SEO must embrace brand principles

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IMAGE: Blueclaw

In order for SEO to become a fully integrated part of the marketing mix, it must pay more attention to how it fits itself in with overall marketing strategy.

A main element that is currently neglected by SEO is brand.

SEO can no longer simply be about achieving brand awareness, as the methods it uses to achieve brand awareness encompass a far broader spectrum of brand components. Does our SEO strategy fit in with the brand values – is it fun, forward thinking or environmental, for example? What about our interaction with others? And which links will support the brand image?

At present, these questions are ignored by many in the SEO community, but it could be the missing piece in the jigsaw.  Thinking about these questions will allow you to work with bigger brands – brands that have developed beyond a mere logo and into a philosophy. A philosophy that you must become part of…or at the very least, compromise with!

It may blur the lines between SEO and other marketing functions, but Google dictates this must be so in order to be successful in the rankings. Buying or reciprocating links will not work for the bigger clients with the popular keywords.

As such, marketing is beginning to realise that SEO is no longer the little brother that can survive off pocket money – it has grown up and must be invited to the party. But to make sure it’s invited back, it must behave appropriately! And this means paying attention to the needs of the brand it’s working with.