frankie cotton chief executive officer brick
Frankie Cotton
June 27, 2024
Hi, we're BRICK. A creative partner to UK startups, scaleups and innovators. We create brands and take new products to market.

Are you getting the most bang for your brand?

Brand performance is notoriously hard to measure. There are no obvious KPIs for ‘great consistent messaging’ or ‘standout market position’ (both incredibly important elements of an effective brand). So how do you know how much bang you’re getting for your brand? 

There is actually a surprising amount of data available to you about your brand. But as with all data, it’s how you interpret it that counts. 

When we meet a potential client for the first time, we do some background research (or as it’s known in the office, ‘friendly stalking’) to see what we could be dealing with. We call it Brand Insights, and the information we uncover leads us to make strategic recommendations about where they need to focus their budget and what is essential for their next stage of growth.

We do these on the daily… so it's second nature to us. But in the spirit of openness, here’s a little insight into the data behind our brand insights. 

Organic search traffic per month

This tells me how many people come to your site organically (via search engines) every month. Unless it's a very low or very high number, it doesn’t tell me much without further investigation, but it’s a useful benchmark nonetheless.

Keywords

Keywords are the words used by customers in searches that bring them to your site - usually through pieces of blog content. 

Most companies we speak to have published some content on their site and have ranked for some keywords by covering topics that are relevant to their buyers. I’ll then dig into this keyword data to see if you’re actively optimising content for those keywords, or if your rankings are a ‘happy accident’. We can spot quick wins here to optimise the content you already have. 

Not all keywords are made equal. There are different buckets that I’ll look for in your rankings.

Brand terms - are people searching for you specifically, and are they able to find you? More details below. 

In-market terms - these are search queries from people who are looking for what you sell. These terms are of high value to you, and if your brand is performing, you should show up in search for them organically. (If you can’t earn these keywords organically - say you have a lot of direct competitors - you might have to pay for them.)

Informational terms - these are search queries from people looking for information rather than a product or service. This is quite often an exciting space for brands to grow their brand awareness. A quick win is to look at high volume, low difficulty keywords for informational queries which could increase your discovery through search.

A look at all three of these will give me an idea of what you need and where the gaps are. 

Paid search traffic per month

This tells me if you’re paying for website traffic or not. Sometimes, without an understanding or proper advice on SEO, a startup might decide to pay for ads on a keyword they could really easily rank organically for. I’ll check to see if that’s the case, and if you’re wasting your cash. 

I can also see the text ads you’re running, and then we can make recommendations to improve.

Website authority score

This is a number out of 100. The higher the score, the better Google perceives you to be an authority in your space.

Most startups we meet have a low authority score. The details will depend on what marketing investments they’ve made. For example, some companies choose to focus on PR early on, which can result in a great backlink profile (FYI backlinks are any links that bring people to your site). Others might forgo earned media in favour of content and have better organic traffic but fewer backlinks. 

Branded vs Non-Branded traffic

This is one of my favourite data points to explore. I’ll provide two extremes of examples to make my point:

  • 0% branded traffic, 100% non-brand traffic: this tells me that you have little to no brand awareness or equity. It could be that no one knows who you are, and you haven’t invested in getting your brand out there. It could also mean that your brand name is too competitive or too vague (not ownable) in which case we’d advise a rebranding strategy. 
  • 100% branded traffic, 0% non-branded traffic: This tells me that you have likely invested in PR and brand building; however, your site isn’t content-rich. No one is discovering you via search, which is a huge untapped opportunity for you to capture demand. 

Blog content UX

If I’ve discovered that your website generates organic search traffic thanks to blog content, I’ll have a look at your blog template UX to see if those visitors might be going anywhere. 

All too often, the UX is poor. If you’re investing in organic search, you must introduce yourself to new visitors. If they have found you through an informational search, they might very well read what you have to say, then bounce… never to be seen again.

Backlinks & Google News

I’ll have a look at your backlinks to see if you’ve invested in PR and, if you have, the quality of coverage that you’ve received. I’ll be able to see the domain authority of the links to your site and the angles you’ve focused on.

For example, we might think there’s an opportunity to be a thought leader on a particular topic in the media – I’ll check to see what topics you’ve been engaged with so far.

I’ll also check Google News to see how the backlinks and news coverage line up.

Other data (depending on the company, market etc):

  • Social media followers
  • Social media engagement and content types
  • Meta Ads (thanks to Meta’s transparency policy, you can see any company page’s ads) - we’ll check the messaging, creative and angle

A lot of the insights we gain from this data can result in quick and easy wins to boost new brands. It’s the starting point we use to build a plan to make your brand work harder, bringing in as many customers as possible organically, releasing any precious marketing budget that is being spent on ineffective digital ads.

All of this, I can explore without being given access to any data source by the client (in about 20 mins 🤪). 

At Brick we’re not all talk and no trousers - so we offer these essential brand insights and strategic recommendations to potential clients for FREE. 

You can book a free brand insight chat with me here

I look forward to (friendly) stalking you. 

Frankie x

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