SEO vs. Branding: What Should You Lead with in Your Content Strategy?

A winner will be chosen. But first…

It’s important to think of optimizing your website and promoting your company’s brand as two goals that compliment, rather than compete with, each other. When managed correctly, they can work together to fulfill their individual purposes while creating a quality Web presence for your business.

Sounds good in theory, so time to put it into practice. When you’re trying to decide whether to optimize your site, focus on building your brand, or manage both, follow these quick tips:

Use SEO keywords in section headings. Stick with using keywords in header tags to guide readers into the juicy parts of your pages. Use them to pull a larger audience into the section, and then expand on what makes your company stand apart.

Brand your calls to action. Your page’s call to action is your last chance to tell someone to notice you specifically. Your company name needs to be close to your take-action word to remind people who they need to contact. Or shop from. Or sign up with.

Combine strategies in title tags and meta descriptions. Use keywords and your company’s name in titles so that your audience can quickly see what’s being offered and who’s offering it. SEOmoz recommends keeping keywords near the beginnings of titles, however.

Meta descriptions develop a page’s title by adding a longer explanation as to what it’s all about. Reinforce your targeted keywords and your company’s brand here by always mentioning both.

But this still doesn’t tell me what I should lead with in my content strategy!

Ok, so even though SEO and branding are both important and can be used to strike a balance in attracting an audience and building your name, a winner must prevail.

And that winner is…

SEO. Because it doesn’t matter who you are if no one can find you.

To make sure people are reaching your products or services, you need to aim for prominent positions in search engines through an effective SEO plan. Check out our SEO techniques guide for ideas on what to cover when optimizing your site.


Image provided by Powerhouse Museum Collection on Flickr.

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