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Building a Strong Brand Using SEO
Over time, search engines have begun to shift their focus from traditional SEO to new practices geared more toward building expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Today's search engines are looking for strong brands that not only have plenty to say, but whom customers want to interact with as well. Modern SEO practices can help you build a strong brand, but the steps involved in creating that brand may seem different than what you've tried or been told before.
Pick Your Niche
The fastest way to build your brand is to pick a topic niche and begin to create excellent content related to it. This not only helps you rank more highly in search engines; it also provides you with a strong selling point for your brand. Once you've become an expert in your chosen field, you can then begin to expand into other areas, or to explore more deeply into the more competitive areas of your industry.
For example, let's say that you run a copywriting service. In order to build your brand, focus on one specific area of copywriting, such as how to research and write great articles, and begin to write guides on that topic. Once you have established yourself as an expert in that area, you can then begin to branch out into how to write squeeze pages, ad copy, link building, and other aspects of the field.
Focus on Quality
As you build your brand, you'll be creating dozens of pages of content for your readers and potential customers to explore. While in the past, SEO focused on practices such as keyword density and stuffing, etc. today's focus should be on creating excellent content first, and optimization second. It does no good for your website to have a high bounce rate. You want users to spend some time reading and clicking through the pages you've created.
Once you've created quality content, you can begin to optimize it. The best way to do this is to ensure that your content answers the big questions searchers are looking for: who, what, where, when, why, and how. The recent search engine algorithm updates focus on more human search terms in question format. Try to ensure that your content contains the relevant question in some from (how to write a great article, where to research online, etc.) followed immediately by the steps to answer that question. In the past, content was optimized for search engine robots. Today, you need to optimize your content for human searchers.
In the past, the focus for many brands and websites was on building links from thousands of sources. Today, this needs to change. If you want to build your brand's strength, concentrate on building relationships. This allows other sites and bloggers to link to your pages naturally. Instead of having hundreds of links from mediocre websites or blogs, build relationships with a few high-rated and trusted sources. Associate your brand with other companies that help it become more relevant. Focus on getting other influential people and entities to give your brand credibility through social sharing, links, and yes, even unlinked mentions.
SEO practices may have changed, but that doesn't mean that SEO is dead. It can still be an incredible help to building a very strong online brand. In return, building a strong brand will greatly help your SEO efforts. In today's online world, both elements rely on each other to be truly successful and help you reach the audience you are hoping to attract. Both practices are important if you want your business to be successful and truly win the ranking game.
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