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Branding: The Next Frontier For Online Marketing?

Search strategist Jason Acidre presents a strong theory for the future of search engine optimization in his recently published article, “Branding in SEO-The Big Shift in Online Marketing.”

He predicts that business branding “is one of the biggest factors that search engines might rely on when it comes to determining authenticity for web authority/popularity.”

Online branding strategies like link building to sites oft-visited by targeted markets, guest blogging, press releases, infographics, and “rich media content,” can “exemplify expertise and authority in any industry,” and can effectively project a business brand on the World Wide Web.

Notice a trend in these suggestions? Strong branding requires strong content.

Techniques like keyword stuffing, title tags, and meta description, have been sloughed off in the wake of content-mania, while search engine algorithm changes, have demanded that businesses increase their fresh, relevant online content for better page rankings. With improved content one could assume that company “voices” or brands have become more strongly defined.

Branding as the next frontier? It makes sense.

Acidre speculates that search engines are capable of using brand-based metrics to assess authority and relevance, and could be looking for elements such as backlinking, “brand mentions from social networks,” the number of search queries for the brand, and “the amount of brand-anchored text links directing to the site.”

Basically, getting your business’ content distributed to as many relevant websites, social platform pages, and online writers as possible will increase brand recognition and better your chances of getting on that coveted first page.

Of course, no reputable website or industry blogger will allow your business’ content to grace their page unless it’s useful. An effective content distribution campaign will require strong content that others want to share or reference.

If your business’ content is being referenced again and again on multiple platforms across the web, the “brand” of the content could gain authority.

Again, this suggests that branding for SEO should logically become the next step in increasing relevant content online and appeasing Google’s demands for providing the best resources in its search queries. Strong brand presence could direct Google to the sites that dependably publish useful content.

Though Acidre’s theory remains a theory (for now), the core of effective branding for SEO (content), is relevant to today’s search algorithms.

Prepare your business for a possible shift in SEO strategy with these content-focused tips:

  • Update your company blog weekly with tips and ideas that are relevant to your business market.
  • Consider investing in conducting industry-specific research that could be published under your business name for free distribution online.
  • Get familiar with other online players in your industry; blogs, forums, competitors’ sites, academic reference tools. Contribute to the conversations that invariably follow articles and media postings in the “Comments” section. Keep the dialogue intelligent, and always sign off with your company name and link to its homepage.
  • Build a company voice on social media platforms, by sharing content found through your industry-specific browsing, as well as your own.

Constant content and conversation updates will increase your brand presence, indicating to Google and to potential clients that your business possesses authority. Dependable content highlights a dependable go-to resource, and that is one direction in SEO that will not die anytime soon.

What do you think? Is business branding the way forward for SEO? Are you considering increasing content focus for your website?

Acidre, Jason. “Branding in SEO-The Big Shift in Online Marketing.” 3 October 2011.

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