Who wins in the ranking brand or SEO

Branding and SEO.

Strong brands often achieve top positions in search results - even though brand awareness is actually not a ranking factor at all. We'll tell you why branding is still an important part of search engine optimization and why investments in brand building are worthwhile in several ways.

Even if, in the end, only Google can answer without a doubt whether the brand and its awareness are taken into account by the Google search engine algorithm (and thus a ranking factor), all SEO experts agree: Brands actually have no fundamental advantage over No. -Names. So the performance of a brand is not simply better because it is a brand.

Question answered! Topic finished? It's not that easy. Because there are of course understandable reasons why strong brands are often still in the better positions in the search results. Branding influences search engine optimization in many ways.

Brands enjoy trust

Strong brands enjoy trust - even though it is common knowledge that a well-known brand does not automatically deliver the best quality. But there is at least a certain level of quality, mostly constant over a longer period of time, on which many people rely. In addition, with brands you know relatively exactly what they stand for and what you ultimately get. Anyone who knows a brand trusts it in many ways.

This Trust in brands leads to the fact that they are more likely to be clicked in the search results than the links on websites of unknown companies or products. This is often accompanied by a certain expectation of finding one or more specific brands for a specific search term in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). For example, those looking for sportswear often expect relevant online shops such as Decathlon, Intersport or Zalando to be displayed directly.

82 percent of those looking for it choose Brand

As part of the "Secret Life of Search" study, the research institute Red C found that 82 percent of searchers click on a brand in the SERPs that they already know. The investigation was based on transactional search queries, for example about booking a cruise or buying a dress.

We think: an impressive result! This comes about not least because the test persons were able to get an overview of the search results on the first page by scrolling and then decided on a brand even if it was only in seventh or ninth place. Our conclusion: the stronger a brand, the less important its exact position in the search results is - provided that it at least makes it onto the first search results page. Because nine out of ten Google users (86 percent) never look at the second page!

The aforementioned study also shows that the willingness to click on an unknown provider increases with age. The younger ones are more brand-conscious than the older ones: only 16 percent decide on a new, as yet unknown company. With increasing age, however, the value increased to as much as 27 percent. Nevertheless: over two thirds of the elderly also choose the well-known brand.

Brands have more clicks, more traffic, more links

Brands therefore achieve more clicks in the search results than the no-names. Your click rate is higher. That, in turn, is a ranking factor. As a user signal, the Click Through Rate (CTR) says something about the relevance and is used by Google to assess the quality of a website. Brands also have a visibility advantage because brand names are often part of search queries.

With more clicks, Google receives more positive signals, which sets a cycle in motion that benefits the ranking and visibility. Websites of well-known brands not only receive more Google traffic than the unknown competition, but also far more traffic from other sources, such as social networks.

The greater the awareness, the trust and the traffic, the more voluntary backlinks a website receives. People are more willing to link to trustworthy brands than websites they don't know who is behind them. Above all, the links are often of better quality because they themselves come from strong brands. And even if backlinks are no longer as important as they used to be, they are still one of the most important ranking factors. Google interprets every natural link from an external website as a recommendation.

Anyone can be a brand

When we talk about brands, we don't just mean Apple, Coca-Cola and Co. A brand is someone who is perceived as an authority in his area, enjoys the trust of (potential) customers, has built up an emotional, two-way relationship with customers and does not necessarily have to actively approach the customer, but is sought out by them themselves. This means that a single person can also be a brand.

Especially when it comes to longevity and sustainability, digital branding is an indispensable aspect of SEO. A brand is much more than a catchy name and a chic logo. The basic requirement for building a strong brand personality is that Define the brand essence. The following questions will help:

  • Which target group does my brand address?
  • What brand promise is made to my customers? (Quality, cheapest price, etc.)
  • What are the unique selling points of my brand that make it different from the competition?
  • Is my brand authentic and trustworthy?
  • What values ​​does my brand represent?
  • Is my brand a status symbol?
  • Is my brand an authority in its field and is it a beacon as such?
  • Is my brand a driver of innovation in its field and is it a pioneer as such?
  • Does my brand know the questions and problems of the target group and can answer and solve them?

