Branded and non-branded keywords are both imperative for a successful SEO strategy, though they serve distinct purposes. For eCommerce brands in particular, it’s especially important to distinguish between the two categories and understand how they can be used to drive traffic and traffic growth.
Likewise, as a specialist SEO agency, one of the ways we measure success is by tracking the amount of traffic generated to a website, usually from non-branded keywords. The reason for this is your website should already be ranking well for branded terms, and our job is to focus on helping to grow visibility and traffic from non-branded keyword terms.
What Are Branded Keywords?
Branded keywords are terms related to your brand, product, or service-specific names. These could include words like “Brand Name Shoes,” “Brand Name Online Store,” etc. They are typically used by customers who are already familiar with your brand.
Although it may seem like a formality that a brand will rank well for their own keywords, many brands also distribute through online and physical retailers, which can make it more challenging to rank well.
The advantage of being at the top of Google for your own branded keywords is evident: Users searching for your brand are likely to be further down the purchase funnel and closer to making a transaction. This means higher click-through rates and conversion rates.
What Are Non-Branded Keywords?
Non-branded keywords, also known as generic keywords, are terms related to the product or service itself without the brand name attached. These could include words like “running shoes” or “online shopping store.” They are typically used by customers who may be unfamiliar with your brand and are seeking more information before making a purchase.
The challenge of ranking for non-branded keywords is that they tend to have much higher search volumes and competition than branded terms. This means that it can take a long time to rank at the top of Google for these terms, but the payoff can be huge if you’re successful.
In addition to increased traffic and potential for higher conversion rates, the visibility from ranking higher for non-branded keywords can be invaluable for your brand as it builds authority in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is especially important if you’re a smaller brand competing against well-established competitors and one of the key benefits of eCommerce SEO.
How To Balance Branded & Non-Branded Keywords
In our experience, there can be a fine line between investing time and resources into branded and non-branded keywords, so it’s important to understand the use cases of each.
For example, when creating an SEO strategy and content for a website, you should consider balancing between content tailored to branded keywords (e.g. product pages) and non-branded terms (e.g. “blog posts” and “category” pages). This way, you can help to drive traffic from both types of terms while also building brand awareness.
See the below table for where it’s most appropriate to use each type of keyword:
|Page Type||Keyword Targeting|
|About Us Page||Branded|
|Contact Us Page||Branded|
|Brand Story Page||Branded|
|Forums & Community Pages||Non-Branded|
- Home Page: Generally encompasses both branded and non-branded keywords to cast a wide net for potential visitors.
- Product Pages: These should target both types of keywords since people might search for the specific branded product or the general type of product.
- Category Pages: Similar to product pages, these can leverage both branded and non-branded keywords to encompass a larger audience.
- Blog Posts: Usually more focused on non-branded keywords, to pull in people looking for information or solutions in the industry/niche.
- Landing Pages: These are usually campaign-specific and can be tailored to target both branded and non-branded keywords, depending on the campaign objectives.
- FAQ Pages: Primarily focused on non-branded keywords, as they generally address common questions or concerns in the industry/niche.
- About Us, Contact Us, Testimonials, Policies Page, Brand Story Page, Event Pages, Press Releases: These pages are more brand-centric, so they generally focus more on branded keywords.
- Resource Pages & How-to Guides: Generally focus on non-branded keywords to provide value and information that aligns with industry trends or common queries.
- Video Galleries: Can be a mix featuring both product-related content (branded) and informational content (non-branded).
- Forums & Community Pages: These pages often target non-branded keywords as they generally revolve around community discussions and advice sharing, which can encompass a wide variety of topics in the industry.
Let Our Experts Build You The Perfect SEO Strategy
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We’ve built campaigns for some of the UK’s most exciting brands and seen first-hand how successful the right mix of branded and non-branded keywords can be in driving traffic and conversions.
Ready to get started? Contact us today for an initial consultation, where we’ll review your current SEO performance and uncover new opportunities to increase your organic search traffic and online sales.