As one of New Zealand’s leading SEO agencies, we create SEO strategies for our clients with a primary focus on growing traffic, sales, and revenue from organic search.
We do, however, look beyond organic search and look at the results SEO can deliver across different channels for our clients.
One of these is brand awareness.
Whilst notoriously difficult to measure, brand awareness and SEO are actually more closely linked than you might at first think.
In recent years, increasing brand visibility has become one of our key tactics, if not one of our key objectives, as part of our tailored SEO strategies for clients.
The more people that search for a brand online, the more this can impact click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and customer experience, and help to support the long-term growth of the brand.
In this post, we will take a close look at the impact of SEO on brand visibility and how this can be measured.
How does SEO impact brand visibility?
SEO enhances brand visibility by helping your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When users search for products or services related to your business, a high ranking on SERPs ensures that your brand is noticed by potential customers, thereby increasing its visibility.
Furthermore, SEO techniques such as the use of relevant keywords, meta tags, and high-quality backlinks can significantly improve your brand’s online presence. These techniques ensure that your website appears in relevant search results, thereby reaching a larger audience and increasing brand visibility.
Whilst this relates more to generic target keywords that are highly relevant to your brand, there is a lot more value in ranking for keywords that also include your brand name.
As part of our monthly reporting for clients, not only do we include relevant metrics from GA4 that are mapped against the objectives in our SEO strategy, but we also include data and metrics from Google Search Console (GSC). This is because we believe that there is more value being added by the tactics we are carrying out for SEO than those that we simply report on in GA4 from an organic perspective.
But how do we measure the impact of SEO on brand visibility?
Here are some of the metrics we use:
More brand keyword searches (Google Search Console)
We have recently switched our client reporting from a more traditional PDF format to a real-time Looker Studio report with monthly updates to the commentary.
This reporting format allows our clients to see the performance of their site at any time in the month, not just at the end when we would typically send through the report.
Looker Studio has a number of helpful integrations and alongside GA4, we have started to pull in GSC data. This is because we believe there are valuable insights in the report that relate to SEO.
One of these is the brand vs generic keyword report. This shows a breakdown of the percentage of keywords that include the brand vs those that don’t.
Whilst there are many factors that influence whether people search for a particular brand, SEO undoubtedly plays an important part and through the GSC report, you can set goals as part of your SEO strategy when it comes to increasing the number of branded keywords that drive traffic to a website.
Brand keyword organic click growth (Google Search Console)
Whilst we haven’t been able to see which keywords are driving traffic in Google Analytics for over a decade now, GSC does provide some very useful insights that allow us to traffic both search volume and CTR from branded search.
As you can see from the graph below, one of our clients has seen a strong growth in the CTR from branded search over the past 12 months whilst search volume from branded keywords has remained fairly static across the past year.
This is a great result for us as it showcases that the branded keywords are likely ranking in a higher position in the SERPs which is helping to drive that higher CTR. We know that people visiting a website from a branded search have a much higher intent than those clicking on the site from a generic search as they already have a knowledge of the brand.
Increase in direct website traffic (GA4)
One of the most measurable KPIs when it comes to brand visibility is an increase in direct traffic.
The more people that are aware of your website, the more people directly search for your website. In many cases, this wouldn’t happen without the SEO work that goes on before that direct visit.
A typical journey for a lot of brands is discovery at the top of the funnel – a Google search leads them to a website for the first time where hopefully they get a great user experience and start a journey towards a loyal, brand-aware customer.
The top and middle of your funnel is where a great content strategy comes in. One that targets relevant keywords and allows people to discover your brand for the first time.
Over time, as a visitor becomes more familiar with your website, they no longer go through Google search to find you. Instead, they start to type your website address directly into their search bar and wait for it to auto-complete, sending a direct visitor to your website.
Increased Brand Authority Score (Moz)
If you subscribe to Moz, then there is another key metric you can pull from there that will give you a good indication of your overall brand authority – Brand Authority Score.
This is typically used to help you understand the likelihood that your brand can rank for a specific query or topic based on the existing competition, however, it is also a great way to take a baseline score of your overall brand authority and put in place tactics that can help to increase your overall score.
The tool will also compare your brand authority score to competitors, helping you to understand your overall position in the market and how brand impacts your position.
We use Share of Voice as a way of measuring our client’s position in the market for the generic keywords we are targeting and this is a nice way to get a better understanding of how well the brand is positioned. Using both side by side gives you a really good overall impression of your total strength in your target market.
3 SEO tactics to improve brand keyword visibility
Whilst your website will naturally be optimised for brand keywords, it’s amazing how many websites we see that aren’t doing enough to promote or optimise for their own brand.
Here are three tactics you can focus on to help you grow brand visibility and authority:
1. Optimise Content for Branded Keywords
The first tactic to enhance your brand’s keyword visibility is to optimise your content for branded keywords. It may sound simple but use branded keywords more in the copy on your key pages, especially those that are bottom-of-the-funnel pages like category or product landing pages.
Ideally, you want your brand to be associated with a particular product or service so the more you can talk about your brand and that product or service, the more Google (and visitors) will understand that correlation, and over time, you should become an authority on that topic, providing you deliver an outstanding UX and your product/service delivers.
2. Use Other Channels to Promote Brand
While SEO is a vital component of digital marketing, it’s also important not to disregard the potential of other channels for promoting your brand. Social media, email marketing, guest blogging, and online advertising are all effective ways to boost your brand’s visibility.
Each of these channels allows you to reach out to a different segment of your audience, enabling you to establish a comprehensive and diversified digital presence.
Always link back to your own website where possible, using the brand in any anchor linking text, helping to point some clear signals to users and to Google about what to expect when they follow the link.
3. Integrate Brand in Your Content Strategy
Finally, it’s crucial to integrate your brand into your overall content strategy. This means more than just including your brand’s name or logo in your content. It’s about creating a consistent brand voice and style that permeates all your communication. This helps to reinforce your brand identity and ensures that your audience will immediately recognise your content, no matter where they encounter it.
Create valuable resources that offer value to visitors and that then become associated with your brand. Guides, whitepapers, and information databases are great examples of resources that can be used to get people in at the top and middle of the funnel, helping them to get to know your brand and encouraging them to come back to find out more information as they need it.
At Digital Hothouse, we believe that SEO and brand growth are integral to the overall growth of a business and that is why we factor brand growth into our SEO strategies.
Whilst we may be tasked with growing organic search, sales, and revenue, we always take a more holistic view, looking at all areas of digital marketing as a way to grow our client’s business online.
If you are struggling to grow your brand visibility, talk to us today and find out how SEO can help to grow more than just your organic performance.