Can SEO Impact How Customers Perceive Your Brand?

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At the outset, SEO or Search Engine Optimization has nothing to do with customers directly. The techniques and strategies used in SEO are primarily aimed at growing the authority of your website which will in turn make it possible for Google to rank your site high on search results. From an operational perspective too, SEO is a lot about fixing back-end technical errors, building links, making your site load faster, etc. None of this may seem to directly impact how a customer perceives your brand. But it does, and can highly impact the conversion rate on your website. Here’s how.

Understanding the concept of authority

Pop survey – if you have to name the best online resource for data and facts, what would it be? You will not be alone if your answer was Wikipedia. So here is a website that is not-for-profit and has never advertised their product and still, a huge chunk of online users consider Wikipedia as the go-to resource for all sorts of research. Besides the fact that Wikipedia is in fact an extremely valuable resource, one of the biggest reasons for this perception among its ‘customers’ is because this website consistently ranks on top of the search results for relevant keywords.

As a result, internet users constantly stumble upon Wikipedia during online research which has led to it being perceived an authority source. The same is true for any business. A company that ranks on top for all keywords relating to an industry gets to be constantly seen by potential customers. This enhances its brand perception and helps the company establish itself as an authority in the industry.

The impact of citations

An actor who has been awarded the Oscars is most likely regarded better than one who has won an award from a local theater. That is the power of citations from a high authority source. When Google launched their PageRank algorithm, it was with a noble intent – customers trust brands that are cited and referenced by high authority sources. So, this way, when you rank websites based on the number of such high authority citations they have received, you are also in turn, ranking them based on their authority. This has been systematically abused so much by SEOs over the past two decades that this algorithm does not exist any longer. However, backlinks continue to be one of the main ways for internet users to discern authority sources. A website that has received backlinks from authority sources like WSJ or The New York Times is likely to be regarded higher by customers than those that have been linked by small blogs.

The feedback loop

Like it is in the offline world, word of mouth references are vital in the online ecosystem too. New customers regularly seek reviews on platforms like Yelp to find the best provider for any product or service they seek. Google’s local SEO algorithm places a great deal of importance to such reviews and third party ratings while ranking websites. Ranking on top of Google helps you build a large chunk of customers who are internet users. This segment of your customers are also more likely to leave a review of your business on Yelp. This effectively creates a feedback loop that consolidates your position at the top of Google search results. In essence, this loop not only establishes your business as an authority in the industry, but also helps brings a substantial number of new customers to your business.

1 COMMENT

  1. Absolutely, SEO actually impacts the way customers think of a company or brand, no matter whether it is a global business or a local company. People may say that ranking is not that big thing today but it is actually. If your website dominates the top positions on search engines for an industry then that is bound to impact the brand’s visibility and sales as well. Citations and customer reviews are also really important. Everything is related when we think about online internet business or website.
    I personally enjoyed the content and am going to share this on my networks. Thanks..

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