Periodicals-Publishing and Printing in Vancouver
top of page

SEO for Brand Storytelling

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

I create lots of content

I create lots of content to tell brand stories

I create lots of content to tell brand stories, which wasn't getting enough traffic so ...

I Got Smarter about Content Creation with SEO

When I started MarketAPeel, I promoted my services through social media and by networking in the real world. Both avenues brought me clients to create content for and a small following of people who liked what I had to say. When I began to focus my business on digital publishing, I wasn’t getting the traffic I needed to be successful.

When only 2000 people see an issue of APeeling Digital Magazine, it began to feel like a pointless exercise. I had to improve my site traffic, which meant diving back into SEO.

Search engine optimisation is a tough nut to crack because there are 200 factors in Google's algorithm, which it keeps secret, and you are constantly competing with other websites, many of which have teams of hundreds of people. How was I, one person, going to be able to rank for keywords potential customers?

This is a problem all solopreneurs face in every aspect of their business.

The answer is niche, focus, and persistence.

Is SEO the Answer to Brand Awareness in a Busy Marketplace?

According to marketers, interactive content accounts for 88% of viewer interest and is the way to differentiate yourself as a brand. The ongoing challenge of creating engaging content to attract prospective customers is a constant concern for many. CEOs, leaders, entrepreneurs, and businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase their ideal leads resulting in ongoing growth and success.

Should social media be the outlet? Entrepreneurs and businesses relying on social media are struggling to get the reach needed to impact revenue because algorithms are changing in favor of veteran content creators. According to Tamika Carlton, there is a way to solve this problem, and it is a content strategy for those making $0 or those making upwards of $10 million in revenue.

"Search engines like Google, Bing, and Safari provide free value to you. When your ideal audience is searching for a need related to your service, product, or business, you should show up," said Tamika Carlton, SEO Expert and Founder of Tamika Carlton Collective, a digital marketing agency.

Having worked with startups, coaches, e-commerce brands, nonprofits, and political clients, Tamika has delivered results, resulting in an influx of ideal clients and quality leads.

"The world is shifting. We need more small businesses to be impactful. Far too often, those with the most to invest have been able to take over the market, even though what they represent is trash. I'm about giving more visibility, reach, and revenue to those delivering a service or product that will enhance the world."

There was a time when you could get noticed on social media and you could build a community but then the market began to get crowded and the players wanted to profit off of every little thing they could.

When I look at the traffic coming to my site, it is the traffic from Google organic that stays the longest and reads the most pages. That is the traffic I want because the other traffic is like junk food - looks really good until you eat it and then feel the affects of it on your body. Big traffic numbers are a Vanity metric.

Improving SEO Podcast episode\

Learning about SEO to Rank for Brand Storytelling

To know what to write about, you need to know which words people are typing into the search engines and that takes research. I started studying SEO back in 2005 by taking the Moz courses and following Rand Fishkin. Over the years, I'd dip a toe back into the SEO waters to learn how Google changed the rules to improve searchers experiences and to penalise those who tried to game the system. With every major update two things consistently remained of top importance – Keywords and Backlinks.

Sitting here in my bubble overlooking downtown Vancouver, I couldn’t even start to guess which words people were typing to find people who created content to tell brand stories, let alone if anyone was searching. Which words would bring me the traffic I needed to obtain clients who wanted their own digital magazines and readers for those magazines?

The Answer is Keyword Research.

Back in 2005, was the only game in town when it came to understanding SEO and which keywords mattered to people. Now there are lots of different sites providing limited research results for zero dollars and in-depth results for a monthly SaaS fee. Each system has its own strengths, ranking systems, and features.

Here are some of my favourite SEO & Keyword research sites with free tools:

Like most small business owners, I do a lot of different things and to create enough content to rank for each service I provide will take years. So, the first thing I did was choose two things I wanted to be known for and gain traffic: Brand Storytelling and Digital Magazines. In writing about these two keywords, I’d naturally incorporate other keywords about how I tell brand stories by publishing digital magazines.

