How to Calibrate Your Brand Voice to Your SEO AdvantageThe author's views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
It’s a competitive world out there. Everyone’s after a piece of the pie, and in these uncertain times, businesses need to work harder than ever to stand out from the herd.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to develop a unique brand voice for your company – one that will appeal to customers and get noticed via SEO.
What exactly is a “brand voice”? It’s simply the way your organization expresses its messaging in terms of style and tone. Your voice should demonstrate your core values and appeal to your target customers.
It’s vital that this voice is consistent across all aspects of your communications, from blogs to adverts to signage. If your content doesn’t stay on-brand, your audience won’t make the association between your latest product or service and the ones they’ve enjoyed before, and the crucial loyalty factor is gone.
This article will show you a few tricks to help develop a unique voice, structure your content, and turn Google’s algorithms to your advantage at the same time.
Developing your brand voice
This isn’t quite as easy as you might think. Your brand voice has to reflect who you are as a business, and ensure it “speaks” to potential customers on the right level, whether they’re already familiar with your brand or they’ve just found you in a Google search.
This means really getting to know your customers – find out what they need and how they want it presented to them. Consider the demographics: age, gender, profession, financial situation, lifestyle. It’s also helpful to carry out a competitor analysis for companies in a similar industry and see how their brand voice works for them.
When you know who you’re talking to, you can tailor your brand voice to the people who are (hopefully) going to listen to it, and target them through clever SEO techniques.
For instance, if you’re targeting a youthful audience, you might use a chatty and friendly style with a few emojis thrown in. If your content is aimed at older professionals, it’s probably better to keep things a bit more formal.
Content should always be informative and helpful. You might use jargon if your audience is familiar with a subject, but simple language is often best for explaining something technical. Make sure you always back it up with trustworthy sources.
The key to creating engaging content that gets top rankings on search engines is to inject some personality. Some marketers like to push the boundaries with wacky ideas and irreverent humor, but only if it’s appropriate for the audience and the brand. Consider creating a tone and voice “style guide” to be used by everyone in your organization, ensuring consistency across all content.
Optimizing your brand voice
So, you’ve developed your unique brand voice, now how do you let people hear it? Well, you need to optimize your content to pick up the most traffic from search engines.
The trick here is to respond to keyword trends without compromising your brand voice. Your SEO and marketing teams will need to work together on this. SEO will boost your website’s performance on search engines in order to reach the top positions on Google. Most people don’t read beyond the first SERP, so getting into the top ten is crucial for your company’s success.
We’ll show you some tips on how to get there by optimizing your content structure, title tags, and meta description copy.
#1 Define your keywords
Usually, it’s pretty easy to identify your own keywords: they'll include the name of your brand, its identity, and the things it sells or provides. Keywords are the major descriptors of your brand and its USP – and the hooks that will draw in your target customers. But if you’re not sure how to pick a primary keyword, you can use an online tool such as Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer.
Keyword research is an important part of your SEO strategy – identify popular words and phrases that people search for, and structure your content around those topics while keeping your message on-brand.
#2 Create catchy title tags
A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page (not to be confused with the H1-tag, which is the displayed “title” on the actual page). Its main function is to tell visitors what they’ll find if they visit that web page.
The title tag is the first thing a potential visitor will see when your site pops up in an online search, so this is your chance to make a great first impression! You’re aiming to tempt the searcher to click through to the appealing content in your post.
Ideally, a title tag should:
- Include your primary keyword
Use the keyword at or near the start
Stick to 50 to 60 characters (or the search engine may truncate it!)
If you’re already a well-known business, make sure your brand name is included in the title tag. List posts are always popular, so using numbers in the tag is an enticing hook. For example, if you were writing about an alternative to Zoom, your title could be “8 powerful Zoom alternatives for video conferencing”.
People don’t want to read old information, so add a date to your tag – or at least say when it was last updated. They do like thorough and authoritative articles, though. Think "The Ultimate/Complete Guide To…".
Make sure all title tags are unique to avoid confusion, and ensure every page on your website has its own title tag. Finally, be aware that Google may rewrite your title tags if it doesn’t think they’re up to scratch!
