Branded Search, an Introduction

With an ever-changing online world comes the necessity for businesses to remain identifiable in the digital space. This is why the focus on Branded Search is so important.

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The world we live in is one of online recognition, and therefore it is essential for businesses to remain consumer relevant at all cost. Customers should not have to search for hours and hours when it comes to finding a trace of your business online.

Instead, they should have the name of your brand on the tip of their tongue at all times.

But how do you ensure that consumers know your brand?

How do you increase the amount of web traffic your company receives?

In order to answer these questions, it is crucial to look at the role of branded searches in optimizing your company’s recognition in our ever-changing, digital world.

By the end of this article, you will be a master of branded searches and you will know exactly how to implement this new-found knowledge into your business.

Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get going.

What Is a Branded Search?

Before we go any further, it is important to specify exactly what a branded search is.

According to the London-based SEO agency Go Up, a branded search is the internet “results shown when you search for your brand name”.

Serps.com defines a branded search as a search where the company name or brand has been included in the search.

To make this easier, let’s use the Nike brand as an example:

If someone was searching for Nike products online, examples of branded searches would be ‘Nike’, ‘Nike running’ and ‘Nike footwear’.

In this way, branded searches involve the customer using some variation of the brand name in their search.

This is no longer a normal consumer search. Instead, the consumer already knows what to look for online and is inserting the brand name into their search.

Now that we know what a branded search is, it is important to clarify how it works and what relevance it has to marketing your business online.

How Does a Branded Search Work?

Far from complicated, it only takes a few key concepts to understand how a branded search works.

Examples always help to illustrate this.

Say a customer is browsing the internet for something that they would like to purchase. If they use your brand name in their search query, then they are clearly closer to finding your brand and therefore closer to doing business with you.

Lori Ballen Real Estate is typed into the search bar on Google showing the example of a branded search query

This is the goal.

However, there is another side to the coin.

Let’s say that a customer is performing search queries online, but they make no mention of your brand name. This is known as a non-branded search, which ultimately shows that the customer is searching with no intent and no real awareness of your business.

Non Branded SearchSample of a google search with the query real estate typed into the search bar showing example of a non branded search

The objective is simple, writes Neil Patel. “Get people to search for your company on Google”.

It is always easier said than done, but a branded search always involves directing potential consumers to mention your brand name in their search queries, in the hope that they will discover your company and increase your bottom line.

Therefore, it becomes important to track which search terms consumers use to come to know about your business. The reason for this is that you as a business can “target these branded search terms”, according to Thomas Stern.

Ultimately, the work of a branded search is to funnel potential consumers towards your business.

This, in turn, will increase sales.

Why Does a Brand Search Even Matter?

Now that it has been made clear what a branded search is and how it works, it is important to ask yourself why it should even matter.

What relevance do search terms on the internet have on my business?

What impact do consumer search patterns have on the function of my company?

The answer to these questions is: a lot.

The consumer-centric focus of the internet age has meant that potential customers are constantly searching the web and making impulse purchases online.

According to Internet Live Stats in January 2018, Google processes “over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day”.

Worldwide, people are searching at an unbelievably rapid rate.

If your brand name does not show up in their search results, not many people will find you.

It is clear to see that branded searches matter way more than the average business owner would think.

For your advantage, it is important to outline the benefits of branded searches in order to understand how to aid your company in a significant way.

What Are the Benefits of Branded Searches?

There are a number of benefits of branded searches, and most of the ones discussed here will be drawing on work done by Rand Fishkin from Moz Blog.

First, as discussed previously, a benefit of tracking branded searches is that a business can interpret and discover consumer intent. A branded search will involve the consumer being in a closer relationship to the business than with a non-branded search.

Second, branded searches with your company’s name increases the ease of ranking. It is easier for Nike to rank high under the branded search “Nike football boots” than it is for Puma to rank under the same search query.

Third, as more people type a branded search with your company’s name present, Google search suggestions will soon start to adjust and change to include your brand name in associated searches.

Fourth, it is possible to appear in related searches should a user perform a non-branded search query. Instead of ending their search, related searches will indicate to the user that your brand name would be worthwhile to look up.

A fifth benefit involves the creation of an instant association between your company and a keyword or term that is popular in your industry. For example, many people have made an association between the brand “Coca-Cola” and the industry-related keyword “soft drink”.

Sixth, if your business brand name has been used by a user in the past, Google can track user’s past searches and personalize their future searches to include your brand name. For example, if a user has searched “Nike running” in the past, a future search of “running” may personalize the search to include Nike’s website in the search results.

In these ways, a company’s brand name can become increasingly relevant to potential consumer’s search queries.

The benefits of branded searches involve the increase of web traffic to your business.

What Tools Can I Use to Track Brand Searches?

It is all well and good knowing the benefits of branded searches and discovering the advantages that they can have on a brand’s reputation, but it means nothing if we don’t know how to put it into practice.

It therefore becomes essential to know what tools one can use to track branded searches.

Starting with your free tool, Google Analytics, you can use your queries to view branded vs. non branded search as explained in this article by Fourfront.us.

SEMrush has a brand monitoring tool that not only  analyzes large amounts of data, it refines the results for a better deep dive for understanding. You can filter the mentions per source over the entire web and segment with tags.

Hootsuite is also an effective site in tracking brand mentions and following specific, industry-related keywords.

It is of utmost importance to monitor your brand or company as regularly as possible in order to make strategic marketing decisions about the future focus of your marketing strategy.

Depending on the industry that your company operates in, it may not be that straightforward to translate these new-found statistics about branded searches into instant results.

Knowing your position in the online market of search queries is one thing, but turning that information into action is another story altogether.

As the final step in our branded search, it is crucial to implement this new-found knowledge into your business in a real way.

You will need to improve your online presence in branded searches.

How Can I Improve a Branded Search?

It may be easier said than done.

Although it may appear daunting at first, it is possible to improve a branded search in such a way that it benefits your overall business.

As a business owner in the 21st century, one needs to understand that the internet is the new marketplace and branded searches are the new billboards.

Potential customers know the product that they wish to buy, but it is essential that your brand name is the first thing they see.

Think of investing in brand searches as a form of public relations, says Go Up. The objective as a company on the internet is to “get your name out to as many people as possible”.

In short, as more people learn about and search online for your business, your brand will become both suggested and associated with industry leaders and you will reap the benefits.

There is no better way to broadcast your company name online than to invest time and effort into industry blogs as well as social media pages.

If your brand populates social media pages around the web, it becomes easy for the name and its associated keywords it to self-propagate.

Conclusion

As stated previously, in order to remain profitable in our internet-rich culture, it is essential for businesses to remain identifiable and consumer relevant at all times.

It is clear that branded searches can indeed optimize company recognition and awareness in our rapid digital world.

If nothing else, I trust that you have been encouraged to give your brand a much-needed head start in this online world that we call the internet.

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