Non-branded SEO

Fernando Maciá

Written by Fernando Maciá

What is non-branded SEO?

Non-brandedWe talk about non-branded SEO when we optimize websites based on keywords that users use in their search engine queries that do not include any brand name. That is, keywords targeted for positioning our business whose combinations do not include our domain or brand name.

When it comes to keyword research, we will find terms such as branded and others that will be simple words or combinations that represent our product, service or content, with which users could find us when searching in Google or another search engine of their choice.

  • Examples of branded keywords for Human Level: “human level”, “human level SEO agency”, “human level marketing online”, etc.
  • Examples of non-branded keywords related to Human Level: “online marketing agency”, “SEO consultant”, “search engine optimization company”, etc.

How to work it at on-page and off-page level

Non-branded SEO can work both on-page, within the website itself whose content is being optimized, and off-page, when we work on popularity and link building through links from external sources, also known as backlinks or inbound links.

An important consideration to keep in mind is that there are also terms that do include branding and can be considered non-branded SEO. Why? We can see it with this example:

Let’s suppose we have an online sporting goods store, which distributes products of other brands, such as “adidas tracksuit” or “vans sneakers”.

  • Are these search terms branded? Yes.
  • Do these brands belong to our positioning objective? Yes.
  • Are these trademarks related in any way to the name of our business? No.

Therefore, being third-party brands, and keywords for which, probably, thousands of other businesses very similar to us that also distribute these products compete, they would fall into the non-branded category. However, if the Adidas or Vans brand were us, obviously, those keywords would be classified as branded.

What does non-branded optimization entail?

Although we often tend to think that branded SEO is a matter exclusive to our brand and non-branded SEO is where the complexity really lies, this is not always the case, and even less so in the example we have given above, if we have a globally recognized brand. But we could safely say that competition tends to be much more voracious in non-branded SEO, as a general rule, because there can be a very high number of businesses in our industry competing for the same keywords and wanting to appear first for specific queries.

However, whether branded or not, we will almost always have to compete with someone to achieve good results, and find competitive advantages that will make us unique in the eyes of potential customers.

While branded SEO comes almost naturally, considering that it is usually part of our domain from the outset, the non-branded SEO requires a certain know-how and extra effort to figure out how to present our products, services or content in a way that is sought after by the target we are addressing. For this reason, we have to be very clear about who is part of our audience, their way of expressing and understanding things, among other factors, in order to adapt as much as possible to the users and their search intention. In the end, we want them to find us easily and choose our website when they make queries related to what we offer.

Knowing the terms with which the users that are part of our target audience search for us, we must deploy an appropriate information architecture, create quality content and according to the queries with which we want to be found, among other tasks of on- and off-page relevance.

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Fernando Maciá
Fernando Maciá
Founder and CEO of Human Level. Expert SEO consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He has been a professor at numerous universities and business schools, and director of the Master in Professional SEO and SEM and the Advanced SEO Course at KSchool. Author of a dozen books on SEO and digital marketing.

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