Cory Schmidt
Cory Schmidt 15 October 2019

Branding and SEO: Get More Search Traffic

How are search engines treating your brand? Are you getting all the visibility you can from search? SEO and branding go hand-in-hand, so here’s a guide to gaining more traffic for your brand.

Branded Search and Intent

When did you last Google search for your brand? I don’t mean with generic terms included – just a search for your brand name. Give it a try. Where do you rank? 

Achieving a high ranking for your brand is more difficult than you may think. This is where a key SEO component plays a major factor: search intent. 

Here’s an example. The CRM brand named “Commence” is quite difficult to rank for. First, the majority of people searching for ‘commence’ are looking for the definition of the word. Judging from the results it’s a strong majority. The search intent of the average searcher is for a definition of the word. Now when you start to get past the dictionaries you see companies named Commence but they are not the CRM tool. The secondary search intent is for companies, unfortunately for Commence (the CRM tool), not its brand.

This is different from Hubspot or Marketo. These terms are not generic at all and no other company shares their names. The search intent for these is for those specific companies.

Now if your company’s brand name is not ranked first, don’t panic – you don’t need to do a full rebrand and change your brand’s name. What you need to do is change the search intent. You need to generate more searches for your brand.

How to Change Search Intent for Your Brand

Changing the search intent is fairly straightforward and takes a bit of effort in marketing activities. What you need to do is generate brand recognition. There are three great ways to do this:

You can do it through demand generation efforts like display, social or video advertisement. Nearly half of ad interactions result in a search (instead of a click). 

It can also be done through PR. If someone sees your brand in a publication they often search for it. Once you build up enough searches for your brand, Google will start placing it in front of other results.

Capture more generic search traffic around your product. Find out what your prospects are searching for before and during their search process. This will result in secondary searches. In fact, about a quarter of generic searches result not in a click but in a secondary search.

Keep your branding consistent by using digital asset management (DAM) software and other brand management tools. The stronger the messaging and visual elements of your brand are, the more you will get searched for.

The Benefits of High Brand Ranking

Getting your brand ranking high on search engines has many benefits but the most impactful is perception. If you rank first for your brand, prospects will raise their perception of you.

Beyond perception is pure traffic. Higher ranked results on average get more traffic. Higher traffic from a branded search means that your prospect didn’t give up on the search. Those non-clicks are probably losses.

The last important benefit is site links. These are the links that appear underneath a search result and generally there are about six of them, depending on the individual search. These help your prospects easily find what they are searching for without having to go through your navigation. It also makes your brand look even stronger

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