We hear it all the time from potential clients, “I got 20,000 organic users to my website, our SEO efforts have really been working”. Well, one of the first things we ask is, “how much of that traffic was branded traffic?”. So what do we mean by that?
Branded and non-branded traffic is the proportion of traffic that is coming from users looking specifically for your company or brand vs people looking for a solution that your company provides. This can apply to both SEO and Paid Ads traffic.
Let’s look at an example:
If you search for Nike on Google, the Nike website will be the first organic position. This would be a branded search because you were clearly familiar with Nike and literally used their brand name to search and find them.
Even more so, using paid ads, if I search for Nike, Nike has bid or spent money on their branded term to get as much traffic as possible to their website. But its safe to assume that the user was already going to visit Nike.com based on that search.
On the other hand, a non branded search would be if I search for “running shoes”. In this situation, Nike has made an effort to rank on the first page of search engines like Google for the non-branded search term “Running Shoes” organically and with paid ads. If you click on their website after searching for this, Nike’s analytics will capture this as non-branded traffic.
Non branded traffic is better than branded because now Nike has convinced a user that may have gone to another website for running shoes, to visit their website. If their website was not on the first page of search engines like Google with paid ads or organic rankings when people search for “running shoes”, they would have missed this potential customer.
In general, your branded traffic will have higher conversion rates and higher engagement metrics, because that user is already looking for your business. If you’re not looking at the branded vs non branded traffic, this data can be misleading.
Non-branded traffic is important to look at to determine exactly how well your search engine optimization or SEO is on your website.
In a study conducted by Google in recent years, they showed that non-brand searches drive significantly more NEW visitors to your website than branded terms. Specifically, the study showed that 65% of visitors from non-branded terms were new, whereas only 15% of visitors from branded terms are new visitors. In short, if you are searching for branded traffic, you are most likely a repeat customer or buyer since you already know about the company and used their name to find their website.
Focusing your SEO and Ad Campaign efforts on top-performing or most popular non-branded keywords can help you achieve the quickest improvements towards your website and ad campaign performance. At Digital Space Marketing, we have the capabilities to quickly audit your website and campaign keyword traffic to determine if your keywords are attracting new business or not.
Clay Patterson is the founder and CEO of Digital Space Marketing. After spending nearly a decade developing websites and launching successful marketing campaigns for medium sized companies and startups, Clay knows what truly drives conversions and brings growth to an organization.
In addition to his extensive marketing experience, Clay is a lawyer with a deep understanding of website accessibility laws and the technical requirements that all websites should abide by.