Understanding the inner workings of SEO can be difficult for even the most experienced content marketing experts. Yes, the basic idea is that by using relevant keywords and phrases that search engines associate with your target audience, your posts will achieve better search engine rankings. However, the reality of modern search engine optimisation is often a little more complicated.
In addition to thorough keyword research and smart link building efforts, today’s digital marketers must contend with a multitude of additional metrics. The most common of these being domain authority (DA).
DA scores reflect how likely a web page is to rank well on search engine results pages, analysing the most intricate elements of your SEO strategy, including factors like link quality and content relevance.
DA has become so common in content creation that over 70% of SEO experts check their scores at least once a month. It’s important to mention this as MOZ (the creators of DA) recently introduced a new SEO value metric intended to apply a similar score to brand authority. To help digital marketing teams use this metric to boost online visibility, let’s explore the top SEO strategies for unlocking brand authority.
The new brand authority metric measures the strength of a brand’s reputation using a combination of search intent and search volume data. This valuable information is compared against search results related to similar brands, offering valuable insights into your brand’s visibility and SEO performance.
Similarly to DA metrics, brand authority is displayed as a score between 1-100, with a higher score indicating a better online reputation. The idea is to integrate this concept into your existing content marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and assist marketers in creating high quality content.
It’s important to note that the brand authority metric is currently based only on US data, but with MOZ intending to add new regions in 2024, it’s worth getting to grips with this digital marketing strategy now.
Of course, brand authority isn’t an entirely new content marketing concept. This is just the first time a professional tool has been developed to assign a value to brand reputation. This means marketers can predict how well their content strategy will perform, provided they understand search engine rankings and stick to well-defined content best practices.
In short, search engine algorithms rely on three primary functions to assess the quality of a web page:
The idea is that search results should promote content most likely to answer the user’s query. Meaning if you create content based around careful keyword research, your web page should rank well.
However, search engines understand that engaging content must contain valuable information alongside relevant keywords, meaning additional factors are also analysed.
For example, Google takes note ofkeyword stuffing, broken internal and external links, bad grammar and poor web design, pushing content down in its rankings if any of these factors are detected.
Up until now, search engines have viewed brand authority through the lens of content relevance. This means content containing a reasonable number of relevant keywords and high DA external links, hosted on a well-optimised web page, should achieve a good search engine ranking. However, industry leaders believe MOZ’s new brand authority metric may help companies to better analyse their online reputation.
Brands can already evaluate their online visibility to some extent by generating a search engine ranking report. Using specialised SEO ranking report software, organisations can look into their organic search results rankings for sets of keywords rather than isolated examples. This report can be used as part of a wider SEO strategy to monitor the performance of multiple short and long tail keywords.
Monitoring and developing brand authority can help marketers to improve online visibility, develop a desirable brand image and reach new potential customers. By fine-tuning SEO techniques with brand authority in mind, teams can create an effective SEO strategy to capture more of their target market.
By positioning your brand as an industry leader, your target audience is more likely to seek out your products and services over your competitors. Research suggests almost 50% of Americans expect brands to show them new products designed to suit their needs. Meaning by nurturing your brand reputation, your target audience is far more likely to both spend more and recommend your services.
Authoritative brands tend to retain customers at a higher rate than those with no authority, helping to create a loyal customer base. Generating meaningful interactions with clients is incredibly important, especially in competitive markets, with data suggesting over 75% of consumers choose to buyfrom brands they trust over direct competitors. Authority could be the fine margin that converts big sales.
Market saturation can be a big problem for teams trying to achieve reasonable brand growth. However, if your brand’s business strategy is centred around gaining authority, your target audience will be more likely to view your organisation as a unique entity. Alongside product developments and improvements, promoting clear brand values and producing engaging content can help with building brand recognition.
Once a brand is known for producing high quality content, they become more visible to a larger number of potential clients. Positive reviews and content shared on social media help to generate organic traffic to your pages, meaning search engines are far more likely to view your content as valuable. Increasing online visibility will often translate to offline engagement, solidifying growing brands as industry leaders.
