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Why is Building Your Brand an SEO Strategy? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric

While ranking high in Google’s result pages will always bring value to your business, sometimes the reputation of the brand matters more to a consumer than only its search result rank. In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark & Eric explain why big brands should focus just as much on brand building as they do on their search engine optimization efforts.

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Eric: The search engine space is more crowded than ever, and it’s being dominated by big brands. If your brand has no reputation, it’s harder than ever to climb to where your potential customers can see you. I’m Eric Enges of Perficient Digital, and in this episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric”, I’ll ask Mark Traphagen to explain why well-known brands dominate search and what you can do to become one of them.
Eric: Mark, a lot of people are noticing that when it comes to searches for commercially important terms, the so-called “money terms”, well-known brands dominate the results. Take a look at this Google Page for a search for camping gear: Cabelas, Walmart, … These are all brands anyone interested in recreational equipment already knows. Is Google giving them preference?
Mark: Well certainly some people think that it must be the case. Some even think there’s a conspiracy by Google. They think these brands must have some secret deal with Google or get ranked because of their Google Ads spend. But there’s a more likely natural explanation: People prefer brands they trust and know, and their actions because of that trust send signals to search engines that result in higher rankings. Rand Fishkin of Moz shared more about how that works in his presentation “Why SEO That Used to Work Fails”, which you can view at the link on your screen.
Eric: I’ll bet having a recognizable brand helps you even if you are further down the search page.
Mark: It certainly can, Eric. Here’s a personal example. Recently I had to order new eyeglasses and I wanted to try getting them online, so I searched for prescription eyeglasses. I was a little wary of buying something online that really had to be exactly right, so who I dealt with was important to me. Now the top result was FramesDirect, but I’ve never heard of them., no thanks, never heard of them either.
But then I spotted the third result, Ray-Ban! Now, Ray-Ban I’ve heard of: they’ve spent years building a reputation of high-quality eyewear, so I clicked that result even though it wasn’t #1. Now brand recognition, trust and reputation trump the SEO authority of the other two sites, so I think many small businesses ought to spend far less time on SEO tricks and a lot more on building the reputation of their brands.
Eric: How can our viewers help build recognition and trust for their brands?
Mark: Well, that’s a big question that could take a book to answer. But let me give three ways you can do that. First, you must have great products and services. Without those, all the fancy marketing and great content in the world won’t build a brand reputation. Second, your site’s content, help, and customer service all have to be top notch.
You need to reduce friction everywhere you can; give visitors something worth talking about and sharing with their friends. And finally, be real and engaged with people, both on and offline. Ignore the cynics; people really do come to like and even love certain brands, the ones they feel care about them and with which they can have some kind of relationship.
Eric: Thanks for those tips, Mark! Today’s episode was taken from Mark’s daily marketing tips podcast: Traphagen’s Takeout Order. To listen and subscribe, go to the link on your screen, and please do join us again for another episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric” as we help you understand the “why” behind the “what” of digital marketing.

Thoughts on “Why is Building Your Brand an SEO Strategy? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric”

  1. This is such an important topic and has been. I have new clients come to me still wanting to adhere to old ways of linking/anchor text; as one example. I have to push many times that they develop more of a branding strategy. It really is a good thing for us SEO guys because it takes more time to develop these types of strategies which translates to longer contracts but I still think there is this mis-conception that it takes shorter but I think that might be stemming from people holding onto the SEO tricks of yesterday.

  2. It’s easy to get hooked on quick fixes (or what appear to be quick fixes!), Jeff. That’s why here at Perficient Digital we spend a lot of time educating new clients up front on our philosophy and approach to comprehensive SEO. Actually, that starts while they are still prospects!

  3. Absolutely important topic and must be followed, if a business wants to get organic traffic in long run. I agree with Jeff. We run PromozSEO, an education company where we educate people on digital marketing and SEO. We used to get lots of corporate learners and individuals who are running their businesses. Most of the time we see that their primary target is to get into the first page/position of Google. Everyone wants that, but the difference is, what’s the strategy behind the optimization. Creating valuable assets for business which are absolutely useful and entertaining to the target audiences, works great. SEO is not a shortcut method to win the game overnight, it’s a long marathon and has to have some strategy and creativity apart from the technical implementations.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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