Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving field. It is no longer just about content that is enriched with keywords; SEO is moving beyond cheap onsite tricks and involves offsite factors such as retweets and social sharing. To obtain higher search engine rankings, brand signals along with good, sharable, valuable content are key factors. Brand signals indicate a trust quotient; that a website was not merely created for search engine rankings, but sells a product or service that is genuinely being talked about across social platforms. Old school SEO techniques, such as keyword cramming do not provide a user-friendly experience; however, brand signals are indicative of a great UX. And as the parameters for better search engine rankings are changing, brand signals are becoming favoured by search engines.
Often termed as memory triggers, brand signals refer to any substantial reminder such as touch, sight, smell, sound and even action. These signals help the consumer correlate to what a brand represents by conveying a message that helps strengthen the bond between the brand and the consumer. Working on both individual as well as collective levels, these signals create a brand experience along with communicating the direct meaning the brand implies.
Types of Branding Signals for SEO
Some branding signals that contribute towards better search engine optimisation and consequently help expand your web presence are:
- Press Releases
- Blog s
- Social Media
- Link Earning rather than Link Building
Effect of Brand Signals on SEO
Integrated SEO content strategies along with website branding are vital aspects of online marketing. Brand signals have both direct as well as indirect impact on search rankings and there are many ways in which they affect your website’s performance on search engines.
Death of The EMD?
Building a brand will naturally improve search engine rankings; EMDs or exact matching domain names do work in the way they once did as Google want to maintain the integrity of their SERPs and not clutter their index with similar sounding or spam websites. Branding evokes feelings of ‘cool’, community association and belonging to the tribe which are much more helpful creating long term brand advocacy which will generate more links and naturally, increase your website’s presence and rank your website higher.
Informative and in-depth content is a key brand signal that establishes authority of such websites on search engines. Content has always been the key when it comes to SEO and when it is backed by various brand signals, it results in a better UX.
Putting The Personal In Corporate
Brand advocacy signals are social cues and when users are able to see faces behind a corporate identity, confidence in that company increases. Employees working with a brand are now encouraged to join social networking websites, such as Google + to amplify brand presence. Brand signals on the website such as company address, telephone numbers and email address on the contact page illustrate that real people are working for the website. Linking back to Google + accounts with authorship markup also help to increase the power of the brand. Companies are beginning to see the social platform and sharing value in loosening up corporate image, in favour of a more informal, personal, boutique style approach.
Registering with official bodies and organisations, instead of ‘SEO directories’, help a website look a lot better and also offers backlinks that actually work better than those provided by link farms and directories. Such signals help increase the credibility of the website as well as determine which is important for it to show up in search results.
Traditional SEO techniques involve rapid link building for increasing traffic; however, if the content changes or the backlinks increase too often, it looks spammy. Brand signals allow the website content and links to grow strategically and organically. Not only does this ensures better link and content quality but also leads to sustainable and authentic growth.
Building brands is now more affordable, especially when compared to the era of the shop front and traditional marketing outlets like print and TV journalism. To build an online brand, it is not required to implement expensive global marketing efforts and even small companies can create big online brands. Start off niche, build a loyal consumer base who will generate the right brand signals by themselves. This will not only give you better ranking on search engines, but also increase traffic, conversion as well as revenue.
Check out the guest author James Dubarton @ SEO Brighton. James enjoys writing about SEO, Social and Marketing but particularly enjoys promoting SEO services in the Brighton UK area. You can follow him on twitter here.