Branded and non-branded keyword, what they are and how to use them in the SEO

Tempo di lettura : 4 minuti

Knowing the types of keyword is essential to define an effective strategy that can guide the company to increase its online presence: often, however, it tends to underestimate the importance of keyword branded, considering that the name of the brand is a strong enough element to monopolize the SERP and win the first positions. Yet, it is not always so and even in this case there is work, starting from knowing the difference between branded and non-branded keywords up to methods to optimize these aspects in our SEO strategies.

What brand keywords are

They can be called branded keywords or brand keywords, but the meaning is the same: branded keyword are search queries that include the name of a brand, a variation of a brand or the name of a specific product, that show a SERP that classically includes the website, products and social media accounts of the brand itself.

They represent a classic expression of navigational search intent since they are the terms generally used by people who use the search engine to access a specific website or web page.

Examples of branded keywords

To better clarify what is meant by this expression, here are some examples of branded keywords:

  • McDonalds menu
  • Oral-B electric toothbrush
  • Samsung smartphone
  • Domino’s pizza
  • SEOZoom blog

As it is easy to notice, all these queries have the name of a company directly in the keyword, brand to which digital resources are associated, like sites and social media profiles.

Brand keywords can take various forms, and in particular:

  • Brand name, when the query literally is the brand name (Google, for example).
  • Name of a specific product or model (such as Frappuccino for Starbucks, or iPhone 13 for Apple), with or without explicit brand indication.
  • Variants of the brand name. Due to typing errors, misspellings and other borderline situations (including the Mandela effect), many branded keywords can also occur in the form of variations or misrepresentation of the original brand to which they refer.

Brand keywords can include the brand name and its products, for instance: “Joe’s Ice Cream Parlor”, “Joe Ice Cream Parlor” or “Joeicecream”, and in the form of long-tailed branded keywords we have: “Joe’s Ice Cream Parlors”, “Joe’s Ice Cream”, “Joe’s Ice Cream to take away” and so on.

Not all of the queries that mention a brand are actually branded keyword: for example, in the case of queries like “Amazon coupon”, “Ford car sale” or “Vodafone opinions” , the intent of the user is different and not aimed at necessarily discovering the official website of the brand mentioned, and in fact the Google Serps offer very varied results.

What non-branded keywords are

It is appropriate, at this point, to also understand what non-branded keywords are and in what they are different from branded keywords: very simply, they are brand-related keyword, but they do not contain the explicit indication of its name.

Therefore, non-brand keywords may refer to products or services sold by our company, or even topics where the brand has proven (and acknowledged) authority and experience.

Examples of non-branded keywords

Again, a quick list of non-brand keywords can help us better understand them:

  • Fast food
  • Toothbrushes
  • Smartphone
  • Pizza
  • SEO Blog

The difference is obvious: while branded keywords contain specific company names, non-branded keywords have wider results, which can be associated with specific brands (like those mentioned above).

In particular, “fast food” is considered a non-branded keyword that Mcdonald’s can use, as well as “SEO blog” can be a non-branded keyword for SEOZoom.

SEO branded keywords, the value of keywords with a brand

From an SEO perspective, we must think that brand keywords are used by potential customers of a company to search for more specific information about the products or services offered by that specific brand.

If we think about conversion funnels, these searches usually happen in proximity of the moment of a conversion or can value an opportunity of sale, and therefore have a high strategic value for the company, He needs to know how to intercept the query with the appropriate content. Users, that is, are not looking for generic information about toothbrushes, ice cream or pizza, and therefore should not find in SERP content with introductory topics that may serve at the beginning of the funnel of marketing: we are at a more advanced stage, already aimed at specifying a possible destination (physical or virtual) to buy or find information that will encourage or clarify a possible purchase, such as the offer of special products or the delivery services offered.

And so, the SEO value of branded keywords is very high, because they can not only increase traffic and audience for a web address, but they can also help to direct searches to specific targeted pages to finalize conversions.

In our strategies, then, we must not neglect even the non-branded keywords: while not naming the brand directly, these keywords (if treated and used correctly) can still drive traffic to our website. You need to be able to properly intercept users who already know that our brand offers an article or special service, and who are looking for additional information to make a decision, make a comparison, recommend it to third parties and more.

More generally, non-branded keywords are important because they help us to gain online visibility through organic search efforts, signaling the achievement of a good level of authoritativeness of the site and brand around a keyword and a topic, such as to bring the pages to appear at the top among Google SERPs.

Branded keyword strategy, how to best use these keywords

There are various methods and tools to monitor branded keywords and control non-brand keywords – for instance, by entering a domain as Project on SEOZoom you can further deepen all keywords related to the brand, or you can use Google Alert to receive notifications for mentions or even auto-complete the search engine to find the most suggested queries.

After collecting all (or at least the main ones) brand keywords, we must try to work on a strategy that can optimize the results that lead to the site.

The first step is related to Content Marketing, because we have to analyze the pages and content positioned for those keyword and verify that they meet the real need of the user, leading him to the satisfaction of his original intent. Branded keywords can also provide insights and guidance about poor content on the site – for example, if many users search for assistance on our products, it is good to create an FAQ page or a guide that clarifies its use or accompanies the resolution of possible problems.

Another front to focus attention on , surely are social media – and in general all the profiles that relate to the brand and that can appear in SERP, including then any Google My Business tab or Knowledge Panel: The authoritativeness of the brand is also built with a homogeneous communication through all channels, properly guarding the possible sources and avoiding that some competitors can creep into these areas.

By doing so, we can strengthen corporate branding and strengthen the image of our brand, which will be able to stand out from others and intercept a loyal audience.