Mastering Branded Keywords – Guide To Finding & Using Them Effectively

Branded Keywords in SEO
Table of Contents

Imagine launching your brand into the vast digital market, yet no one can find you.

Sounds daunting?

That’s where branded keywords come to the rescue. Representing your unique digital fingerprint, they’re not just words but a powerful SEO arsenal to skyrocket your Google rankings.

This comprehensive guide is designed to deepen your understanding of branded keywords. By the journey’s end, expect to be awash with practical knowledge that you can apply directly to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ventures, enhancing your ability to rank effectively on Google.

So, let’s get started!

What Are Branded Keywords?

Branded keywords or brand keywords, as you might have guessed, are search terms that include the name of your brand or its variants. They’re a powerful tool for bolstering your brand’s online visibility and gaining an edge over your competitors in search engine results.

Let me give you an example!

If you’re running a trendy coffee shop named “Beans & Brews,” branded keyword terms could be anything from “Beans & Brews coffee shop” to “Beans & Brews espresso roast.”

When users type these phrases into search engines, your brand should ideally be one of the first things they see.

This gives your brand a level of visibility and credibility that can help you stand out in a crowded market.

Why Do Brand Keywords Matter?

Branded keywords matter because they dominate search volumes and signal a strong search intent. They’re crucial for brand awareness and online reputation, playing a big role in improving your visibility on search engines and driving organic traffic to your website.

  • Direct Indication of Interest: Such users searching already know your brand, indicating a higher level of interest and intent.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Users searching for your branded products are more inclined to engage or buy when seeking your brand specifically.
  • Brand Loyalty and Retention: Users searching for branded terms are often returning customers. Ensuring they find what they’re looking for strengthens brand loyalty.

Remarkably, ranking for these types of keywords allows you to control the narrative around your brand, which can lead to increased customer trust and loyalty.

What Is The Difference Between Branded And Non-Branded Keywords?

Branded keywords are often used primarily by searchers already familiar with a brand and actively seeking its products and services.

For instance, if someone were to search for “Apple iPhone 12,” the term “Apple” is a branded keyword because it directly refers to a specific company.

On the other hand, non-branded keywords are the terms that people search for that are not directly related to your brand or product. They tend to be more generic and have a wider array of potential topics.

For example, if you run a shoe store, non-branded keywords might be “running shoes,” “hiking boots,” or “summer sandals.” These are not related to your brand specifically, but they are closely tied to the products you offer.

Balancing branded and non-branded keywords can lead to a robust SEO campaign that captures both specific and broad search traffic.

Still wondering if to use branded or non-branded keywords? Let me give a few use cases for each!

Use branded keywords when you want to

  • Increase conversion rates while spending less
  • Raise brand awareness and bring in more traffic.
  • Improve your Quality Score

Use non-branded keywords when you want to

  • Attract new customers
  • Protect your online reputation
  • Capture mid-to-bottom funnel customers

How To Find Branded Keywords?

Using SEO Tools

Finding your brand keywords involves utilizing SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush to search your company name or related products. By analyzing the resulting data, you can identify the most important keywords and phrases that people are using to search for your company.

Understand your brand

Now that you know what branded keywords are, let’s focus on how you can identify them effectively. There are a few ways to find out what keywords pertain to your brand.

Brand values and messaging

Understanding your brand’s core values and messaging is key to identifying your branded keywords. These are words and phrases that clearly reflect what your brand stands for and communicates to its audience. Think along the lines of your brand’s unique selling proposition, taglines, product names, and even your brand name itself.

Let’s consider a few steps:

  1. Start by listing down your brand’s key values and messages. This can include things like ‘innovation’, ‘quality’, ‘customer service’, etc.
  2. Next, think of words and phrases that your audience might use to search for these specific aspects of your brand.
  3. Combine these words in different ways to create a list of potential branded keywords.

Engage in social listening

Social listening, which means analyzing the conversations and mentions of your brand on social media, can be highly valuable. With this approach, you can identify trends and topics that are frequently associated with your brand, which could inspire new branded keywords to target.

