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When it comes to building organic traffic, most companies are now pretty savvy at targeting rankings for non-branded search terms within their industry. But what about branded search terms? 

By way of introduction, as the name suggests, branded search terms are those which include a brand name and suggest intent towards that brand directly, for example “Adidas trainers” or “Apple watch”, whereas non-branded terms would suggest a more open approach to who the user chooses, for example “running trainers” or “smart watches.” 

A lot of companies assume that when it comes to branded search terms, you’re largely playing with house money. Users are either going to search for you or they’re not, and chances are you’re going to rank very highly for branded terms, or at least highly enough for users to seek you out on the SERP. 

That’s true to an extent, but it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to increase the volume and effectiveness of your branded searches.

How important are branded search terms?

A 2019 survey on search volume found that while the average small or medium business receives around 19% of its organic traffic from branded search terms, when it came to global brands, that number jumped up to 58% of organic traffic on average. 

On the surface, that stands to reason; the more well-known a brand is, the more likely an online user is to search for the brand directly. At the same time, none of those global brands got there overnight, and any brand is capable of increasing the volume of branded search terms. 

So, in light of that, two key questions come to the fore. 

First, how important, and even valuable, are branded search terms? 

Second, how do you grow the level of branded traffic you generate? 

The value of branded search terms

In terms of attributing an actual value to branded search, it’s difficult to quantify exact values without a level of analysis on your site over time – more on that later – but what we can say is: 

  • Securing the digital ‘real estate’ on branded search terms can save a lot in terms of paid ad spends. Gone are the days – or at least gone should be the days – of PPC execs padding stats by bidding on the brand. In most cases all it takes is a quick analysis of your key branded search terms, and if you’ve secured top organic ranks for those terms, you can stop paying for those clicks; users are looking for you and will find you anyway.

  • Tracking changes in branded search term volumes around any marketing campaign is one key insight in determining the value of campaigns. Most companies track the results of a marketing campaign through various metrics. If you note an increase in branded search terms around certain products, services or promotions following a related ad campaign, this points to greater brand awareness having resulted from the campaign.

  • Attributing actual value to branded search terms in respect to revenue and ROI requires more sophisticated insight, but it’s something we’re working on right now. We’d love to speak to you about the potential in this area and see you become one of the first clients to benefit from this. 

Ways to build branded search terms

There are many ways to look at building branded search, but here’s one example to whet the appetite for a more detailed discussion. 

One useful method is building brand recognition using non-branded SERPs. So, take a company offering bespoke garden rooms. If a user searches "garden room" for an initial look and sees the company site ranking well, then searches "garden room planning permission" and sees them again, then "garden room ideas" and sees them again, you're creating brand recognition with the individual. 

Yes, that is only one person initially, but if you maintain those organic rankings across several key terms, there is no telling the amount of people who follow that same path to brand recognition. That may not turn into increased brand searches overnight, but it's using smart SEO to build the brand effectively. 

Ultimately, there are a range of different ways in which we look to grow branded search online. 

Our Tech SEO and Content teams grow name recognition with users by ranking well for a range of interconnected industry-relevant non-branded keywords. 

Our Campaigns team grows brand awareness by securing quality links and coverage in high-profile digital publications. 

Our Cubed team maximise your marketing spends by using multi-touch attribution to show you the true value of each brand campaign. 


We couldn’t be more excited about the next generation of brand building and the part we’re going to play in it. We’re perfectly placed to facilitate the growth of branded search terms for a variety of clients, and even better equipped to track, identify and maximise the potential return of that growth. 

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