Search Engine Optimization is a popular phrase that has been tossed around a good amount over the last decade or so. Ever since Google and other search engines started to utilize more comprehensive analytics for determining search engine results, website owners and marketing agencies have looked for ways to boost their search engine rankings. For the majority of SEO’s history, the optimization process has been used specifically for climbing up a search engine’s result ladder. However, a savvy Web designer understands the ability to not only boost engine results, but also build brand authority at the same time. It takes some specific techniques to pull it off, but by taking advantage of several modern SEO tools and methods, it is possible to build a company’s brand authority while making the website more attractive to search engines.
Everyone Needs to E-A-T
Before diving into specific methods of modern SEO, it is important to understand what Google, the largest search engine in the world, now primarily looks for when ranking pages. Recently, the search engine giant released a quality guide, illustrating how a website can boost its rankings (without going into analytical specifics). The three points Google uses within the guide to help boost a website’s ranking is to demonstrate Expertise, be Authoritative and be Trustworthy (or E-A-T). Gone are the days where quantity matters over quality. So, instead of focusing on continually pumping out marginal content with little to no value simply to boost search engine rankings, it is far more beneficial to create quality, authoritative content. By focusing on expertise and authoritative content, proving trustworthy will eventually come as consumers return to the creator of the content. So, with that in mind, every other point regarding the usage of modern SEO to build brand authority needs to utilize Google’s EAT instructions.
Blogging is a Must
In order to build brand authority, a company needs to demonstrate its knowledge and skill. One of the best ways to do this is through blogging. Blogging allows a company to write about a given topic, provide helpful information and showcase its talents, all at the same time. Blogging also stands as an effective search engine optimization tactic. By keeping a regular blog, additional pages are scanned by search engines, which increases the possible ways a searcher may discover the website. It also ensures search engines continually crawl the website. If a website is not frequently updated, search engines reduce crawl frequency, which in turn impacts the overall ranking of the site. By taking advantage of this modern SEO tactic, any website owner, company owner or admin will both build brand authority while improving the site’s search rankings.
Target the Industry
Blogging stands as a must, but it is vital for the content to center on industry related topics. It doesn’t do much good for an HVAC company to blog about pet care. Even if the information provided is insightful and helpful, it does not demonstrate industry specific knowledge. Those reading the content will not return to the company for HVAC services. The only way blogging works as a tool for building brand authority is if the written content focuses on the specific industry.
In order to boost SEO and build brand authority, the blog must utilize a handful of specific tactics. First, the blog must follow a regular release schedule. Whether the blog posts new updates twice a week, weekly or bi-weekly, there must be some sort of schedule behind it. Random posts do little in way of increasing search engine crawl frequency. Following a schedule also makes it easier for readers to subscribe to the blog and to know when new updates come out. Visitors are more likely to subscribe and follow the blog if they see regular posts.
Another blogging specific all website creators and business owners should follow revolves around topic format. Writing about the company’s industry is one thing. Making it interesting, insightful and helpful is another. Helpful how-to articles are extremely popular, beneficial and demonstrate a company’s knowledge on the given topic. Readers initially come to a blog for either news or instructions. How-to articles are helpful in that if a reader finds the material helpful in solving their own problem or answering their own question, they in turn become more likely to return to the blog and visit the website for potential services. Due to this, writing instructional how-to articles should function as a major writing point for the blog.
Take Advantage of Video
Behind Google, YouTube stands as the second most used search engine on the planet. The video sharing service provider makes it possible for entertainment consumers to enter in a search request and locate dozens, if not thousands, of potential matches. With the continued boost of online video views, a company needs to take advantage and begin producing its own video content. The only way to have material listed directly on the second largest search engine is to actively post videos. Without produced video content, a company risks losing traffic, not only for inbound visitors directed through the video, but the company also risks its ability to boost brand authority.
Much like blog posts, Internet users search videos for material on how to perform a specific task, product reviews and information. Creating insightful, helpful videos can boost visitor retention and expand a company’s outreach potential. Well-produced content will demonstrate a company’s knowledge on the subject and keep a viewer coming back for more insights through additional videos.
There are a handful of video opportunities available for companies, each of which can help build brand authority through modern SEO. The first is embedding the created video onto the company website (typically by uploading it to YouTube and then embedding the link into the page so the video plays natively on the website). With video content on a website, the company now appears in video searches on search engines and on YouTube. In addition, created video is effectively shared to social media services, such as Facebook and shorter versions to Twitter and Instagram. By utilizing all of these sharing services, the company increases exposure, builds brand authority and improves search engine optimization.
