Search Engine Optimization includes lots of components, from site technology to content and links.
But what are most SEO strategies missing?
To discuss SEO, Jim Boykin, CEO of Internet Marketing Ninjas, and Ann Smarty, IMN’s analyst, invited Rand Fishkin, Co-founder SparkToro, founder and former CEO of Moz and author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.
Rand has not been doing SEO for about four years but according to his observations, most SEO strategies are missing the fundamental part: Focus on the product and the brand.
Product comes first, and everything else should be product-driven.
Your SEO strategy should start with brand positioning, as opposed to here’s the list of keywords, and here’s content that should be optimized for it.
When promoting his project, SparkToro, Rand is not doing any SEO. The site’s organic traffic is all branded to the point that his main keyword – “audience research” – has almost the same search volume that his branded keyword does.
Rand’s strategy has been growing the search demand in the branded terms than optimizing for non-branded search.
If you are leading brand in your space, it is more worthwhile to pursue brand growth and get your brand name to become bigger than all of the unbranded keywords out there.
There are a lot of ways to create that leading brand in your niche:
The strategy that has been working for Rand is as follows: Go find the sources of influence that are already powerful and popular with your audience: Newsletters, podcasts, events, blogs, websites, etc. and get those people talk about your brand.
SparkToro is the tool that helps you find all those sources of influence for you to pursue.
There are lots of brands that had built up their brand strength long before they started investing in SEO, and then they decided to go for those unbranded keywords.
And there are a lot of benefits of this approach:
- You diversify your traffic sources
- You build brand recognition: People searching for unbranded terms are still looking for brands they recognize.
- Brand awareness means higher click-through rates, on-page engagement, conversions.
- And yes, higher rankings because brands attract backlinks and Google favors brands in search as well.
Having a unique product is another great way to create a recognizable brand. Product is super underrated when it comes to marketing strategies whereas it should be the foundation of it.
SEO is a great addition to marketing, but not the replacement to it.
Contact ninjas for help to create a recognizable brand and supplement with product-driven SEO.