Let’s say you represent a BIG brand; one that is a household name. Next, let’s say that your products or services are not e-commerce based. Want an example? Sure, let’s use Deloitte, the consulting firm specializing in tax, accounting, strategy and technology integration.
A potential customer isn’t going to use a search engine to look for “tax consulting”, find Deloitte, then use a shopping cart to buy 100 hours of consulting service. Deloitte’s site is not transactional in nature; there’s isn’t a direct response/action taken from a potential customer browsing the site. So, can Deloitte, and other big brands benefit from SEO, when e-commerce isn’t at stake?
To answer this question, let’s ask another question; why do companies pay for advertisements in magazines, television commercials, radio and other forms of traditional advertising? If you say they do this for “brand recognition” or “brand awareness”, then I would agree with you. A Gatorade commercial during halftime of an NBA game isn’t asking the viewer to pick up the phone and buy 5 cases of Gatorade; however, the commercial is reinforcing a message that they’d like you to associate with its BRAND. So, why is search engine exposure any different?
Big brands have to decide how they want to be perceived; and most do an excellent job of this with their advertisements. For search engines, it’s not much different. Selecting keywords and phrases that they feel best represent their brand, such as “best hydrating sports drink” or, “world’s best tax consulting firm” or “most luxurious sedan” are great examples of how companies may want their brands to be viewed.
If this is the case, then it’s time to get optimizing and FIRST, determine how it is you’d like your company to be viewed, and where you’d like this search engine exposure coming from.
After all, search engines provide a more exact way to shape your brand’s image…by searching for qualities brands would like to portray!