Google can make or break a website’s success, that’s for sure. With Google’s meteoric rise, Search Engine Optimizers have become obsessed with SEO, even when it proves to be less helpful to their website’s success.
Make no mistake. I am not telling you to ditch Google and focus on other redundant search engines or that sort of stuff. What I am telling you to do is, focus a tad less on SEO and a tad more on building your brand. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
What is Your Brand?
Your brand is what gets you those direct visitors – the visitors who pop your URL into their browser and come to your site directly. Your brand is what makes people Google your name or your website’s name. In simpler terms, branding yourself your business or website simply is a way to let it become known by more people. It’s pretty much like your reputation online.
However, there are several layers of branding. To brand oneself, one must develop a sort of connection with one’s audience. And this is where the topic of the post comes up.
Why Should You Even Care About Your Brand
Well, this one’s a rather obvious question. You want traffic. You want visitors. Why should you put that on hold and focus on branding?
Well, there are several answers to that.
First, if you want to convert your audience into loyal customers, you need to make sure they have heard about you before. Even if your income source is sponsorship or affiliations, your CTAs become much strong and your endorsements become much more valued if you or your website has a strong branding.
How You Can Build Your Brand
Branding can be done via a number of routes. Being active on social media, getting featured on several blogs (HARO is a great way to get yourself featured in top-notch publications) or writing for other websites (aka guest posting) is a great way to get yourself known in front of a new and different audience.
However, there is a different form of branding too. Here are some examples:
Using YouTube as Your Sidekick
There was a time when Neil Patel used to write 8 guest posts for his own blogs and five guest posts every week. Time has changed. Go to his Twitter or his LinkedIn account and mostly all you will see is YouTube videos or podcasts.
There is a reason why such a strong marketer is moving away from content which Google can rank. It is because he is focusing on his own branding.
You see, when someone sees you in front of your brand (your website or business), they tend to have more trust for your brand. It is this reason why Backlinko founder Brian Dean has a huge picture of himself on his website homepage.
Also, YouTube is the website with the second highest traffic. Compared to SEO which causes Google ranking to alter in a matter of weeks, Youtube rankings change almost overnight. Sean Si has a humongous definitive guide on Youtube SEO. So, be sure to check it out.
However, make sure you leverage YouTube to draw viewers to your website. Simply talking about content on your website will make viewers Google it even more. It will boost your site’s ranking under the keywords most viewers look for in Google and also help boost your brand awareness.
Use Social Media Selectively and Strategically
Social media is not dying out anytime soon. However, becoming a member of each and every social media platform can lead to thinning out your resources and time. After all, we have the same 24 hours to use daily. It is better to use this time strategically to get into those social media platforms that can be of help to you.
Facebook is a must. However since Facebook page reach is lacking at times, you need to use Facebook groups in order to promote your brand. Twitter and LinkedIn are needed for connection building. Here you can apply your choice freely. Instagram is an app where you can act free. There is no scope for hard selling in this app.
And that’s what makes Instagram so special for branding. Use it to share your personal moments and also about back-stage scenes related to your website or blog or biz.
Having a rocking social media profile can help you in several ways for your link building campaign too. Apart from getting to know experts and influencers in your niche, you get to connect with them, increase your brand and also ask to share each other’s content.
Writing for other websites or Using HARO
HARO acronym for Help A Reporter Out is a platform which lets journalists and sources connect and share information. Journalists send out queries and thousands of potential sources send them their pitch.
It is a great way to get your brand known in front of such a new audience. In fact, I have gotten featured in publications like Sharethis, CEOBlogNation, Fupping, FitSmallBusiness among others using this platform. I have even created a post on How You Can Master Help A Reporter Out (HARO).
Guest posting is another great way to build your brand. While it can obviously be used to build links to your blog or website, that should never be your sole purpose.
In fact, guest posting is a great way to reach an audience that you have never reached before. Get them to know you. Get them to
like love your posts and want to find out more about you. While there are several websites that let you put in backlinks to your website, some, unfortunately, do not.
However, that should by no means prevent you from writing for their websites. In fact, take that as an opportunity and craft as great an article as you possibly can.
Go overboard and make the audience there search you up in Google or directly visit your website. In fact, a great way to brand yourself is by creating freebies for the audience there.
Create a PDF like the ones Brian at Backlinko does, or send them a spreadsheet that will help them with their marketing… something of that sort.
Asking you to do all this without considering the SEO benefit is tough. I know it first hand. After getting only no-follow links or links to my homepage, I almost gave up on blogging. But, that’s when it started to turn. Some people started noticing my guest posts and asked me to write for their websites. I started on a new journey of freelance writing and ghostwriting.
And, that’s the thing. Keep a track on your brand mentions. Google Alert is a great way to do that. Capitalise on the mentions. Look for business opportunities, try to market your product or just find ways to crawl into their website and get a guest post going.
It’s gonna work out for the best! So, what are you going to try in order to build your brand? Are you going to focus on social media or are you going to create video-form content aka creating content for Youtube?
Share it with me in the comments!
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