How to leverage SEO when your brand site doesn’t actually sell anything #BrightonSEO.

In my brightonSEO April 2022 session, I explored how brands can use SEO for their websites, even if they don’t sell directly to their customers.

Using real-life examples from the Kleenex and Andrex brands, I highlighted how you can leverage SEO for your brand site to create seamless and harmonious customer flow, by:

  • Making your site more visible
  • Protecting your brand in the SERP
  • Specialist help
  • Value-add experiences
  • Using search data to understand demand

Making your site more visible

Picture your brand site as the official shop window, where customers get a good look at your products before going elsewhere to purchase.

This doesn’t make your website useless. It targets a different part of the online customer journey – and needs to be optimised to reflect this role. Here are the key steps:

  1. Categorise the products on your website – create a natural pathway across your site, based on how users search for and talk about your products.
  2. Support product content with relevant, in-depth information – ensure users can find everything they need to know about your products in one place.
  3. Implement structured data across product pages – these building blocks form a richer SERP, which creates a positive brand experience beyond your website.
  4. Set your expectations – such changes should improve your site visibility, but you might not outrank other online retailers with more authority and selling capabilities.
  5. Think ahead – is there anything your users may want to know in the future that you could provide onsite? For example, user manuals for discontinued products.

Protecting your brand in the SERP

Brands can also use SEO for brand protection in the SERP landscape with featured snippets. Here are my top tips:

  • Identify what your customers want to know – look at the products and services they’re interested in through keyword research, conversations with real people and internal discussions.
  • Spot the gaps – where are you currently not ranking for questions about your brand?
  • Provide answers – ensure these are backed up with facts. You can also source information from within your business, as no one knows your brand and products better.

Specialist help

Targeting non-branded search queries can also help you reach new audiences. Do this by providing specialist help for potential customers, via your brand site. Make sure the topics are:

  • Relevant to your brand
  • Covered by your expertise
  • Something where you can add value

When you can tick these three boxes, go ahead and create that content. But what if you want to take things one step further?

Value-add experiences

Your brand site is a prime opportunity to add value to the customer journey, and Reprise UK’s recent work for Kleenex is a real-life example of this operating at its best.

Using keyword research and competitive analysis, we were able to spot a gap in the search landscape around pollen counts, which aligned with Kleenex’s Allergy Comfort range.

We set to work creating Your Pollen Pal on the Kleenex site, where users can get hyperlocal pollen forecasts based on their postcode and sign up for email alerts when pollen is high in that area.

Not only did this add value for both new and existing customers, but it also increased traffic in peak pollen season by 1000% YOY. Better still, the first party data capture provided Kleenex with thousands of emails for future retargeting to push their Allergy Comfort range.

Remember, data from your brand site doesn’t just inform SEO strategies. It also supports other channels and wider business needs such as emerging trends and market demand.

The Kleenex data allowed us to build other journeys through CRM and email for new campaigns, as well as create lookalike audiences for paid media. So, just think what it could do for other brands…

Using search data to understand demand

Search data can be used to show how demand for products and brands is changing in the marketplace over time. By creating demand reports directly from search data, we can plan better strategies and get a deeper understanding of the wider marketplace. This helps us to make sure brands are serving customers what they want and when they need it. Some examples of this are:

  • Using categorised product keywords and historical search volumes to visualise how demand for product types has changed over time. This can help to explain fluctuations in sales (whether in physical stores or online retailers).
  • Using brand keywords and historical search volumes to track how brand demand changes within your industry. You can create trend lines over time to monitor which competitors are investing in brand, and what your position in the market is.

Discover our key takeaways from this year’s brightonSEO conference on the Reprise Insights blog.

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