SEO is not an exact science. This becomes apparent when trying to incorporate both SEO and branding into a strategy. This process is finicky to say the least. On the one side, SEO deals with the placement of keywords and phrases. On the other side, branding deals with company loyalty and culture. Incorporating both sides dilutes the prominence of both. But eliminating one or the other may not meet all strategic and marketing goals.
Once again, it should be emphasized that SEO is a series of guidelines rather than an exact science. Having said that, the following recommendation can be used to satisfy both sides of the equation. In general, keywords and phrases (i.e. SEO) should remain the focus of any early-stage company, while the incorporation of company branding should appear later in the evolution. This is simply a general statement and should not be taken word for word.
The reasoning is pretty straightforward. At first, no-one knows the name of your company, but perhaps they are searching for your products or services. In other words, you want to target keywords and phrases that focus around your offering rather than your company. As you build loyalty and credibility, branding becomes more important. It’s at this point that you may want to incorporate corporate messaging to strengthen the relationship with customers and instill trust in your brand.
One final thought about branding: if a searcher types in the name of your company, they are likely to find your website anyways. This is due mostly to anchor text and back-links. Therefore, optimizing for the company name is rather insignificant in most cases.
Brad is a seasoned public relations and marketing pro with more than 20 years of experience both inside and outside of government dealing at the national and international level. In addition to his work as a marketing consultant for small businesses, he writes a monthly column on marketing for Florida Today on small business marketing.
He graduated with Academic Honors from the United States Air Force Academy and attended Georgetown University Law Center. He has a Master of Science degree from Air University. He was an officer in the United States Air Force and completed all professional schools, to include the Air War College.
Some of the media outlets he has worked with include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe. NBC News, Fox News, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC. AFP, UPI, AP, to name a few.