Think LIke a Big Brand for Better SEO

By | September 15, 2019


Hello, this is John Locke from Lockedown Design. And today, I want to talk with you for just
a few minutes about what it means to position yourself as a brand, and why that is so important
for SEO. Many years ago, SEO was much simpler. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, all you
really had to do to rank would be to repeat keywords and build more back links to your
site than your competitors. As we head in to the 2020s, SEO has become
a lot more sophisticated. And one of the things that you have to do
is position yourself as a brand. And what do I mean by that? There are certain characteristics that large
brands have that smaller companies do not. For example, large brands invest in content
strategy. They have content on their site that is aimed
at each stage of the sales cycle. Large brands anticipate the needs of their
customers. Meaning, they answer pre-sales questions,
they have information that is there for you when you’re about to make a buying decision. And they have content that addresses how you
would use their products and services post-sales. In other words, large brands understand how
their customers are finding them, the questions that they have prior to making a purchase,
the objections that their customers would have before making a purchase, and applications
they would want to use their product for. And so, they have content that is built up
around all of these things. And what do I mean by content? I mean, written content, video content, how-to’s
and tutorials, frequently asked questions — it could be podcasts, whitepapers, PDFs. Anything that’s going to answer a question
or address a concern. Another thing that big brands do is they continually
invest in re-improving, not only their website, but all facets of their marketing. The biggest brands on the planet invest in
TV commercials, sponsoring large events, naming stadiums. Perhaps your brand is not at that level yet. Perhaps your brands will never be at that
level. But, you should seek to do things that larger
brands do. Whatever your marketing material is, make
sure that your marketing materials reflect the quality that your represents. Another thing that brands do, is they are
involved in their community. Large brands give back to the communities
that they serve. They sponsor events, they donate to charities. They join their local Chamber of Commerce. They are seen as community leaders who are
visible. Large brands are engaged in certain activities
all the time. They might have a Careers page on their website. They have Privacy statements. They have Terms and Conditions on their website. Large brands have branded email addresses. They do not use Gmail, they don’t use Yahoo,
they don’t use Hotmail. They use a branded domain name email address. Another characteristic of large brands is
they are always seeking positive publicity. Whether that is TV appearances, maybe it’s
a segment on a radio show, on an industry podcast, guest posting on another website. Large brands are also doing things such as
publishing press releases — when they hire key staff. You might see news about a big brand when
they introduce a new product, or if they open a new facility or open a new office. You’re going to see those things both in press
releases and in industry news, maybe your local news, in something like a BizJournal.com. These are characteristics of large companies
that are doing things. And why are all these things important to
SEO? They add up into what we call Brand Signals. Google and other search engines are much more
intelligent about how they assess sites (today). They use human quality search rater guidelines
— they use humans, basically, to evaluate sites. The idea is to make search engines choose
the same things that a human would. The idea is not to trick the search engines
into thinking you’re the best result. The idea is to BE the best result. In order to do that, you must have the depth
of information on your site. You must look like you are competing with
the larger brands in your space. Because the large brands have depth of organization,
content, and of service, they are more likely to be able to serve your customers. So, to compete with them, you have to think
strategically. What things can we win on? How can we be of better service to our customers? Another thing that large brands do is they
anticipate what their customers are looking for when they come to their site. So it’s very important to have a means of
contacting (your company) or anticipating what a customer is going to need when they
come to a particular page on your website. Keywords have intention (behind them). When people type certain phrases into a search
engine, they might have different intentions 9depending on the search phrase). One intention might be an informational search. Another might be a search where they are trying
to buy a product or hire someone to do a service for them. So, understanding the intention behind a certain
search phrase is going to help you craft a better page and a better experience for people
who are coming to your site. All in all, the idea is to punch above your
weight. If you’re trying to compete with larger brands
that are in your industry, or they are in your location, the idea is to be more helpful
to your customers. Think of ways that you can do that through
both information on your site, user experience, and anticipating your customers needs. You also want to also be self-promoting — so
you are trying to grow your business legitimately. And not only be PERCEIVED as a bigger brand,
but to BECOME a bigger brand. If you have any follow-up questions, you can
find me at my website, which is LockedownDesign.com. This is John Locke, signing off.

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