Does brand awareness impact organic search rankings?

By: Chris Hickman

In search engine rankings, everyone wants to be number one. And the best way to do so is by catering to metrics that search engines use in determining what result is most relevant to specific searches.

You can have traffic driven to your website from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And referrals (through hyperlinks) from other reputable websites can boost your ranking too. And if you are a well-known brand, your organic search results are likely to be higher than others.

When it comes to ranking in search results, good brands help companies more than many people realize. It gives them a competitive edge and give consumers the peace of mind they need to try new products. And when it comes to ranking in searches, awareness of your brand can help that, too.

Brand Awareness and Search Rankings

In 2016, UK-based SEO services company Stickyeyes performed an experiment to determine if brand awareness impacted organic search rankings. While the company refrained from conclusively stating that yes, brand awareness increases organic search rankings, they acknowledge there is some correlation.

Whether brand awareness significantly impacts search rankings or slightly elevates them, one thing is true: You need to use as many marketing strategies—both digital and print—that make sense for your company to promote your brand.

Offline Strategies

Consider these strategies to promote your brand outside the digital space.

Industry Publications

Industry publications are a great way for brands in niche industries to connect with an already engaged audience. You can take out a one- or two-page ad for your product or services and easily target your specific consumers. But one other way you can promote your brand is through a guest article. Think of it as guest blogging in print. By writing an article in an acclaimed industry publication, you can showcase your expertise in the field and draw awareness to your brand.

Print Advertising

Print advertising comes in multiples forms, so it’s important to determine what types work best for your company. Local businesses like restaurants and boutiques will likely find more success with outdoor advertising (benches, banners, billboards), newspaper ads, locally circulated magazines, or phone books.

Public Speaking

By taking the opportunity to interact with your audience in person, you are going to exponentially increase your brand awareness offline, which will likely lead to increased searches for your brand. You’ll already be speaking to an engaged audience, and you have a chance to strengthen your brand through speech and one-on-one interaction. Additionally, Adficient is a PPC management company, which can take advantage of public speaking opportunities to target the attendees with follow-up ads.

Online Strategies

Use these tried and true strategies to market your brand online.

Content Marketing

Content is one of Google’s two highest factors for ranking, so having a strong content marketing strategy is crucial, regardless of what industry you are in. One of the best aspects of content marketing is that it is expansive. There are various types of content you can create. Each has unique benefits, but all work toward increasing your brand awareness. Some types of content to consider include:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Downloads (checklists, etc.)

You can create whatever content works best for your company and budget.

Social Media

If there’s one place your customers interact, it is likely social media. From Facebook to LinkedIn, you’ll find your audience often frequents at least one of these platforms (if not multiple). And with the option to pay for sponsored posts and advertisements, social media is a great way to target new, potential customers. You’ll also want to make sure that you regularly post at least a few times a day. If you do not have the time or resources to do so, post no less than once per day each week.

It’s also important to respond to your customers: This not only builds your brand (shows you are responsive, honest, etc.) but increases brand awareness (friends and acquaintances will see you have responded). Also, like with public speaking, if you have a social media audience you can identify it makes it easy for a PPC management agency to target them with ads.

Guest Blogging

Take advantage of the large audience of another website by guest blogging. Showcase your expertise (and do some link building) by crafting content for a website in your industry. It’s a win-win situation. The website gets fresh content, and you put your brand in front of an interested audience while linking back to your website (which helps your search ranking).

Bolster Your Brand Awareness

To generate the most brand awareness, you need to use both print and digital tactics in your marketing strategy. Doing so will give you the best chance of reaching your current and potential customers, wherever they may be. And when they need a product or service like yours, they will know exactly where to go.


Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.

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