Photo by Slidebean / Unsplash

Convert Non-Branded to Branded Keywords Search Referrers


Keywords used on search engines that refer traffic to a site are usually listed in the traffic source section of the analytics tools. These keywords are insightful because they allow you to know what users search online to arrive at your site.

Now that Google provides less visibility for Organic Search keywords within Google Analytics, I’ve been using Google Search Console, and it has been super insightful.

Here is a random sample of my data using Google Search Console and Tableau to see what pages of my site get good impressions under what page position. This tells me how my pages are reaching with what keywords.

We need to remember that your site content available to internet users determines the keywords users will use to arrive at your site. That will be based on various factors from Page Rank, external links, content relevancy, etc. (SEOMoz has great content regarding SEO). Therefore, “what” is available on your site will contribute to “what” you’ll find in the analytics tool under search engine keywords referrals.

I am writing about this topic because analysts could report top popular keywords from search, best-converting keywords, keywords with great ROI, etc., but that doesn’t address common behavioral patterns internet users perform.

I say that is because if you care about free traffic from SEO, you should watch how and what gets your page up there in the ranking.

For major sites promoting their brand, keywords from search engines are pretty important to know. Because if your site’s objective is to build brand awareness and exposure, it’ll be very important to reach the audience looking for your brand.

If you are trying to reach new consumers who don’t know about your brand and want them to remember your brand through your site using SEM — it is critical to remember that you’ll need to reach them by promoting search terms associated with your brand.

For example, it could be related to a type of clothes (t-shirt, jeans, sweater, etc.).

Once you reach your users, assuming your site did a great job in brainwashing them with your brand and products/services, they will likely and possibly return to your site (may even buy or convert, too!) through search terms related to your brand or company’s name.

Here are some steps I would use to gauge your initiatives in transforming non-branded referrers to your brand referrers.

1) Asses branded & non-branded keywords

Assess and acquire knowledge on the current distribution of users from branded keywords vs. non-branded keywords.

To demonstrate this example, let’s say 80% branded vs. 20% non-branded.

2) Invest in acquiring traffic from non-branded terms

Invest in acquiring traffic from non-branded terms utilizing your data obtained through analytics.

Perhaps increasing traffic from the long-tail of non-branded keywords segment, participate in PPC campaign, increase content to acquire organic search traffic, etc.

This is the price you'll have to pay since Google Analytics no longer provides organic search terms.

3) Use Google Search Console and analyze two segments.

Create two segmentations from clicks using Google Search Console where one segmentation represents search terms from branded terms while the other segment represents non-branded.  First, assess the pages to see what pages are driving more or less of branded terms or non-branded terms.

Note: you can also generally look at overall traffic from search vs. returning traffic via search as well. However, it is advised to look at it more granularly.

4) Analyze before vs. after on various timeframe

Measure the performance and results against different times. Before vs. After, Month to Month, Week vs. Week, etc.

Hopefully, this gives you a different perspective on looking at branded terms to non-branded terms and understanding how to assess traffic impacted from users converting from non-branded referrer segment to your loyal branded referrer segment.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my content.  If you've liked what I've had to say please subscribe!

Marketing Strategy

Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.