Brand Building Vs SEO – Who Wins?

Where can we draw a line between building a brand and SEO?

Brand building means making your company recognizable in your business industry. 

SEO involves ranking your website on a search engine, mostly, Google.

So, how are these concepts linked?

Well, let us ask ourselves this question.

How can we build a brand that people recognise?

The first thought would be, well, let’s advertise the company. 

Advertise where?

Make videos on YouTube and reach the audience that consumes video content.

Utilise social media and create content that gets shared everywhere.

And then…you might want to rank on Google too, eventually.

Brand building involves deploying multiple marketing channels to reach as many people as possible. And SEO is only one of those marketing channels. 

What’s the share of SEO among all other marketing channels that propel the brand’s image? 

There are certain things we need to consider before we can put our opinion on the above question.

We need to consider things like how much time you want to take for building a brand that at least some fraction of your audience is aware about. 

Things like what are the various ways SEO can help you build a brand and how much impact each one would have.

Let’s talk about these ways first; ways that help SEO influence your brand.

SEO can make your brand visible on Google Search. Anybody searching for a query may end up on your website only when: 

1. Your website is there, ranking on the top position

2. User made a query that’s related to your service/product areas.

This seems to be a great opportunity and a perfect way to create awareness about your business, right? After all billions of searches are made on Google, every second!

Take a step back here and think for a moment.

First off, all the statistics related to Google searches are unimportant to you.

The only thing which matters is how many searches are made in your industry niche. You can use Google Ads’ Keyword Planner to get a rough idea.

If there’s a query that has more than 10K searches per month and you want to rank on that then it’s probably going to take more than a year for your business to rank upfront in Google Search. This is only when we assume that your competitors are sitting and not doing anything at all.

Now you would decide that okay, leave 10K-search keywords for now and focus on lesser ones which have low volume and low competition. 

Here you would rank in a short time (a few months) but then you would have to deal with the problem of Click Through Rate. 

You are not the only one visible to the user, there are others.

And it is reasonable to think that those ranking on high-volume keywords would also rank on low-volume keywords. These businesses are well recognised by the user and would go to them instead of your website.

Even if you manage to rank after hard work and investing a lot of time, the user of the modern age does not care about the source of information but the information itself. A normal user is looking for fast answers to their queries.

This puts us in a condition where there are multiple dimensions to this issue of using SEO for brand building. 

There is nothing that would help you in getting more than 20% of the marketing budget allocated to SEO. 

Here’s the real deal.

SEO can be taken care of by other marketing channels. Build a brand and forget SEO. You would eventually reap the benefits of SEO even if you are not doing it.

This requires some explanation.

To rank  ahead of everyone on Google; There are some core major ranking factors;

  1. Content – Its quality; relatedness to the query made by the user; and proper intent.
  2. High Authority Website – Backlinks to the website, mentions on the web, expert content on the website, etc.

These are two big umbrellas where the results of SEO come from.

The quality of the content is manageable. It’s not something that no one can do. If you can create quality content then so can your competitors.

So, the quality of the content is not something that can give you an edge over your competitors.

What else can you do with the content?

There are only a few things that can help you rank your content.

The content which is shared and linked to. After all, the inlinks to the content is one the most important thing. And let’s agree on this. A well recognised brand’s content is more likely to be shared than you. 

The authoritativeness of the content is also something that can help it rank. So a brand which has mentions all over the web is being talked about, creating content is already associating authoritativeness with it.

Let’s come to the other factor.

Website Authority.

Needless to say, a brand attracts links, mentions, direct visits, and all other things that contribute directly to the website’s authority. 

Do you think SpaceX’s high website authority is because they invested in SEO or link building?

Did they even care about title and meta-descriptions?

By now it should be very clear that the actuall deal is creating a brand that people recognise and SEO can contribute very marginally in brand building; it comes with a lot of problems.

In fact, focusing on building a brand is all you need to succeed and it helps to succeed with SEO as well.

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