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Branded, Generic, Or Long-Tail? No More SEO Keyword Confusion!

Now that you know the basics of the keyword strategy cycle and the ins and the outs of the keyword research effort, we are going to elaborate a little bit on the different types of keywords you should be using to drive traffic for your website.

It doesn’t take a high paid SEO specialist to help you realize that no two keywords are alike. However, based on criteria such as length, specificity and geography, different keywords will have a varied impact on the performance of your campaign.

Branded And Generic Keywords

That’s why we want to introduce you to the concept of branded and generic keywords to help you understand the important differences between these two types of search terms.

Branded keywords are specific to the name of your company or its unique product and services (e.g. “Square 2 Marketing” or "Reality Marketing"). This type of keyword is most relevant at the enterprise level for businesses who already have the kind of strong name recognition that influences online search patterns.

On the other hand, generic keywords (e.g., “marketing firm”) have a much broader reach. As opposed to being searched by people who are already aware of your business, generic keywords help people discover your business at a moment when they have not yet chosen a specific brand or company. Therefore, identifying and optimizing around these types of search terms is critical for a successful search and conversion effort. Keep in mind, branded and generic keywords must be used together to optimize your search results.

Long-Tail Keywords

Regardless of what terms your searchers are using, it’s your job to appear on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Therefore, it’s important to identify and research ALL the potentially impactful keywords for your business. This is where long-tail keywords come into play. These are longer, more specific terms or phrases (e.g., “black running shoes size 8” vs. “running shoes”).

Research shows us that 70% of searches conducted online use long-tail keywords. More importanly from an marketing perspective, these keywords have a 36% greater conversion rate, meaning they are more likely to result in a sale because they give consumers exactly what they're looking for. Then there is the behavior of your search audience to take into consideration: Data shows that people use longer search phrases to narrow results when they don’t find what they want with shorter terms. As savvy marketers, using long-tail keywords in our search strategy is a necessity.

That’s why it’s important to not just simply create an extensive list of keywords, but to create a solid search strategy based on targeted, relevant and diverse keywords and keyword phrases, including branded, generic and long-tail. Over time, with the proper analytics, you will see which terms are driving traffic and, more importantly, which terms are converting visitors into leads. This is how you optimize your Marketing Machine to drive SEO program performance for your company!


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