Let’s face it — if you have worked in the industry for a while, you are aware that a stigma has existed around SEO for years. In addition to putting your site at risk for a manual penalty, questionable SEO practices can tarnish a brand’s reputation. Those of us who have properly applied SEO principles and committed to protecting our brands have gotten a bad rap due to others that have misapplied SEO for their clients or companies.
Running an enterprise SEO program for an established brand requires that one acknowledge the stigma and place a focus on changing perception. Changing perception requires action, not words. Simply educating the company on the value of SEO, or how SEO can be applied responsibly, is not enough. Strategy alignment, allocation of assigned resources, and a full demonstration of defending and enhancing the brand is critical.
Positioning SEO as brand protection
Iconic brands stand the test of time by placing brand ahead of everything else — so when working with an established brand, one effective way to obtain support for an SEO program is by focusing on brand protection rather than potential traffic and revenue opportunity.
Explaining the role of SEO in brand protection is a compelling argument for establishing and investing in an SEO program. Position your program as a defender of the brand first and a revenue stream second. Brand recovery opportunities come by at a much lower frequency than revenue opportunities, and single misplacement of priority can be devastating.
Explaining SEO’s role in brand protection
My colleague John Curtis, who runs the day-to-day SEO operations for our team at Walgreens, made an excellent point in a recent discussion about brand protection: If you relinquish your brand story to others, you lose control of the brand and the message.
Customers seek information about your brand, your products and your services. If you fail to provide the resources or answer the…