What are Branded Keywords and how are they useful in advertising?

Branded keywords are words or phrases that contain the brand name or related to the brand. These covers search terms that users use to search for detailed information about a particular business’ products or services. Brand keywords (or search terms) can be used to communicate with users who already have complete information about the product or service offered. It plays an important role in the most advanced stages of lead nurturing.

Users use these search terms when they intend to make a purchase, or research to find more information to make a purchase decision.

For example, if your business name is “Joe’s fast food,” some branded search terms might be “Joe’s fast food large pizza” or “Joe’s fast food hamburger special” or “fried chicken combo Joe’s fast food”.

For the rest of this article we are going to be using branded search terms and keywords interchangeably.

How to find branded keywords?

You can find you business’ branded search terms by any of the following means:

  • Google Search Console (most reliable)
  • Search on Google Ads Keyword Planner. (Special note: For well-known brands, Keyword Planner identifies branded keywords very well)
  • Lookup Search Terms Report on Google Ads dashboard
  • Third-party tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs and Spyfu.

Unless you are a well known brand, there are no special reports or categories on these tools to find branded keywords. You have to rely on your eyes alone, along with some understanding of the industry that your business is in.

The same tools mentioned above can be used to identify branded search terms of you competitors too. Now that we know how to find them, lets look at what we can do with these branded keywords.

Advertising to an audience with increased awareness

When searchers use brand keywords, they are often aware of the brand’s existence and have atleast some understanding of the products and services. Presenting these users with appropriate content can help nurture them as leads and move them further into the purchase funnel, therefore, resulting in higher conversion rates.

For a brand like Nike, the search term “Nike Air Max vs Air Jordan” compares the different model of sneakers. There are quite a few things bundled here.

  • The search term contains the brand’s name
  • It contains names of two products
  • And we know this is a comparison between products

In this case, a comparison page for the sneakers would help users trying to compare sneakers. Ranking higher organically for such content indicates higher landing page relevance. Advertising such highly relevant content on your own branded search terms can help protect your best conversion opportunities from being grabbed by competitors.

Apart from keeping competition from winning advertising bids on your branded search terms, there are other reasons why you should consider advertising on branded search terms.

Branded search terms as a medium for presentation control

Advertising on branded search terms allows a business to control what is presented to users in the search results. This can go way beyond the usual page title and description that is shown as a part of search results.

Due to the higher awareness levels of audience using branded keywords, we recommend focusing on engaging users by providing detailed information to support purchasing decisions. Businesses could make use of Google Ads search extensions like the following:

  • Use location extensions to present closest physical stores to shop at
  • Present relevant products to navigate faster
  • Provide additional information and relevant links in the form of site link extensions.

The above are just a few possible extensions types and their use cases. There are many more ways a business could utilize search extensions to present relevant information.

Advertising on branded search terms to piggyback on competitors’ awareness

Like how it is fairly common for a brand to write content targetting branded search terms of another brand, it is also common to advertise on branded search terms of another brand. Advertising on your own branded search terms can help protect your best conversion opportunities from being grabbed by competitors.

If your budget permits, and if your competition is doing it, consider advertising on your competition’s branded keywords. This can help you showcase your product to audience that may not be aware of it.

Using branded keywords to identify positioning opportunities

By tracking brand keywords related to your competitors, you can better understand your competitors’ products, services, and target audience. Simply keeping tabs on search volume and possible impressions for your competitor’s branded search terms can help determine how aware your target audience is about your competitors.

There is more you can do by tracking your competitor’s branded search terms. Your competitor may be positioning their sneakers for casual morning joggers and professional athletes. Keeping track of reach and performance of their branded search terms can help open up new positioning opportunities for you.

Some of the useful information (like search volume) on competitor’s branded search terms can only be obtained by advertising on branded keywords of your competitors.

Using branded keywords to identify defects in products and services

Branded keywords are a splendid tool to identify issues and detects in products and services – not just for your business, but for your competitors too. You can rely on branded keywords to identify feedback from customers related to a business’s products/services. This helps keep your ears to the ground to listen for real feedback that customers may not be telling you. This feedback could go into product development or simply fixing issues that exist in your product today.

For advertising, this opens up very nice use-cases. For example, users searching for “iPhone 8 not charging beyond 80%” could be shown an ad about a critical software. Or if this was your competitor’s brand, well, the possibilities are endless for some very creative advertising 😀

Other creative uses of branded keywords

Here are a few other creative ways of using branded keywords:

  • Advertise new models or product versions to anyone searching for old products/models.
  • Upsell or cross-sell related services by advertising on branded keywords.
  • Advertising on branded keywords for crisis management during a PR disaster.

Have you found any other creative use case for branded keywords? Reach out to us at hello@getreportkit.com. We would love to hear from you.