Branded Keywords

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Apr 17, 2023

Branded Keywords

What are branded keywords?

Branded keywords are specific words or phrases that include a company's brand name or a version of it. These keywords are used in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

The goal is to target people who already know their brand or are looking for their particular products.

For instance, if a shoe company is called "Footwear Inc.", some of their possible branded terms could be "Footwear Inc. sneakers", "where to buy Footwear Inc. shoes", or "Footwear Inc. customer help".

These incorporate their brand name to reach people searching for their business specifically.

Using these branded keywords in marketing campaigns can help your company increase visibility and drive traffic to its website.

Why are branded keywords important?

Branded keywords are a crucial element in any digital marketing strategy. Branded keywords are important for several reasons, including:

Proper targeting

Branded keywords are helpful because they let you aim your marketing directly at suitable groups. When you use your brand name as a keyword, you reach audiences who already know you or search for your company online.

Using branded terms makes your messaging more focused on what those audiences want. This can increase conversions since people prefer content matched to their needs.

For example, if a company's brand name is "XYZ", using branded keywords like "XYZ shoes" or "buy XYZ products" can help target their message to people who are specifically searching for their brand or products.

Understand the audience’s needs

Branded keywords help in understanding the primary needs of your audience. By using these specific keywords in your content marketing or paid media campaigns, you can attract people who are specifically searching for products or services related to your brand. 

This ensures that your efforts are directed towards the right audience, who are more likely to be interested in what you offer.

For instance, if your company specializes in selling organic skin care products and notices that a large percentage of your audience is interested in skincare products with natural ingredients, you can use this information to tailor your product line to include more natural ingredients and emphasize this in your marketing messaging. 

Similarly, if you notice that a large percentage of your audience has concerns related to acne and there is more traffic for branded keywords related to it, you can create content and products specifically targeted toward acne-prone skin.

Access to new opportunities

Monitoring branded keywords helps uncover new business possibilities. Your marketing team can spot audience subgroups searching for certain offerings connected to your company name.

This can lead to the creation of new campaigns or even new products or services to meet the demands of your audience.

For example, if you sell sports shoes and notice an increasing demand for searches related to running shoes, you can start an ad campaign focusing just on runners. 

This opens up new sales potential in that area and lets you expand into running shoe products that the audience is seeking out.

By analyzing the data on which branded keywords are being searched for, you may discover new opportunities for partnerships, collaborations, or even product developments that were not previously considered.

Competitive analysis

Branded keywords are also important for a more comprehensive competitive analysis because they allow you to track both your own brand and your competitors' brands in conversations that are happening organically and unfiltered on social media.

By monitoring these conversations, you can gain valuable insights into your target audience's authentic thoughts and see how your brand reputation compares to others in your industry.

Additionally, searching for branded keywords related to researching a product can help you understand the search presence and ad strategies of your competitors.

For example, you can search for keywords like "[brand name] alternatives," "[brand name] competitors," and "[brand name] reviews" to see what search ads your competitors are running and how they are being perceived by industry blogs or news outlets.

By using branded keywords to monitor your competitors, you can gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and use that information to inform your own marketing strategy.

Identification of flaws

Branded keywords also help companies spot issues with their offerings. By checking branded search terms about their products or services, businesses can find common complaints or negative feedback from customers.

Seeing these pain points allows them to pinpoint areas that need fixing. Monitoring what people say online enables heading off bigger issues as well by tackling problems early.

So branded keywords give insight into flaws, letting brands reactively address criticism and proactively avoid growing dissatisfaction.

Branded vs non-branded keywords

Branded keywords include a company's actual name or some variation of it. For example, "Nike sneakers" or "Nike basketball shoes".

These terms are unique to that specific brand. People searching with branded keywords typically already know the company.

Non-branded keywords do not contain any brand names. For example, just "running shoes" or "best athletic footwear". These refer to products, topics, categories, or customer needs in general.

Using branded keywords in marketing reaches audiences who recognize Nike already and what it sells. However, non-branded terms can attract new shoppers, unaware of the brand.

By targeting both branded and non-branded keywords, you can reach a broader audience and improve your overall SEO and marketing efforts.

The most important one out of the two

Both branded and non-branded keywords are important for the success of content marketing as they serve different objectives in different stages of lead nurturing. 

Non-branded keywords are used at the beginning of the lead nurturing process to attract readers and visitors to the website, which can help increase the website's ranking in search results.

Branded keywords, on the other hand, become crucial in the advanced stages of lead nurturing when customers are already aware of the possible companies and brands that can solve their problems. 

