Q: How do you know if a link to your site is from SEO or “non branded”? Not sure what this means.
Okay, the first part of your question concerns what is a branded keyword versus a non-branded keyword. Many people who are not marketers do not know what these words mean, which is not a big deal. Let’s take an example: auto insurance.
A generic keyword query is something like auto insurance, or auto insurance online. These reflect a web searcher who is looking for auto insurance but doesn’t indicate a particular company or have a particular brand in mind.
Now let’s take a different search such as Geico. Or Geico auto insurance. In this scenario the web searcher has indicated a brand, Geico. Often times they are researching a brand to find out if the brand has a good reputation so for instance they might be interested in purchasing Geico insurance, but they’ll do a Google search such as Geico insurance scam or Geico insurance reviews or reviews of Geico insurance. These are what are called branded searches.
Now in terms of search engine optimization in keyword theory you want to optimize for the generic searches to pull in new customers, and you want to optimize for branded searches to create and cultivate a positive brand image to convert prospective customers into real customers, as they do their due diligence. There is an entire industry called reputation management which is really about branded searches.
So you want to distinguish between branded and nonbranded searches as you build out your keyword worksheet.
Now there’s a second part of your question which has to do with inbound links to your website. As we will learn in the class on link building links are very important for search engine optimization. One of the aspects is your link footprint and you want a good mix of branded inbound links, optimized inbound links which represent keyword phrases, and what are called naked links which are those links that began with HT TP. Tools such as Open Site Explorer allow you to see your link footprint and to make sure that your footprint is not over optimized.
But we will discuss these tactical aspects of link building in the class on links. For now just make sure you understand the difference between branded and nonbranded searches.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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