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.
If they're not engaged, consumers will respond to your "I'm --" with a "Who cares?!"
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.