How to Increase Conversions through Brand Strengthening

by Jason Acidre on May 20, 2013 · 22 comments · Content, Conversion


I remember being asked about the single best piece of advice I can give for improving conversions on a group interview on Crazy Egg late last year. Although there are a lot of factors that can really influence site conversions, I chose the one which I believe has the biggest impact – branding.

I’m pretty sure that there’s a lot, but if I have to choose one, I’d definitely say the perceived value and trust built through the middle of the funnel processes. These processes involve content and strong brand indicators that a site builds to promote itself such as highly-informative blog posts, design/presentation/experience, reviews and mentions from other people/sites, and a lot more.

These things have fueled my business, seeing that most of the clients we have acquired through my SEO services page (3% – 5% monthly conversions) are majorly attracted by what they have seen from my content and from what others are saying about my brand.

The truth is, it’s easier to sell things when people (especially your target consumers) are already aware and fascinated by what your brand is putting out on the web (think Amazon, Zappos and Shopify).

Basically, by building a strong online brand presence, you’ll be able to acquire more qualified traffic that can easily be converted into leads and/or sales.

Conversion Optimization is a broad marketing principle, which encompasses different sets of activities (such as A/B, MVT testing, data interpretation, landing page optimization and more). And if you’re more interested to learn about those stuff, here are some useful resources that you might want to check out:

I’ve shared these guides and tutorials upfront, as I won’t be covering any of the topics discussed on those articles on this post. This guide will be more focused on how brand building can improve your site’s ability to convert visitors.

Brand Positioning Factors that Improve Conversions

Building a strong online presence allows brands to easily communicate with their target market, which deeply contributes to how a brand can persuade its audience in using their products/services.

Awareness

Letting your target consumers know how your brand can help solve their problems – through education – is an important aspect of online branding, as it can influence buying decisions and brings them a step closer to your goals.

Differentiation

Brand attributes such as unique value proposition and pricing, can also increase a brand’s chances of getting more interested users/consumers than its competitors. Highlight how your brand is unique or different in your space through your branding activities (on and off the site).

Perceived value

The way how people see or think about your brand or the quality of its products/services can extremely affect your site’s conversions. It also scales your brand’s marketing process, given that it naturally generates endorsements from satisfied users/customers, which then raises your brand’s credibility.

Online Marketing Mediums used for Brand Strengthening

The efforts you do to get your brand out in the open, opens more great opportunities – like brand mentions, links, social shares, endorsements, brand impressions, traffic – which all can help build trust, authority and conversions.

Content Marketing

This marketing platform is probably the best method to educate potential consumers. It’s also one of the best ways to get discovered over the web, seeing that seeking/relaying information is always the first big step.

Another thing to consider is that this marketing practice blends well with search marketing (and as everyone says – “content is king”).

Popular types of content that you can utilize to communicate and engage with your audiences are:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Visuals (infographics, images, interactive landing pages, etc…)
  • Ebooks and other web-based comprehensive learning materials

Creating the content is just a fraction of the entire process, since promoting them makes content marketing whole.  Here are several content promotional techniques you can try implementing for your content:

You can also check out Quicksprout’s advanced guide to content marketing for more extensive tips on content marketing.

Always remember that the more you push out useful and relevant content to your target audience, the more your brand gets stickier to them.

Social Media

Social media marketing is not just about utilizing different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and many more) to promote your brand.

It should also involve and integrate other online marketing activities – such as content, relationship, and influencer marketing as well as using it as a customer relationship management platform – for it to be really effective as a branding tool.

Use social media to leverage your site’s existing assets and also to build new ones. Some of the significant factors in which social media can bring to your branding efforts are:

  • Constantly grow brand loyalists and followers through content and interactions.
  • Build relationships (with influencers and target audience), which can help produce more endorsements for your brand (ex: using positive mentions to your brand as testimonials).
  • Forcing virality through relationships and following base.
  • Improving your brand’s perceived value through connections and associations.
  • Build trust and improve brand perception when social media is used to address solutions to customer-related issues.

Authority Building

Becoming a leading brand in your space can certainly translate into more conversions/sales, because people already know what you are capable of providing.

There are so many online marketing strategies that you can implement to gradually become the go-to-brand in your industry. Some of the most effective tactics may include the following:

  • Connecting and getting endorsed by other influencers in your field.
  • Getting press coverage (which is very doable if you’re focusing on promoting your brand’s unique selling point).
  • Publishing content regularly on other popular publications in your industry.
  • Getting interview opportunities.

