As search engines become more intelligent and evolve their search algorithms, there has been a marked shift toward well-branded companies taking up the top spots. There is an emphasis on E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. How Google uses metrics to determine a strong online brand identity is somewhat shrouded in mystery. However, our Detroit SEO company has been in the business long enough to know what works. And while a lot of people are still focusing on just SEO to help build rankings, there is a large piece of the puzzle that needs to be addressed: online branding.
Just going through the motions to optimize a website is no longer enough to compete for search engine rankings. But knowing what SEO is and how it works is an important foundation for building an online identity or brand. Simply put, just having a website with keywords isn’t enough. But using the leverage of the website and taking it off-site (to social media, blogs, etc.) is what builds a strong online presence and gets noticed by search engines.
As an expert in your own field, you have the unique opportunity to disseminate information across the web. The key term that is thrown around in the industry is “thought leader.” Be the expert in your field of work, and share your knowledge. How you do this is the important part.
Content, content, content. Your first and most important step is to build content on your website. Are you a cupcake baker in Detroit? Then write a page about how to make perfectly puffy pink frosting. Own a cleaning company in Lansing? Write about the best wood polish like your grandmother used to use. Talk about who you are, what you do, where you do it, when it’s done, how it’s done best, and why everyone needs to hire you to do it. Give away industry secrets. (Really… go ahead!!) Share your wealth of knowledge.
Once you start creating content that is interesting and informative at the same time, you need to share it. Short of finding the highest rooftop in the city and letting 10,000 flyers take to the skies with the wind, find out where your audience is online and “hand” them a pamphlet. If you have a visual business, go find friends on Pinterest. If it was 2012 and your customer base was tweens, you’d have been on Facebook. But the tweens have moved on and now Facebook is your bread and butter for the 30-somethings and their parents. Start blogs. Blogger.com is free and is a Google product. If you can create videos, YouTube is also free. A great place for customers to write those rave reviews about your perfectly puffy pink cupcakes is on your Google+ page, connected to your local map listing. (All of this FREE stuff, right at your fingertips!)
Your goal is to get people to take your knowledge, your content, and start talking about it. They share it among other people, it gets noticed, traffic to your site builds, and your company name appears on several popular platforms. You need to simply spend the time generating the content, and then building the channels through which you disseminate it. Make sure there are places where customers can talk about your business (good or bad) and build your online presence. When you have six or seven different social media and listing profiles, all connected to your website, and people are actively using it… you have just built yourself an amazing online brand that supports visibility and gets noticed by potential customers AND search engines.
So take SEO to the next level, and optimize your brand. It’s not just about the website anymore.
Detroit Internet Marketing has online marketing professionals in Detroit and beyond who can help build your online visibility. Contact us for more information about taking your brand to the next level.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.