The importance of brand authority should now be clear, but how can this knowledge be used to improve online visibility and generate organic traffic? While succeeding in competitive markets will always take a lot of hard work, dedication and a little luck, there are a number of proven SEO techniques that can help to strengthen your brand image. Below are some key SEO tactics to help you create high quality content.
A large component of brand authority lies in a company’s ability to stand out from the crowd. With 100’s or even 1000’s of other websites and similar brands trying to capture the same target market, finding a way to differentiate yourself becomes vital. Creating a unique value proposition (UVP) is one of the best ways to do this, as a clear UVP can help growing brands highlight their value in all marketing materials.
An effective UVP will speak directly to your target audience using key terms and language that they can relate to. This means your brand strategy framework must include in-depth keyword research. Use tools like Google trending searches and similar ranking analysis software to highlight how your audience uses language. This research should inform your UVP and the keywords you later include in branded content.
When writing your UVP, it’s wise to stick to an organised structure, for example:
Once created, your UVP should be used to inform all marketing materials within your digital landscape, including blogs, social media posts, visual content and videos. Using your UVP as a permanent focal point will help when building brand awareness by ensuring your content is recognisable and cohesive.
With a well-structured UVP, brands should find it much easier to maintain a uniform brand message and visual identity across all marketing channels. Consistent content is key when it comes to raising brand awareness metrics, as alignment across all channels will position your brand as professional and reliable.
Regularly posting high quality content that aligns with a clear set of brand values will lead to your brand becoming more memorable among consumers. If prospective customers relate to your branding, they’ll be more likely to read your content. If similar content is then released on a regular basis, with uniformity across different communication and social media platforms, related engagement metrics will likely rise.
Content consistency will also improve your SEO performance. By targeting the same relevant keywords and ensuring your link building efforts point to insightful sources with high DA scores, search engines will view your content as valuable. This improved online visibility will help your brand to generate more organic traffic, further positioning your brand as a trustworthy source of industry-specific information.
Building on a consistent content marketing strategy, online brands can elevate themselves above other websites by diversifying the content they produce. Alongside shorter articles, image posts and videos, marketers should pursue long-form content, as more in-depth articles reflect greater brand authority.
Taking the time to explain complex processes, share innovative ideas and engage with more high-level concepts related to your industry will help to build meaningful relationships with your audience. If it’s your brand that helped a customer learn how to truly benefit from a certain product, they’ll likely view you as an industry leader. This bond can be invaluable when it comes to customer retention.
Long-form content also supports effective link building, offering more chances to generate backlinks to high authority sources. Google search results are known to prioritise posts that feature a higher number of authoritative backlinks, again helping brands to improve online visibility and audience engagement.
Most brands understand the value of social media in terms of modern marketing, though many are not using every social media platform as effectively as possible. To explain this, it’s important to consider that consumers don’t interact with all social media platforms in the same way. For example, while sites like Facebook and Instagram may have more active users, engagement rates on TikTok are much higher.
To receive the most benefit from social media marketing, brands must tailor their content to best suit different platforms. In other words, engaging content looks different across various social media sites.
Below are some helpful insights to consider when optimising social media content for different platforms.
Facebook is most popular among users aged 25-34, with the average user spending 30 minutes per day browsing the site. Though text posts can be up to 63,000 characters long, this type of content rarely receives good engagement, meaning links to external content with a short text description should be prioritised. Additionally, infographics and videos often receive high engagement from active users.
18-24 year olds make up the largest user demographic on Instagram, with the average user spending just over 30 minutes per day on the platform. Visual content with limited text performs well on the site, though brands must make good use of relevant hashtags under their posts to maximise visibility. Also, Instagram’s live shopping features make the social media platform well-suited to e-commerce brands.
