Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important parts of SEM and PPC campaigns. Businesses may come across both branded and non-branded keywords when conducting keyword research. Both are integral to an effective marketing strategy, but branded keywords offer a few unique benefits when compared to traditional keywords.
What Are Branded Keywords?
A branded keyword includes a brand’s name, along with another search term either before or after the brand name. Branded keywords are search queries that customers use when they’re already familiar with a brand but want to learn more about specific services or products.
This is in comparison to non-branded keywords, which are search queries that relate to a brand’s products or services but don’t include the brand name. A few examples of branded keywords may include “[Brand Name] locations” or “[Brand Name] hours.”
Why Are Branded Keywords Valuable?
Branded keywords are valuable because customers most often use them during the bottom of the funnel or conversion stage of the buying cycle. This means the customer has already decided they have a need, but they may want to learn more about the item before converting.
Branded keywords are valuable because they are capable of:
- Increasing organic traffic to a website.
- Allowing brands to maintain control of how search engine results pages promote their services and offerings in titles and headers.
- Preventing competitors from conquesting your brand’s keywords and steal traffic.
- Collecting important information from competitors, including targeted keywords or bestselling products.
- Increasing keyword quality score since branded keywords are related to the brand.
- Directing traffic deeper into a website, where people are more likely to convert.
- Helping brands defend against negative complaints or misinformation.
While non-branded keyword searches make up the majority of traffic, brands that implement branded keywords into their strategies can enjoy a boost in conversions.
How to Use Branded Keywords Efficiently
It all starts with research, and Google’s Search Console is as good a place to start as any. Knowing what branded keywords people are using and why is the first piece of the puzzle. Using branded keywords efficiently also requires carefully implementing them into a brand’s overall keyword strategy.
Businesses can use branded keywords more efficiently with the following tips:
Set Up Brand Alerts
The process of searching and choosing the best branded keywords may look a little different than traditional keyword research. Businesses can use a number of methods to track down the branded keywords that are likely to be the most relevant to a business, with brand alerts being one of the most effective methods. Brands can find the best branded keywords by setting up Google Alerts and social listening.
Setting up an automated alert system helps brands monitor social mentions and media related to their brand. Brands can also set up alerts to notify them when competitors add new products or services.
Evaluate Goals Before Choosing Keywords
Having a clear understanding of a brand’s goals can help determine the right balance of non-branded and branded keywords. For example, if a brand’s goal is to solely reach new customers, branded keywords aren’t the way to go.
If a customer isn’t yet familiar with a brand or hasn’t decided that they trust the brand enough yet to make a purchase, they won’t search using branded keywords. If a brand’s goal is to encourage previous customers to make a sale of a specific product, branded keywords are valuable.
Consider Overall SEM and PPC Budget
It can also be helpful to consider the overall SEM and PPC budget and separate accordingly between branded and non-branded keywords. Branded keywords are likely to have lower visibility than non-branded keywords. This is because fewer people will search for a product or service using a brand name. However, the people who do are further along in the buying cycle and more likely to convert.
Branded keywords are also less competitive because other brands aren’t likely to use them. However, this doesn’t mean that a brand can’t bid on another brand’s keywords. In fact, this has been known to be a strategy in competitive industries. Lower visibility and less competitiveness mean the cost of branded keywords for SEM and PPC are cheaper than non-branded keywords.
Branded Vs. Non-Branded Keywords: Which Are Better?
The answer is of course, both. Non-branded and branded keywords deserve a place in a brand’s SEM and PPC keyword strategy. Both techniques are valuable and reach different customers at different buying stages. Brands can use non-branded keywords to improve organic traffic and PPC results and use branded keywords to increase brand conversions.
Using branded and non-branded keywords in combination with techniques such as retargeting ads and conducting effective content marketing can take a brand’s marketing strategy to a new level. When used together with non-branded keywords, branded keywords are an especially powerful marketing tool.
Branded keywords are often overlooked by businesses despite their value. The low cost of branded keywords, paired with high-conversion likeliness and control over a brand’s reputation, is worth the investment.