Prospective leads often use branded keywords to save time when doing near-conversion searches. Consequently, building digital marketing strategies around navigational queries and brand mentions can be a cost-effective way to generate more traffic and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Tracking and targeting branded keywords can be challenging, especially if you don’t come from a marketing background. In this guide, our team at Connective discusses the strategic value of using branded searches and the difference between branded and non-branded keywords.
We also take an in-depth look at the steps your company can take to incorporate branded keywords into its digital marketing strategy.
What Is a Branded Keyword?
Branded keywords are phrases potential customers use to learn more about a brand or a specific product. This type of keyword includes a brand’s name, but it can also mention the company’s specific services or product lines.
When doing a branded search, the searcher knows that the company exists or that a product or service is available under the brand’s offerings. However, they need more information to complete the buying process or recommend the product to someone else.
In many cases, someone who uses a branded keyword is at the decision phase of the buyer’s journey and is likely to become a customer.
For example, someone who searches “HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M725dn” has a different search intent than someone who searches “best copiers for small businesses.”
Both searches relate to a specific type of product. However, the person who uses the branded phrase is likely ready to make a purchase. The goal of the search might be to find a store in their area that has the model available.
The term “best copiers for small businesses” is an example of a non-branded keyword.
How Do Non-Branded Keywords Differ From Branded Keywords?
Understanding the difference between branded and non-branded keywords can help you implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Branded keywords include a business or brand name. On the other hand, keywords that relate to a business or product type generically but don’t include a brand name are considered non-branded search terms. An example of a non-branded keyword would be “Best circular saws.”
People who use non-branded keywords are at different stages of the buyer’s journey than those who use branded keywords.
Someone who searches for the best circular saws might not have a specific model in mind. When they first encounter a listing for a BLACK+DECKER Circular Saw (1400W) CS1004-B9, they are not likely to buy it, as they need to learn more about this model and how it compares to similar products.
Should You Target Branded or Non-Branded Keyword Types?
According to Forbes, only 10% of all online queries include branded keywords. However, the conversion rate of branded keywords is 100% higher than non-branded keywords.
The high conversion rates of branded keywords are due to relatively low competition on the search results page. Google and other search engines want to provide users with the most relevant results for their queries. Your website is likely the most relevant organic result if someone searches for your brand.
Branded keywords also have a higher conversion rate than non-branded keywords because searchers are generally already familiar with and specifically looking for the brand, product, or service. Searchers typically also understand the added value of the brand’s offers.
When you target non-branded keywords, you will reach a broader audience at the top of the sales funnel, which increases your general online visibility. However, more businesses compete for non-branded keywords, so ranking for them can be challenging and expensive.
Remember: Your marketing strategies should target both branded and non-branded keywords.
Because of the high conversion rates of branded keywords, marketing campaigns that target these search terms tend to have a high return on investment (ROI).
When formulating digital marketing strategies that focus on non-branded keywords, your objective should be to increase organic traffic to your website and build a loyal following.
The Importance of a Branded Keyword for SEO and Paid Ads
Marketers and company owners often don’t understand the value of tracking and targeting branded keywords.
After all, the searcher already knows the company name or which product they want to buy. Additionally, you might already rank high in the search results pages for branded queries. Why should you spend valuable resources on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and pay-per-click (PPC) strategies?
In practice, targeting branded keywords can increase your online visibility and help generate sales.
However, the strategic value of tracking branded keywords extends beyond increasing conversion rates.
In the sections below, we discuss the importance of branded keywords for your digital marketing efforts.
Gain Insights Into Your Audience’s Sentiments and Needs
By researching branded queries, you can tune into your target audience’s concerns and address them at the purchase decision stage. Once you understand your target market’s sentiments, you can use this information to boost your ranking in the Google search results, increasing traffic to your website.
Consider the following branded keyword example: “Novaform ComfortGrande mattress life expectancy”
This branded keyword indicates that your audience knows about this specific mattress but is concerned about its functional lifespan.
Understanding this concern lets the brand know that it should focus on durability and longevity in the product listing if it wants to maximize conversions.
This branded keyword also has SEO value. The business can create additional content around this search term to generate more organic traffic and build loyalty among members of its target market. An example would be a blog about its mattresses’ life expectancies.
Improve Targeting and Promote Your Own Brand
Targeting branded keywords is critical to driving more traffic to your company website and online offers. Researching relevant branded keywords lets you know which offers your SEO strategies and PPC ads should prioritize, maximizing your return on investment.
Identify Brand Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities
Researching branded queries can effectively identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
For example, a long-tail keyword that consists of a brand mention and high-value features can indicate selling points you should include in your marketing communications.
Conversely, searches for negative reviews or evaluations can help you identify brand weaknesses or areas needing improvement.
Sometimes, when people search for solutions, they might include your brand name in their query to find out if it is something your business offers.
Here is an example: “Honeysuckle Pressure Washing edge trimming”
This branded keyword indicates that Honeysuckle Pressure Washing’s target audience has a demand for edge trimming. If this company starts offering an edge trimming service, it will likely gain a competitive edge in the market.
