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How to shape the authority and image of a brand in SEO?

SEO results are influenced by many factors, one of which is the brand’s reputation on the Internet and mentioning it on other websites. In the article below, we’ll take a look at what elements of Google’s brand image are taken into account in the organic search engine ranking process. We will also check how to shape the brand image and reputation to improve positioning results.

Brand image and brand mentions – what are they and why do you need them?

Brand image includes the attitude (thoughts, feelings, beliefs) of your audience towards your company, products or services. The feelings of customers can influence their behavior, and these in turn influence positioning, as can brand mentions.

Mentions are references to the name of your company, product or service by another company (e.g. in a blog post, report, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin entry) that do not contain links to your website. Nevertheless, Google treats mentions as implied links, which means that they may have an impact on SEO. Why should you take care of the brand image and monitor brand mentions? Because:

– brand mentions are a signal to Google that your brand is trustworthy (e.g. mention of the Spanish version of our application:  es.paraphrase.online or the German version of de.paraphrase.online), – brand mentions confirm that you operate legally and are an expert in your industry, – brand mentions allow you to increase your brand awareness and traffic on your website (through more visits from links and search engines (e.g. from brand slogans entered in Google), – if you find on the Internet mention of a brand without links to your website, you can contact the website owner and try to add a link, – if you care about your image, you can react to crises on an ongoing basis and respond to negative mentions and opinions.

How does brand image affect SEO?

The brand image consists of elements that have an impact on positioning. Among them are:

– external links leading to your website, which are one of the main factors in positioning,
– website traffic, which suggests to Google robots whether the website is visited by users (more traffic may improve positions in organic search results),
– mentions that, despite the lack of links, may affect the traffic and SEO effects,
– the number of searches for a brand phrase that suggests Google crawlers that a given product, company or service is popular with users.

The above elements may increase the company’s awareness and website traffic, which may also contribute to a better assessment of the website in the eyes of Google robots.

Reputation and brand mentions and SEO

The more mentions of your brand on the Internet, the greater the chance that users will visit your website, get to know your company and be aware of its existence. The greater the brand awareness, the greater the loyalty indicators – customers can more often return to a well-known brand with an established market position. All because they trust companies they have heard about or have had positive experiences with. This loyalty and brand awareness can be a ranking signal in SEO, as can reputation.

However, reputation is not about the number of people who have heard about your business, product, or service, but what they have heard about them. If the user experience is good, the feedback is positive, you may be able to get more traffic and more customers, and this is another piece of information for robots confirming your position.

How does Google evaluate a brand’s reputation?

Each company can judge itself in superlatives. To prevent inaccuracies, Google robots use objective, external factors to assess reputation, such as:

– awards,
– bibliographies available on external websites, using your website as a source,
– websites of experts in a given industry,
– information on Wikipedia,
– reviews in Google My Business and on external portals with opinions.

If the above resources do not provide Google with sufficient information about the brand’s reputation, comments from bloggers and YouTubers are additionally used for the evaluation. Therefore, it is worth investing in cooperation with reliable influencers with large ranges.

Number of searches and SEO effects

The number of searches indicates brand awareness on the Internet – the more people enter the brand phrase in Google, the greater the awareness. Increasing the number of searches also increases the organic traffic, and both of these elements can positively affect the SEO results. What can you do to increase the number of searches? Bet on promotional activities in various channels (social media, Google Ads, and even offline advertising).

Traffic as a ranking factor in positioning

High traffic is a determinant of a brand’s image and authority, but also a ranking factor in SEO. It is therefore worth investing in image positioning, as well as promoting your company, product or service also outside your website (in Social Media, etc.). This way you will increase traffic and you can improve the positioning effects.

