Theoretically, every time someone searches for your company or product by name your website should always be in the number one spot. If you weren’t dominating the SERPs for your own brand I’d actually be a little worried because it means that you don’t have a strong online presence or someone else is piggybacking off your brand value to get their site listed ahead of yours. Again, in theory, your site should automatically be ranked #1 for any branded keywords, right? Here’s the thing though, ranking #1 for your branded keywords isn’t enough. You want to make sure your own as many of the top 10 spots (and more) as you possible can for your branded keywords. That’s where SEO can help.
Most site owners don’t think that SEO can have any real impact on branded searches, but it most certainly can! Think about it like this—let’s say you own an e-commerce site that sells athletic gear (running shoes, workout clothes, etc). When a potential shopper is searching for “Nike women’s running shoes” don’t you want them to come directly to that page? Someone looking for a specific brand and style is probably a lot further along in their buying cycle than someone who searches for “best running shoe.” This means that you have a better chance of converting them when they come to your site. By optimizing that particular product page of your site for branded keywords you are helping that page rank higher and attract more targeted traffic!
Here is another scenario where SEO can help your branded keywords do better. Let’s say I wanted to call the Comcast Customer Service line. My first thought would just be to search for “Comcast customer service phone number.” If Comcast has done a good job of optimizing their site properly the very first listing in Google should be their Contact Us page (which it was). That makes the user experience so much better than just coming to the Comcast website homepage and having to hunt down the customer service number. What if I can’t find it? What if I actually call the billing department instead of customer service because I find the wrong number? But since Comcast optimized their site using those branded keywords, it means I can find exactly the information I am looking for to do business with them.
Many site owners don’t think that SEO can have any impact on their branded keywords. And while the primary goal of SEO is to drive new traffic to your site, regardless of how familiar they are with your brand, SEO can also be used to help improve the user experience of your current customers, as well as people looking for specific information about your brand. SEO also helps make sure that your content is what ranks in the search engines for your branded keywords. As I mentioned before, you don’t want another company piggy-backing off the value of your online brand. When properly optimized, your website, blog, social profiles, local profiles, press releases and more should all appear for branded searches, helping you control your online reputation and brand presence.