Another advantage of getting brand mentions from top influencers and publications is that it’s a great trust indicator/seal when placed or showcased within your site (which is a powerful element that can affect conversions).

trust seal

Optimizing for experience and engagement

Offering the best experience possible for your users/visitors is imperative in this age of online marketing. Aside from helping your site perform better in search (as most of Google’s algorithmic updates are based on usage), it can also help make your site become more remarkable to its users.

It’s easier to get endorsements when people are sticking around and getting remarkable experience from your site.

Areas of your site’s pages that you can continuously test to improve experience and visitor engagement are:

  • Call to action
  • Readability
  • Content structure
  • Thematic internal linking
  • Design
  • Accuracy of headlines and meta tags

Improving your site’s engagement rate can definitely increase its conversions, since people are more willing to take the next necessary action.

Other resources that you might find helpful in improving user experience and visitor engagement:

Measuring the impact of your branding efforts

Monitoring and analyzing your marketing activities has been more essential than ever, and that’s the best about doing it online – it’s measurable.

Analytics is a very vital marketing process, because your data gives you better insights on how you can further improve your campaign.

It allows you to easily identify what’s working, so you can do more of it.

There are a lot of ways to determine if your online branding campaign is yielding results, especially when it comes to driving conversions.

But it’s also important that you’ve set up your site’s goals on your Google Analytics account, so you can efficiently measure each branding channel you’re utilizing.

In case you haven’t setup your Goals in Google Analytics, you can check this step-by-step guide from Google.

Monitoring brand mentions/links with conversions

In your Google Analytics dashboard, go to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions and then click on “Referral”.

referral-ac

Monitoring social networks that are sending converted traffic

Go to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions, and then choose “Social Network”.

social-ac

You can also monitor it by choosing Traffic Sources > Social > Conversions.

social-conversions

Monitoring branded content assets with high conversions

Go to Content > Site Content > Landing Pages. It will then display your site’s top landing pages (that will certainly include your content assets).

Once the list of the pages is displayed, check the upper right corner of the traffic graph, and then click on the “Goal Set”.

goal set

This will show your top landing pages’ conversion data.

content-conversions

Monitoring the conversions of your branded search

The best way to determine the conversions of your branded organic keywords (people using your brand name or product’s name when searching) is to create a Custom Channel Grouping.

To create a Custom Channel Grouping, go to either Assisted Conversions or Top Conversion Paths, choose “Channel Groupings” on the primary dimension tab, and then click on “create a custom Channel Grouping”.

channel grouping

In creating your channel groups, you’ll first need to input a name for your grouping and its label rules, and then to set specific rules. For branded organic keywords, you can just set it to only include keywords coming from organic search and then define the brand terms that people will most likely use in finding your brand.

branded keywords

Whereas for the non-branded search, you can just exclude the branded terms that you’ve defined on the branded organic keywords’ group.

generic keywords

This will make it easier for you to monitor how your branded keywords are performing in terms of conversions.

branded vs generic

Again, these things will give a good direction for your campaigns, as the data that you’ll be able to collate will help you identify the tasks that are bringing you great results.

Identify what’s working, and do more of it!

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie Anderson May 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Hi Jason,

Just wanted to say that this is a great read. I need to check out some of the links in the article closer as I’m in the process of trying to build my own brand new brand.

Reply

Sahil May 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Great post Jason! Branding absolutely will have lot of impact on user’s decision making. Decision making certainly and will forever depend on what others i.e., their peers or close ones had to say about the brand, the online authority of the brand, brand reputation, how customer friendly the brand is etc..

Reply

Grant Merriel May 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Couldn’t agree more with the ‘brand signals’ such as seen in.
Best thing about the blog is the integration of the strategies and actually getting them to aid the success of SEO and outreach.