Monitor Competitors’ Organic Visibility and Ad Strategies
Using branded keywords allows you to evaluate your brand name and reputation relative to your competitors. People who are at the information search stage of the buying process use branded keywords such:
- [Your brand name] competitors
- [Your brand name] alternatives
- Best [product category] “[your brand name]”
Google search results for these branded keywords typically include industry blogs or review guides that compare your offers with your competitors’ offers.
Tracking branded keywords as they relate to your competitors will help you understand these companies’ strengths and weaknesses. You will also learn which of your competitors’ products are the most relevant to your target audience.
What branded keywords relating to your competitors have the highest search volume? Targeting these branded keywords in your SEO or PPC campaigns can help you outrank your competitors on the first search engine results page.
How To Collect Branded Keyword Data
Now that you understand the importance of branded keywords and how they differ from non-branded keywords, the next step is finding the right keywords to target.
If you are accustomed to finding and tracking non-branded keywords, you will have no problem collecting branded keyword data, as the methods are similar.
Brands typically use Google’s autocomplete to find non-branded keywords. It’s also an excellent tool for finding keywords related to prominent brand names.
To use this feature, Google your brand without hitting Enter. A list of search suggestions from previous searches will appear below the search bar. To receive more suggestions, enter each letter of the alphabet after your brand, such as “McDonald’s a,” “McDonald’s b,” McDonald’s c,” and so on.
This time, Google your brand and hit enter. Then scroll down to the bottom of the search results page, where you will find a list of relevant searches. These terms can include branded and non-branded keywords, and you can add the ones that include your brand to your list.
Each of these keywords has its own related searches, allowing you to do a keyword research deep-dive.
For example, if you search “McDonald’s” and scroll down, the related searches will include terms such as “McDonald’s menu,” “McDonald’s breakfast,” and “McDonald’s delivery.” Now, you can click on each of these terms to find more related branded keywords, for example, ”McDonald’s delivery doordash.”
Google Analytics: Queries Report
If you connect Google Analytics to your website, you can generate a queries report to find branded keywords. You can also filter the query report results to show non-branded keywords.
Under Acquisition, open the Search Console drop-down menu and select Queries. Then, enter your brand into the search bar at the top of your screen. All the results are branded keywords that prospective customers might use in their queries.
How To Use Branded Keywords in Your Marketing Strategy
After compiling a list of branded keywords, the next step is to formulate digital marketing tactics such as PPC campaigns so your company can rank higher for these searches. Below, we discuss actionable steps to increase your visibility for branded keywords and convert more website visitors into customers.
Create Content That Targets a Specific Keyword
Creating content for a non-branded keyword is an effective content marketing strategy. Typical examples of content that targets non-branded keywords include “How to fix a roof,” “7 Tips on how to save water,” and “The best welding machines under $500.”
You can also create blog posts and other content around branded keywords. This content can focus on answering brand- or product-related questions your target market frequently asks. Alternatively, develop informational content from Google suggestions or related searches.
Optimize Your Site Links
Your site links are the six links that appear in your brand’s search snippet. These links are ten times more visible than the other pages on your website, and you need to ensure that those pages are relevant and engaging.
These landing pages should feature all the elements necessary to maximize conversions, including calls to action, testimonials, and clear value propositions.
Incorporate Branded Keywords in Inbound Links
Link building is an off-site SEO strategy that involves getting authority websites to link to your website.
These so-called backlinks are search engine ranking factors, and they promote audience development.
A branded keyword is the appropriate anchor text for backlinks to your website.
Optimize Your Social Media Accounts
You might notice that your social media accounts appear among the search results when you search branded keywords. If the social media accounts belong to you and you are active on the platforms, remember to share content focusing on branded keywords with your followers.
However, if the social media account is dormant, you need to claim it to take advantage of its appearance in the search results. If you don’t want to interact with followers on a particular social media platform, add a post that links out to the social media pages where you are active.
Create Questions and Answers
Search results typically include a “People Also Ask” section. Here, you can find out what consumers or other companies have to say about your brand.
You can answer the questions in this section by creating a FAQ page on your website. Creating additional questions and answers can also help to build loyalty and establish trust among members of your target audience.
Your company’s knowledge panel is also a suitable location where you can provide a list of FAQs.
PPC Campaigns: Sponsor Search Results
Branded PPC campaigns target potential customers who already know your brand. These branded ads should focus on keywords with the highest visibility in the search results or on social media.
Why should you pay for an ad campaign if your pages rank organically? Unfortunately, companies often bid on competing brands’ keywords to “steal” their traffic.
If your competitors target your branded keywords, it can affect your organic visibility. Running an ad campaign ensures that you win prospects who are searching for your brand.
Run separate campaigns to target branded and non-branded keywords, as this will allow you to track the success of each keyword type individually.
Increase Conversion Rates With Branded Keywords
Implementing effective SEO and PPC strategies is integral to brands’ long-term success. In addition to knowing which branded and non-branded keywords to target, you should also know how to optimize your online assets and ad campaigns.
Whether you are formulating a content marketing strategy, link-building strategy, or PPC campaign, ensure that you derive optimal value from the brand loyalty you’ve worked so hard to build. If we can help you in any way, contact our expert team at Connective in Houston.