For years, keywords have formed the bedrock of any sound digital marketing strategy. Indeed, despite the many innovations in SEO and PPC (pay-per click advertising) techniques –– not to mention more than a few Google algorithm updates –– keyword research still plays a vital role in creating an effective marketing campaign. Why? Simply because consumers still use keywords all the time to search for products, services, and information online. With that in mind, today we’ll take a look at the role branded keywords play within a marketing strategy.

What Are Branded vs Non-branded Keywords? 

A branded keyword is a keyword that relates in some way back to a company. So a company’s name can be a branded keyword. As can its website. In addition, a branded keyword can also be a phrase that includes a company’s name, such as “Access Global blog” or “Access Global reviews,” for instance.

Non-branded keywords essentially comprise all other forms of marketing keywords. They relate to what a company does, but not to the specific company itself. In our case, this would include phrases like “marketing company,” “choosing an SEO agency,” or even long-tail keywords like “how to rank for a featured snippet.”

Branded Keywords & SEO

Marketers implement SEO tactics in order to boost a company’s visibility on search engines. Obviously, companies want their website to rank for lucrative search terms related to their brand (see non-branded keywords above). That’s why marketing pros write blogs, build links, and perform on-site SEO. In an ideal world, a company would be able to rank for their branded keywords fairly easily. Yet, that’s not always the case. For example, some brands have “twins” –– companies that share the same name but operate in a different industry. Think, Dove chocolate bars and Dove soap. Only one company can rank #1 on Google for “dove.”

Remember, consumers typically use branded keywords when they already know about a business. As such, these consumers tend to be further along in the purchase journey and more willing to convert than someone searching for generic terms. Which leads us to our second point about branded terms and visibility . . .

Branded Keywords & PPC

On any given SERP (search-engine-results page), ads appear above organic results. Though it might seem redundant to bid on branded keywords in platforms like Google Ads, it’s actually a smart play. For one, ads catch the eye and add to your authority on a  SERP. (It’s always better for a consumer to see your brand twice than once.) Second, ads allow marketers to be more creative –– they can include links to relevant landing pages or ad copy that draws in consumers more effectively than a meta description. Finally –– and most importantly, –– it’s worth noting that your competitors may already be bidding on your branded terms in Google ads. This means that when someone searches for your company, they’ll encounter an ad for your competitor first. (Check out how StubHub bids on the keyword “Vivid Seats” for a glimpse at this practice in action.) In other words, businesses can’t afford to ignore branded keywords in a PPC campaign.


At Agile & Co., we have years of marketing expertise and understand how to craft a keyword strategy that will lead to maximum digital visibility –– and maximum returns as a result. Contact us today to get started! Or, to learn more about digital marketing best practices, check out our free eBook here.

New Call-to-action