There is more to building up a business’ online authority than what the search engine algorithms see. In fact, there is another type of authority building has been around far longer than search engines and the web. I’m talking about brand authority.
Building website authority is essential to a successful web marketing campaign. But so is brand authority. Yes, that’s right. Your brand authority–which has nothing to do with your website–is critical to the success of your web marketing efforts!
In that perspective, brand authority is even more important than website authority because it impacts both online and offline marketing efforts. It provides a very strong feeling of trust and value to shoppers, whether they are online or not.
It also provides an indirect lift in your website authority. It doesn’t directly help increase your rankings, but it does help increase clicks to your site, which can help increase rankings.
When visitors look at a list of sites in the top of the search results, they will have a tendency to click on names they recognize. The more searchers become familiar with your business name, the greater the likelihood that they’ll click on your link rather than a competitor they are not familiar with–even if that competitor is ranked higher than you.
Rankings themselves create a small branding effect. Visitors search, they see your name. They search again, see you again. By the third time they see you, you’ve build up brand recognition, even if they have not yet clicked into your site. In essence, rankings become some sort of self-fulfilling branding prophecy.
We see this a great deal when PPC ads run next to your own top organic rankings. The lift that is provided by both being present is considerable.
But the problem with brand building via rankings alone is that branding alone isn’t enough to keep your rankings. And once lost, you lose your ability to brand outside of paying per click.
What does this tell us? Branding is needed outside of search engines. Online efforts such as social media and content marketing play a very strong role in helping businesses build up their brand. Doing this along side traditional SEO efforts can help improve the click-through impact of those SEO efforts.
SEO alone can help build your exposure, but if you want that exposure to be even more valuable, work on building your brand recognition.