Why SEO Should Play a Prominent Role in Your Brand Awareness Strategy

Creative branding and technical search engine optimization (SEO) may seem like opposite endeavors, but it’s true what they say: opposites attract! Take salt and pepper, for example. Or peanut butter and jelly. Popcorn and M&M’s, anyone? Like some of the best dynamic duos, branding and SEO work well apart but are even better and more powerful when paired together. A brand awareness strategy positions your business not only to attract organic traffic but also to make connections and conversions with an engaged audience invested in your brand.

What is SEO for branding?

SEO for branding is a data-driven approach to amplify your brand online. The goal is to position your brand’s messaging and assets to appeal to your audience’s interests based on what they’re searching for. Brand optimizations increase ranking potential in search so you can capture attention and earn your audience’s trust.

Through processes like keyword research and an audit of your competitors’ web presence, SEO for branding pinpoints the gaps in your industry to gain your business favorable rankings in search results. The more visible you are in search, the more likely you are to resonate with potential customers. By tailoring your content to speak to their values and goals, your business has the opportunity to make a memorable impression and increase brand awareness with SEO.

Why You Should Implement Branding with SEO Opportunities in Mind

Without SEO, even the best brands fail to get in front of an organic audience. Likewise, prominence in search rankings does little to drive conversions if you haven’t created a brand identity strong enough to inspire trust. SEO and branding should work in tandem to strengthen your brand’s reach and impact.

Here’s another way to look at it: search engines display results based on key ranking factors like experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EEAT). In Google’s eyes, if you’re answering users’ search queries and incorporating keywords relevant to your industry, you have the expertise to provide value for related queries. And branding works toward what is essentially the same mission. Credibility and trust are critical to a brand’s reputation, after all.

Think of SEO for branding as a coupon or promo code highlighting exclusive deals to your favorite department store. It may be the coupon that draws you in initially, but the atmosphere, experience and breadth of product offerings are likely what keep you exploring. Similarly, SEO is the hook for organic traffic. Using keywords your audience will identify with based on keyword research and industry gaps, your content stands a better chance to rank and bring users to your site organically.

If you’re new to building a brand awareness strategy, explore Blue Compass’ brand optimization guide for more insights about how to capitalize on SEO for branding. To get started, take a look at where your brand stands now. How are users finding your site? What actions do they take once they’ve clicked onto your site? Is your site on top of search rankings AND top of mind for potential customers? Here’s how to measure your brand’s success with SEO.

How do you track brand success?

There’s no dedicated metric for brand performance, but user behavior can show the effectiveness of your brand awareness strategy. For example, keywords and traffic sources reveal how users discover your brand, while on-page metrics like conversions and session duration pinpoint which resources keep users engaged with your brand.

It’s hard to attribute site visitors or a successful content campaign to any one branding effort, but using your data, you can read between the lines to see if your brand identity is resonating the way you want it to.

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Search engine tools like Google Search Console reveal the keywords that are bringing users to your site. If integrating keywords was a core part of your brand awareness strategy, you can check if the phrases you’re using are actually attracting attention to your site. If the keywords bringing the most traffic to your site aren’t the keywords you’ve been optimizing for across your branding and SEO efforts, you can also use this data to shift your strategy to reflect the terminology users more commonly associate with your brand or industry.

For example, a business specializing in manicures, pedicures and other spa treatments might opt to use a keyword like “nail salon” in their brand name or throughout their brand messaging. But Google Search Console reveals more users are finding this business’ site by searching for “spa”-related keywords. Since this indicates both the audience and Google perceive the business as a spa rather than a nail salon, it would be smart for the business to integrate “spa” into their messaging. In doing so, the business would be better positioned to reach their audience in search, communicate clear value to Google’s ranking algorithms and present consistent messaging as a local spa to gain recognition and trust.

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On-Page Metrics

Evaluate the metrics that show the average time spent on your site or on a specific page. If users are taking the time to read your content and navigate throughout your site, they’re likely engaged with what you have to say. This is your brand’s experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness brought to life, which Google also recognizes by ranking your site’s content higher in search results.

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Organic Traffic

Tracking your site analytics using platforms like Google Analytics 4 allows you to get a sense of how much of your traffic is coming via organic search versus paid channels like social media or Google ads. High organic traffic indicates you’ve captured an audience via a strong presence on search, which is a good sign SEO for branding is paying off.

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Direct Traffic

Similarly, an increase in direct traffic represents the users who are seeking you out directly by typing in your website or visiting your site through a bookmark on their browser. If you’re seeing a significant gain in direct traffic to your site, users are recognizing your expertise and trusting your authority enough to seek you out directly. When users recall your brand for a specific product or service or rely on your brand regularly as a resource, it’s a sign your SEO and branding efforts are syncing up perfectly to get your name out there in a memorable way. This indicates a high level of brand awareness and positions your site to generate meaningful conversions.

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Branded Search Queries

Another sign your business is achieving a high level of awareness through your brand optimizations is an increase in branded keywords successfully drawing users to your site. Branded keywords represent users who are seeking out your business specifically through their search engines. More traffic as a result of these branded keywords means you’ve captured the attention and recognition of your audience.

With that said, don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing the results you’d hoped for right away. Branding and SEO are both foundational strategies to boost brand awareness and build your business’ reputation over time. You first have to establish trustworthiness and authority by putting the work in with Google and your customers. It can take up to six months to see significant shifts in traffic after a rebrand and/or website redesign, but rest assured, brands in it for the long haul are rewarded with loyal customers and lots of organic traffic to look forward to.

Get Started with Blue Compass for a Seamless SEO & Branding Optimization Strategy

Much like branding and SEO work better together as a dynamic duo, Blue Compass is proud to serve as an extension of your team to complement your digital marketing efforts. You know your brand inside and out. We know SEO like the back of our hand. Working alongside your team, we’re happy to help integrate SEO for branding into your brand awareness strategy so you’re getting the most results from your efforts.

Through our creative touch and strategic direction, we’ll elevate your brand with a strong SEO presence to take up more space in search results and in the minds of your customers. Learn more about our brand optimization services, and contact Blue Compass to get started today.


Digital Marketing, SEO

photo of Ashley Flaws
Ashley Flaws

As our team's Digital Marketing Copywriter, Ashley Flaws enjoys working with Blue Compass clients to create compelling, click-worthy copy. Ashley graduated from Drake University with degrees in English and magazine journalism and aims to utilize her strong marketing background to craft content with each client's goals in mind.