A tension exists between identity and information on web sites. Because of organic search visitors may choose to visit your site specifically not because of your identity, or brand. Instead, visitors that come through organic search arrive because of your information. Their visits may be as valid and fruitful as those of brand-driven visitors, if not more so in some cases.
We like to look at this information as your “data profile”. Consider your data profile to be a sister image, if you will, to your identity (your logo, your tag line, your color scheme and many other subtle variables). We consider the work of identifying and optimizing your data profile to be as important as traditional branding, if not more so in contexts such as organic search and some social media environments, where the criteria for customer and audience acquisition differs greatly from traditional advertising and marketing. In these contexts the playing field is leveled by the fact that competition takes place over data rather than identity.
Our client Rebecca Wood, for example, truly owns a piece of the market for data in the field of whole foods cooking, her speciality, with high ranking in search for dandelion greens and non-toxic cookware. Her preeminence in these results has nothing to do with her identity or brand. But we can capitalize on it just as well by increasing visitor engagement through related posts, email capture, and targeted special offers on those hot search pages. Her rich writing and extensive knowledge on these topics and many others make key components of her data profile, those that in fact supersede the relevance of her name recognition.
You might call building your data profile simply an aspect of good SEO, and it is; but it brings the now popular concept of content marketing back to its roots: who you are, how you language your mission, what portfolio of data points you use to do so (words, images, videos, memes, etc), the scope of associations you make in relation to your core business, and how those all combine into uniqueness. Carefully considering these discrete elements and how they build to a whole portrait of you through your data is the work of defining your data profile; marrying it to your identity rounds out the task.
We value the creative search for clear meaning that leads to traditional identity, which when proliferated comes to be labeled as “branding”. Utilizing the concept of a data profile aids our clients in looking at their business from a new angle, and increases clarity around how to understand that business in the terms of the web. A strong data profile brings a further dimension to branding and opens new doors on the world wide web.