The reputation of companies in the Your Money Your Life industry

Google wants to provide its customers with proven information. Therefore, in 2020, it implemented an update that covered the Your Money, Your Life industry, concerning particularly important aspects of everyday life, such as health and finances. Google experts decided to strengthen the impact of updates on search engine positions to reduce disinformation in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many sites that did not provide their sources of information lost their positions. If you run a business in the field of finance or health, you should supplement the content with bibliography and footnotes. This is a signal to Google’s robots that the content is reliable and scientifically informative.

How do negative mentions affect SEO?

Google evaluates not only positive mentions and information about your business, but also negative ones and takes them into account when determining your position in the search engine. However, Google robots do not, because they cannot distinguish a negative from a positive one. A special anti-spam team watches over the quality of the search results and its members verify the mentions and send feedback on them. In this way, negative mentions about your website can lower its position in organic results.

How to shape the brand image and support positioning?

1. Act comprehensively – combine online and offline marketing
One of the effective PR activities that can increase your brand awareness and influence SEO is online and offline advertising. Many brands decided to take such a step, and advertising in traditional media (television, radio, advertising banners) resulted in an increase in brand searches, as well as an increase in website traffic, which may be reflected in better website positioning effects not only on terms associated with the brand name .

2. Share knowledge and create useful content
To build an image and brand awareness, you should share knowledge with users, e.g. by creating an industry blog, organizing webinars and training. Create reports, statements, interesting articles full of substantive knowledge. Thanks to them, you will build an image of an expert in the industry, increase the possibility of obtaining external links, and enrich your website with content that is attractive to Google robots and users. Share posts on social media, add infographics and videos. You don’t always have to create completely new content – you can also choose to expand and recycle your content.

3. Respond to opinions about your brand
Shaping the image on the Internet also includes contact with users. This way you show your clients (and potential clients) that they are important to you. It is worth encouraging customers to share positive experiences with your company, but also responding to negative comments. Be balanced and calm, don’t get carried away. If you actually made a mistake – admit to it and try to fix it. Return the money and offer the client a compensation. If you have a stationary office, set up a Google My Business card – thanks to it you will be able to gain opinions and build an image on the Internet, also on the local market. It is worth getting opinions because they are a ranking factor in local SEO.

4. Place structured data about your company in the website code
The appearance of search results can affect how users perceive your business. It is worth taking care of it and adding structured data to the page code. They allow Google crawlers to display additional information about your site in search results, such as:

– address,
– contact details,
– links to subpages,
– FAQ section.

This is how your website stands out on Google. This can bring about more brand awareness, more clicks, and more traffic which affects SEO outcomes.

5. Collaborate with content experts
An effective element of PR activities in SEO is also cooperation with experts in the content creation process. Publish reports highlighting industry experts, conduct interviews, and report on conferences. Perhaps an expert will be willing to share your material with their pesky ones on social media or share it on their website with a link to your website. In this way, you will not only expand the website’s link profile, but also reach new recipients, which may increase brand awareness and affect the image and positioning.

6. Work with reliable influencers
Working with an influencer can improve your authority on the Internet, provided you plan it well. What should you remember?

– Search for influencers who not only have a large reach, but also an engaged community and are famous for their substantive content.
– Choose to collaborate with someone who really uses or can use your products because they will find it useful.
– Make sure the influencer tags the posts and content created in collaboration – this will work to the benefit of each party as it builds authority and credibility.

7. Be active on Social Media
Social media is a source of links, but also valuable traffic from users who are really interested in your content or services. That is why it is worth being active in Social Media and supporting PR activities there. Create attractive posts, share blog posts, encourage comments and likes – the more reactions, the more people will see your post, which can increase traffic to your website. Social media can also be a source of backlinks, which is one of the major SEO ranking factors.

Summary

Search engine robots appreciate brands with an established position. However, to get this position, you must first build a positive image. You can do it by monitoring mentions, acquiring links thanks to attractive content, as well as activities outside the site – cooperation with influencers, responding to opinions or activity in Social Media. Although not all of these activities are a ranking factor in positioning, they can indirectly affect SEO results.

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