Your brand voice is a key element of your overall brand offering. It’s the way your organisation expresses its messaging in terms of style and tone and should be consistent across every channel, whether on or offline.
As well as your brand voice helping you to stand out from the crowd and resonate with your target audience, it also needs to align with your SEO strategy.
In other words, your brand voice needs to ensure it also incorporates keywords that people are searching for on Google that are most likely to help customers to discover you.
In this post, we are going to be looking at some of the techniques you can deploy in order to develop a brand voice that is aligned with your SEO strategy, helping you to improve engagement and drive more traffic to your website.
Developing your brand voice
Whilst it seems like something fairly straightforward, developing a brand voice is actually much more complicated than it seems. Your brand voice must reflect who you are as a business and ensure it resonates with your target audience.
Don’t try and be something you are not. If you are a professional organisation whose main target audience is older business professionals, don’t try and use language that is more targeted at teens or throw random emojis into your copy. This simply won’t resonate.
Alternatively, if you are targeting a younger audience, try not to be too stale with your content and ensure you keep the tone light, chatty and friendly.
A great way to ensure consistency in your tone once you have decided upon a brand voice is to use Grammarly – a free extension for Chrome which not only checks your grammar on the content you are writing but also checks for consistency of tone, providing you with a sense of how formal your tone is on any given piece of content.
Uncovering your target audience
In order to refine your brand voice and ensure you are targeting the right people with the tone and style, it pays to carry out some detailed analysis of your current audience as well as identifying your ideal target audience.
You can use Google Analytics to uncover demographic information including age, gender and country but it also pays to try and dig deeper and find out as much as you can about your current audience and prospective audience.
For those with bigger budgets, it can be useful to carry out in-depth persona research which can really help to refine your brand voice. Personas help to identify a suite of prospective customers and details the things they enjoy, where they like to shop, what social platforms they use and more. Using all of this information can help you to tailor your brand voice for different groups of people and help you to reach out to these people on the platforms they are using.
It can also help to carry out competitor research which can tell you more about the brand voice of companies competing in your sector. It is likely that you will find some common trends, however, you might also identify a potential gap where your brand voice can offer something different that may appeal to the target audience.
Optimising your brand voice for search
Once you have decided upon the tone and style that is most likely to resonate with your audience, it’s time to make sure people can hear it.
That’s where SEO comes in.
As part of your brand voice guidelines, it’s important to consider not only the tone of voice that will resonate with your target audience but also the keywords they are most likely to use in order to find businesses like yours.
The way people search varies from demographic to demographic. Older people tend to prefer longer-tail search queries whereas younger people take shortcuts to try and get to the information they want faster. Voice search is also now a consideration, and the way people search using voice may be completely different to the way they would type the same search query.
The importance of keyword research
Your brand voice is as much about the words you use as the way you use them.
That’s why keyword research is so important.
Along with your brand name and associated brand terms, you will also incorporate the products you sell or the services you provide. From there, it’s important to identify the keywords that help to define your brand and its USP – the hooks that will draw your customers in.
Once you have defined the keywords that will be pivotal to your brand voice, you need to use these in the most relevant places to help to improve your opportunities to be found. Here are some of the best tactics for pushing out the right keywords and showcasing your brand voice:
Create optimised and catchy page titles
Page titles remain one of the most important SEO elements and these should be the first things you look to optimise and showcase your brand voice.
A title tag is an HTML element that pulls through to the search results pages (SERPs) to tell visitors more about the page they are going to visit.
It’s potentially the first thing a new visitor will see when your site pops up in an online search so it’s important to make a great first impression and create a catchy title that encourages people to click through. This is the moment for your brand voice to shine.
There are plenty of ways to create catchy page titles and it will be important that you choose a format that best showcases your brand voice. From including your brand name to using lists and numbers – you can discover more about title tag best practices in our recent post.
Write a concise and click-enticing meta description
Whilst meta description do not have any direct SEO benefits, they do provide a very good opportunity to promote your page and showcase your brand voice.
The meta description is the small snippet of information that sits directly below the page title in the SERPs.
It should be concise (150-160 characters max) and should also include the keywords you are targeting with the page the visitor will click through to.
Mainly, however, it’s a chance for you to launch a sales pitch into why people should click on your link above the nine other links in the same SERP.
Maximise your H1 tag (or the headline of your page) and your subheadings
Often confused with the page title or title tag, the H1 or headline of your page can be completely different to your page title and this is content that is displayed on the actual page (vs a page title that is only seen in the SERPs).
Once a visitor clicks through to the page, the headline is often the first thing they will see. It needs to support the page title (and quite often will be the same) so that people don’t get frustrated when they have clicked through to read about one thing based on the title in the SERP and then they get something different when they land on the page.
Your headings through the page (H2, H3 etc) should also be used to grab the visitor’s attention and incorporate the keywords you are targeting with the content on the page.
Don’t be spammy – let your brand voice sing
Whilst keywords are undoubtedly important in the main body of the content, it’s important to let your brand voice shine here.
It’s important to incorporate the keywords you have identified in your main body content but don’t try and shoehorn exact phrases into the content. Google is smart enough to understand the context of the content. It’s more important to be authentic and really talk to your audience using natural language.
We often find if we’re writing about a topic, it’s virtually impossible not to include the keywords in the copy we are writing.
Our usual process is to carry out the keyword research which gives us an idea about the key topics we want to include on a page or post. These will usually help us with the structure of the page or post and be included in our headline and headings.
Then, we will simply write the post. No referring back to the research. Just writing the post in the brand voice.
More often than not, when we go back to analyse the post afterwards, the majority of the keywords identified in our research have been included, naturally, in the content. We will review any remaining keywords and if we feel they are important, we may edit the post to include them, however, again, more often than not, this is not necessary.
SEO is the key to getting your brand voice heard
However, you choose to define your brand voice, one thing we know for sure is that SEO is the key to getting that voice heard.
By understanding your customers, both in terms of who they are and what they are searching for, you have a much better chance of your content resonating with them and therefore, of converting them from prospects to customers.
People buy into a brand and a big part of that is the way you talk to them. Keep your brand voice consistent across all platforms and you will soon find you will convert visitors into loyal followers.
Talk to the team today about your SEO and let us help you to find your voice.