Some search engine optimizers are stuck on keywords and links. If you listen to them talk, these are the Holy Grail of online marketing. But are they?
Don’t get me wrong. SEO is important. I mean, how will you rank in the search engines for the key terms you want to be known for if you don’t employ sound SEO strategies? But you should also understand that there are some things about SEO that you can’t control. The search algorithms, for instance.
It’s important to study what you can about SEO tactics and perform your best practices. But don’t hang your hat on them. They can change at any time.
Branding, however, is something you have 100% control over. It’s your image. You control what images, taglines, and statements are associated with your brand. No one else can control that for you. So if you focus your time and energy on building your brand with some thoughts how to employ SEO and a social media strategy effectively, then you’ll fare better in the long run.
What I’m really saying is this: Build your brand first. Market it secondly. SEO and social media are the nuts and bolts of online marketing. Without a brand, they’re just nuts and bolts.