Branding Versus SEO

Branding versus search engine optimization is a marketing dilemma that larger companies will need to come to grips with on the Internet. Often companies will need to decide whether to promote their own brand name as their main keyword phrase or optimize for a more generic keyword phrase.

For instance, one search engine report states that 1.3 million visitors per month search for the term "Best Buy." This same report states that the term "electronics" is searched for by 1.1 visitors per month. The obvious choice in this scenario is for Best Buy to optimize for their own brand name first and the word "electronics" second.

But, take a competitor such as Fry's Electronics. Approximately 95,000 visitors search for the term "Fry's" every month, far short of those who search for "electronics". Does this mean Fry's Electronics (a partner with Outpost.com) should optimize for "electronics" first and Fry's (and/or Outpost.com) second?

At this writing (August 2004), a search on Google for "electronics" will show that Best Buy does not show up in the first two pages. Fry's (Outpost.com) is on the third page. But let's take a further look to see who is in the number 1 position: Sony. And Samsung is a close second.

Sony, with 450,000 searches per month for the word "sony", has managed to grab the number one spot for its brand name and the generic word "electronics". A search of the Sony homepage source code will reveal that this page is optimized for both words, "Sony" and "electronics." By optimizing for both words Sony has grabbed a lot of traffic neglected by Best Buy and perhaps even exceeds Best Buys traffic in doing this.

Another issue in branding is trademark infringement. Courts have upheld that websites using another company's branded name in its meta tags is engaging in trademark infringement. For instance, a site about cats would be infringing if it put the name Best Buy in its meta tags in hopes of gaining traffic from this trademarked word. Large companies have to protect themselves from others stealing traffic that is rightfully theirs. These companies cannot however protect a generic term such as "electronics" as that is fair game for all electronics companies.

So in order to create the largest return on investment, large companies need to optimize their websites both for their own brand names and for the generic, high-traffic keywords and keyword phrases relevant to their sites. Otherwise, they are letting tons of online business just slip away.

About The Author

Copyright © 2004 SEO Resource

http://www.seoresource.net

Kevin Kantola is the CEO of SEO Resource and has published many articles over the past 20 years.

In The News:

SEO myths busted by an ex-Googler  Search Engine Land
How to Make SEO Happen in 2020  Practical Ecommerce
SEO: Give Your Company a Fighting Chance  Transport Topics Online
Managing Successful SEO Migrations  Search Engine Journal
What Are Managed SEO Services?  The Daily Campus
10 Best SEO Podcasts to Master the Art of SEO  99Signals - Tech News, Tech Hacks, & More
What Does It Mean to ‘Do SEO’?  Search Engine Journal
Poll: After The SEO Audit; Next Steps  Search Engine Roundtable
5 Easy SEO Wins with Powerful Results  Search Engine Journal
My experience with SEO  Practical Ecommerce
Can SEO Be Made Predictable?  Search Engine Journal
How to Create Content for SEO  Search Engine Journal
What Is a Google Penalty in SEO?  Search Engine Journal

10 Steps To Higher Search Engine Positioning

There is perhaps no more level playing field in business... Read More

Submit Your Website to Search Engines

Some search engine submissions are free and some pay for... Read More

60 Day Sandbox for Google & AskJeeves; MSN Indexes Quickest, Yahoo Next

Search engine listing delays have come to be called the... Read More

One Way Linking Campaigns II

There is a way to generate links with the content... Read More

Google, BackRub, Backlinking, and the Link Hunting Obsession that Takes Its Toll

Google is currently one of the dominant entities on the... Read More

SEO Expert Guide - Keyword Analysis (part 3/10)

If you imagine that building an optimized site is like... Read More

Google Has No Content On Page

One of the post from My SEO world Meet Up... Read More

DIY SEO - Part 2 Tags n Things

Part 2 Tips 4 tagsMeta tags are the descriptive tags... Read More

A Classified Way To Drive Business To Your Web Site

There are more than 105 million of them in the... Read More

Goofy Mistakes that Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings

One thing is for sure, you don't want to spend... Read More

Search Engine Optimization Explained

Search Engine Listing And OptimizationIn the world of website marketing,... Read More

Get Better Search Engine Rankings with RSS

RSS is the latest craze in online publishing. But what... Read More

How to Use the Google Patent to Get More Traffic

According to the recent release of the Google Patent Application,... Read More

Get Traffic You Need - Make Your Links Work

So you have built a nice web site with good... Read More

Five FAQ About Google PageRank

Five FAQ about Google PageRank1. What is PageRank and why... Read More

Lets Make Your Website #1

Their is simple way of making your website rank top... Read More

Local Search Optimization - A Guide to Getting Started

While searching the web these days, it's hard not to... Read More

Get A Top Position In Google In Three Days!

So how do you get a top listing in Google... Read More

How to Create Killer Keywords to Get FREE Traffic to Your Website

When exploring good keyword choices there are several steps one... Read More

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Fix Your OffPage!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something you should be aware... Read More

SEO India: Tips & Techniques

SEO is all about "Individualism"According to me SEO is not... Read More

Optimize Your Website or Get Lost In The Crowd!

It used to be that designing an attractive website to... Read More

SEO #4: Off-page Optimization

Yesterday you should have read the third course out of... Read More

Search Engine Optimization, Positioning: Is Chasing Google Algorithms Worth It?

Google is the undisputed heavyweight champion of search engines. Most... Read More

Has Google Lost the Plot?

With the help of MSN, recently I've been reminiscing about... Read More