Even with focusing on these two main services, would I be able to rank on the first page when my competitors were trying to do the same thing, many of whom had scores of employees, contractors, and freelancers helping them out? I wouldn’t be able to if I continued to ignore SEO. I’d already wasted years by ignoring its importance in favour of social media, which was noisy and fleeting. The value of a post lasts seconds and the amount of content one needs to get noticed, organically or paid, is increasing exponentially. SEO is different because each blog post, each page, adds a brick in the road to my site from Google’s Freeway of knowledge seekers.

Free SEO Tools for Research and Results

To measure results and gain ideas on topics to write about, I use various free versions developed by the above companies.

Moz developed Domain Authority which I go to to check how I'm doing each month. This is the only free tool I use as the other ones are very limited and the subscription is expensive. The Moz Domain Authority Ranking is provided on other SEO research tools like Ubersuggest

SEM Rush provides me with deep insights into my traffic and keyword ideas to help me decide what to write next about Brand Storytelling. Here is a list of some of their free tools to help DIY people like me. – They give you 3-10 free searches a day depending on the tool.

Ubersuggest is SEO Expert Neil Patel’s SEO research tool, which gives you 3 free searches a day. The monthly fee is under $30 per month and affordable for a small business to subscribe for the time they are working on improving their site's ranking.

The following are drop down lists of features of the different SEO tools available

List of Moz Free SEO Tools

Keyword Explorer to discover the best keywords to use for your site

Link Explorer to find link opportunities and see where your competitors are

My Online Presence to analyse your local SEO search efforts

Moz Cast watches the patterns on Google to let you know what is trending

Moz’s Domain Analysis Tool.

List of SEM Rush Free SEO Tools

List of Ubersuggest Free SEO Tools

ahref provides those of us with one site free access to its SEO tools to run reports and check where our backlinks are. The free version does not enable deep keyword research.

Wordstream's free keyword research tool is helpful, though keep in mind the focus of the keyword research for pay per click adwords for digital marketers. The difficulty may be different on Wordstream than it is on another SEO rank checker and keyword research site.

Alexa, Amazon's SEO research tool is both expensive and being discontinued so not relevant.

If you use a different SEO tool that you think needs to be added to this list, please add it in the comments

A Review of SEMRush

SEM Rush has many more tools to help you know everything within the digital realm for your website and brand. It also has tools to help you analyse your PPC efforts to ensure you are getting the most out of your Search Engine Ad Spend. It also has tools to analyse your efforts on social media sites, both organically and paid.

There program is more than a small business needs on a regular basis, which is why the 3-10 free searches a day are valuable for solopreneurs and small business owners, it keeps us from getting too overwhelmed by all the data at once. It’s easier to focus on three things each day and cycle through to ensure everything is working on our sites.

How to Analyze reviews about SEMRush

When we look at reviews, look for stories about how the software works to ensure it will work the way you need it to and fill the gaps you have in your SEO research.

I did a quick search and grabbed a review that at first blush, seemed to be a good review. It provided 5 stars and in large bold font with exclamation points told readers that SEMRush is "#1 Best Platform For SEO & Beyond 2022!"

Kyle O is a digital marketing specialist and Here is what he wrote about SEMRush:

What do you like best?

SEM Rush has been a part of my digital marketing toolbox for at least six or seven years. The amazing thing to me is that during that time, many other platforms that base what they do on data aggregation have fallen entirely or at least stumbled significantly but not SEM RUSH. Other than Moz, who are good in their own right, no one can even compete with SEM RUSH.

What do you dislike?

I sometimes get confused about how to search and see the impact for keywords on a local basis because I think you have to form a project to check that out. It would be nice if it were easy to see local traffic for any keyword without having to set it up like that, but that is about my only complaint, and there are so many pluses that it is not a big deal.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

In the end, I will not need to talk anyone into using SEM RUSH. They are in a class of their own, and there is no substitute

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This platform provides me with all I need to provide my clients with a comprehensive status report for their SEO. SEM RUSH also helps me create a comprehensive plan to show clients what is required to change things in the right direction for their website traffic. This platform informs me how much more traffic would come from such changes.

A review of the review...

When reading reviews on products like SEO research software, read what the person writes to discover if the program will work in the way you need it to. This review tells us that he is a longterm leader who loves the program. He then tells us that it doesn't make local search reporting clear. Though he thinks it can sell itself, people who have never used it wouldn't know this and in the end, he provides insight into whom the program is for - SEO professionals with clients.

