SEO Is For Tail Chasers. Brand Awareness Is For Pack Leaders
Here's an interesting take on SEO versus branding that's sure to stir debate from guest contributor marketing executive Andy Havard.
Search Engine Optimization has been like a marketing drug over the past few years, with businesses, brands and organisations cramming every resource into climbing up the search engine rankings. In fact SEO isn't so much a marketing drug, as a marketing placebo, and not very good one at that.
Focusing on SEO is a sure-fire way to make your brand disappear. It's little more than a strategy that makes marketing moguls chase their tails around every day in the office. Now brand awareness on the other hand is a marketing strategy that separates the tail chasers from the industry pack leaders and the following article explains why.
SEO Is For Tail Chasers
First of all, marketers need to fully understand the basics of a search engine; a search engine is where Internet users go to find answers to queries. This means that if a user is on a search engine website to begin with, then they aren't aware of the brands, products or services they're looking for.
Therefore, if a user already knew about you to begin with they wouldn't have to go to a search engine to begin with, meaning you could avoid having to duke it out against millions of other global organisations for your keywords and phrases altogether.
Second, if you're in the top three, or perhaps even number one for a search engine query, you're not guaranteed conversions and you are most certainly not guaranteed to stay at number one. In fact, with everyone gunning for that top spot you're going to be putting more resources into staying at the top then you did to get there in the first place. This is because SEO is a race that can never, and won't ever be won.
Thirdly, as a search engine result you're susceptible to search engines weekly algorithm changes, such as the latest introductions of taking into account bounce rates and dwell-time of users on your site. The result of this particular update is that if users are bouncing heavily off your site and not spending much time on it, search engines will begin to diminish your ranking and even block your site results from users, which would render your tireless and costly SEO work completely redundant.
Ultimately the big issue with SEO is that at the end of the day you would love your brand to be a household name, you'd give anything for users to know your organisation before they even think out about visiting a search engine website. Think about your high-street shops, you've never found them through a site like Google, but it's guaranteed that you won't ever forget who they are or what they do.
If this awareness is the want of every business, brand and sector than building strong brand awareness is the only way to do this, not tail chasing SEO. So why spend years of finance and resources into a search engine battle that can't be won, when your primary goal is to build brand awareness?
Let's face it a fantastic brand building campaign financed from the money you'd save not investing in endless SEO strategies will be much more memorable to an audience and much more effective for your brand than a dull, lifeless search result.
Brand Awareness Is For Pack Leaders
The biggest reason why brand awareness is for pack leaders, is because they already know they want their product, brand and services to be fondly drilled into the minds of their audience, and by having such an impact their brand will undoubtedly last forever in every one of their potential consumers minds.
Interestingly the biggest appeal of focusing on brand building right now is because everyone has slapped on their Google blinders and took a hundred doses of search engine tunnel vision. Think about it, if your competitors are focusing on SEO, then chances are they are not focusing on building their brand awareness as effectively or as strongly as they could.
That means your chance to leapfrog your conversion hogging search engine competitors, and reach your ultimate marketing goal is right in front of you. It's worth remembering that because of this ridiculous SEO surge, the competition for building strong brand awareness in niches is actually incredibly small right now.
If you really are determined to undertake an SEO campaign alongside your brand building then this next point is your essential takeaway. What you will notice is through building a strong brand awareness campaign your website will enjoy more traffic, your social networks will grow, your blog posts will gain more interaction and your universal popularity will increase, which will generate back-links to your site and your content. For that incredible reason, you can, almost without trying to, boost your SEO and improve your search engine rankings just through building brand awareness.
By ruling out the need for search engines altogether and instilling your brand and your message within online and offline audiences, you'll never have to battle with tail chasing SEO strategies again. Instead your physical and financial resources will be put to better use and your ultimate goal of having the entire world know your brand will be so much closer.
What do you think? Are you a tail chaser or a pack leader? Have your say below
Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based marketing video production company.