In this stage, branded keywords help to provide a quick and definitive answer in search results, which can be a significant incentive for selling.

Therefore, both types of keywords are essential in their respective stages, and companies need to use a mix of both to create a successful content marketing strategy.

When to use branded keywords?

Branded keywords are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. They refer to search terms that include your company or brand name. 

Here are the scenarios where using branded keywords can benefit your business:

When you want to increase conversions while spending less

Bidding on branded keywords can be cost-effective because they have a lower cost-per-click (CPC) than non-branded terms.

Since branded keywords target users who are already searching for your products, they are more likely to convert. 

This is because these users are already familiar with your brand and are more likely to make a purchase.

By running branded campaigns, you can showcase your brand and target a more relevant audience. This approach can help you get more conversions while spending less.

When you want to protect your online reputation

Your competitors may use your branded keyword terms in their ads to attract customers who are searching for your company by name.

This is especially common in highly competitive industries or when you offer similar products or services.

To prevent competitors from stealing market share, you can play their bidding game, increase branded ad spend, improve your Quality Score, and optimize your landing pages

By doing so, you can keep your brand at the forefront of customers' minds and protect your online reputation.

When you want to improve your quality score

Google's Quality Score measures the relevance of your ads and keywords to your brand. 

By running branded campaigns, you can enhance your Google Ads and social media account's Quality Score.

This can lead to lower CPCs, higher clickthrough rates (CTR), and higher conversion rates.

When you want to guide prospects through each stage of the buyer journey

AIDA is a framework that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It is a widely used approach in marketing and advertising to guide customers through the buying process.

When it comes to branded keywords, AIDA can be a powerful tool for capturing the attention of potential customers who are already familiar with your brand.

By creating content or ads that focus on the unique benefits of your brand and products, you can generate interest and desire for what you offer, ultimately leading to action (e.g. making a purchase).

When to use non-branded keywords?

Non-branded keywords can be an essential part of a robust marketing strategy.

Here are the situations where non-branded keywords can be useful:

When you want to raise brand awareness and bring in more traffic

If people are not aware of your brand, it's less likely that they will search for your brand name or specific keywords related to your brand. 

Therefore, to attract more visitors to your website, you can use more general keywords that are related to your business or industry. 

These generic keywords have a higher search volume, meaning that more people are searching for them on search engines like Google.

For example, if you sell fitness equipment and your brand name is not well-known, people may not be searching for your brand specifically. 

However, they may be searching for terms like "best exercise equipment," "fitness gear," or "workout equipment."

By optimizing your website for these generic keywords, you can attract more non-branded traffic to your website and increase your brand awareness.

When you want to attract new customers

If you want to grow your business, you need to bring in new customers. Non-branded keywords can help you attract potential customers who are still unfamiliar with your business but are looking for similar products or services. 

By continuing to target non-branded keywords in your PPC campaigns, your brand can get in front of potential customers, and you have a much bigger chance to convert them into actual paying customers.

When you want to capture mid-to-bottom funnel customers

To capture mid-to-bottom funnel customers, you need to understand their search intent

Using non-branded phrases matching that intent allows targeting ads to guide them down the sales funnel.

For example, a shopper searching for "best running shoes for women" probably compares brands' options before buying.

Ads with your women's running shoe features, benefits, and reviews move that consideration stage toward picking your product.

So non-branded keywords help tailor messaging around a buyer's exact intent to influence a choice favoring your brand.

Using terms tied to their thought process and questions can address concerns that are slowing down their decision-making.

Can they create a combined effect?

Yes, branded and non-branded search terms together can improve marketing.

Branded keywords build loyalty among existing brand followers. However, non-branded terms attract unfamiliar people for a wider reach.

Combining both draws customers at every step - from catching their initial interest to converting sales and nurturing loyalty.

For example, generic phrases bring new visitors to a website. Then branded names keep them engaged to become ongoing shoppers.

Using both also expands visibility to more types of searches. This also enhances the ability to compete more effectively against rival businesses.

How to track branded keywords?

Tracking branded keywords is important to understand how your brand is perceived online, monitor brand reputation, and measure the effectiveness of your branding strategies. 

Here are some ways to track branded keywords:

Use Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool that can help you find branded keywords by monitoring the web for mentions of your brand name, products, or services. 

To use Google Alerts, go to the Google Alerts page, enter your brand name or other keywords related to your brand, and select the type of content you want to monitor, such as news articles, blog posts, or social media mentions. 

You can also choose how often you want to receive alerts, such as daily or weekly.

Google Alerts can provide you with valuable insights into how your brand is being perceived online, who is talking about your brand, and what types of content are being shared. 