Is SEMRush for you? If you are a professional SEO specialist, chances are you are already using it. If you are a small business owner or solopreneur trying to improve your website on your own, use the free tools and take advantage of the 2 weeks trial to get as much information as you possibly can about the keywords you have chosen to write about because it isn't cheap.

Why SEO Research Software is Vital to use

Thanks to these tools I felt I had a good understanding of backlinks and where to go to find out how I could get a backlink on a quality site. It also gave me the ability to check the Domain Authority of a site before adding my site to ensure I was protecting my Domain Authority Ranking. After all, if I suddenly was blacklisted or finding my ranking slipping because of being listed on high spam, low ranked, sites, it would be devastating. I’m putting in hours of work in research, writing, publishing, linking, applying, searching, and more. The last think I want to do is blow it up with a bomb

because I blindly added my website to whichever site I could find.

This is why it is so important to be careful about whom you hire to get you backlinks. The guy may be cheap, but does he know what he’s doing? Ask questions before you hire to make sure they are putting you on reputable sites and not just on their own spam sites.

I have a client who has a number of new platforms with low Domain Authority due to the newness of the domains and the lack of content. One of their platforms is an online directory with a domain authority of 3 and they are getting significant sign ups from previously unknown businesses. The only reason I can uncover is a paid for backlinks SEO company found the site and are systematically adding all their clients to this low ranked site. This is a sign of a person who doesn't know what they are doing.

Another example of SEO paid for backlinks is the sudden amount of spam my personal page's forum received, driving up the short term domain authority, which of course fell once the spam rate of the site began to rise. I didn't have time to manage the site and in the end took the domain down off it and froze the forum until I can rebuild the site.

I Hired an SEO Expert to Start

As much as I've read and studied SEO white hat practices over the years, I wasn't confident about my onpage SEO knowledge, so I hired the number 1 WIX partner and found I’d spent money and they did exactly what I’d already done. I don’t have a lot of money to start with and can’t afford to hire a team for more than one small project, what I wasn’t expecting was how small the project was going to be.

I ended up with 2 new pages keyword slugs, keyword meta descriptions and titles, and each page had one paragraph of keyword rich content that didn’t really describe what I do and had no call to action or reason to hire me.

Then they sent me a dashboard to monitor my site’s traffic. This is when I discovered that they’d added my information to 16 sites for backlinks, of which 2 don't provide a follow backlink. These were mainly citation sites for local SEO, yet I work with clients around the globe not locally. They were sites I was struggling to figure out how to get listed on and some I didn’t know about, which was a nice bonus feeling when I’d felt they’d underperformed.

I still needed to log in to each profile and add content to bolster them with keywords to tell my brand story.

When I hired them, I wasn’t expecting much for what I was paying, but two added pages, two paragraphs, and 16 citations should not have cost what I paid. They did nothing more than what I was already doing and what they did do was the barest of minimums. If I was going to see results, I had to roll up my sleeves and improve the content on the site.

I'm still ill with the idea of wasting money for so little. I never want my clients to feel like they didn't get more than the bargained for when working with me, which is why I pack everything I can into my guided DIY programs, show, books, and site.

How I Improved my Site's SEO for Brand Storytelling

First, I created more keyword rich content to increase the value of both pages, showcase what I do, and create internal links for people to go deeper into my site. Webpages with lots of information on a specific keyword phrase, like Brand Storytelling, are called content pillars. They have 5000 – 10,000 words about the keyword phrase, with multimedia features, and links to other pages on the site. When I'd finished the two content pillar pages AND redesigned linked pages, a week went had gone by and I still needed to do something about my Domain Authority Ranking.

MarketAPeel's Content Pillar Pages:

Brand Storytelling - Everything you need to know about brand storytelling

Digital Magazines - What you need to know about MarketAPeel's digital publications

SEO improving conversions podcast episode

What is Domain Authority and Why Does it Matter?

Domain Authority is an SEO ranking created by to analyse sites based on research into Google's algorithms and ranking systems. Of the 200 things Google deems important, the most important variables are: Keyword rich Content and Backlinks.

With the new content pillar pages, the regular blog posts, and digital magazines, I had quality keyword rich content. The next step was to get those valuable backlinks.

