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Brand Your Competitors Into Irrelevance

Nov 4, 2009 / by Nathan Blair

brandWe, in the SEO business, usually tell our clients that a good website is made up of two things: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page refers to your titles, descriptions, and so on. Off-page refers to how many links point to you, engagement in social media, and so forth. We can get your site some awesome results by working in these two areas. But there is another area that depends more upon you. It is an area that will make the work we do 100 times more effective.

We count on you to establish a magnetic brand and deliver killer content.

My purpose is to help you understand how a site with great branding will kill the competition every time. I am only partly referring to your logo by itself – the logo is an important component of your brand but is not everything. Your brand is defined by how well you can engage a viewer. It is what they remember about your site that keeps them coming back for more. It’s the experience you offer your viewers.

Think about three websites that really resonate with you. Why do you like them so much? Why do you keep going back? What have they ever done for you? I am willing to bet that your favorite sites really take some time writing content you enjoy. They spend hours on the layout of the site so you will have an easier time finding what you are looking for. They almost always have employed a designer who can create pretty things. Lots of attention is paid to what the customer expects, and not so much what the company’s chief thinks is best.

Now think about your site. What have you consciously done to make viewers remember you? What is that one thing viewers just rave about that keeps them coming back? Is it your unparalleled return policy? Is it your wicked awesome graphics? Is it your uncanny humor? Don’t forget that it’s not what YOU think is your site’s best quality. It’s what customers say is the best quality. What you think doesn’t matter much.

Here’s an easier way to break it down in your mind. Ask yourself these four classic branding questions, and be honest:

1. Does my brand excel at delivering benefits my customers truly desire?

  • You first have to know what your customers truly desire.

2. Is my brand relevant?

  • You must understand current trends to see how you stack up.

3. Is my brand consistent?

  • Your brand experience should never fail deliver on its promises.

4. Do I understand what my brand means to my customers?

  • This is so important! If you don’t understand this, you are the chicken, and you have no head.

I mentioned earlier that a site with a great brand will do better than its competitors. I hope it is now easy to see why. The branded site not only looks better, it also understands you. It gives you something exciting to read, then allows you to interact and share. It delivers great customers service and doesn’t annoy with advertisements for Viagra. Why? Because it’s all about bringing you back again.

Now is the time for a serious introspective examination into your branding strategy. We understand that you want to get to the top in the search engines. We’ll work our rear ends off to get you there. But you want a great site. You don’t just want the number one position; you want to kill number two. With our SEO skills and your commitment to a customer-oriented branding strategy, together we will be unstoppable.

Topics: SEO branding Site Content strategy

Nathan Blair

Written by Nathan Blair

Nathan is a former SEO Manager at SEO.com. In addition to search engine marketing, his interests include design, technology, international adoption, and diabetes awareness. He earned his MBA with a marketing emphasis from Westminster College. Nathan lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife and two children.

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