However, I would have to add a very simplistic one (that can be used as a link building strategy as well):
Social Proofing through “Testimonials”
- By having past customers share their experience, they use language and concepts that your demographic is using, so other potential customers will read and maybe have the same experience, issue or want to feel the same way.
- This ‘social proofing’ has been around for decades but it really does NOT loose it’s strength, as it is the closest thing that website owners can do to replicate the ‘social crowd’ that friendship groups create (on your website and in front of potential customers)

HOW do you build links from it?
- Well… People buy your products and you love getting feedback, so IF they are a business owner, you can feel free to link out to them – I know this DOESN’T help you out…..bbuutt…
- Think about your website and all the complimentary products YOU have bought from other websites, for example: If you are selling computer screens, you probably bought a mouse and keyboard online? So, why not offer them a great testimonial that references you as a person and links to your website?
It’s a win-win for both parties!

Anyway….sorry for spamming your blog Kais, just wanted to throw this one it!

Keep on ripping it up mate!

Reply

Kaiserthesage May 21, 2013 at 1:07 am

Thanks for the awesome comment Grant (awesome insights as usual).

See you soon man! :D

Reply

Mark Gadala-Maria May 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Branding is so easily overlooked by so many digital professionals, this post provides a lot of great reasons why conversions can skyrocket with proper branding. Great Job Jason

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Jacob May 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Ensure product quality. You need to have a product that continually performs well. If a strong brand produces a weak product, the brand image declines. You must thoroughly test all company products before the consumer is introduced to it. You should randomly test product to ensure that it is up to the standard you expect.

Reply

Carl May 21, 2013 at 4:18 am

Branding is taking a lot of time or huge investment in marketing. It can’t happen overnight and it is a daily task. Certainly, this is a way to go, if want to achieve success!

Reply

Mark Macdonald May 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

Hey Jason, Mark from Shopify here – great post! In an online selling environment, having a a website that look trustworthy is critical and strong branding plays a key role in that.

Reply

Jon May 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

I am a huge believer in brand. What a great post.

I do a lot of SEO, it’s my skill (love me or hate me for it lol). And I believe pushing your brand id one of the best ways forward with it. It stops you getting pulled down by lots of the search engine updates and like you say it can help loads with conversion.

Think about lots of things you mention – authority, social media etc. All end with building up a website that has authority and awareness. Giving it a massive SEO push.

Reply

adam May 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

Awesome post! I couldn’t agree more that brand management is a daily task that some in the industry see as mundane (in my experience). Looking forward to the next article!

Reply

Venchito Tampon May 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Conversion and traffic comes naturally when the brand is strengthened, which means that it is always talked about in various places across the web. Content that is memorable and loved by the users – this is what makes the brand popular.

Awesome post Jason. :) Another great insights from you.

Reply

Farrell John Conejos May 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hey Jason,

First and foremost, thanks for tackling this topic. Content Marketing combined with social media can really toughened brand which can pour down traffic and conversion to any online business or other websites . All you just need to do is to produce quality contents and a strong promotional strategy for it.

Reply

Anu May 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Great post Jason. your post is too good and meaningful to provide a great information.Thanks Jason.

Reply

Ian Ray May 23, 2013 at 2:15 am

I’ve read your stuff before and you’re just too awesome. I love what you’ve got here, love what you’re saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

Reply

Chiefsons May 24, 2013 at 1:06 am

Hi Jason,
kaiserthesage is a really tough SEO Blog. Another great insights from you. where have to learn regarding “How to Increase Conversions through Brand Strengthening”. Yes i am totally agree that Brand awareness is too much necessary o increase conversion.

Awesome post, must have to share with social networking.

Thanks
Anis

Reply

Xavier D May 24, 2013 at 4:17 am

There are a lot of facets to marketing, but I also believe branding is very important. For example all the large established companies in the world do it,so that gives you a hint right there. Thanks for the great article. I’ll be back for more advice, Xavier

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Hannes Uys May 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

Jason thank you for alerting me to a part of Analytics I never bothered looking into! ~h.

Reply

Simon Trainer May 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Ask yourself this question, how can I increase trust between myself and my audience? There are 5 stages to gaining trust from a customer perspective. They must first identify with your brand, then understand your brand, then like your brand personality, then engage with your brand before they trust and return to your brand. Therefore conversion is about building that friendship more than attention seeking tactics.

Who your brand is, is more important than what it is. And the quality of your website reflects your brand personality.

Sorry to whitle on just wanted to add some context.

Thanks for the great post!

Reply

eUKhost May 28, 2013 at 7:19 am

@jason, really great post pal. Thank you so much for update.

Reply

robin May 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Awesome blog and very nice strategy on earning bigger spot on Google, really nice and teaching stuff from you :) I will try this option provided thanks to you.

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