Why Go Generic? Increase Search Results with Branded SEO and SEM

I’d be lying if I said my strengths lied in SEO and SEM. Or at least, I would have a month ago before I attended the Digital Branding Analytics Miami 2019 Conference. At #DBAMiami I learned a year’s worth of search strategy in a single day, and I have already been seeing results on my sites.

One of the tactics I was able to implement, came from Hector Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer of McCann Worldgroup, during his talk “How to Assess A Brand’s Value Using Web Analytics.” Hector discussed the value of prioritizing branded SEO and SEM over generic. For those that might be confused between the two, branded SEO and SEM involve using keywords that have to do with your brand, whereas generic do not. Coca Cola would want to use keywords such as “diet coke flavors” rather than “best diet soda,” although, Coca Cola does have the branding power to show up for both.

So, I did a little more digging on branded searches and came across an article on the Search Engine Journal by Brad Smith, founder of Codeless. In his article “Why Your SEO Focus Should Be Brand Building,” Brad mentions that Google prioritizes brands in their SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) which is why smaller players have to work twice as hard for clicks. Brand recognition is what drives people to click on websites, even if a smaller brand might have better quality content. With newer search features such as featured snippets and knowledge panels, consumers could get answers to their questions without even clicking on a single page (roughly 60% of search results actually result in a click). So, this means that larger companies with seemingly good credibility will eat up clicks before the smaller sites actually do.

So, what can smaller companies do to drive branded traffic and increase their branded SEO and SEM in turn? Well, both Hector and Brad seem to argue that it is all about investing in your brand and its experience. Hector suggests that “to grow the bottom portion [of your marketing funnel], you need to invest in the top.” And although initially, companies do have to invest in generic SEO and SEM, it is only a short-term tactic that is part of the long-term strategy of going to the branded approach. Hector created the following funnel strategy that businesses can use to build quality content that will give consumers perceived value.

Branded SEO and SEM Strategy

From the funnel, it’s clear to see that educating consumers about the type of product and service is the first approach one should take, and then educational material about the brand. Overall, I look forward to continuing to implement this strategy for my company and my freelance clients.

To see more of the amazing tips I learned at DBA Miami 2019, please click here. I promise you won’t regret it.

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