Should I Use Branded Keywords?

 In Paid Advertising, Search Engine Optimization

Identifying, analyzing, targeting, and ranking for keywords are critical steps to any SEO or PPC campaign’s success. After all, the keywords you aim for will determine the audience demographic you reach. Do you understand the difference between branded and non-branded keywords? More importantly, are you applying these search terms correctly to your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns? Your brand is the quintessential factor that sets you apart from the competition. After building your brand’s reputation, you must use your company’s name to your advantage. You can reach this goal with some help from branded keywords.

Read on to discover how both branded and non-branded keywords can be a game-changer for your digital marketing strategy.

What are Branded Keywords?

A branded keyword refers to a search phrase that includes the name of a brand, a variation of a brand name, or the name of a specific product. Some examples of common branded keywords include “Apple iPhone,” “NY Yankees Hat,” and “Premiere Creative Digital Marketing Services.” Some SEO specialists refer to branded keywords as navigational queries. Why? Simple – the people using these keywords want to learn more about a specific service. Therefore, branded keywords deliver a narrower segment of potential customers than those searching with non-branded keywords, as it’s exclusive on purpose. Nonetheless, this smaller segment is more likely to “convert” since they’re already hunting for a specific product or company.

Branded Keywords in SERPs

Keywords that contain other brands, however, are not considered branded keywords for your company. This is an important distinction to make if you’re a retailer and carry multiple branded products within your array of inventory.

What are Non-Branded Keywords?

Non-branded keywords are phrases that relate to products or services that do not carry a company’s name like “Marketing Services NJ,” or “Best Spine Surgeon NYC.” These search queries generate a broader audience. Moreover, users want their questions answered early on in the customer journey (also known as upper-funnel searches).

Should I Bid on Branded Keywords in a PPC Campaign?

Your key to success still relies on appropriate SEO keywords. Thus, you must brainstorm a list of keywords that will reach and appeal customers in various stages of the sales funnel. Are they seeking information (top of the funnel)? Or are they ready to make a purchase (bottom of the funnel)? Answering these questions will serve as starting point for identifying your new list of keywords.

Some SEO and PPC strategists give less weight to branded keywords because they automatically assume that they rank #1. After all, why would anyone pay to appear in SERPs for their own company name? As a result, they believe that devoting additional time will not yield substantial gains. But that’s not always the case. Targeting branded keywords deliver a plethora of benefits such as:

  1. Dominating SERP Real Estate: Crowding Google’s SERPs with organic and paid listings ensures that viewers see your message as the best answer. By taking over Google’s SERPs (paid, organic, map listings, knowledge boxes, etc.), visitors correctly assume your website is more credible than your competitors.
  2. Saving Precious Ad Spend: Branded keywords usually offer the lowest cost-per-click with the highest ROAS (return on advertising spend).
  3. Control Your Messaging: If your company received any negative publicity, branded ads can push negative content farther down on SERPs
  4. Deal With Your Competitors: Your competitors can bid on your brand name and products. Since your website is the best source for brand information, bidding on your branded terms ensures less expensive clicks and higher impressions because you have a higher quality score for those keywords.

Branded PPC & SEO Keywords: The Key Takeaway

What metrics (bounce rates, conversions, email clicks, phone calls, eBook downloads, etc.) matter most? Defining with SEO and PPC can tell you where to re-focus your attention. If you’re looking to gain visibility, you can go with non-branded keywords. Are you looking for lower competition, more potential affordability, and higher conversion rates? Then you may want to shift your strategy to target branded keywords. Whether you plan on focusing on branded keywords, non-branded keywords, or both, make sure the tracking is accurate and correctly monitors performance results.

As a leader in SEO, PPC, social media, and web design services, Premiere Creative helps brands drive more qualified traffic, convert new visitors, and ultimately deliver measurable results. Connect with the Premiere Creative PPC team today by dialing (973) 346-8100 to discuss your new or existing keyword strategy.

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