What is Branded Search?
Branded search is a component of Organic Traffic and Overall Marketing strategy. Determining an organization’s branded terms is quite easy and in organic SEO and SEM generally, branded search is any search for branded terms that you own and/or sell and are distinct from terms that are generic or that you don’t sell directly. An example is “watch” vs “Rolex”. Typically speaking, “watch” is a generic term, and “Rolex” is a branded term.
Why is an SEO Brand Report important?
Brands are often seen as subjective terms that are built by marketing and so brand search reports are a fascinating way to surface objective brand performance data. If you’ve just started a new brand, an increase in branded search can tell you how effective your go-to-market strategy has been. As you and your team engage with more people online and in real-life events, expanding your marketing reach, as more and more people learn about you, it is typical to see Branded Monitoring your branded traffic as both a leading and lagging indicator of how your general sales
Examples of Branded Search
For Microsoft.com, their main brand might be “Microsoft” but it would also include any of these brand-related searches:
If your company is called “JoesRolexWatches.com” then you might consider these to be branded terms:
- Joes Rolexe watches
- Joeswrolexwatches com
- joes watch
- joes Rolexes
Competitors Keywords vs Branded vs Generic
As part of your keyword research and classification, you will also need to determine competitors’ phrases. Competitor phrases are brand names owned by your competitors. If you are a reseller, however, competing brand names might fit into your generic keyword universe.
Brands as Generic Search Terms
In cases where a company sells multiple brands, those brands could also become generic, like this:
- Watches online
- Rolex watches
- Rolex vs omega
How Does AI Help with Branded SEO?
Google Search Console’s UI only lets you search for one phrase at a time, RegEx becomes infinitely useful but its also really difficult. Fortunately, tools like ChatGPT, Bard and others are quite good at following the strict mathematical formulas needed.
GSC data challenges for SEO Brand Reports
Data Integrity, Privacy, and Thresholding
Google has long maintained thresholding or withholding details in organic search for faux privacy reasons (that magically disappear in Google Ads) – so trying to run any reports on specific keywords is always haphazard and danger-prone. The lower the volume of data in a GSC query – the more thresholding is applied to details. Conversely, the more data in the query, the less thresholding is applied. While there will always be some, you stand to maintain greater data integrity.
Typos, Spelling mistakes, and Variations
One data quality issue that can be overcome is typos, mistakes, and variations. The only way to do this is to use RegEx. Regex allows you to span multiple spellings – like ignoring spaces or plurals. But, as the Reddit forum on Regex notes, it’s very difficult to use. However, AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard are somewhat useful for creating basic RegEx formulas.
Let’s say I query Google Search Console: in my Watch website, I see these mentions for one of the brands I sell:
- rol ex
Here’s a basic prompt for ChatGPT or Bard:
Give me a google search consolge regex for finding all words with Rolex, rolexwatch, rol ex, rolexes, rolexs, rolxe
Here’s what I got back from Bard:
The following Google Search Console regex will find all words with Rolex, rolexwatch, rol ex, rolexes, rolexs, and rolxe:
This regex uses the following components:
- \b – Word boundary. This ensures that the regex only matches whole words, not parts of words.
- (Rolex|rolexwatch|rol\sex|rolexes|rolexs|rolexe) – This is the group that matches the different ways that the word “Rolex” can be spelled.
- \b – Word boundary again.
To use this regex in Google Search Console, go to the Search Results report and click the Filters button. In the Filters pane, click the Add filter button and select Custom filter. In the Custom filter dialog box, enter the regex in the Filter expression field and select Match regex. Click the Add button to apply the filter.
Once the filter is applied, the Search Results report will only show results that match the regex. You can then use the other filters in the Filters pane to refine your results.
This is pretty good. I’ve found Bard much better at writing Google GSC RegEx scripts and getting them on point!