Have you ever fallen in love? In love with a brand, that is.
It may seem silly, but think about it: is there a particular brand that makes you feel giddy with excitement over the next product launch? A brand that never fails to leave a smile on your face when you comes across their latest social media post? My guess is that there’s at least one brand that comes to mind. And, for good reason — they’ve worked hard to earn it.
A brand with strong supporters benefits it in many ways. Not only do they have built-in brand advocates but also reap digital benefits. A strong brand is likely to attract links and social shares. These two assets should not be overlooked, as they aid in the overall SEO strength of your website.
Why does SEO matter?
You may ask yourself this question. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of improving the quantity (and also quality) of traffic to your website from organic search results. For many, organic search is the primary way to obtain information – it’s almost instinctual. Have you ever pondered something and immediately thought – ‘let’s Google it?’ The answer is probably yes. With over 3.5 billion searches being conducted every day, the power of organic traffic is a key venue to bring traffic to your website.
There are a number of different tactics to improve your website with SEO in mind that range from the highly technical to the creative, with effort levels ranging from quick and easy to time-consuming and arduous. However, if you have a strong brand, you’re already on your way there – naturally!
Strong Brands Have Strong Social Signals
If you love a brand, you’re more likely to share their content; our digitally focused world makes that easy. Social media platforms have become the stage for individuals to broadcast their thoughts and opinions. Because of this, strong brands, with strong content to boot, will naturally have their content shared through social means. Social media shares send strong social signals that indicate to the search engine that individuals find your content valuable. As a result, an SEO boost is to follow as the search engines strive to return what they consider the best search results for a search query.
Strong Brands Have Natural Links
In addition to social signals, links are a strong ranking indicator. In general, a page with a number of high-quality links will likely rank higher in search results than one that is lacking. This logic behind this is: a page wouldn’t get links if it didn’t deserve it. Right. While only one of over 200+ indicators Google’s algorithm reportingly relies on, it is likely one of the most important. This means you should set your eyes on building links, but only naturally.
In the past, it was fairly common practice to build unnatural, or what we would consider today, spammy links to your website. Website owners would build thousand of links to their site because, as Google indicates, having lots of links improved ranking. However, the resulting links had little to no relevancy to the website’s content. Google quickly caught on to this, and similar tactics, and introduced penalties to websites that tried to manipulate Google search results.
Luckily, a brand with a long line of supporters will have links naturally. These links will be the result of people simply talking about and engaging with your brand. Blogs are a great means to this.
Building a Loyal Community With Your Blog
A blog is a fantastic way to encourage engagement and create a community. A strong blog, filled with shareable content that speaks to your target audiences interests, is likely to gain engagement. Getting to know your audience, their interest, and their needs is the first step toward getting there.
Once you have strong content, encourage engagement within the comments. To do so, consider including a call to action at the end of each post asking readers to share their thoughts on the topic and, don’t forget, always engage back.
If an individual takes the time to interact with your brand, in any way, take the time to engage back. It’s one of the easiest forms of outreach, because you don’t have to make the first move – you’re simply growing a relationship that your visitor already started. It is important to continue to develop these relationships further. By doing so you are creating a strong list of brand advocates that are likely to respond to outreach efforts in the future.
Wait – so this is what SEO is about?
It sure is. There is no be all end all to SEO; no cookie cutter way to guarantee success. However, if you foster a community around your brand that keeps people engaged, excited, and in love with what you have to offer you are on your way to success. Everything else will follow naturally.
Caitlin Boroden is a Digital Marketing Strategist at DragonSearch in New York., a full service digital marketing agency. She loves all things SEO and often be found chatting away about the subject on Reddit and Twitter.