To start. I registered for HARO - Help a Reporter Out, which provided me with opportunities to send reporters a quote for articles published on high quality websites. Crowdsourced articles are a great way for brands to get backlinks and for reporters to get content for articles.

It’s such a great idea, I create my own subscription for people who want to provide quotes for crowdsourced articles in the APeeling and CurbAPeel Digital Magazines, which are later republished on the APeeled blog for a permanent backlink to each ‘expert’ whom I quote.

Why do you want to be on my crowdsource list?

When you receive an email with questions for crowdsourced articles, you can send a 2-3 sentence quote with your website address to receive a backlink to improve your site’s SEO Domain Authority Ranking. The more I improve my Domain Authority, the better it is for your Domain Authority. Together we can obtain more organic traffic than if we sat in our silos alone typing content onto our computers.

The notification email will also provide you with the topic of the next issue of the APeeling Digital Magazine. You can submit a story of 1500 - 2000 words for publishing, no charge to you, Google frowns on paid for links. Your story is then published in APeeling and if applicable, into the CurbAPeel Digital Magazine, before being added to the APeeled Blog for a quality backlink.

Now that that’s out of the way....

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

Finding Backlinks to Support my Brand Story

There are literally millions of websites to obtain a backlink from without them having to find your content first. There are lots of types of links, however for this article it’s important to know about citations and backlinks.

A citation is when a site publishes your name, address, and phone number. They can have a link to your website or not, the important piece is your 411 info. Citations help Google determine your Local SEO, which is valuable to businesses with local customers. Backlinks, which are the most valuable links occur when a site links back to yours using hyperlink reference code.

How do you get Backlinks?

The easiest way is to find lists of directories to register your company with and fill out the profiles with the hyperlink to your website. Any site which provides users with a profile is another way to get backlinks. This is where crowdsourced articles can come in handy. The more common method is guest blogging, which can be time consuming in searching for a site which will accept your article and then writing the article. Most high quality sites that accept articles want you to pitch them first and their criteria can be restrictive.

It’s important to note, not all backlinks are created equal. The domain authority of the site linking back to your website will affect your site’s domain authority. Too many low-quality links and you’ll have a hard time getting your domain authority up, which is why you must be careful about whom you hire to get you backlinks.

One day, the SEO tools suddenly found 4 000 backlinks, up from 42 and though my unique domains linking back doubled from 20 to 42 with higher quality sites, my domain authority went down. I am now digging into the data to figure out where those extra backlinks came from and how I can get rid of them.

Unless you want to drive yourself nuts, I wouldn’t recommend trying to figure out all the backlinks you find, as many sites I check out to figure out where my website link is – don’t show anything, let alone my website link. This problem is beyond me and I'll leave it up to the experts.

Links to SEO Expert Lists:

50 Top SEO Experts to Follow on Social Media (to Get Updated Tips & Advice) by Pat Parkinson Chief Propaganda Officer & Brand Journalist at Post Planner.

"SEO can help! But how do you to learn SEO when you have so many other things to do in your business? A good place to start is by following top SEO experts on social media.

This will help you stay current on SEO best practices -- and keep SEO top of mind as you run & build your business. With this in mind, I compiled the list below of 50 top SEO influencers to help get you started. Read it & follow some of the best minds in SEO."

202 Top SEO Experts You Should Be Following by Danny Goodwin, the Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal, overseeing SEJ's editorial strategy and a team of 60+ industry experts.

"Want to learn more about search engine optimization (SEO)? Then you should learn from the top SEO experts. Reading the top SEO blogs and publications is a good start. So is attending SEO conferences. But don’t stop there. SEO is such a giving community. We share strategies, tactics, tips, tools, data, and so much more on social media and at conferences – as well as in articles, research, and blog posts. You will learn something new every day from this list of 202 SEO experts. Follow them if you want a free SEO education."

These two lists are a good place to start to find your favourite SEO experts willing to share their expertise on social media so you can improve your site's ranking. OR hire them to do it for you.

Google wanted to separate the ‘brands’ that produce happy searchers and customers from the ‘generics’ – sites they’ve often classified as ‘thin affiliate’ or poor user experiences.

Guest Blogging about Brand Storytelling

One of the best ways to get decent links is to get an article published on a high-ranking site, this is called guest blogging.

