more true than your product pages. As trends change, people tend to change how they search for specific types of products. Likewise, constant updates to Google’s algorithm change which brands and products are displayed at the top of traditional text SERPs and shopping pages.
Regardless of whether you run an e-commerce website or not, it’s smart to routinely audit and update your product and service pages. This ensures that you’re always targeting the most relevant keywords for your niche that your audience is actually typing into Google.
As a bonus, it will also give you a chance to check for emerging competitors so you can stay one-step ahead and avoid getting caught off guard when they overtake you in the SERPs.
5. Add Schema Markup to Your Website Code
As one of the more technical yet front-facing aspects of SEO, Schema – also called structured data – is often overlooked by many brands that could stand to benefit from it tremendously.
While keywords and subheadings tell Google what your content is about, schema tells Google what kind of content it is. In turn, this dictates how your content appears in search results. For example, schema can personalize your appearance in the search results for pages that include content such as:
- Software applications
- Contact information
Note how the schema for the Salesforce app includes a star-rating along with data on the number of votes, price, operating system, and category:
6. Target the Right Queries in PPC Ads
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the best ways to boost brand awareness in tandem with organic SEO. It takes time to earn Google’s trust before you can even begin earning the trust of your target audience.
When done properly, PPC gives you an opportunity to “line jump.” In other words, even if people don’t click on your paid ads, they’ll still see your brand’s name at the top of their search results, over and over again. This gives users a chance to learn who your brand is and what you’re about, regardless of whether they click the ad and buy immediately or not.
To use PPC in tandem with organic SEO for brand awareness and brand recall, it’s best to create a well-rounded keyword strategy so you can appear at the top of the search results for every relevant keyword in your niche. Always make sure your PPC ad copy mentions your brand front-and-center.
For example, when we search “buy coffee online,” we can instantly learn more about each of these three brands and how they’re different from one another without even visiting their website – all thanks to their PPC ads.
The first brand, iHerb, is a broader health food shop, Boca Java Coffee provides “roast to order” products, and Nostalgia Coffee connects customers with local coffee farmers.
Now, if we see content from these brands further down in the organic results or on another platform, we will instantly know who they are and what makes them unique.
7. Publish Content Across Pseudo-Search Engines
You might not call platforms like Google Maps, YouTube, or TripAdvisor search engines, but that’s exactly how most people use them. That’s why it’s important to put effort into your local SEO and presence across multiple platforms if you want to increase brand awareness online.
Reviews are probably the best place to begin improving your SEO in this regard. According to Statista, 78% of people say they trust online reviews, especially if there are multiple customer reviews to read.
Search engines also care about reviews because customers care about reviews. For that reason, it’s important to build up your brand’s reviews across websites and platforms. As the amount of reviews increases, search engines will start to notice that people really like your brand and they’ll reward you with higher SERP rankings as well.
8. Reevaluate Your Web Design and User Experience
As you slowly earn more traffic and brand awareness from SEO, this translates into more engagement in the form of reviews, mentions on social media, and even inclusions in listicle-style articles — e.g., buyer’s guides.
If your website doesn’t deliver a great user experience, your potential customers will run for the back button. Additionally, you’ll need to provide a positive on-site experience, considering accessibility, privacy, and security, as Google openly prioritizes sites that offer an excellent User Experience as part of their Core Web Vitals.
Ideally, your website should:
- Load quickly
- Have a responsive design
- Not include any horizontal scroll
- Prioritize space between anything clickable or tappable
- Opt for a nice contrast and text size for readability
Many aspects of Google’s Core Web Vitals and UX are highly technical, requiring detailed code tweaks or large-scale design adjustments. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Sure Oak so we can take a look.
9. Keep an Eye Out for New Ways to Reach Your Audience
Voice search, videos, books, images, snippets, questions, augmented reality – every day, new routes emerge for you to reach your audience with targeted content.
For brand awareness, keep an eye on new search features so you can learn how your target audience interacts with them (if at all) and how your brand can use them to boost visibility through an SEO strategy.
Kick Your SEO and Brand Awareness Up a Notch with Sure Oak
Maintaining your website’s reputation will become more complex as your business grows. Not only that, but as your online brand awareness and visibility grow, your susceptibility to scrutiny will increase.
That’s why it’s essential to partner with an agency that understands every aspect of SEO — keyword rankings, backlinks, user experience, thought leadership, content strategy, technical SEO, and more — so you can maintain long-term credibility and reach your goals.
Get your free SEO strategy review from Sure Oak now.