January 16th, 2019
Non Brand traffic increase of 150%
31 Aug 2018 Dominic
Brand traffic to your website is a good measure of whether or not your marketing activity is engaging with consumers and customers are engaging with your brand. However what you need to clarify is what exactly is meant by brand and non brand?
Brand traffic – brand traffic is anyone typing into Google your brand name or versions of it (eg brand plus term).
Non-brand – this is when people type in a keyword term (eg floral shirt) which is a product you may sell.
Distinguishing between Brand and Non Brand traffic
Many SEO companies can come into your business and focus primarily on the non brand traffic. This is normally where the low hanging fruit is for driving traffic improvements. Your brand should really rank highly anyway if you have a decent brand reach in your industry.
The brand traffic and terms will usually rank number 1 for brand terms, so there’s limited growth to be had in Brand SEO. It makes sense not to pay it much attention other than to update the meta description to increase click through rate.
Why are Brand metrics so important?
If you look at just the organic traffic performance YOY and look at tracking if it is in decline or growth, then you are ignoring what is really driving growth or decline.
You need to look at splitting out your brand and non brand traffic to really understand what is / is not working. The strange thing is that many companies do not track this distinction.
- Is your brand front of mind with your customers?
- Is your marketing activity driving traffic?
- Are you improving YOY in terms of growth?
Take for example the performance below – what looks like a positive growth YOY actually shows something quite different when you split this organic traffic into brand and non brand.
Brand decline and Non Brand growth
In this particular companies example, the YOY Positive growth was actually coming from non brand traffic growth. The company had gone through a challenging year which saw it’s brand reputation affected by multiple issues.
The outcome of this was that its brand traffic – ie the number of people looking for the company’s brand name online had suffered a serious decline over the year.
Increasing non brand traffic by 150%
To recover the organic traffic, I worked with an SEO agency to focus on the traffic oppotunities we actually could focus on – the non brand traffic and terms. After an initial session to understand challenges, we identified the key terms which could be targetted and over the course of a few months, really started to drive increased Non Brand traffic – over the course of the year this resulted in a 150% increase in non brand traffic to the website.
Bear in mind if you are a “named” brand, a significant proportion of your traffic should be brand terms – and, as these customers are engaged with you, are likely to have a higher conversion rate than the non brand traffic. Some big name brands out there may have as much as 70% / 80% brand traffic.
Why is my Brand traffic down YOY?
This is where it is important to work with your SEO to understand not only the SEO issues you may be facing if you see brand traffic down YOY but also the issues which have been affecting yoru business over the last year or two which has led to a drop in brand traffic.
Working with your Ecommerce team, you need to understand exactly what activity your company has been running to drive brand traffic and also what is affecting it eg:
- General market conditions
- New competition
- TV ads last year
- Increased retail stores
- Non LFL promotions
If your brand traffic is down YOY then have a look at some of these and compare against what you are doing this year to drive brand traffic.
Tracking all your traffic is fine but you need to be understanding each channel separately – in particular the differenece between Brand and Non Brand traffic. As your brand improves, your brand traffic should also uderstand changes in the Ecommerce landscape and how these may affect brand performence.
By focusing on your brand activity and ensuring this is atrracting relevant traffic, you will improve your brand – just focusing on Organic SEO is not enough – this doesn’t tell us what is going on and it shouldn’t be looked at in isolation.
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