Where to find the opportunity to submit a blog post to a high-ranking site. Finding lower ranking sites willing to add a link to your website by publishing something you wrote is relatively easier because they need content. The big boys have staff and pay professionals for content. If they do accept articles, they may charge a hefty fee or will only accept professional quality articles written about a specific unique topic.

I spent a day pitching to some higher-ranking sites and I received one message back from a social media mega site asking if I had any real social media experience to draw from in examples about what was coming down the pipeline in way of trends and new techniques.

I pitched her back another idea about people leaving the larger social media platforms for smaller niche platforms, like RAYL.Chat, where it was easier for them to find their tribe, customers, and network connections. I didn’t hear back. It takes a lot of research to know what they want to publish and what each site is looking for in the way of content.

I don’t like wasting time. I like when my efforts yield productive results and guest blogging was feeling like sending out resumes saying, “Please like me.” There are literally thousands of people like you trying to get noticed in the pitch pile, or what publishers call the slush pile. If you can’t hook them with the subject line – your pitch is deleted without ever being opened.

It’s not a complete waste of time, you never know what will happen if you try. The subject line is important, and you need to hook them with the title right away. It has to say what the pitch is about, use keywords, and elicit curiosity. It doesn’t hurt if it’s something they already publish about and in line with their editorial philosophy. Just be prepared for lots of crickets…

Rejection letters are so last century.

Cover of magazine for real estate professionals personal branding storytelling
CurbAPeel for REALTORS®

You don’t even need to pitch MarketAPeel, we take edited submissions about your brand story, overcoming obstacles, heroes’ journey, advice, tips and tricks about your industry. If it helps others create an appealing life, career, or business we are interested. Remember, it’s your brand you are writing about, and we don’t edit, so you need to edit and have someone look over it before sending it to us.

We do prefer to publish stories that are in line with the issue’s theme. If you want to receive notification about what theme the next issue will be, provide your 411 below.

It is important to note, we do not publish buy me, self-promo, product pitches. Put a spin on the story by sharing how your product or service changed your life, or a customer, for the better. The title of the magazine is APeeling – stick to writing about how to be appealing in life, work, or business

SEO 101 What to Know

On my journey down the SEO rabbit hole, I was led to an article on QuickSprout about How Google Ranks a site. Here are some important things to know when you are creating your website or pulling your hair out trying to get seen by the Googles of the world.

1. Keyword domains get top marks

2. Domains that switch hands lots or get dropped, adversely affect your efforts

3. Keywords in the title tag

4. The frequency of keyword use

5. Content length – the longer the better for Google

6. Image Optimisation – use those alt tags

7. Contact us with your 411 info is a plus

8. Consistent updating of your site

9. YouTube gets top billing

10. Older domains are more valuable

11. The reputation of the page referring your page matters

12. Embedded links are more valuable than footer and sidebar ones

13. Tweets are a good thing – the more the better to Google

14. Facebook sharing will do more than any like

For SEO do NOT do …

1. Cloaking

2. Paid Links

3. Autogenerated AI Content – At least until Google creates its own AI.

If you want to dive deeper into each of these items, visit Quicksprout to discover what matters to Google.

There is MORE SEO to Know.

You know how once you start researching something you suddenly get ads about that topic on all the platforms you visit. Since I am actively trying to improve my site’s SEO ranking, I click and sign up for emails to get the PDF download and I’m introduced to Anchor Text Ratios by SEOJet.

Anchor Text Ratios?

You mean I must understand the different types of anchor texts and which pages should have which type or risk ruining my reputation with Google? Man, Google is a finicky thing, glad I’m not dating him, or am I? Trying to get his attention and support is about as much fun as dating when you’re an overweight woman over 45 living the life of an urban hermit.

Different Types of Anchor Texts:

SEOJet was nice enough to create a list of 12 – I’ve shortened it. For a deeper understanding of each type and how Anchor Text Ratio works – Visit them by clicking on Anchor Text Ratio.

