Why Are My Top Keywords All Branded?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of the performance metrics that we look at for each of our clients on a monthly basis are the entrance keywords that are delivering traffic to the site. It’s important to look at these keywords to compare them to the keywords that are being targeted to ensure that the campaign is on track. If entrance keywords don’t make much sense it requires some investigative work to figure out why they are delivering visitors (and probably the wrong visitors that will never convert) and content changes may be needed. Over time, it’s also important to see an increase in the number of keywords that deliver traffic. Once a site is optimized, more long tail variations of keywords should deliver traffic.

When reviewing keywords with a client we often hear, “All of my top keywords include our company name. Is that OK?” Yes, it’s absolutely OK and here’s why.

When all of your top keywords are for branded terms like “Company Name”, “Company Name in City”, “Company Name in City, State”, and “Company Name service/product that is offered” it’s actually a really great thing, it means that you have a strong brand! People are only searching for a company that they’ve heard of either via other marketing efforts or positive word of mouth. Branded entrance keywords can also be the result of a repeat customer looking for your website. If they didn’t have a good experience the first time around, they wouldn’t be looking!

From an SEO perspective it’s important to take advantage of this strong brand and make sure that the site is properly optimized for branded terms on pages where it is appropriate. This can include “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Directions” and “Careers” pages. This makes it easy for people to find the exact page that they are looking for in search as opposed to having to go to the homepage and then navigate to the page that they are looking for.

While the focus of an SEO campaign is to deliver traffic from non branded keywords and to see an increase in these keywords over time, SEO can also play a role in branded search as well even though there is no easy way to connect the two. Think about everything that is involved in an SEO campaign today. It’s no longer just about looking for links and submitting to directories. SEO must include online marketing components like content marketing and social media. If you are creating lots of good content and are active in social media, it’s your brand that’s essentially being promoted. If someone likes what they see, instead of clicking on a link within a guest blog post, they might just do a search for the brand instead.

The bottom line is that branded keywords are never a bad thing. For solid businesses branded search terms will always be the top referring keywords. It doesn’t mean that SEO isn’t working. SEO will work in the background to improve non branded search, but it may never eclipse branded search which is absolutely OK.

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