Unique selling proposition (USP)

Finding your keywords that are linked to your brand is linked with your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP can be a powerful source of branded keywords, as it encapsulates what makes your product or service unique. Think about your company’s name, taglines, product names, or even specific features that differentiate you from the competition. These can all serve as your potential brand specific keywords.

If your USP is “sustainable luxury backpacks for urban explorers,” you could include “[YourBrandName] sustainable backpack,” “[YourBrandName] luxury backpacks,” and “[YourBrandName] urban explorer backpacks.”

Keyword Research Tools for Finding Branded Keywords

Utilizing keyword research tools is a highly effective method for discovering branded keywords that align with your brand identity and goals. These resources offer critical insights into popular search trends and competitor analysis, making them valuable.

Using Google Keyword Planner 

Google’s Keyword Planner is a goldmine of keyword insights that can be tailored to your specific goals. And yes, it extends to branded keywords too.

The best way to start is by adding your website URL in the “Start with a website” box to pull keywords from your site. This can be especially useful if you want to see which branded terms Google associates with your site.

Sort out the list of keywords related to the brand name or terms you entered and filter out the non-branded queries. This can be done by checking the ‘keyword text.’ You might want to look for a branded search term that has high search volume and low competition to maximize your SEO efforts.

Also, look at the competition column. While branded terms typically have low competition (since they’re unique to your brand), it’s good to be aware if competitors are bidding on your branded terms.

In essence, Google Keyword Planner can provide you with valuable insights into what people are searching for when they use your brand name in the search term

SEMrush and Ahrefs

These tools offer insights into organic and paid keywords your competitors are targeting, including branded keywords.

The Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush can provide variations and questions related to your branded keywords, helping you understand how people search around your brand.

To sift out the brand keywords, use the search filter and type in the competitor’s brand name.

You may even use its brand monitoring tool to track mentions of your brand across the web, helping you understand brand sentiment, discover new promotional opportunities, or address potential PR crises.

With the Site Explorer tool in Ahrefs, you can see if competitors are getting traffic from your branded keywords or if they have backlinks with branded anchor text that are directly associated with your brand.

This will list down all the variations of keywords that include the brand name. Don’t forget to examine each keyword and export the data for further analysis.

Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another powerful resource that can be used as a branded keywords explorer. By reviewing the organic search report, you’ll uncover the keywords people use to find your site. Pay close attention to keywords that include your brand name; these are your branded keywords.

Consider the “Site Search” option as well. When visitors use your site’s search bar, they’re likely to use keywords associated with your brand. Google Analytics tracks this, providing a golden opportunity to spot and leverage these keywords.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Don’t overlook the goldmine of information in your customer reviews and testimonials. These are often rich with branded keywords that real people use when talking about your product or service. Analyze reviews on your website, social media, and online directories. Look for recurring phrases or product names. Remember, it’s not just about what words you would use, but more importantly, it’s about the words your customers use.

Exploring Social Media for Branded Keywords

Using branded keywords in social media posts can increase engagement rates by up to 50%.

Social media platforms serve as a valuable resource. Social media provides you with real-time insights into how your audience refers to your brand and products in their posts.

Social media monitoring tools like Mention or Brandwatch can be used to track mentions of your brand across various social media platforms. This can reveal how people refer to your brand online.

Start by detail-focused monitoring of hashtags related to your brand, products, or services.

Examine the terms and phrases used by your audience in connection with your brand. These user-generated keyword suggestions may reveal potential branded queries that you hadn’t considered.

Long-Tail Keyword Exploration

For long-tail keywords, look for more specific phrases associated with your brand.

These longer terms can make your brand more discoverable by potential customers searching for specific products or services.

You can use online tools such as Ubersuggest and AnswerThePublic to assist in identifying effective long-tail branded keywords.

Use Ubersuggest by entering your brand name in the search box. It brings up various related searches, which you can use as branded keywords. For instance, if your brand is ‘Healthy Snacks,’ you might discover ‘Healthy Snacks gluten-free’ as an effective long-tail branded keyword.

