Branded vs. Non-Branded Keywords: The Difference

Branded vs. Non-Branded Keywords: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keywords play a crucial role in determining your online visibility and reach. But not all keywords are created equal. Understanding the difference between branded and non-branded keywords can help you tailor your SEO strategy for maximum impact.

What are Branded Keywords?

Branded keywords are search terms that include your brand name or variations of it. For example, if you own a shoe store called “Shoe Emporium,” branded keywords would include phrases like “Shoe Emporium shoes” or “Shoe Emporium online store.” These keywords are directly related to your brand and are used by customers who are already familiar with your business.

Using branded keywords in your SEO strategy can help reinforce brand recognition, drive targeted traffic to your website, and increase conversions. People who search for your brand specifically are more likely to be interested in your products or services, making them valuable leads.

What are Non-Branded Keywords?

Non-branded keywords, on the other hand, are search terms that do not include any specific brand names. Instead, they focus on broader topics or product categories. For example, if you sell running shoes, non-branded keywords could include phrases like “best running shoes” or “top-rated athletic footwear.”

Non-branded keywords are essential for reaching new customers who may not be familiar with your brand yet. By targeting these keywords in your SEO strategy, you can attract a wider audience and increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why You Need Both Branded and Non-Branded Keywords

While branded keywords are crucial for reinforcing brand recognition and driving targeted traffic, non-branded keywords are essential for expanding your reach and attracting new customers. By incorporating both types of keywords into your SEO strategy, you can create a comprehensive approach that caters to different stages of the customer journey.

For example, someone who searches for a specific brand name is likely already familiar with that brand and is looking for more information or ready to make a purchase. On the other hand, someone who searches for a generic product category may be in the early stages of their research and open to exploring different brands.

Optimizing Your Keyword Strategy

When optimizing your keyword strategy, it’s essential to strike a balance between branded and non-branded keywords. Here are some tips to help you make the most of both types of keywords:

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant branded and non-branded keywords in your industry. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to discover popular search terms and assess their search volume and competition levels.

2. Create High-Quality Content

Develop high-quality content that incorporates both branded and non-branded keywords naturally. Write blog posts, product descriptions, and landing pages that provide value to your audience while optimizing for relevant keywords.

3. Optimize Meta Tags and Descriptions

Optimize your meta tags, meta descriptions, and title tags with a mix of branded and non-branded keywords. This will help search engines understand the context of your content and improve your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.

4. Monitor Performance and Adjust Accordingly

Regularly monitor the performance of your branded and non-branded keywords using tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush. Analyze key metrics like organic traffic, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.


Branded and non-branded keywords each play a unique role in your SEO strategy. By understanding the difference between the two and incorporating both types of keywords into your approach, you can maximize your online visibility, attract more users, and drive conversions. Remember to conduct thorough keyword research, create high-quality content, optimize meta tags, and monitor performance to ensure that your keyword strategy is effective and successful.

Related articles

5 Steps to Improve PPC Ad Performance

PPC Optimization: 5 Steps to Better Ad Performance

This checklist will show you which tools and reports in the Semrush software you can use to research your keywords, study competitors, plan ad groups, and track rankings during a PPC campaign.

Outbound Links: Do They Help SEO?

Outbound Links: What Are They & Do They Help SEO?

Outbound links are hyperlinks that point from one website to another website. Learn how they affect SEO.

YMYL Impact on SEO: Explained

What Is YMYL & How Does It Affect SEO?

“Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) refers to topics that may affect users’ health, finances, safety, or well-being.

Pillar Page Creation: Guide + Examples

What Is a Pillar Page & How to Create One (+ Examples)

Pillar pages are pieces of content that provide an overview of a topic and link to more specific cluster posts.

Best Ways to Promote Your YouTube Channel: 25 Marketing Tactics

How to Promote Your YouTube Channel: 25 Best Marketing Tactics

Get more video views and clicks by optimizing your content. Here‘s how to promote your YouTube channel.