The largest active age group on TikTok is 18-24 year olds, with the average users spending over 45 minutes per day on the site. Short, snappy visual content performs well on the site, with more of a focus on personality than users would typically expect on other social media sites. TikTok can be a great tool for generating organic traffic to external sites for brands marketing towards a younger demographic.
Working in tandem with social media content, modern brands can widen their appeal through influencer marketing. This can be a subtle way to create marketing content by demonstrating brand value through an avatar that’s already gained the trust of their audience. Via influencer marketing, brands can reach prospective customers that may otherwise have overlooked or avoided traditional marketing materials.
Additionally, influencers can help brands generate high quality backlinks, as agreements often involve sharing links to branded content on the influencer’s own social media pages. This will be viewed as organic traffic with regards to rank data, helping to expand your brand across multiple online platforms.
Guest blogging can be a great way to broaden your brand’s reach by connecting with readily-made audiences in your industry. Collaborating with established brands, news sites and social media pages that already have a sizeable audience enables brands to leverage authority to boost their own reach.
Many well-known publications welcome frequent guest posts covering industry trends and interesting topics, as these efforts can also act to broaden their appeal. Brands can find blogs and relevant sites that accept guest post submissions using Google search operators commands to optimise searches.
Guest posting has become a pillar of effective link building campaigns in recent years, with 47% of surveyed SEO experts believing this pursuit to be an essential marketing activity. In short, teaming up with similarly focused brands and websites can help both entities generate high quality organic traffic.
Social proof and the opinions of other like minded customers can be invaluable in terms of generating brand authority. Whether it’s justified or not, we live in a time where almost 70% of consumers actively distrust traditional marketing efforts, with over 40% claiming to distrust brand communications outright.
In comparison, almost 90% of modern consumers claim to trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, with over 70% believing positive reviews help to build trust between brands and their audiences. Honest reviews, in many cases, can be the final factor that convinces prospective customers to believe your claims, increasing the likelihood that later branded website content will be seen as authoritative.
Interestingly, client reviews can be even more important for brands engaged in local SEO campaigns. 98% of consumers are said to read reviews of local businesses before making a purchasing decision, with 80% relying on Google reviews to highlight brands with authority. So, any small businesses and brands targeting local keywords must make efforts to highlight genuine reviews on their web pages.
In addition to organic customer reviews, brands should encourage their audience to actively participate in generating positive content for their websites and social media pages. In a similar sense to customer reviews, user-generated content acts as a form of social proof that can measurably improve a brand’s authority and credibility, as well as highlight potential value when it comes to search engine rank reports.
When new potential clients visit your web pages as a result of previously mentioned SEO efforts, you’ll want them to be greeted by an active brand-centric community. If consumers see other users posting content and organically engaging with one another, your brand will appear more credible. Additionally, new users will be more likely to engage themselves, helping to create an authentic online community.
This activity is also viewed positively by search engines, with search engine ranking reports considering high volumes of optimistic reviews and user-generated content as signifiers of relevance and authority. This can lead to higher index ranks and improved online visibility, helping brands achieve natural growth.
Finally, it’s important to continuously monitor your brand’s online reputation so adjustments can be made to SEO strategies efficiently. Use social listening software to monitor online mentions, as this will help to highlight successful marketing efforts, ensuring teams continue to invest in techniques with a high ROI.
Set alerts to notify PR managers of negative comments, making sure to visibly address issues as soon as possible, and reinforce positive customer sentiment online to help maintain a strong brand reputation.
Humanising your brand in this way will promote positive values centred on customer support, improving engagement and reassuring your audience that their opinions matter. Brands with values focused on customer service are more likely to receive positive mentions, resulting in a desirable online reputation.
While some brands might dismiss search engine optimization, intelligent marketers understand how vital this strategy is in terms of capturing your audience’s attention. With the techniques in this guide, brands can take control of their online reputation, facilitate positive customer engagement and ultimately make sure they’re viewed as authoritative industry experts by producing well-crafted and optimised content.
If you need help building brand authority through a carefully crafted SEO strategy, contact us today to get started.