Friday, August 14, 2009

Branding And SEM Don't Get Along Well

Branding is important for a company. It aims to give to stakeholders, customers and potential ones, a clear view of what the company offers, its position in the market and its values. Branding is a difficult exercise, especially for businesses that provides somehow the same kind of servies than its competitors. It is especially true in the business to business industry.

SEM is the art of buying keywords on search engines, in order to generate traffic on a website, and ultimately convert this traffic into customers. But sometimes, interests of both trades are hard to get along.

SEM takes into consideration web users semantic, and searching methods. If someone is looking for a video conferencing service, it will key "video conference". But branding aims to make a company and its product different. In that case, a company might establish itself as a video communication leader. Moreover, as brand specialist, they might consider the company is better off trying to buy keywords associated with the video communication terms than video conferencing words, which market is expensive and overcrowded.

SEM expert Ian Harris explains the problems he experiences to deal with branding consideration and SEO

I believe the best solution is to brand yourself on the website as you like, but keep a search engine optimization strategy that would bring you the best results, taking into consideration web users terminologies. Also, with a microsite strategy or couple of landingscape, techniques that bring a high conversion rate most of the time with keywords campaigns, you could link both strategies without much problems.