Creating video content to boost SEO and build brand authority works in a similar manor to blogging. There needs to be a regular schedule for posting content. Information should revolve around industry specific topics, and it should provide helpful information a potential client may find useful.
Tactful Link Building
In order to determine the value of a website and the information it provides, search engines take into consideration dozens of analytical points of interest. One point of interest is the number of links sending traffic to the website (this does not include links placed on social media services). The directing link must come from another authoritative service. This can be anything from a news organization to another blog or professional website. When a search engine such as Google or Bing sees more inbound links sending traffic to a given page, it takes notice as it illustrates the usefulness of the page (search engines do an exceptional job now at identifying quality links and inferior links used simply to boost link numbers and, in turn, does not count these). By taking advantage of tactful link building, a website can boost its SEO. It can also build brand authority.
The way a website builds brand authority through link building is simple. The website with the outbound link itself is authoritative. If a news organization provides a link to a company website, the journalistic nature of the originating site indicates the company website has important, valuable information for the reading audience (otherwise the journalistic website would not include the link). Other authoritative blogs work in the same way. So, having another authoritative website post links to the company site builds the brand while boosting SEO.
The big trick here is creating these beneficial links. Due to search engines now having the ability to determine the quality of a link, trading links or creating secondary landing pages and blogs to boost link numbers does not work (and may end in search engines dropping a website ranking because of it). Thankfully, there are a few options for building these beneficial links.
The first is to simply provide quality content all the time. If the blogs and video posts are insightful, helpful and demonstrates a level of expertise on the subject, other blogs and news outlets will want to link to the quality content.
The second option is to guest post and collaborate. With a guest blog post, a company will create a special post for another blog’s page. An example of this is a home audio/video installation service writes a guest post for a retail company on how to configure and setup a home entertainment system. While the initial traffic goes to the blog, the provided link will send additional traffic to the writer’s page. It also helps build a new audience while boosting SEO at the same time. The guest post also helps demonstrate brand authority.
Keywords make the Internet world go round. Strong performing keywords help boost exposure and connect with potential customers. Keyword research has long been a part in this. Looking over how specific keywords perform in search engines makes it possible to alter and edit the utilized words and phrases used on a website. However, modern SEO allows a website to go a step further. Keyword research now makes it possible to focus a company’s brand identity. This will build brand authority, simply by editing the keywords of a given post.
For starters, the keyword research needs to focus on a very narrow niche. The more specific the keywords are based on the business and industry, the better the website will rank in the given industry field. Plus, by narrowing down on a specific niche, it allows the company to target its expertise with customers looking for information on the given field.
By targeting the narrow niche within an industry, it cuts out a lot of the fat. The narrowed down industry specific keywords remove search engine competition that may focus on other sectors of the industry. It makes it easier for an interested customer to come across the company’s website and blog posts, which in turn allows the company to flex its authoritative muscle. Some website take the wrong approach at attempting to use generalized keywords and phrases in order to appear in more search results. The problem here is, outside of a handful of especially popular websites, the tactic doesn’t work, as there simply are too many competitive websites out there. Focused keyword research on the niche industry ensures improved performance and a boost in brand authority at the same time.
ALT Image Branding Tags
The purpose of creating a brand logo is to build brand awareness. When an image is posted to a website, search engines will crawl it, just like text, and list it in search results. However, without proper tagging, a search engine may not know the context of the image. Image search is a valuable opportunity for boosting SEO and connecting with additional online users. Due to this, whenever an image is uploaded to a company site, it needs to receive an optimized ALT tag. This includes brand logo images. There are a few ways to ensure an image is properly crawled and cataloged by search engines. The first is to save the image using the brand name. The second is to insert the ALT tag into the coding of the website with relation to the image (most website building programs now allow designers to simply type in the tags and image “keywords” without editing the website code). With the importance of images and media in building brand authority and boosting SEO, this is an easy step far too many websites fail to take advantage of.
Boosting a website’s search engine performance is imperative to growing traffic and identifying new leads and potential customers. Properly executed search engine optimization has this potential. However, with the right utilized tactics, modern SEO can also build brand authority by demonstrating a company’s knowledgebase. By following through with these different tips, any company, regardless of industry, size or how long it has existed, can both see a rise in search engine ranking while developing an authoritative voice, all at the same time.