The Importance of Branded and Unbranded Keywords

Digital

To rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) at high intent moments, marketers need to understand where along the customer journey people will be searching for branded and unbranded keywords.

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

10 Oct 2019

With over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that marketers should be focusing on ranking for both branded and unbranded keywords. In order to rank for these keywords, you need to know the difference between branded and unbranded.

Difference between branded and unbranded keywords

A branded keyword is a search query that includes your brand name and is unique to your domain. For example, for The Bolt Way, this can include:

  • The bolt way
  • The bolt way blog
  • bolt way agency

An unbranded keyword is a search query that doesn’t include your brand name or any part of it. It’s important to know that this also includes any misspellings.

Win new customers with unbranded keywords

People who are searching for unbranded keywords do not usually favour one brand and are making a general query. They are also likely to be unfamiliar with your brand. Ranking unbranded keywords gives marketers an opportunity for their brand to be discovered and to build trust amongst new customers.

As unbranded keywords are more generic, they tend to have higher search volumes compared to branded keywords. This also means they are more expensive to bid for on paid search. Therefore, identifying the unbranded keywords to rank for as part of your organic strategy should be a high priority.

Optimise for unbranded keywords

To help you find which unbranded keywords you want to rank for, it’s important to think of what is fundamental to your business and what your potential customers could be looking for. For example, does your company provide a service or a product? Once you have chosen your keywords, you need to optimise them. You should ensure you have clear copy and structured data which identifies these fundamentals on both your website and anywhere online your company appears. Without having this information, there’s no way of Google finding out and therefore neither can your potential customers.

It’s also important that this information remains consistent across all the sites. You should also ensure the basic information about your company are correct and consistent. This includes information such as address, hours and business category. This then provides the correct information to search engines and allows potential customers to find your site who are making a general local search.

Branded keywords can generate repeat business

People who are searching for branded keywords already know which product or service they want and are further along the customer journey. As they are a lot closer to taking an action compared to those who search for unbranded keywords, it’s worth investing in paid search and prioritise conversion and loyalty.

Optimising for unbranded keywords will also help. Having the relevant copy and structured data entered, search engines are able to pull through this information to answer specific branded questions.

It’s important to know that customers are now used to searching for specific queries and getting structured answers in return. By optimising your keywords for this, you should start to see not just an increase in your SEO ranking, but also conversions on your site.

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