A brand is the face of a product — the personality and purpose behind what’s being offered. Brands aim to strategically enter the psyche of target markets and touch potential customers on a personal level, thus building a common interest and inducing sales. Brand exposure and finding a common ground with prospective markets is an integral part of success and it must be done right. There are no ifs, ands or buts.
Over the years I have come across a few branding downfalls, which are roadblocks to success and hinder the portrayal of a transparent, representative, focused company. These downfalls are not seen in television commercials, print ads or banners. Instead, they’re spread throughout the internet.
Nowadays, the internet is part of daily life for millions of people around the world and all conventional marketing channels are dipping their toes in the water. TV stations are airing shows on their websites with ads on the sidebar. Tangible newspapers are being phased out and major news providers (LA Times, NY Times, Business Week, etc.) are putting more effort into online distribution and social media. Everything is making a shift to the web, and for this reason online branding is vital to the sustainability and success of businesses.
Search engine branding (what I like to call Meta Branding) is the one area where most companies, sad to say, fail miserably. They can have the coolest website, the most followers on Twitter, spend $50,000 per month on Google AdWords, yet still misrepresent their brand in search engines. I have included a couple scenarios below:
Search Engine Listing
Meta title: Shmohawk’s Hairdews – Home
Meta description: Shmohawk’s Hairdews provides the best haircuts West of the Mississippi river. Call us for a dew!
Meta Branding Issues
The meta title says “home” after the company name which refers to the home page. Most CMS systems and web developers unfamiliar with SEO will use page navigation in the meta titles, which is not needed. Use the 8-10 title keywords allowed to concisely describe your business, location, purpose, etc. This is valuable real estate and, unless you’re in an industry that relates to homes, you’re diluting your brand image when potential customers find your company in search engines.
Secondly, pertaining to the description, it fails to state the location (if important for your business – e.g. restaurant) and is far too short. The meta description is your area to describe what your business is all about so you must use it wisely grasshoppa. A proper meta description would mention the location of Shmohawk’s Hairdews and the types of haircuts that are given. This way locals can find Shmohawk in search engines, visit the website, then stop in for a stylish cut (we shall hope). Since haircuts are a local product, location is key in this instance.
XYZ Car Dealership
Search Engine Listing
Meta title: XYZ Car Dealership – The Finest Cars Around
Meta description: Looking for a new car? XYZ Car Dealership specializes in new cars, used cars and leases. Offering competitive prices and top-notch service for all Los Angeles residents.
Meta Branding Issues
XYZ Car Dealership scores points (in my book) by mentioning location and keywords — such as new cars, used cars, leases, etc. — in the meta information. But, they have made one big mistake: Don’t expect customers to know your business and what you do. XYZ Car Dealership fails to mention the actual vehicles they sell in the meta title/description. If a potential customer is looking for a BMW in Los Angeles and comes across the XYZ Car Dealership website in search engines they will have no clue if the company actually sells BMWs. In the end, this customer will visit another search engine listings that mentions BMW vehicles and keywords that match their wants and needs. Meta branding is quite important as you can see.
I hope this article has been helpful and good luck!
The Brainchild Group
Tweets by BrainchildGroup
The Brainchild Group is a top advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles, California that specializes in the consultation and implementation of strategic online marketing/branding. Please feel free to CONTACT US for more information on Meta Branding.