A branded keyword is a search term of keyword that includes a specific brand, product name or variation.
For example, if someone did a search for “SearchLogistics SEO” that is a branded keyword search. The user indicates they want results from a specific brand.
…out of any keywords you can target.
But the key to being successful with brand keywords is knowing how to use them.
Professional SEOs are experts at combing both branded and non-branded keywords to increase visibility and generate more sales simultaneously.
In this blog, I will tell you everything you need to know about branded keywords and how to use them to grow your business.
Let’s get started.
What Will I Learn?
Branded keywords and non-keywords accomplish different results for your business.
Here’s everything you need to know about them both.
Branded keywords are any words or phrases that are directly associated with your brand name, products or services.
These can also include phrases or variations of your brand name or products/services that people associate with your company.
However, generic names of products you sell or services you offer don’t apply.
A simple example of this is a cafe that sells a “cappuccino” or “latte”. The cafe can’t claim these as brand name keywords.
Because those words are used so widely by every cafe, it is impossible to brand them uniquely as your own.
This is a mistake that lots of business owners make.
So what are some branded keywords then?
Let’s take a look at Starbucks as an example.
Any search queries containing the word “Starbucks” could be considered as brand keywords because it directly contains Starbucks’ name. The name is unique to Starbucks.
What about the drinks they sell?
“Frappuccino” is a drink that Starbucks invented. Lots of cafes make blended iced flavoured drinks.
But Starbucks created the name Frappuccino specifically to represent their own blended iced flavoured drinks and they have even trademarked it.
So, any keyword that contains Frappuccino could be considered a branded keyword because it directly relates to Starbucks drinks.
Other examples of branded keywords include:
Even common misspellings of your brand can be considered branded keywords.
Let me explain:
People often misspell “CamelBak” water bottles as “Camel Pack” or “Camel Back”.
But despite that, these are still brand keywords that CamelBak would want to appear in the Google search results for.
They know that the searcher’s intent is to find the CamelBak brand.
Because Camelpak ranks for those keywords they still generate sales from them.
The most important thing to remember about branded keywords is that they are directly associated with your unique brand.
If a person types any keyword into Google with the sole intention of finding your brand, product or service – this is a branded keyword.
Now you know what branded keywords are, what about non-branded keywords?
Non-branded keywords are any keywords that relate to your business but aren’t branded. They are keywords that have more search volume but are significantly more competitive.
It makes sense right…
Non-branded keywords are keywords you still want to rank for but they aren’t directly associated with your unique brand.
There are 2 core non-branded keyword types:
Most SEO campaigns are built around non-branded keywords because they:
Let’s look at some non-branded keywords for my SEO agency – Search Logistics.
Non-branded keywords would include:
All of those keywords are related to my agency and our services. But none of them are uniquely associated with the Search Logistics brand.
Every other SEO agency that offers similar services would also want to rank for these keywords. Make sense, right?
Now that you know the difference between branded and non-branded keywords, you must know how to implement them into a campaign.
You want to rank in the search engine results page for any keywords related to your brand.
For example, you can rank your website in the SERPs for brand name with very little effort. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for a branded keywords strategy.
Think of a comprehensive SEO campaign like an AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) sales funnel.
If someone is searching for a branded keyword, they have already passed the “awareness” stage of the funnel.
You need to determine:
For example, think of the retail company, Zappos.
“Zappos shoes” is a general branded keyword that would fit more into the “interest stage” of the funnel.
“Zappos womens shoes” shows a little more intention for a specific type of shoe that the searcher is almost ready to buy. This would fit into the “desire stage” of the funnel.
“Buy Zappos comfort heels” tells us that the person is in the “action stage” of the funnel and is ready to buy.
Why worry about all this?
Put Simply – Different branded searches have different intents.
Once you understand the intent behind a branded keyword, you know which pages to optimise for that keyword.
Understanding which part of the sales funnel each buyer is in will help you create content that moves the searcher down the funnel.
You create a process with branded keywords that systematically increases leads and sales. Cool right?
Non-branded keywords are your normal SEO keywords.
So you should start your keyword research with non-branded keywords and they should form the base of your SEO campaign.
Think of non-branded keywords in terms of:
They should be valuable to your business and the intent of the keyword should match what you are trying to accomplish.
Here’s what I mean:
Every single keyword that you target should have a goal.
Maybe you want to get your brand out there or maybe you are trying to drive sales.
Different keyword types accomplish different things for your business. This is how you determine the value and intent of each keyword you target.
Use non-branded keywords to:
One of your SEO goals should be to grow your branded keyword’s search volume.
When you see search volume increasing for branded keywords, you know that your business’ brand is growing.
This is the power of using branded and non-branded keywords together.
Think of the branded and non-branded keywords like this:
Non-branded keywords are a way of reaching new customers.
People using non-branded keywords to search for products or services you sell probably haven’t heard of your company before.
Non-branded SEO keywords help expand your brand name online while generating new sales at the same time.
Branded keywords, on the other hand, are focused on closing.
They should become a big part of your keyword strategy after your brand starts to grow. Brand search terms typically have higher conversion rates, which makes them incredibly valuable for your business.
So, once your brand grows in the search results, you can start targeting more branded keywords.
This is how to maximise results using branded and non-branded keywords.
Bonus tip: Combine other marketing strategies with branded keywords. When customers see your business being advertised through other marketing channels, they are likely to do a brand search to find you online.
Branded keywords have the highest conversion rates.
People who find your website using a branded search term have a higher intent of buying specifically from you. This is what makes them so valuable.
But branded keywords are only valuable if people know your business exists.
You need to find a good balance between targeting:
This keyword strategy increases search traffic significantly while improving your conversion rates and sales as well.