How Branded Keywords Work in SEO & Advertising


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SEO and PPC campaigns can only be successful if the keywords are right. The keywords you select will have an immediate impact on your results.

Conduct extensive keyword research at the beginning of your campaigns. Track the results and keep looking for new opportunities.

You’ll likely come across both non-branded as well as branded keywords related to your company’s website. Many marketers are interested in the best keywords for their campaigns.

While this topic is often discussed in the context of PPC campaigns, both branded as well as unbranded keywords should be considered in your overall Internet marketing strategy.

Contact us for more information about your company’s digital marketing strategy.

What are brand keywords?

Understanding the differences between brand and unbranded keywords is crucial before we can discuss how they will fit into your strategy.

Your company’s name is included within branded keywords. To take our agency’s example, any keyword containing “Kobe Digital”, without regard to other words, is considered a branded keyword.

Keywords that contain keywords from different brands do not count as branded keywords. This distinction is important for retailers who sell products from other brands.

Zappos is a well-known shoe retailer that sells hundreds of brands. But, Zappos does not sell “Nike sneakers” and “Birkenstock sandals”, although they do sell those brands.

These keywords do not refer to companies, but they do relate to brands. However, users who search for them don’t want to purchase or learn more about the company. They are simply searching for a product not available at other retailers.

Users who search for keywords related to your company in the search engine results pages show that they are interested in your company. They are also familiar with your products.

What non-branded keywords are you asking?

These keywords are not branded and may be keywords that relate to your products or services, but they do not include your company’s name.

This is evident on our site. Our site is an example of this.

Your audience searches for you with almost unlimited keywords. Non-branded keywords are more beneficial to your strategy than branded keywords.

Which produces better results? Branded keywords vs. non-branded keywords

Many people ask whether keywords that are not branded yield better results. This question is frequently asked by marketers who create PPC campaigns. Each keyword has a cost. 

SEO and PPC campaigns depend on non-branded keywords. 

You can search for non-branded keywords as well as branded keywords in Google’s Keyword Planner. Let’s take a look at the results for a search for “running sneakers”, which is a non-branded keyword, and “Skora running shoes” which is a branded keyword.

This example will help you determine which keyword is more visible and has the highest competition.

Visibility: Non-branded

Use keywords that are frequently searched to increase your chances of reaching new customers. 

Looking at the average monthly searches for both keywords, it is clear that running shoe ads could reach 100,000 more people than those for “skora”.

If you want to increase brand awareness and visibility through search engine results, non-branded keywords are better choices.

Branded Competition

The Keyword Planner calculates the level of competition based on how many advertisers have bid on a keyword. It’s more difficult to place an ad for a keyword with more competitors. 

Keywords that aren’t specific to one company are more popular than keywords that are branded. You should have your brand name.

Your competitors might bid on keywords that are relevant to your company’s brand. 

Branded at the cost

Due to low competition, the cost of displaying an ad for a keyword can be as low as a few cents per click (CPC) if only a handful of advertisers bid. 

If budget is a concern, then branded keywords may be an option. These ads have a low CPC.


All marketing campaigns should generate revenue and sales. Use keywords with high conversion rates.

PPC ads targeting branded keywords have higher conversion rates than those that target non-branded keywords. 

Searchers who use branded keywords often move further along the purchasing process.

They will have likely researched your options before they visit your site. They may also have researched your options before visiting your site.

Branded campaigns can be effective, but they don’t drive conversions. Most conversions happen when strategies include both unbranded and branded keywords.

How often have you used a targeted keyword on a webpage? We can help with that!

How do you balance non-branded keywords and branded keywords

Unbranded keywords offer unique benefits, so both branded and branded keywords are crucial for any online marketing campaign.

These tips will help you choose where and how to combine your SEO and PPC strategies to achieve the best results.

Branded keywords are the hardest to rank for, especially if your company has a unique or unusual name.

This is how you get the best results when you search for your company name:

If you aren’t ranking for these keywords yet, make it a priority to optimize your homepage.

Customers searching for your company will use keywords to locate you.

Focus your SEO efforts on non-branded keywords

Once you have established keywords, it shouldn’t be hard to maintain organic rankings.

This is an option for companies that do not have a problem with branding. Instead, your SEO efforts should focus on non-branded keywords.

This is a cost-effective way to improve your organic rankings for keywords not branded.

Although creating pages that rank well may take more time than creating campaigns, these pages can still bring in traffic for many years and without ongoing costs.

On the other hand, PPC campaigns can only deliver results for as long a time as they are paid.

You should set up separate PPC campaigns for both non-branded and branded keywords

When you are running PPC ads for your business, it is important to have separate campaigns for non-branded and branded keywords. For different product types, you could have separate campaigns for non-branded keyword keywords.

Both of these types have their benefits, so you can expect to see different results based on which keywords are used.

A campaign that only uses branded keywords will get more impressions, per click, and conversions than a campaign that uses non-branded keywords.

It is difficult to measure the success of a campaign when they are all combined. Setting realistic expectations can help you set realistic goals.

You can expand your reach by using non-branded PPC campaigns

A PPC campaign can be a great way for users to search for keywords that aren’t branded.

This is particularly true for people who just started an SEO campaign and have yet to achieve rankings for the most crucial keywords. These ads can help you get traffic while you wait.

Keywords that indicate a buying intent can also benefit PPC campaigns. 

Although you’d love to rank organically in these keywords, it isn’t always possible. PPC campaigns can help increase brand awareness and earn you at least some visitors searching for non-branded, competitive keywords.

You can use RLSA (search for keywords not branded) to target visitors to your site who have previously visited your sites.

Search ads can target non-branded keywords and have a limited budget. The RLSA lets you limit your audience to people who have visited your website.

Rather than competing with other advertisers for a large audience that may not yet be ready to purchase, you can concentrate your reach on people who know your brand.

You can tailor these ads to individual users by highlighting products they’ve viewed before on your site. This will increase their likelihood of clicking your ad.

Are you looking to improve your SEO and PPC strategies?

Effective Internet marketing strategies require a mix of unbranded and branded keywords. Even experienced marketers might struggle to decide where to place them.

Kobe Digital can help you increase your online marketing campaigns. We will also help you develop a strategy to achieve your goals.

Contact us today to speak with a strategist and learn more about how to help your business grow online.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.