Google Autocomplete is another excellent resource for identifying long-tail branded keywords. It suggests search terms as you type in the Google search bar, offering useful insights into popular related searches.

Take action

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Optimizing Website Content with Branded Keywords

Content optimization

Integrating branded keywords throughout your content can enhance your SEO performance. It helps to increase your online visibility, integrity, and brand recognition.

Now, knowing this, your next question might be, “How do I discover and use my branded keywords?”

Don’t worry; the following sections will guide you through this process!

On-Page Optimization for Branded Keywords

On-page optimization for branded keywords starts with integrating these keywords into essential areas of your page.

Title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content are on-page elements that you can optimize for branded keywords. You should aim to use your branded phrases naturally and contextually to avoid keyword stuffing.

Websites using branded keywords in their meta tags experience a 15% increase in organic search traffic.

In addition, consider using branded keywords in image alt texts, URLs, and internal links for further optimization.

It is also advantageous to incorporate these keywords within informative, user-friendly content that provides real value to your audience or even create a new landing page.

Furthermore, by integrating these branded keywords into your site’s schema markup, you can improve your site’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs)

Creating SEO-friendly URLs with branded keywords

Incorporating branded keywords into your URLs enhances SEO performance. While Google recommends simple, easy-to-understand URLs, it also benefits user experience. A visitor can suspect the content of a page just by looking at the URL. Use a hyphen ‘-‘ to separate terms as it’s recognized as a space. But remember, keep it succinct and avoid keyword stuffing. Excess use of keywords signals Google and can harm your rankings. So, intelligently infuse your branded keywords in the URL, aiding both users and search engines.

Embedding keywords in permalinks is vital as it enhances SEO, improves user interpretation, and positively influences search engine crawling and indexing. So, make sure you do it!

Image and Multimedia Optimization

To optimize images and multimedia for branded keywords, consider inserting your brand’s name in the alt text, caption, and file name of images. Branded keyword-rich filenames for images and multimedia boost SEO by enhancing relevancy, improving search engine recognition, and driving targeted traffic. This strong signaling to search engines enhances the relevancy of your brand for the chosen keyword.

Furthermore, create video content embedding your brand in the title, tags, and description. Doing this not only improves your search visibility but also fosters audience engagement.

Plus, since search algorithms consider user experience, high-quality, well-labeled multimedia contributes to better site performance. Remember, compelling visuals with strategically placed brand-centric keywords can be very helpful.

Branded Keywords in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns

Keywords in digital marketing strategy

Branded keywords can help give your digital marketing strategy a new direction. Let’s see how using the right keywords that resonate with your brand can be a part of your PPC strategy.

  • Ad Headline: This is where your brand-specific keyword should ideally find its place. By incorporating your keyword into the headline, you’re instantly increasing the relevance of your ad to search queries. For example, Starbucks might use “Starbucks Cold Brew”.
  • Ad Copy: It’s not enough to simply have the keyword in the headline. It should also be a part of your overall message. By organically integrating your brand’s keyword into your ad copy, you’ll not only add to the relevancy but also the natural flow of your ad. For instance, incorporating “Best Organic Coffee” into your ad text not only highlights the brand but subtly communicates quality and specialty.
  • Quality Score: Improving the ‘Quality Score’ is vital to better ranking. A higher Quality Score indicates that your keywords and ads are useful and relevant to users, thus promoting better ad positions on Google.

Successful Branded Keyword Campaigns Examples

case studies for brand name keywords

Exploring some real-world examples can help in understanding how to successfully utilize branded keywords for SEO. Here are three notable instances when some brands smartly used their brand keywords to increase their brand awareness and generate sales.

Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15%” campaign: The auto insurance company effectively aligned its brand with a catchy, easy-to-remember phrase. This tagline became a brand keyword that drove massive organic search volume. Prospective customers searching the tagline on Google were led directly to Geico’s website. The genius of this potent strategy is that they not only integrated their brand name in the keyword but also a value proposition, setting expectations for the customers. This specific approach helped in boosting brand recognition significantly and is a model for effective branded keyword campaigns.

Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign: Nike crafted a branded keyword campaign around its iconic motto. The phrase “Just Do It” is synonymous with the brand and consistently ranks high on Google, resulting in enhanced visibility and increased web traffic. Not only did this serve to strengthen their brand identity, but it also significantly impacted online engagement. The success of this campaign emphasizes the power of brand name keywords and their ability to drive organic traffic. By effectively leveraging their motto as a keyword phrase, Nike captured the attention of their target audience, further propelling their digital marketing reach.

McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign: This fast-food giant’s slogan is a spectacular example of a branded keyword. By integrating “I’m Lovin’ It” into its marketing and SEO strategy, McDonald’s has cultivated a unique digital space on Google, driving leads and amplifying sales. Their creative use of brand-driven search terms extends even to their menu items, cementing terms like “Big Mac” and “Happy Meal” in the minds of consumers worldwide. This not only enhances their search engine visibility but also fosters customer loyalty and brand recognition. It showcases the power of consistent use of branded keywords for long-term success.


Understanding the nuances between branded vs non-branded keywords is fundamental for successful SEO. This guide has provided into branded keywords and branded searches, starting with their discovery using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Google Search Console, exploring customer reviews, testimonials, and social media platforms. It goes in-depth into on-page optimization practices, including creating SEO-friendly URLs.

Furthermore, enhancing meta descriptions and title tags with brand name keywords can significantly boost your site’s visibility. This, combined with utilizing alt text for images and structuring multimedia appropriately, will make your content more accessible to search engines and users. A balanced blend of prominent branded keywords and smart SEO tactics can hike your rank in search results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go through some relevant questions to using branded keywords in your digital marketing strategies.

What are some KPIs to measure the success of their brand keywords strategies?

You can track KPIs such as Click-Through Rate (CTR) for branded keyword search results, conversion rate for traffic, Return on Investment (ROI) from branded campaigns, brand visibility and Share of Voice in search results, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) associated with branded keyword-driven conversions. These metrics provide a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of keyword strategies based on brand name.

What emerging technologies will impact the utilization of branded keyword data in the coming years?

Emerging technologies like natural language processing (NLP), will impact branded keyword data utilization. It will enhance semantic understanding and voice search will reshape search behavior, requiring adaptability in branded keyword strategies. With voice search, users employ more conversational and long-tail keywords, altering the way brands need to optimize and track their brand keywords to align with voice search queries and user intent.

How to balance branded and non-branded keywords?

To balance branded and non-branded keywords, begin by setting goals and then streamline your effort to strengthen your brand through brand name keywords. This helps maintain brand visibility and recognition. Simultaneously, you can target non-branded keywords to expand your reach and attract new audiences. Regularly analyze performance metrics to gauge the effectiveness of each type, adjusting the mix based on data insights. Stay adaptable to changes in market conditions and user behavior.

Should I be using brand misspellings or name variations?

Targeting common misspellings can have a huge impact on your SEO strategy. We know that “Froot Loops” is often mistakenly typed as “Fruit Loops.” This also includes users who make typographical errors or are unsure of the exact brand name. Using the common misspellings in your keyword strategy, you can capture the audience searching for the product under the wrong name.

How do competitors’ branded keywords affect my SEO strategy?

Competitors’ brand-specific keyword choices can impact your SEO strategy by increasing competition for visibility in search results. To counter this, focus on optimizing your own brand-related keywords and unique value propositions. Monitor competitor activities and adjust your strategies accordingly. Emphasize the strengths and unique selling points of your brand to stand out.

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Ajay Deep

Hi, I'm Ajay Deep, founder and CEO of Authority Ventures. I work as a strategy consultant - passionately aiding businesses in optimizing their digital presence. Apart from working with clients, I also work on some niche websites - which are my own experimental projects. One of my website recently got acquired by a Fortune500 company (for a whooping 6-digit figure). Click below to know more about me and my work.

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