SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers

Two marketing efforts, both alike in dignity, in fair internet, where we lay our scene…

This is the tale of a pair of star-crossed lovers: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Branding.

SEO was an intelligent and attentive sovereign celebrated for her wisdom. Branding was a dynamic and charismatic nobleman who charmed everyone he met.

But while both rulers came from very different worlds, the people they served faced similar struggles:

The business owners in SEO’s queendom couldn’t understand why people had the same needs every day—why they had to explain the same things over and over again to the same people. 

Those in Branding’s kingdom, meanwhile, struggled to reach the right audience. People were interested in connecting with local businesses, but only sometimes did they find the goods and services they were looking for.

And thus, our tale of digital woe begins. Is it destined to end in tragedy? Or is there a happy ending waiting for these lovers and the business owners they serve? Keep reading to find out.

Introducing SEO: queen of customer acquisition

SEO is a term that most business owners have heard at one point or another. Unfortunately, what it is and how it works is rarely broken down in plain terms for those of us without marketing degrees.

Simply put, SEO is all about answering questions. Your customers take to the internet every day with common queries like:

“Who’s the best plumber near me?”

“Where can I find a good deal on new LCD TVs?”

“What’s the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?”

Search engines such as Google and Bing collect information from every (yes, every!) website out there in order to help users find the right answers. How well your business answers these questions—through blog content, product descriptions, and so forth—determines how highly your website ranks in search results. And because 92% of shoppers choose a business from the first page of results, ranking higher has become the holy grail (whoops, wrong fairy tale) for attracting new customers online.

It’s no surprise, then, that our Lady SEO was always welcoming new citizens to her kingdom. However, her subjects never ended up staying long. Some even had trouble remembering the kingdom’s name. If only there were a charming prince who could help…

Enter branding: king of customer experience

Attracting potential customers is one thing. But what about amusing them? What about keeping them engaged?

What about loyalty?

Effective branding—memorable taglines, eye-catching logos, earworm-ready jingles—is what keeps customers coming back time and time again. Taking time to understand who your customers are and what they respond to can help you build your brand around the things that delight them most.

Once you’ve got their attention, you’ll be their go-to for medical equipment, HVAC services, magic mirrors (darn, did it again)—you name it. They won’t have to search for these things each time they need them. They’ll just go directly to you for their purchase.

It’s easy to see why Sir Branding commanded loyalty and respect from all those inside his kingdom. And yet, he struggled to win the hearts and minds of those who lived outside its borders. So he set out to find a princess who could connect with people across the land…

SEO + Branding: a blessed union

Alone, SEO and Branding can only take your marketing strategy so far. But together, they create lasting relationships between local businesses and the people they serve. Branding can be your differentiating factor in a competitive market. In other cases, SEO is what enables a highly specialized business to stand out.

Even better, both work together to elevate your online presence across the board, including:

Digital advertising

If you’re paying to bring people to your website and landing pages, then it’s important to make sure your ad spend is going as far as possible. Creating high-quality content for SEO purposes also helps you capture the interest of paid traffic, while strong branding leaves a lasting impression that will keep them there (or bring them back).

Social media

People flock to social media for one thing: content. The more relevant your content is for your ideal customers online, the more relevant it will be for your audience on social media as well. Pair that with unique branding that helps you stand out on these platforms, and you have a recipe for runaway social success.

User experience

Optimizing how visitors interact with your website or app does more than just elevate your content—it’s an integral part of it. Search engines prefer sites that are easy to read and navigate. Leveling up your user experience with streamlined brand visuals and graphics can help your website rank even higher!

And they lived profitably ever after…

And so, Lady SEO and Sir Branding came together to improve the lives of small businesses across the land. It was the perfect partnership for sustained economic growth.

Oh, and the two rulers fell in love and decided to marry each other.

Feudal lords and digital marketers alike came together to celebrate their royal wedding:

“My, what a glorious union!” 

“O, happy day!” 

“Why yes, SEO and Branding—that maketh total sense!” 

And thus, SEO and Branding ruled hand-in-hand forevermore, and everyone lived profitably ever after.

For more tips on growing your business, checketh out Ruby’s small business resources hub.