Anyone who has worked for years in the online marketing industry knows that a certain amount of stigma is always there when it comes to Search Engine Optimization or SEO. While it is still a widely popular technique used by digital marketers, it does have some risks attached. Not only can SEO put a site at risk due to a manual penalty, less than perfect SEO practices can end up compromising a brand's reputation.
Running an SEO campaign for an established brand necessitates a clear understanding of SEO practices, what the stigma attached to it is all about and most of all a strong will to go beyond the said stigma and to focus solely on the benefits of SEO.
You may try to change your client's perception about SEO. To achieve that goal, you must understand that changing people's perception requires action; words will not suffice. Simply explaining to the client what SEO is and claiming it is valuable for the brand would do little. The assurance that SEO can be conducted responsibly won't be enough either. You must focus on strategy alignment, seamless allocation of resources as well as a complete demonstration of using SEO for defending and improving the brand’s online reputation.
Conducting SEO for brand protection:
It is an understood fact that there must be an established brand before you can push for its SEO or content marketing, but convincing the client that they need SEO is a mammoth task. Next time, when you present your SEO marketing strategy to your client, make sure to highlight the brand protection benefits that the strategy is going to extend. In fact, brand protection should be among your initial points of discussion.
Take a look at the reasons why SEO is one of the most critical elements of protecting a brand online:
Customers are constantly looking for information regarding business hours, store locations, contact details of various companies, and it is highly likely that they would depend on the data they get from Google. Lack of SEO may compromise accuracy and visibility of a brand. It will inevitably create friction in the customer's experience and may even lead to a negative customer experience. Besides the obvious resultant hit that the brand will have to endure, failing to appear relevant to the customers may expose the brand to a bigger threat.
Affiliate programs do not just work well as a source of revenue but also as an excellent source of awareness. However, they are not exclusively built for one brand. Affiliates receive incentives to drop a cookie for each click. Thus, affiliates know that they have to provide a purchase path to get more traffic. However, less than five percent of the sites operating as affiliates get this point. Thus, SEO teams can work closely with affiliates to regain organic traffic, especially in the cases where affiliate sites are not doing as much as possible to represent the brand properly.
Nowadays, most brands have their own app to enhance customer's shopping experience. However, without SEO, it can be difficult to find the app. The client may even find the app in a search that has little to do with the brand's image or motto. Such an experience will undoubtedly affect the brand adversely.
It is no secret that there are people who would want to capitalize on or harm a brand intentionally. They may use the brand’s domain or a domain close to the brand’s to intercept traffic that was headed to the brand's official website. SEO professionals can collaborate with domain managers to outline the top keywords that are most prone to interception and ensure that traffic leaks do not happen.
Not many are aware that internal search works like external search. One responsibility of SEO teams is to evaluate site search queries and understand what the gaps in expectations are stemming from. Regular internal search analysis can mitigate friction as far as site experience is concerned.
SEO is not all about Google. Yahoo and Bing are used by millions of people around the globe to search for information. In fact, any web page where a user can use a search box or microphone to look for accurate information can be leveraged by SEO. It would be unrealistic to limit a brand's SEO efforts to Google when the cumulative volume of many other search points is much more than Google alone. SEO can leverage multiple brand touch points simultaneously.
It would not be wrong to say that, to a large extent, SEO is accountable for how a brand is faring in the digital space. The sooner a brand's representatives understand SEO's role in defending the brand's reputation online, the faster their belief of ‘SEO is not good for the brand' will disperse.
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