Blogs > Seo 28-05-2024

Keywords Unmasked: Branded vs. Non-Branded Battle

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Written by wisoft

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The choice between using branded and non-branded keywords can significantly impact the success of your digital marketing campaigns. This distinction is particularly crucial when considering specific markets, such as the highly competitive landscape in Dubai, where effective keyword strategies can make or break your online visibility and customer acquisition efforts. 

This blog explores the nuanced differences between branded and non-branded keywords, their relevance in digital marketing strategies, and how they specifically apply to SEO marketing in Dubai, offering insights and practical tips to help you navigate these critical decisions effectively for optimal campaign performance and ROI.

Advantages of Branded Keywords

A look at Google’s SERP for “football shoes adidas” (Image: Google)

Higher Conversion Rates: Users searching for branded keywords often have a higher intent to convert because they are already familiar with the brand. This familiarity instills trust and confidence in potential customers, as they are more likely to believe in the reliability and quality of products or services associated with a known brand. Consequently, the conversion rates for branded keywords tend to be higher compared to non-branded ones, as these searches are typically made by individuals who are closer to making a purchase decision.

Brand Authority: Branded keywords reinforce brand authority and awareness, as they indicate that customers are specifically seeking your products or services. When users actively search for a brand’s products or services, it signals a strong brand recall and association. This recognition not only strengthens the brand’s authority in its niche but also enhances its credibility in the eyes of both current and potential customers. Over time, a strong presence in branded keyword searches can solidify a brand’s position as an industry leader.

Lower Competition: Branded keywords usually have lower competition since they are unique to your brand. Unlike non-branded keywords, which multiple businesses may bid on and optimize for, branded keywords are specific to your company. This specificity typically results in lower competition in search engine results pages (SERPs), which can lead to more affordable costs-per-click (CPC) in paid search campaigns. Additionally, in organic search, branded keywords often lead to higher rankings, as search engines recognize the relevance of a brand’s own content to its name.

Advantages of Non-Branded Keywords

A look at Google’s SERP for “football shoes” (Image: Google)

Broader Reach: Non-branded keywords attract a larger audience, including potential customers who may not be familiar with your brand yet. By targeting non-branded keywords related to your industry or products, you can reach a broader segment of users who are actively searching for information or solutions. These users may not yet have brand preferences or may be considering various options, making non-branded keywords essential for expanding your reach beyond your current customer base. By capturing the attention of users early in their buyer's journey, you can increase brand awareness and nurture them towards conversion over time.

SEO Opportunities: Non-branded keywords present opportunities to capture traffic from users who are early in their research phase and may convert in the future. These keywords often indicate broader search intent and can attract users who are exploring different options or seeking information. By optimizing your content for non-branded keywords, you can attract organic traffic from users who are at the awareness or consideration stages of their journey. This approach not only enhances your SEO strategy but also positions your brand as a valuable resource in your industry, potentially influencing users' purchasing decisions as they progress through the funnel.

Market Insights: Non-branded keywords provide insights into customer behavior and preferences, helping refine your marketing strategies. By analyzing which non-branded keywords are driving traffic to your site, you can gain valuable insights into what potential customers are searching for, their pain points, and their interests. This data can inform content creation, product development, and overall marketing strategies. Understanding the broader market landscape through non-branded keywords allows you to tailor your messaging and offerings to better meet customer needs and stand out from competitors in your industry.

Case Studies and Examples For Brand or Non - Brand Keywords

To illustrate the effectiveness of branded vs. non-branded keywords, let’s consider two hypothetical scenarios:

Scenario 1: Branded Keywords

Let's use Starbucks as an example to illustrate this concept.

Any search queries containing the word “Starbucks” are considered brand keywords because they directly reference Starbucks’ name, which is unique to the company. When considering the drinks they offer, "Frappuccino" is a prime example. While many cafes offer blended iced flavored drinks, Starbucks specifically invented and trademarked the name "Frappuccino" to represent their own line of blended iced flavored drinks. Therefore, any keyword that includes "Frappuccino" can be categorized as a branded keyword because it directly relates to Starbucks’ drinks.

Scenario 2: Non-Branded Keywords

Non-Branded Keyword Example: " best running shoes"

In this example, "best running shoes" is a non-branded keyword. Users searching for this keyword are looking for general information or recommendations about running shoes, rather than a specific brand. This keyword is likely to attract a broad audience interested in various brands and models of running shoes. Optimizing content around non-branded keywords like this can help attract users who are in the early stages of their research process and are considering different options before making a purchase decision.


In conclusion, the choice between branded and non-branded keywords in digital marketing is not an either/or decision. Both types play complementary roles in a comprehensive SEO strategy, especially in competitive markets like Dubai. However, branded keywords are renowned for their high conversion rates. When users discover your website through a branded search term, they typically have a stronger intent to make a purchase from your specific brand, making these keywords highly valuable.

Yet, the effectiveness of branded keywords depends on the awareness of your business. To maximize their impact, it's essential to strike a balance between targeting non-branded keywords to boost visibility and enhance awareness, and using branded keywords to capitalize on high-conversion opportunities. Implementing this balanced keyword strategy can significantly increase search traffic while simultaneously improving your conversion rates and overall sales.

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