Creating a brand-focused SEO strategy forces you to rethink everything you thought you knew about audience reach.
In fact, you might already be asking a few questions like:
Where does customer-centricity come in?
Does search intent still play a role?
Do we still factor in competitor analysis?
Here’s the deal. Being brand-focused doesn’t mean that all of the other SEO details go out the window. It just means your brand becomes the center of your SEO strategy. And with that comes a complete mindset shift.
Let’s take a look at how to shift from an external to an internal mindset so you can create a brand-focused SEO strategy in line with your most ambitious goals.
Your Posts Aren't Regular
Let’s start with a point that is rather obvious. If you post articles regularly, people get used to your schedule and keep coming back to you. However, if articles appear from time to time, the audience doesn’t know what to expect from you. And this leads to losing even the most loyal guests.
Another widespread mistake is posting too few, say, one or two articles a month. It’s definitely not enough to attract users. Plus, when there are no systematic updates on site, search engines scan it less often.
1. Have a firm grasp on your brand mission
Think of your brand mission as the driving force behind your SEO strategy.
For instance, if your mission is to heal dry skin with clinically-tested tinctures, then the core of your content will center around helping people find solutions for their dry skin.
If your mission is to help project managers create more efficient project timelines, then your content will focus on showing project managers how to shave unnecessary time off their work.
So, in this step, start by describing your brand mission in detail.
Answer the following questions:
- Who do you help and why?
- What problems do you solve?
- What’s your long-term vision?
- What’s your company mission?
- What are your long-term goals?
Next, review your company values.
- What does integrity mean to me?
- What values do I stand for?
- What values do I want my company to embody?
- How do I want to help people?
Next, take note of the top keywords, topics, and questions related to your brand mission and values.
For instance, let’s go back to the dry skin example.
In this case, you might note the following keywords, topics, and questions:
- Dry skin
- Dry skin tinctures
- Solution for dry skin
- Moisturizer for dry skin
- Top causes of dry skin
- Top solutions for dry skin
- Why is my skin so dry?
- How can I get rid of dry skin?
Next, conduct SEO research to uncover semantic keywords and additional frequently asked questions related to your target keywords. Be sure to jot these down and keep them organized by target keyword.
Next, use your SEO tool to discover which channels and content types are most in-demand in relation to your target keywords. Again, jot these down and keep them organized by keyword.
Once you’re finished, you officially have a list of starting topics, channels, and content types to target. Name this document “Starting SEO topics, channels, and content types for (insert company name here)”.
2. Don’t skimp on the SEO details
SEO details are often overlooked, which is unfortunate because that means passing up on a ton of low-hanging fruit.
An optimized site is crucial for search, so make sure your site’s properly formatted and crawlable by including relevant internal and external links, meta-titles, alt-text, and SEO meta descriptions.
SEO details also include website speed, functionality, and readability for web and mobile devices.
For instance, optimizing your images with Quicktools by Picsart can help make sure your image sizes and file types aren’t slowing down your web speed. And writing your content using the Hemingway App can help make sure your copy is optimized for high readability.
To make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the SEO details available to you, consider hiring an SEO strategist to conduct an SEO health checkup. After the checkup, your SEO strategist should either provide you with an SEO checklist so you can take care of the details yourself, or they should offer to update everything for you.
Another best practice is to conduct an SEO health checkup every month so you can always stay on top of the details.
Here are some other SEO details you don’t want to skip:
- Make sure your social media posts and videos include relevant hashtags
- Embed relevant keywords into your ad copy and landing pages
- Make sure every blog post has a meta-title and meta description
- Make sure all blog post images, infographics, or vector art have alt-titles and alt-texts
- Embed relevant internal links in every blog post
- Include relevant internal links on every web page (double-check how to go about this with your SEO strategist)
3. Answer your audience’s questions
Gordon Meagher, the Head of SEO for Tailor Brands, says an essential part of SEO is answering questions that your potential customers are asking.
Again, this goes back to the importance of being brand-focused. Because you’re not answering any question that pops up in the search engines. You’re answering questions your specific audience would ask. Here’s where that customer-centricity component really comes into play.
Here are some ways to uncover pertinent audience questions:
- Comb through your customer support log to check for commonly asked questions
- Send out an external survey, poll, or questionnaire
- Filter through your customer support emails to check for frequently asked questions
- Use a social listening tool to see what questions your audience has asked about your brand on social media
- Head to Reddit, Quora, and Facebook groups to see if anyone has asked a question about your brand
- Host a live Q&A session via social media and note every user’s questions
After you’ve compiled a list of questions, be sure to add them to your “starting SEO topics, channels, and content types” document. Then, plug these questions into your SEO tool to see which semantic keywords and related questions pop up. Again, be sure to jot these down and keep them organized by target question.
We’ll refer back to this document in the next step.
4. Position yourself as an authority in your niche
Positioning yourself as an authority in your niche is the epitome of brand-focused SEO.
By showing up as an industry leader, you:
- Cultivate trust with key industry players
- Build authority with Google and other search engines
- Become a trusted advisor to your target audience
Take Kudos for example.
Kudos is a rewards solution company that focuses on giving its customers the best rewards options when paying by credit card. Since a major pillar in Kudos’ SEO strategy is creating educational content about credit cards, Kudos has become a trusted source in all things credit card education.
Same thing with revenue operations software brand, Breadcrumbs. Since a key pillar in Breadcrumbs’ SEO strategy is creating informative content about revenue operations, Breadcrumbs has become a trusted source for all things rev-ops.
And your brand can become a trusted source in your niche, too.
So, the next step?
Take your “starting SEO topics, channels, and content types” document from above, and use it to create:
- An indexed blog broken up into cluster topics — for instance, if you own a consultancy firm, then you might have a business cluster, a marketing cluster, and a Customer satisfaction service cluster
- An updated FAQ page that lists and answers your audience’s top questions
- Updated product/service information pages
- A knowledge base broken up into tutorials, how-tos, and video demonstrations
- Thought leadership content to feature on LinkedIn, your blog, and in guest posts
- Case studies to feature on your website and product/service pages
5. Take branding to the next level with multi-channel marketing
SEO isn’t a one-channel approach. To see SEO efforts manifest to their fullest potential, it’s crucial to implement a multi-channel marketing strategy.
In other words, you want to have multiple marketing channels feeding into each other.
For instance, if some of your calls to action at the end of your blog posts invite readers to follow you on Instagram, that’s multi-channel marketing.
If your Instagram profile has a link to your website, that’s multi-channel marketing.
If your webinar host invites attendees to join your email list, that’s multi-channel marketing.
To make the most out of this tip, choose channels that:
- Are in line with your company goals
- Your audience frequents most
You might also want to consider supplementing your team’s marketing efforts with outsourced marketing, such as influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and brand collabs.
Creating a brand-focused SEO strategy requires a complete mindset shift. While customer-centricity, search intent, and competitor analysis will still play a role, your main driver of all things SEO … will be … well … you!
By focusing on your brand mission, low-hanging fruit, answering your audience’s questions, positioning yourself as an authority, and implementing multi-channel marketing, you can achieve even the most ambitious goals with SEO.
And that’s it for today.
Are you gearing up to create your own brand-focused SEO strategy? Feel free to reach out if you need any help! At Pearl Lemon, we specialize in all things SEO. Book a call with us today to learn more about how we can help.