Search engine optimization and online marketing is about increasing exposure, right? Wrong. I think that’s only a part of the ‘movie’; it’s a part of the buildup. The real ‘piece de resistance’ is what comes after your brand has paddled out into the ocean of online marketing.
Don’t just look my way; I’m just a newb; however, seasoned-vet, Joanna Lord of SEOmoz, entertains similar sentiments, showcasing them in her White-Board Friday video on new on-page optimization considerations. Watch the video; there is a lot in there to consider and take into brand-respective account.
Who is Your Brand?
One expression I appreciated in Joanna’s video is her emphasis on engagement. SEO is not only about getting noticed. It’s about engaging consumers, building a community once you’re in the waters.
Ensure you implement social cues and sentiments of a brand-construction site in progress. Being visually available isn’t cutting it in modern-day marketing. You have to express your brand’s commitment to building authority and a community. Remember Dr. Pete’s 2 SEO Metrics that Matter post? He showed how being visually present isn’t enough; without further cues of engagement and community value, many browsers bounce off the page, seeking other brands.
Don’t Get Comfortable
Have you done any A/B testing of your on-site page’s success? Anthony, why mess with a good thing? Hmm…perhaps so you could make it even better? Don’t get too comfortable. Jump out of your comfort zone, exploring better opportunities.
Joanna urges listeners to rethink brand goals as well as connect with other team members for input and effective, ongoing branding. Depending on the nature of your vertical, new technologies and trends may shape the style and voice of your brand. As suggested, “test all truths.” Ensure your brand evolves with consumers, trends, and the landscape of your respective industry. I remember reading about the Manischewitz brand switching up its style after 123 years!
Consumers Window Shop
Good news for designers and on-site enthusiasts; you’re valued now more than ever. Online marketing is reaching its tween years; a lot of verticals and brands are regularly present online. That means even niche brands must focus on consumer perception. Great-looking designs and advanced functionality of a site is no longer an augmentation; they’re commonplace elements, expected by brand shoppers.
As Joanna directs, consumers bring high-brand expectations with them online. Brands aren’t just searching for quality; they expect your brand to look the part from the very first visual impression. Don’t start surfing the online waves without the proper, updated gear. Consumers are watching and weighing in on your visual style and immediate appeal.
Be Persistently Brand Consistent
Uniformity is essential. While it’s advantageous to consider change, ensure all brand properties are consistent, allowing all points of contact to amplify brand messages. I referenced the BlueGlass brand a few posts back; I like how they brand team members with BlueGlass avatars, which parlay onto their site, blog posts, and social media interactions.
Don’t de-emphasize the power of branding, especially regarding long-term traction. It takes planning and strategic implementation to get people to start noticing your brand; once they do, branding and continual consumer engagement makes huge waves after the initial online point break.
Mark Twain once quipped, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Today, the humorous quote came to mind regarding on-site optimization. Search engine optimization expands all the time; as SEs change algorithms, the definition and scope of search engine optimization services remains malleable.
While such practices as social media optimization and link building focus on attracting attention to individual pages, on-site practices implement and “dress” them. A well-structured SEO campaign develops a purpose for each page. Once a page’s purpose is understood, it’s time for proper attire.
We know good keyword usage is part of on-site optimization, however, considering a page’s purpose helps properly dress the page with appropriate keywords. In some cases, a brand may wonder how to delegate usage on the page.
Do you want the page to inform about a particular service, serving as part of the sale cycle? Optimize the page for that particular service. Do you want the page to inform customers about your brand? Optimize the page for your brand name, helping it rank well in association with brand-related queries. While some clients are in love with particular campaign words and phrases, it is necessary to understand some words “clash” with a page’s purpose. You may want to wear your ripped, $500 designer jeans because they’re comfortable and “cool,” but you’re meeting a potential business client; ripped jeans don’t fit the occasion regardless of the jean-brand popularity and prestige.
In some cases, stark, keyword focus may take a backseat to viral intentions. For instance, your brand may develop a resource page highly relevant to your industry. At conclusion, the page may lack particular keyword focus, yet it’s highly valuable to users, making it a target for social sharing. Grandma’s old necklace doesn’t really flow well with the rest of your outfit, but it always attracts compliments and starts conversations with onlookers.
Pictures, Banners, Navigation Bars, Etc
Pictures and banners supplement text, offering additional information or aesthetic displays. Also, geometric shapes help segment a Web page, providing more white space. Including keywords and meta information along with banners and pictures facilitates search engine optimization. Navigation bars also help users browse and are noticed by search engine bots. However, sometimes it’s advantageous to block bots from crawling particular aspects of your site.
In some cases, the ancillary presence of banners, pictures, navigation bars, pulls from others pages, and so on, are not best serving the purpose of the page. You want to add to your look, donning that new pillbox hat, but it’s not helping matters much. Maybe it’s better left in the back of the closet for now.
SEs love sites that regularly produce content. They also love sites providing additional resources, making external links an element of a properly dressed page. Adding high-quality, on-topic external links enhances the authority and usability of the page. It aligns the page with other pages and browsers of similar interests. You’re an individual but you’re also part of a larger realm of interest, your city’s football team. You wear your jersey out in public, calling attention to your interest, attracting others with the same hobby or on-topic curiosity.