There is a permanent and silent rivalry, which most professionals go unnoticed. This is the existing rivalry between the Communication/Branding department and the Search Engine Marketing teams and more specifically with Search Engine Optimization teams.

Why does this rivalry exist?

Well, because the interests and market perception are different between both areas.

Any SEO professional lives and breathes the market research habits, more concretely the evolution of the Strategic Keywords, that is, the words that most users use to find the Product or Service that a company, or its competitors provides. This is because the whole meaning of search engines lies in the ability to present answers, to questions, problems or solutions researched.

What does this mean? As an example, it is as simple as realizing that in search engines, you have more users who need to do works at home, searching for “works and refurbishments”, rather than the name of a construction company. When users already have a reference company, the tendency is to search directly in the Browser and not in a Search Engine.

Brand professionals are more emotional, they are the creatives and they are focused on the company identity and in generating brand awareness, so usually they tend to use exclusive company and brand terms in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. This is a problem because those terms sometimes are not known and are not used in products, services, or in the own brand researches performed by the “general public” or by the buyer persona. They become non-common-sense terms. This practice goes against the principles of Search Engine Optimization that suggests that it’s the company who needs to adapt to the market and not the market to the company.

The Brand deals with loyalty to the company, and its emotions and culture, and Search Engine Optimization deals with straight and simple brand positioning for search engines.

Why is it such an important question?

Because SEO is a tool for customer acquisition in an organic and lasting way, without advertising costs, having the right strategy can be the difference between success or failure of the Brand.

What is more important? Brand or SEO?

Incorporating equal importance to both elements can partly dilute the importance of both. However, eliminating one or the other may not meet all strategic and marketing or sales objectives. Again, it should be emphasized that SEO is a set of guidelines and not an exact science. That being said, the following recommendation can be used to satisfy both sides of the equation:

In general, keywords and phrases should continue to be the focus of any early-stage company, while the incorporation of the company brand should appear later in the evolution. This is simply a general statement, as each company is a company. The reason is quite simple. At first, nobody knows the name of your company, however, there are already searches for your products or services. As it builds loyalty and credibility, the brand becomes more important. It is at this point that you may want to incorporate corporate messages to strengthen customer relationships and bring confidence to the brand, so keep an eye on online search volumes for your brand name, this is a sign of the importance and notoriety you are gaining.

And in at concerns to the website domain?

This is a strategic decision and depends on your branding goals. Typically, B2B brands have more descriptive names of the activity, which is a plus in SEO, as the domain, which is extremely important, can already incorporate a keyword, or part of it. But in brands where this is not possible, there is also no reason for concern, as Google itself will give less and less relevance to the domain and more to the content as its algorithms evolve. It’s an important consideration when deciding to build your website.

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