To find out anything on the web, all you have to do is type keywords into the search engine.  Keywords are very important for you, and they are equally important to those people marketing websites.  For an online marketer, keywords can help them sell to their target audience.

About 80% of Internet users will count on the search engines to locate websites that have relevant information for them.  Webmasters and Internet marketers need to pick the right keywords to help raise their rankings and bring visitors into their site. This is what we do with our Search Engine Marketing services – we can specify the correct terms to target to bring relevant traffic to your website via paid or organic search.

Many people think that it is useful to look for branded keywords because brand names in keywords will help increase conversion rates.  The people who input brand names as keywords have a higher chance of purchasing a product than people who search using generic keywords.  Some research has shown that out of 100 search terms, 75 of them were brand names.

What does this mean to you?  Should you only focus on brand terms in keywords?  No…the right keyword techniques will use brand and non-brand terms.

What exactly does a brand term or non-brand term mean?  Brand keywords are when the name of the site, trademark, or specific product or service is used.  It doesn’t include product brand names the marketer has that are non-exclusive.  Non-brand keywords don’t have any references to the marketer, the site, proprietary brands, or its trademarks.

Why are non-brand terms important?  People use them to find the information they need.  When Internet users type in keywords, people use both brand terms and non-brand terms.  It is almost a 50-50 ration.  Conversion rates are high for people who use brand terms at the beginning and end of the search process.  The conversion was almost just as high for people who began searching with a non-brand term and ended with a brand term.

These numbers should tell you that using both of these terms will be important to the success of your business.  Make sure to market your products both generally and in brand terms, and you will receive better results from paid and organic search. As always, if you need help please don’t be afraid to contact TM online.

4 Responses to Brand & Non-Brand Terms for SEO

  1. Are there any legal issues using brand names (that you don’t own) in your keywords and other meta data?

    Tcrenson | March 3, 2010at 10:15 am

  2. Yes there can be issues using competitor names, brand marks and slogans in your meta data. Recent lawsuits have proven that the misuse of traditional copyright and trademark terms in your website for the purpose of ranking, or misleading a customer / visitor to your website, to be exposed to your brand, product or service that is owned by a competitor can land you in a hefty lawsuit. We advise against this.

    The only way I would allow a client to do so, utilize a TM term of a competitor is in a fact comparison study that we would release inside their site. As an example: Product blue widget from ACME company against our Product X. How does it stand up against (wear and tear, dirt, normal use, etc.). Be advised that this tactic can be highly scrutinized as well, and we would recommend that this is reviewed by our clients’ legal team before publishing. It is bait for the competitor to come knocking with a cease and desist letter, possibly a slanderous lawsuit as well. (if optimized correctly it would be crawled and indexed in a search engine and show up for competitor brand name).

    Hope this helps.

    Dwight Zahringer | March 23, 2010at 7:17 am

  3. Dwight:

    Thanks for the information. I need a bit more clarification. I’m working with a client that is a medical practice. Can I use the brand names of some of the devices they sell / are available through them or would this be inappropriate / illegal usage of those terms?



    CCampbell | April 8, 2010at 5:05 pm

  4. Hi Cindy – sorry for a delayed response. My first answer is “yes” that I would involve the manufacture’s names and model numbers in my web content. Providing that you have the ability to resell them, or are a dealer of some sort. I would check with each supplier first to make sure that you can use their name and product names on your website. Usually it is not a problem.

    Second, I would do more keyword research and see if there are misspellings, other associated part # or model #’s that you could benefit from. My thought is that there would be some low-hanging fruit to enjoy!

    Craig Hearn | April 27, 2010at 6:51 am

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