By monitoring your branded keywords with Google Alerts, you can identify potential brand advocates, track your competitors, and respond to negative feedback on time.

Explore social media

Social media is a good place to find branded keywords too. You can use Twitter's advanced search to see when people mention your company name, products, or services.

To try it, go to Twitter's advanced search and enter your brand name in the "Words" section. You can also add extra filters like location or language to focus the search more.

Social listening tools like Hootsuite or Mention also track branded keyword uses across different sites - Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. They monitor multiple platforms at once for your branded terms.

So explore special social media searches using your actual brand name.

Use specific tools

In addition to Google Alerts and social media monitoring, there are several specific tools you can use to find branded keywords. 

One of them is SproutSocial, which offers a feature called "Brand Keywords" that helps you track mentions of your brand and related terms across social media platforms.

Another option is SEMRush, which is a keyword research tool that allows you to identify which keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Likewise, Ahrefs is another paid tool that offers brand monitoring features to track mentions of your brand, monitor backlinks, and analyze your competitors' strategies.

You may also want to use Brand24 which is a social media listening tool that tracks your brand's mentions, sentiment analysis, and influencer identification across social media platforms.

How to optimize your web pages for branded keywords? 

Optimizing for branded keywords is an important aspect of any digital marketing strategy, as it helps you to increase your brand's visibility and drive more targeted traffic to your website. 

Here are some tips on how to optimize for branded keywords:

Choose the right keyword

Choosing the right keywords to target is crucial for optimizing your brand's visibility and traffic. You should start by identifying any underperforming keywords that are currently not ranking really well, and see if you can create content to help optimize for them.

Additionally, you may have keywords that rank on the second page but don’t give the user what they're looking for or in other words missing search intent issues.

In this case, adjust your content to make sure the page with the right search intent so it can rank well on SERPs.

It's also important to identify valuable new keywords that have high search volume and can help drive traffic to your website. 

Also, prioritize your efforts on targeting the keywords that will have the greatest impact on your brand's visibility and traffic, and ensure that your content is aligned with your brand messaging and uses your branded keywords in a natural and informative way for your audience.

Consider relevance

When optimizing for branded keywords, it is important to consider relevance. This means that your branded keywords should be relevant to the products and services you offer on your website, as well as the content you create. 

For example, if you are a clothing retailer, your branded keywords should be related to clothing, such as they may include the words "fashionable clothes" or "stylish apparel".

Additionally,  your content should not be stuffed with branded keywords in an attempt to rank higher on search engines, but should rather provide value to your audience by being informative, engaging, and relevant to their needs. 

Include branded keywords in your website content

Make sure that your website's content includes branded keywords in a natural way, such as in the meta title, meta description, page titles, and throughout the body copy.

Optimize your website's architecture

Ensure that your website's architecture is optimized for branded keywords by creating a dedicated page for your brand or products, and including branded keywords in the page URL, header tags, and image alt tags.

Build quality backlinks

High-quality backlinks from reputable sources can boost your website's authority and help it rank higher for branded keywords. 

You can achieve this by creating valuable content that other websites will want to link to, and by reaching out to industry influencers or bloggers to feature your brand on their websites with branded anchor text.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help you to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

Make sure to include branded keywords in your social media profiles and posts, and use social media to engage with your audience and build brand loyalty.

Monitor your brand mentions

Keep track of how your brand is being talked about online, and respond to any negative feedback or comments in a timely and professional manner. By doing so, you can maintain a positive brand image and improve your online reputation.

Add internal links

Internal linking refers to adding links within your website that connect different pages of your site to each other.

This helps search engines understand the structure of your site and how pages relate to each other.

When it comes to optimizing for branded keywords, adding internal links that use your branded keywords as anchor text can help reinforce their importance to search engines.

By linking from one page on your site to another using branded keywords as anchor text, you are signalling to search engines that those keywords are important and relevant to the content on those pages.

This can help increase the authority and relevance of those pages in search results for those keywords.

Keep monitoring

Monitoring is a crucial aspect of branded keyword optimization to ensure that the use of these keywords continues to have a positive impact on your business. 

By regularly monitoring your branded keyword performance, you can identify areas for improvement and prevent competitors from taking advantage of any weaknesses.


Branded keywords have significant value for established brands beyond just increasing visibility and website traffic. They can lead to higher conversion rates by targeting audiences already familiar with and actively searching for the brand.

Branded terms also facilitate quality checks by aggregating customer feedback, and enable the creation of competitive advertising campaigns catered specifically to the brand's followers.

Furthermore, branded keyword optimization attracts new potential customers organically, discovering the brand during related searches.

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