The ABC’s of Branding: Keywords



How do you get customers to associate your brand with certain words, feelings or sentiments? One of the best ways to do this is by using keywords. By constantly pairing your brand with a specific set of keywords, your customers are steadily exposed and conditioned to associate your brand with certain words, feelings or messages. One of the most important aspects of building a brand, is building your brand directly in the mind of consumers.

Selecting Keywords

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This step is crucial, but can only be done after you've determined the personality and promise of your brand. Keywords are words and long term phrases that explain what individuals are searching for, and should ultimately be in line with what your company offers, writes about and supports. Start by choosing your top 10 words you want your brand to be associated with. These keywords should not only describe the nature of your brand but also what you can do for your customers. Also consider popular keywords in the industry and how you'll compare to your competitors. While your keywords may not completely match your competitors, you may overlap in certain areas.

Decide your final keywords according to how your customers search and match what they're looking for (ex. although you may be an residential decorating company, your customers may be looking up interior design - think of how you can incorporate that word with your brand).  What are your customers asking about? What are your customer’s goals and primary ailments? Find out your customer's concerns first and tailor your services to close the gap between their problem and your solution. This is also known as a content gap analysis. After finding a set of keywords that meets the criteria, brainstorm the strongest derivatives for each word. It may be easier to make a long form list first and then tweak it down by grouping related words into weak, moderate and strongest synonyms.

For example, if you are an Art and Design Company,  part of your list might look like this:

Keyword: Design

Related terms: Art, Drawing, Painting, Illustration, Pictures, Prints, Photography, Graphic Design, Website Design, Digital Design

What people are searching?

  1. Where can I get a painting of myself?
  2. Companies that do website design?
  3. Graphic Design companies that do packaging?

Best fit Keywords to go with Design: Painting, Website Design, Graphic Design.

In the end, you'll want a list of about 10-20 words, including your core words and a few interchangeable terms for that word. You'll want to make sure to include these words on every page and print for your brand - whether it's a long form of a keyword or related term. Keywords should be applied to your website, blogs, social media posts, landing pages, emails, pay per click ads, e-books,  premium content and the like.

Improving your SEO

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You've probably heard the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO, about a hundred billion times, but that's because it's so important. SEO is the practice of raising the ratio of relevant, organic traffic to your website. This process is used to attract customers who would be a match for your brand by making yourself visible on search engines according to how they search. Basically, SEO is how companies get their website to show up on the first page of a search engine, without registering to be a pay per click ad. The art of SEO goes hand in hand with selecting keywords - you’ll gain search engine authority as more people interact with your site from the related keywords they’ve searched.

While it’s possible to accomplish good SEO on your own, there are also online aids and softwares to break down and simplify the process.

Some favourite platforms that can help you with SEO includes:

Practicing SEO and monopolizing on keywords is (almost) completely free, and is definitely worth a try if you haven’t committed yet. Strategically using your keywords can be the difference between spending money on paid ads and naturally attracting possible leads for free.


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