Traditional online marketing has evolved even further today, with brands looking for new ways to navigate the internet and succeed. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Social Media both have become vital ingredients for a brand’s online success, and if used correctly together can be an important partnership.
At the root of branding is having a solid, marketable product, one that is easily recommendable from one person to another. SEO and Social Media can achieve this goal. Using SEO, a brand can increase its online presence, but linking in with social media can also increase a brand’s reputation
The importance of SEO in branding
According to Wikipedia,SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in search engine’s natural or unpaid search results.” It is widely known that if your website doesn’t show up on the first or second page of a Google search result you will have very little traffic on your site. Hence, why SEO has fast become one of the most important aspects of a brand’s online marketing strategy. Recently, changes to Google’s search algorithm have forced online marketer’s to adopt new strategies with regards to search engine optimisation. Whereas traditionally SEO relied heavily on linking and keywords, with perhaps less focus on content, this approach is no longer good enough. The content has to be interesting, relevant, up to date and of a high quality. For a brand, it is no longer enough to try to keep their high-ranking up artificially through content tricks and random, excessive linking. Not only because Google itself has become advanced enough to recognize these strategies and penalize those that adopt them, but in equal measure because a brand’s consumers are more discerning. Today’s online marketers have to generate original content to build a brand’s supporters. Most importantly, they have to create a user experience that is going to make potential customers come back to that website or webpage, and want to share that experience with other users (via likes, shares,tweets,links etc).
The significance of Social Media for a brand
Enter Social Media. Social Media is defined as “the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.” Social Media enables users to create and share content. The prime examples of this being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, and YouTube. This user-generated content is the key to social networking. Social media is an incredibly effective way of establishing a brand. It doesn’t necessarily cost anything from the outset and has the power to reach thousands and even hundreds of thousands of potential subscribers. One of the most incredible things that social media can do for a brand is to offer that brand transparency. Transparency means that consumers want their brands to be real people, not just big logos. Social media open this dialogue, and allows consumers to communicate directly, whether just to feel like the CEO is a real person, or to make sure accountability. The other important aspect of social media is that it allows a brand to create a relationship with consumers through more entertaining ways such as creative apps, fun videos, sweepstakes, polls etc.
A marriage made in Google Heaven?
A marriage between SEO and social media can be an important partnership for a brand if done correctly. The new SEO is much more about the user experience first, then linkable assets (such as articles of interest, videos, free learning tools, polls, and apps), which in turn promote link building between sites and raising the search ranking of a given brand’s website. After that the key is to create user activity via social networking, such as Facebook (shares and likes), Twitter(tweets and retweets). Not only does this mean more traffic to a brand’s site (building more brand awareness) but equally a more organic growth, coming from the users themselves and not an advertising agency. This partnership can certainly make a brand appear more trustworthy and the product more likely to succeed.
Getting it right is very important for a brand, but if they can do it the results using a combination of social media and SEO can be phenomenal. Success in online marketing relies firstly upon creating and promoting a strong brand, and then further expanding this online. Most brands today have a social media presence, but it takes skill to use it correctly. In order to do this, online marketers should use this partnership between social media and SEO to create quality content which encourages users to engage with and promote the brand.