Big Brand SEO Strategies
Over the last few years we’ve seen our big brand clients migrate from relying on branding, on-page SEO, user experience, and performance optimization to more complex inbound marketing optimization. Three or four years ago they would have relied primarily on paid and organic branded search without special consideration to unique content marketing for specific product searches. This isn’t to say investing in branded search is going away. In fact, our big brand clients are investing more in the strategy. It’s just that it is one part of an ever larger search optimization strategy.
In two of our recent SEO projects, one of our big brand clients, Discover, wanted to improve search lead generation for their home and student loans sites; particularly after a recent Google search algorithm update (Hummingbird) impacted their organic search rankings. They both opted to implement responsive web design (RWD) blogs with high quality, well-written, pertinent, and periodically refreshed content, but they took different implementation approaches. While Discover Home Loans created a branded experience and added it directly into the existing site primary navigation, Discover Student Loans created a standalone minimally branded experience, which drives leads to the main product site where visitors could learn more and apply.
Discover Home Loans Blog
Discover Student Loans Blog
In addition to standard search optimization techniques (such as canonical URLs and microdata tagging), content aggregation, content categories, legitimate content, post frequencies, and tone of voice were identified for each blog. Setting a tone of voice was key in establishing each blog’s unique personality.
Since the blogs recently launched, the more successful SEO strategy has yet to be determined. Data is still being gathered and results analyzed. Even when a winner is determined Discover will continue to invest and experiment with finding a successful mix of branded and unbranded SEO quality content that drives conversions. Search engines never stop updating their algorithms. Google alone changes their algorithm up to 600 times each year as can be seen at Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History. New SEO strategies always need to be tried and tested.
Discover isn’t alone in their experimentation approach. All of our clients want a top SERP ranking. This can only be achieved by keeping abreast of search algorithm changes and experimenting with SEO strategies.