It is no secret that the SEO industry has been shifting from a siloed activity into the broader marketing mix as businesses start to understand the financial impact SEO has on its business. Branding in its true essence is the differentiator that will add value to your business’s product or service. This value is added from the perception of your business’s product or service in terms of packaging, reputation, service and its ability to promise to deliver exactly what the customer intends to receive. During the consumer buying process, the business’s presence in the organic search results plays an incredibly important factor to influence the consumer to consider taking action and even advocate for the business online. SEO Agency Digital Next, explains how a business’s appearance in the organic search results impacts the brand perception of a business.

Endorsement

In order to appear at the top of the organic search results on Google, the website needs to receive links from other authoritative websites. These links act as votes for the website’s content. Simply put, if the product or service is being presented by Google higher up the search engine results, the website is essentially receiving an endorsement from Google. Google is saying to the web user “I am showing you this product or service because I trust that other people online believe in this product or service too!”

Impressions

Branding impressions are important to initiate brand recall with web users. While this can be achieved with paid search and display advertising, the web user often favours the impressions from Google’s organic search results. Web users that are presented with first page listings often associate the website as being more trustworthy, thus encouraging the web user to take action. When SEO is done well on a website, the impressions can span over hundreds or even thousands of keywords, improving the brand awareness of the website to prospective customers. For website’s that don’t appear on organic search results (or on page 2 and beyond), it is unlikely that they will receive any impressions that will enhance their brand’s value. The fewer impressions, the fewer customers that leads to fewer sales.

Consumer journey

For businesses to successfully sell their product or service, they must be able to persuade the consumer to give them their business. The SEO result impacts the brand of a business when the consumer is seeking out information on organic search results. If the brand doesn’t appear for their branded products, it deters the credibility and can incentivise the consumer to look elsewhere. Additionally, the title and description that appears on the organic search results can incentivise or deter the consumer to take action. There needs to be a balance between the SEO technical implementation and the value-addition to the brand. Partnering with an SEO agency that understands the balance of both is critical.

Competitor benchmarking

Improving the organic search positions can enhance the brand perception against the competition. Businesses such as Amazon and Ebay became powerhouse brands by ousting the online presence of established offline brands simply by ranking ahead of them on Google. As a result, they were able to capture more revenue than the rest of the competition on the first page. The position on first page matters! Gaining the top spot reinforces your brand leadership in the space and will gain your website the benefits of more web traffic, leads, impressions and advocacy. Additionally, the more keywords that the website appears for ahead of the competition, the more share of voice they maintain in the space. If prospects keep on researching to find different results, only to be presented with your results every time, it reinforces the credibility and trust that your website and business has to offer.

SEO is part of the bricks of success when building the marketing mix of your business to forge a brand presence. The perception of your brand is enhanced by a strong SEO presence complementing the consumer journey of your prospect. Mould your SEO strategy into your golden brick to foster an iconic web brand that will generate trust, credibility, advocacy, leads and sales for your business.