List of the different types of Anchor Text

Brand MarketAPeel Generic -- “click here” Full URL Keyword Brand Storytelling Brand plus keyword For Brand Storytelling advice consider MarketAPeel Keyword plus Brand Storytelling elicits an emotional reaction in audiences. Page Title “SEO for Brand Storytelling" by Shannon Peel Partial Keyword Storytelling structure has three parts. Empty Anchor – This is an image linked to your site without alt text as anchor text Home URL – MarketAPeel.Agency to read SEO for Brand Storytelling (this page) URL with no HTTP – These anchor text types are grouped into three main types: Blended Anchors -- Reference to a key phrase but by itself Exact Match Anchors -- Only the key phrase. Natural Anchors No reference to any key phrase

When building your backlinks there is an ideal mix you should have to get the best results possible. The biggest take away is not to have 100% exact match anchors backlinks, which would be impossible to get anyway. To learn more about the magic backlink type formula, visit SEOJet.

Brand Social Signals

Once one starts down the rabbit hole the work never ends…

Next, I came across brand social signals while reading a PDF from the Hoth about back linking for SEO success. The experts are of different opinions when it comes to social media and Google’s ranking algorithm. It all comes down to their own research results.

Google doesn’t let anyone into the analytic formula vault. Companies do A/B testing research to try to determine what is in the math and what isn’t, which results in some confusing advice. Does social media matter to Google’s ranking? Quicksprout discovered it did, see their infographic for details, others say believe Google ignores social media.

Social media needs to be in your traffic flow strategy anyway, so assume it matters.

The key to success for SEO on social sites is the share button. If you can get people to share your blog post, you’ll get bonus Google points. As with everything social media the question becomes, HOW??? Here are some ideas that Quicksprout listed – to dive deeper into each item visit their post about getting more social shares.

1. Make your site’s social share buttons prominent

2. Ask readers to share with a call to action on each blog post

3. Tag influencers in your posts if relevant to them, like you quoted them

5. Pay for ads and ask people to share with their followers

6. Use Facebook’s Sponsored Stories

7. Create a strong brand people follow

8. Leverage your family and friends

9. Bribe Your followers

10. Create social share worthy content

To quote the conclusion to their article, “When you start winning that game, a number of things will happen: you’ll get more traffic, more attention and higher rankings in the search engines, which will be a nice reward for all of your hard work.” - Quicksprout

What I noticed about Social Sharing, Backlinks and SEO

I have noticed many of my backlinks are due to my Tweets being picked up by automated feeds people have generated. Which is cool because it’s expanding the reach of my tweet and getting me a decent DA ranked backlink.

I haven’t seen the same type of results with Facebook or LinkedIn, however unlike Twitter, those two platforms don’t show posts with external links to many followers. It’s also why most of the traffic I get from social sites, comes from Twitter. If you are going to put some effort into social sharing to get some backlinks or Google social points, put your efforts into Twitter.

How to improve SEO with Infographics and Images

Ever do an image search on Google?

Make sure your images are showing up when people use image search by naming the image using keywords and create an infographic or two to visually show your brand story. The Hoth says,The best infographics include data on a certain topic or simple and applicable ways to solve a problem.” Show how you solve a problem.

Don’t steal. The Hoth says, “If you have original data to put in your infographic, then no need to worry about external links. Otherwise, you can just borrow stats from other websites and cite your sources at the bottom of the infographic.” After all, the person who created the stat deserves to get Google’s attention and the last thing you need is a letter from a lawyer asking you to remove something from your website because you stole it from someone else. Content creating doesn’t pay well to begin with, the least you can do is respect the work others do by linking to it.

I created this infographic to show how MarketAPeel’s Custom interactive multimedia digital magazines help professionals and businesses to clearly tell their brands story throughout the marketing and sales funnel. I’d love your feedback and if there is anything you find confusing or doesn’t make sense. Please make your comments below in the comments section.

You made your infographic now what does the Hoth recommend? Sending out an email to those bloggers, writers, and freelancers asking them if they’d like to use it for an article. Not sure how to find these professional writers and content creators, here are some ideas:

1. Make a note of who wrote the article you just read – check out their site profile

2. Do a search on Linkedin for Journalist, Freelancer, Blogger, Writer, Contributor

3. Search hashtags on Twitter to find people tweeting about the same thing

4. Visit the profile pages of journalists in traditional news

Once you have a name you can use good old Google to find out more about them. Their social media profiles, email addresses, websites, publications they’ve written for, the topics they write about, and how to contact them. Create an excel sheet of this data to use when you want to pitch them the results of an A/B test you did or an infographic you created based on research you found. (Just remember to cite where you got the data)

Reviews to tell Your Brand Story and Improve SEO

Sign up for review sites. There are lots of them out there and the ones which specialise in your industry will increase exposure for your company by being where Google sends people looking for keywords in your industry and by providing your site with a quality backlink.