Building a brand is complex and takes a lot of time. Brand management is also no less important. Because trust has to be earned first - but it can also be lost quickly. The SEOs are certainly not solely responsible for branding. Brand building and brand management require the cross-departmental involvement and cooperation of marketing, public relations, social media as well as designers and programmers (keywords: usability, brand experience).

This is how SEOs can strengthen the brand

Still, there are of course some things SEOs can do in the short and medium term to work on branding. Here are some basics:

1. Consistent company data (NAP)

Anyone who has ever dealt with local SEO knows how important a consistent spelling of the NAP information is. The abbreviation stands for name, address and telephone (phone). Only if the spelling is the same every time can Google identify companies and brands with certainty.

2. Use structured data

Structured data is information that has been specially prepared for search engines and is marked according to Schema.org. This makes it easier for Google to crawl and identify certain types of information and properties. There are also instructions that identify the fire and the associated contact details. The award increases the chance for a rich snippet, for example, which increases the attention in the SERPs and increases the click rate.

3. Improving the click rate through snippet optimization

We have already learned how important the click rate is. Even as a strong brand, you shouldn't hope to get a click for the name alone. In addition, one should not only be satisfied with the brand-savvy users, but also try to convince the impartial. As an unknown website, you have no choice but to attract as much attention as possible via the snippet.

The art is in keeping both the SEO and the branding agent happy. A combination of keywords and branding does justice to both. The title and description must be meaningful and enticing. Only if the user is relatively sure of getting help here after just a few words, or if he succeeds in making him want more, will he click.

To increase attention, emoticons in the meta title and in the meta description can help. The following applies here: less is more. Seriousness must not suffer. In principle, the following applies: No false promises in the snippet. This creates anger and damages trust. In addition, fast return and high bounce rates send negative signals to Google.

4. Publisher content with added value

Brands also live from content. The content is a great way to position yourself as an expert and build authority (including backlinks). In order for this to succeed, one should not rely solely on advertising content in the finest marketing language, but on real publisher content. This is characterized by the fact that it is comprehensive and offers real added value. Of course you have to pass on some of your valuable knowledge to do this, but ultimately this is rewarded with trust, more visibility, better rankings and increasing sales. Avarice and thrift are not good advisors when it comes to content!

KPIs that provide information about the branding

Google is now very well able to recognize a brand. There are various characteristics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide information about how successful a website is in the typical branding disciplines:

Awareness in a subject area:

  • Number of visitors
  • Number of new visitors
  • Search volume in relation to the brand
  • Social signals (mentions, contacts, fans, likes, shares, etc.)
  • Co-occurrence
  • Co-citation

Reputation and trust:

  • Number of brand mentions
  • Backlinks
  • Click rate
  • Scroll depth
  • Blog comments

Customer loyalty and loyalty:

  • Number of returning visitors
  • Average length of stay
  • Number of pages viewed
  • Bounce rate

There are various ways to get an overview of the key figures mentioned and to observe their development during brand building. In addition to well-known SEO tools, the free basic applications such as Google Analytics and the Google Search Console already provide deep insights. When it comes to mentions, online monitoring services such as Mediatoolkit help that track mentions on the World Wide Web, even if they are not provided with a hashtag or link to the website.

No top rankings without branding

Even if branding itself is not a ranking factor, it has a strong influence on SEO because brands enjoy greater trust, have a higher click rate and receive more backlinks, social signals and traffic. Consequently, all measures that increase awareness, authority and demand of a brand help to realize the full potential of SEO.

Building a brand doesn't always require a huge marketing budget. We would be happy to tell you in a personal conversation how it can be done with less financial outlay and how the SEO performance can be improved relatively quickly and, above all, sustainably.

A call to finalart is enough!