Tip: Test your tags. A/B testing and measuring the traffic generated from new keywords will help you work out what you’re doing right or wrong.
#3 Write an enticing meta description
A meta description is the text block or “snippet” that appears underneath the title tag in the search results. This is where you have a bit more room (150 to 160 characters) to describe and summarize the contents of your page – and encourage the reader to click on your post.
Keywords are just as important here, as search engines will highlight those words in the SERP. But you can also optimize your meta descriptions to reflect your brand voice and appeal to visitors.
The more inviting the copy is, the more it will motivate people to click, thus increasing your SERP ranking over time. You can set up your meta descriptions to include your logo, an image, or a review – all things that will draw the reader’s eye.
Tip:If you don’t write a meta description, the search engine will probably create one for you – and it may not be what you want to say!
#4 Use the headline as a hook
Great, you’ve successfully enticed a visitor to click through to your site. Now you just have to keep them engaged, as highly optimized landing pages are essential to increasing conversions.
The reader is already interested in your organization, so pull them in further with an attention-grabbing headline. It’s a good idea to include a variation of your keyword, but you can add other wording to make the reader keen to learn more.
Most people will take a quick scan through the article before deciding whether or not to read the whole thing. Using catchy H2s and H3s with variations of the primary keyword will confirm that this is the article they were looking for – as well as breaking up the text and making it easier to read.
#5 Let your brand voice sing
The main article copy is where your brand voice really comes into its own. Great copy can make your brand memorable, so inject plenty of personality to keep the reader entertained as well as informed.
Scatter some keywords throughout the copy, but there’s no need to shoehorn in the exact phrasing if it’s grammatically clunky. It’s more important to meet the search intent and answer the questions that led the visitor to your door.
Choosing the right topic to write about is an important aspect of your brand communication. It should respond to your target customers’ needs as well as fitting with your marketing strategy. People enjoy reading hands-on, actionable content that will actually add value to their lives. If you can attract the right customers, you can help them build a long-term association with your company.
#6 Be picture perfect
Images are almost as important as words when it comes to promoting your brand. Posts with images get 94% more views, so it's vital to deliver appealing visual content.
Images improve the user experience by making your content more appealing and memorable, and providing a break from the body text. You can also use graphics to explain complex ideas in a visual way.
Pictorial content will give you a big SEO boost by increasing the time people spend on your site, and ensuring you also appear in the image search results.
For brand consistency, make sure your corporate colors and company logo appear across all channels. If these elements help to show off your brand personality, so much the better.
#7 Find a good influencer
Partnering with industry influencers is a good way to attract more traffic to your site, as their followers will be encouraged to connect with you. It’s best to build links with influencers who match your own brand voice and values, to make those connections more obvious.
Even if you don’t go as far as forging a partnership, you can still take inspiration from influencers by following and subscribing to their content. Remember, you’re not looking to copy someone else’s style – just learn from people who do it well.
Looking to the future
Once you’ve calibrated your brand voice for SEO and your business is reaping the rewards, don’t stop there! There are a few more strategies to consider for future content campaigns.
Monitor social media
As social media continues to grow in popularity, it pays to monitor other companies’ channels and identify which social media posts get the best engagement. You can then use these insights to structure the tags and descriptions of your own pages, to increase the chances of traffic.
Get ready for voice search
You should also ensure that your organization is optimized for voice search, which is set to take off over the next few years. Thanks to “digital assistants” such as Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, potential customers are conducting searches in a different way.
Because people tend to use complete questions in a voice search (rather than typing a few words into Google), search engine algorithms will focus on analyzing overall intent instead of exact keywords. This means long-tail keywords will become standard for all search rankings.
If your company wants to attract international customers, you should consider a multilingual marketing strategy. This will help your brand voice appeal to people around the world by making your content accessible across different languages and cultures.
SEO is the key to getting your brand voice heard
Your brand voice is one of your most important assets when it comes to attracting potential customers in a highly competitive world.
If you make the effort to understand those customers and their needs, you’ll be able to speak their language and work out the best ways to entice them in. When people buy into the values demonstrated by a consistent brand voice, visitors will be converted into loyal followers.
Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, and web content successfully, and you’ll see an increase in site traffic – helping you rise up those all-important SERP rankings.