The objectives of an SEO campaign generally include gaining notoriety and authority, generating qualified traffic, and obtaining conversions. Even if the level of information and data obtained in reports is developing (business software, Search Console, Google Analytics, etc.), the constant remains on the central role of keywords – from a quantitative or qualitative point of view . What are the terms that drive the target traffic?
Today, web referencing is all about context and search intent. Keyword studies and targeted terms are much more about topics. Building such a study goes through a classification of generic terms of the first level, of long tail keywords and even more natural language queries – useful in voice search.
Among all the keywords obtained and ranked, there is a big distinction between branded keywords and non-branded keywords. We talk more often about branded traffic and non-branded traffic in SEO or SEA campaigns. There is a big difference between the two and the ways in which we have to deal with them and deal with them. In this article, the 1ère Position agency tries to explain to you how these traffics and these keywords differ.
What is branded traffic?
Brand traffic refers to any traffic to a site from visitors who use a reference to your company’s brand, such as your name, the name of a product, or even a tagline. Most of the time, this traffic takes the form of organic traffic from engines, social networks or even direct traffic (newsletters, favorites, history, etc.). For example, “1st Position Agence Lyon” and “1st Position SEO” generate brand traffic.
The benefits of branded traffic
When talking about branded keywords versus non-branded keywords, it’s important to discuss the benefits of each type of keyword.
The advantage of branded keywords is that they almost always bring traffic to a business’s website. This is because the competition on brand names is generally quite low and the click-through rate is high. The search intent is clear: People are looking for services or products from your specific brand. You might face more competition if your products are distributed by other sites.
The importance of this traffic is that it represents visitors who have already heard about your business from a different source than keyword research: word of mouth, events, advertising… In other words, at a minimum, this represents a customer’s second point of contact with your brand. In many cases, branded traffic is the highest quality, highest performing, and most profitable traffic to your website.
When it comes to branding (or branding), brand traffic helps build a good reputation. Keywords incorporating a brand name also allow you to control the message behind the keywords your brand is linked to. You want to make sure that the message behind these terms is controlled and relevant.
The disadvantages of branded traffic
You need to know the downsides of each keyword when discussing branded or unbranded keywords.
One downside to branded traffic is that it can represent a significant cost in fueling PPC campaigns or efforts to drive SEO traffic to those queries. However, the search intent is often difficult to determine: Internet users looking for information about your company (email address or customer service number, institutional content, job offers, etc.) to click on the paid advertisement, without intending to perform any transactional action.
Brand keywords are also limited in some way. The use of branded keywords assumes that enough people know about your business to search for that brand. You need to be sure that people search for your brand, as well as certain keywords, to get viable results. Without a good reputation and efforts to develop it, this strategy is doomed to failure.
What is unbranded traffic?
Non-brand traffic is opposed to brand traffic. Non-brand traffic is made up of visitors who are not specifically looking for your brand, but what your site or brand offers. This research can be classified into themes or intentions. For example, if you are selling products, you might want to organize these queries into topics not only by product category, but also by purchase intent. For example, “Agence SEO Lyon”, “being in first position in Google” and “Agence editoriale Lyon” generate non-brand traffic.
The benefits of unbranded traffic
Non-brand keywords also have their advantages. They allow companies to build their work of acquiring traffic and conversions, but also to increase online visibility without having to spend a fortune. Moreover, this is possible even for companies or sites with a low notoriety.
In addition, using unbranded keywords helps to extend the organic reach, the number of impressions of your site. Branded keywords are very specific and the search volume is almost always lower than unbranded keywords because the intent is different. For example, the intention behind the query “SEO agency” is quite general. People want to know what an SEO agency is, its services, its strengths, where the agencies are nearby. Since the intent is not as specific with unbranded keywords, businesses are more likely to increase their reach.
The disadvantages of unbranded traffic
There are some drawbacks to using unbranded keywords as well. Most important, arguably, is that using unbranded keywords does not generate direct traffic like branded keywords do. If you target the keyword “web agency”, a large number of search results will appear, because other companies rank on this generic term which brings together communication agencies, SEO agencies, editorial agencies, specialists growth hacking… This means that the click-through rate will be low and that the page will generate very little traffic if it is not very well positioned.
Another downside to targeting non-brand keywords is that PPC campaigns cost more because your direct competitors will also be interested in those queries and traffic. Rising demand necessarily implies higher prices. Monitor your PPC campaigns to achieve your goals without exceeding your initial budget!
Combine branded traffic and non-branded traffic!
When evaluating the relevance of branded or non-branded keywords, it’s important to imagine SEO strategies that involve both forms to acquire diverse traffic with good potential. Using off-brand keywords in an SEO strategy is all about building a site’s authority around “unmarked” keywords so that the site ranks well. For this, one of the best ways to build authority and boost your SEO efforts is to create optimized content around these keywords. The content you can create includes:
- Blog post
- Content of pages
- Guest blogging
- Social media posts
- White papers
Producing relevant content on a given subject or keyword means giving yourself chances to be well positioned. This strategy can also help you build the authority and trust of your audience, it can help transform them from simple internet users to loyal customers.
There are SEO and SEA tactics for reaching generic keywords that you can use for branded keywords as well. For example, when it comes to SEO, you can rely on variations of your branded keywords to attract more traffic, such as non-brand keywords. When it comes to branded keywords, many marketers like to use them for PPC campaigns. This strategy can work for a number of reasons.
- This strategy can protect your branded keywords from your competition. Your competitors are probably trying to “steal” your branded keywords in PPC advertising, so it’s best to follow them so you don’t lose them.
- Branded keywords in PPC campaigns can also help you control the traffic you attract.
- You can control the layout and content of the landing page you link to the ad to increase the number of conversions.
- Finally, using branded keywords for PPC campaigns can help you stay in control of your brand and the traffic you generate or even the image you return.
Branded or non-branded keywords?
Branded traffic or non-branded traffic, that is the question!
We’ve talked about keywords, or branded and non-branded traffic, throughout this article, but THE question remains: which one is better? Drum roll… there is no right answer to this question! Branded keywords and non-branded keywords serve different purposes and, therefore, they are both important, depending on the context of each SEO project.
Branded keywords work well for well-known businesses that want to keep their traffic and really optimize their communication and most importantly the conversion rate. Non-brand keywords, on the other hand, work best for small to medium-sized organizations trying to expand their reach and establish authority – those who are looking for new customers, for example. The search intent is different for these terms, but they are two viable tools that businesses should use in their SEO and PPC strategies.
To fully utilize the keywords and opportunities in your market, your SEO project will need to target branded traffic as well as non-branded traffic. To identify, assess the relevance and prioritize the actions to be taken, the 1st Position team is at your disposal. You will benefit from all the listening skills and technical expertise in SEO to see your site go up on the Google results pages and especially your traffic increase!
François B., content manager
Content Manager within the SEO agency of Lyon 1time Position since 2017, I put my pen and my ideas at the service of clients from all backgrounds and the most varied projects. Curious and on the lookout for the latest trends, I like to discover and share my findings with the readers of the 1st Position blog as an author … and editor!