How to Align SEO with Brand Strategies…and Win Over Your Brand Team in the Process

by Posted @ Apr 09 2020

Picture this: you, an SEO professional, have had a eureka moment and have found a golden opportunity to implement some data-led SEO optimizations that will help increase traffic to your site. You’ve checked your target keywords and reworked copy, headers, and title tags, and are ready to go!

But, right as you’re approaching the finish line, your brand team pushes back on your changes because what you’re recommending doesn’t fit in with the brand. 

If this sounds familiar, you may have an SEO and brand alignment issue. 

The misalignment of your brand and SEO strategies can cause several roadblocks on the path to your site’s success and present severe challenges to its growth. Whether its high monthly search volume (MSV) keywords not being targeted, titles and headers not being optimized to their full potential, or copy not matching to user search intent, there are plenty of pitfalls a site can experience.

The good news is that branding and SEO do not have to be conflicting strategies in an organization. If aligned, they can come together to be a powerful force to drive an organization’s brand recognition. 

Below, we’ll talk about a few tactics you can use to bridge your brand and SEO teams’ goals together, as well as how you can win over your brand team and make them SEO converts. 

SEO and Brand Alignment Tactics

1 – Focus On Backlinks

It’s a well-held fact that backlinks are one of the most important factors of a website’s ranking and external brand visibility. To develop a cohesive backlink strategy, you will need to create quality content that will garner attention from outside publications. To do this, first look for topics where your brand can easily establish itself as a thought leader. Then, research queries, issues, and content gaps that exist in your industry where your brand can also provide meaningful insights. 

2 – Open Your Brand Up to Feedback

If your organization’s site doesn’t feature reviews or ratings, it can be a good idea to add them depending on your organization. Positive reviews and ratings are trust signals that can strengthen a brand’s perception if displayed in search results, which benefits click-through rate (CTR). They also open up the possibility of using structured data review markup, which can improve how your site’s search listings are displayed. If you want to appear unbiased, consider featuring your negative reviews as well. Doing this could make your company appear more trustworthy and give it a better chance of ranking for terms like “{Your Company}” reviews (Again, this may not always be the right move depending on your organisation, so do be sure to weigh the pros and cons here!).  

Additionally, your brand team will gain valuable insights into how customers actually view your company. They can then respond directly to these reviews with meaningful content (which is something Google likes to see). 

3 – Spring Clean Your Brand Language

You may have specific branded keywords littered throughout your site, but are users really searching for these? It’s essential that you undergo keyword research to determine what users are searching for in relation to your brand. After all, you could be missing out on traffic if your perception of how users find your company isn’t based in reality. With keyword research, you’ll have a golden opportunity to infuse SEO and optimized brand language into your organization’s marketing efforts, ensuring your content ranks for valuable high-search-volume keywords. 

Winning Over the Brand Team

1 – Listen, Talk Data, Then Listen Again

Every alignment starts with a conversation, and someone has to initiate it – so it may as well be you! Listen to what your brand team is trying to achieve and deliver data-driven examples of how your SEO optimizations can further their goals. If you show the reasoning behind your ideas – as well as how competitors are outranking you – they’re much more likely to be taken into consideration and adopted. Listen to all feedback from the brand team and then try to tailor future SEO ideas around it. 

2 – Be Persistent

If you can show your brand team the value of SEO, and continue to bring ideas to the table that can enhance the brand, you’ll eventually start seeing buy-in. To do this consistently, set up recurring meetings with your brand team, send over frequent updates on SEO wins, and pitch new ideas and opportunities when you see them.

3 – If All Else Fails, Take It to Sales!

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find that your brand team isn’t buying into SEO at all. At times like these, you may need to sit down with your sales team to highlight your ideas and the data that informed them. In most organizations, the bottom line is king, and SEO is proven to drive more leads to your site, which increases sales activity. When you show this data to your sales team, they can easily become your ally. In some cases, they may be able to reaffirm your theories based on their experience with clients. 

If aligned properly, SEO can support an organization’s brand objectives. It’s important to remember, though, that this culture change won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, if you follow these tips and continue to engage with your brand team, you’ll be able to ensure that SEO will move to the forefront of your company’s future brand strategy.

Have you overcome issues aligning SEO with branding in your organization? Leave a comment below as I’d love to hear your strategies!

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1 Comment

  1. Amine Dahimene

    April 14th, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing Alex, This we all been there where a brands campaign doesn’t alignment with SEO. Collaboration is one of them that helps develop a better align the SEO strategy for a branded project.

    Reply

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