The whole point of an advertising campaign is to promote brand values in a way accessible to customers. However, integrating elements of branding with classic SEO carries a lot of hidden challenges that could slow down the process and endanger the outcomes. Each element follows its own set of rules and in certain situations these rules could come into collision, posing a dilemma for those working on the campaign.
Search engine optimization is a value-neutral discipline where numbers are the main driving force. In the process of website optimization, main focus is on integration of popular search words into the contents, providing search algorithms with sufficient reason to rank the website high. Sometimes it is difficult to do this without disrupting natural order of things at the website and with full respect for brand image and company values. This adds some pressure on SEO professionals to pay special attention to particulars of the brand in question when putting together a list of keywords and selecting a broad strategy for improvement of website’s visibility. In effect, the content needs to serve dual purposes and be a meaningful representation of the brand while still retaining structure and style conducive for SEO objectives.
Conversely, branding is a slippery area where identity and image are pursued over the long term. Modern marketing also demands a consistent message to be delivered across all promotional channels, since consumers are exposed to huge amount of information daily and have no capacity to connect separate pieces of the puzzle. That’s why brand-driven marketing insists on regular usage of key elements of the brand (name, logo, tagline) in all outgoing materials. Every mention of the brand name increases the chances that customers will become familiar with the company and its products or services. Smart taglines that succinctly describe product benefits and company values can also be great reminders that inspire customer loyalty, while visual power of the logotype in the marketing domain is unmatched and well-documented.
Despite all this, it would be a mistake to treat company name as the primary keyword for SEO, as this would be an unhealthy mix of two contrasting concepts. Most companies want to attract new customers and there is more than a significant chance that customers looking to find a new provider are searching for generic terms in the related industry, not for particular company names. Other terms may carry much greater SEO value than the brand name, simply because they are more frequently searched. Once the website starts receiving more traffic, the advertiser will have a chance to position the brand in other ways that don’t interfere with SEO activities.
Most companies will have to face the aforementioned conflict sooner or later and it is important to remember there are no universal solutions. Depending on the current position in the market, available budgets and immediate business objectives, each company should rationally assess pros and cons and decide which aspect of the marketing plan should be a priority and which will have to take a back seat for a while.
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