Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research
Some site owners may wonder; why should I bother to optimize my site for branded keywords? I already rank well for them and get all the traffic anyway. Why should I actively make it part of my SEO? This is actually a question I get a lot from many website owners. After all, your brand is everywhere on your website, so why should you actively target branded keywords on certain pages? Here are 2 reasons why:
Branded keywords take visitors to the most applicable page for their search
Let’s say someone is searching for something as simple as “Company X phone number.” They are obviously looking for a very specific piece of information about your company and you want to help them find the “Contact Us” page on your website. Your site is obviously the destination (it is a branded search after all), but it’s a much better user experience if a searcher can go directly from the SERPs to the “Contact Us” page as opposed to the homepage. You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to do business with you and every extra click might deter them, even if it’s just digging through your site for a phone number.
Optimizing for branded keywords is especially important for e-commerce sites. You want to optimize each product page for model number, make and brand (if you’re a reseller this is extra important!) so consumers can find exactly the product they are looking for.
Branded keywords help you dominate the SERPs with your content
Every time someone searches for your brand you want to make sure that everything in the SERPs (or as much as possible) is content that you own and control. Of course the company website should come first, and deeper internal pages can also rank really well if you’ve taken the time to promote them and build links, but you also want all your social profiles, local profiles, company blog, press releases, guest articles, interviews, videos and more to also rank well in the SERPs.
The last thing you want is for someone else’s content to piggyback on your branded keywords, especially if it’s negative. A positive review or mention on a popular industry site is great and can actually help your brand, but it’s possible for a disgruntled consumer or ex-employee to hijack your branded keywords and get lots of “bad press” ranking. That’s not something you want potential customers to see.
For instance, back in December a company called Ocean Marketing got called out by Penny Arcade for his less than professional email responses. Penny Arcade is a wildly popular web comic and creator of the annual gaming convention PAX. Let’s say that Penny Arcade founder Mike Krahulik did not take the belligerent attitude of Ocean Marketing lightly. Overnight the internet was flooded with negative commentary about Ocean Marketing (including one hilarious YouTube video). This was in December 2011 and guess what—all that negative content for “Ocean Marketing” is still ranking. The company’s branded keywords have been taken over and I doubt they’ll ever recover.