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Using Brand and Non-Brand Keywords: How To Leverage Each To Grow Your Brand

If you think about it, the words people type into Google say a lot about what they're looking for.


For instance, if someone is specifically searching for a Cerave cleanser, they're likely to input 'Cerave cleanser' into the search bar. On the other hand, if they're in the market for a gentle cleanser suitable for sensitive skin, they might opt for a broader search term like 'cleanser for sensitive skin.'

This is where the distinction between branded and non-branded keywords becomes important. Still not quite clear?

Well then, let's break down what each of those keywords means. We'll discuss the advantages and challenges associated with targeting each type. And, we'll also help you figure out which one you should focus on more!

What Are Branded Keywords?

Branded keywords are the words or phrases that include a specific brand name. Essentially, they're the terms people type into search engines when they're specifically looking for information about or related to a particular brand. 

For instance, if someone types "Rare Beauty Lip Oil" into Google, "Rare Beauty" is the branded keyword. These keywords are important for businesses because they indicate direct interest from potential customers who are already familiar with or interested in their brand.

Back in the past, it was mainly the well-known brands that used branded keywords to get noticed online. But now, with the internet being more accessible to everyone, even smaller businesses are jumping on board. 

And you know what's making things even more interesting? Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. They're perfect for discovering new brands.

Think about it – you're scrolling through your feed, and suddenly you stumble upon this cool new brand you've never seen before. It happens all the time! Then, when you're curious and want to learn more about them, you just type their name into Google, and there you go – that's using branded keywords right there!

What Are Non-Branded Keywords?

Non-branded keywords are the opposite of branded keywords. Instead of including a specific brand name, they are more general terms that relate to a product, service, or topic without mentioning any particular brand. 

For example, "lip oils" or "hydrating lip oils" are non-branded keywords in the context of Rare Beauty lip oils. People use non-branded keywords when they're in the early stages of their search process and are exploring options or looking for information without a particular brand in mind. 

Businesses often target non-branded keywords to attract potential customers who may not be familiar with their brand yet.

When To Leverage Branded and Non-Branded Keywords?

Using branded and non-branded keywords depends on what you're trying to achieve with your online presence.

Branded Keywords: You'd use these when you want to target people who are already aware of your brand or product. 

So, let's say you're a popular coffee shop called "Morning Brew." If you want to target people who already know about your coffee shop, you can use branded keywords like "Morning Brew coffee" or "Morning Brew cafe." This way, when someone searches for your coffee shop by name, they'll find you easily.

Using "Morning Brew" as a branded keyword helps you capture the attention of customers who are specifically looking for your coffee.

Non-Branded Keywords: These are handy when you want to reach a broader audience who might not know about your brand yet. It's like casting a wider net – you're aiming to attract people interested in a general topic or product category. 

For example, if you run a pet grooming business called "Paws & Tails." Even if someone searches for "professional pet grooming services" without mentioning your business name, you'd want your business to appear in those search results.

When you target non-branded keywords related to pet grooming services, such as "best pet groomers near me" or "affordable pet grooming," you can attract pet owners who are seeking grooming services but may not yet be familiar with your brand. This strategy allows you to broaden your reach and draw in new customers to your business.

In short, use branded keywords to connect with your existing fans, and non-branded keywords to introduce yourself to new ones!

Opportunities and Challenges When Targeting Branded and Non-Branded Keywords

Let's dive into the opportunities and challenges of using branded and non-branded keywords

Branded Keywords

Opportunities: When you target branded keywords, you're speaking directly to people who already know about your brand or product. This can lead to higher conversion rates because these people are likely ready to buy or engage with your brand.

Challenges: The challenge with branded keywords is that you're mainly reaching people who are already familiar with your brand. So, while you might see higher conversion rates, your potential audience size could be limited to those who already know about you.

Non-Branded Keywords

Opportunities: Non-branded keywords open the door to a much broader audience. You have the chance to attract new customers who might not have heard of your brand yet but are interested in the type of product or service you offer.

Challenges: Since non-branded keywords target a wider audience, competition can be fierce. You're not just competing with other brands but also with content creators and websites providing similar information or products. Plus, people searching for non-branded keywords might still be in the early stages of their buying journey, so it could take more effort to convert them into customers.

Basically, targeting branded keywords can lead to quicker conversions from people already interested in your brand, while non-branded keywords offer the potential to reach a larger audience but require more effort to stand out among competitors.

Which Is More Important For a Successful Marketing Strategy?

In short, both branded and non-branded keywords are like peanut butter and jelly—they just go together if you want your marketing strategy to really hit its mark. 

Branded Keywords

Importance: Branded keywords are for keeping your regulars happy. They ensure that people who already know and trust your brand can easily find you online. It helps to maintain strong connections with your existing customers.

Non-Branded Keywords

Importance: Non-branded keywords are like casting a wide net to catch new fish. They help you attract people who might not have heard of your brand yet but are interested in your products/services. It helps expand your reach and bring in new business.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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