Reviews are part of your brand story and by asking for them on a regular basis, you will collect quality keyword backlinks and get research to help you know why people choose you and stories about the problems you solved to share with others.

When I worked at I advised home contractors about the value of collecting customer reviews and using the HomeStars platform. The value of SEO was a big part of what I talked about and how the Domain Authority of a directory, like HomeStars, would result in traffic to their website, their email, and their phones. I told them to improve the authority of their page on HomeStars and their own websites there were three things they needed to keep in mind.

1. Relevancy

2. Recency

3. Authenticity

When you collect reviews from clients, give them questions so they will tell a story and use those important keywords. Regular review collection will ensure the page is fresh and recent. AND for the love of God, don’t fake reviews. HomeStars put lots of flags in place to stop people from gaming the system with fake reviews and this resulted in real reviews not getting posted because our process was stringent. It made my life frustrating, but it ensured the authenticity of the site and the reviews for the contractors. Bad reviews are not a BAD THING – they lend authenticity to the page and the good reviews. Plus, they give you a chance to respond and tell your customer service story using those ever-important keywords.

Writing reviews on sites, which allow for links in a review or profile, will help you build your reviews and get you noticed by the person or company you just wrote the review for. People are always quick to write bad reviews and complain about something – Wouldn’t it be great if we all rewarded good service and quality products by writing reviews to show our appreciation. AND the benefit for you might just be a backlink to your website.

SEO is a Long Game Process

In the spring, I worked to get backlinks by providing quotes to various writers and adding my information to several different directories and sites. Then I got busy with customer work and didn’t run any SEO reports and it was a good thing. It wasn’t until the Fall when these links started to show up in the reports.

Over time all those backlinks you worked hard to get will show up and you will see the results as you start to rank for more and more keywords. Don’t stop doing the work. This is a long game and consistent persistence will win the day.

Be the Turtle not the Hare.

Design a process that will work for you to:

  1. Create content around important keywords for your brand story

  2. Build backlinks to your website to increase your domain authority

I committed myself to write a blog post a week from a list of long-tail keywords I found by researching my site’s keywords, traffic, and my competitors. Plus, to earn 2-5 quality backlinks on high-ranking sites. Each week will build on the last and overtime both my keyword ranking, and my domain authority will grow.

Focusing on my Business

When you are structuring your week, it is vital to set time aside for your marketing efforts to keep your funnel full and your brand story fresh in the both the digital and real worlds.

Considering I find myself recommitting to focusing on my business and my marketing funnel, I understand how easy it is to be distracted by client work, life, and family. All we can do is try to be better each week.

Be A part of the SEO Conversation.

Go here to ask questions about SEO, share places to get backlinks, add your own site, and find the resources you need to keep your business moving forward.

Mapping out your traffic strategy will help you find the gaps and ensure you are capturing leads from multiple sources. Want some help with your marketing strategy, your brand story, or process mapping. Contact MarketAPeel,

What do you need to know about your target audience before you create content for your website?

In the case of a transactional website, more traffic does not necessarily mean better results. When the wrong people show up on your website, their behaviours could adversely affect your sites search engine ranking (SEO) by increasing bounce rates and decreasing the average time on your site. It is more advantageous to have less traffic that will stick around, explore, and convert by completing the transaction. To determine the best way to get the right people to your website, I asked people who actively work on improving website metrics and create content for their companies, here’s what they said.


Shannon Peel is the Creative Entrepreneurial Owner of MarketAPeel and she is passionate about storytelling. Shannon is a content creator and publisher of digital magazines for brands.

Recent Posts

See All


Share Your Story

Be in the Know

Tell your story.png

Click Here

We don’t have any products to show right now.

We don’t have any products to show right now.

We don’t have any products to show right now.

We don’t have any products to show right now.