Branded Traffic vs. Non-Branded Traffic


Brand traffic and Non-brand traffic provides the proportion of the SEO traffic that is coming from people (search queries) looking specifically for a particular company X vs. people who were looking for the solution that company X provides. This provides a share of traffic that the company X garners for the category of solutions that company X provides.

Your brand traffic (branded keywords) will always have a higher conversion rates and higher engagement metrics because of the intention, but the key is to understand and manage the gap between brand traffic and non-brand traffic.

  • If the gap is large, then the question is: is company X targeting the right non-branded keywords for their site? If yes, then the next question is: is company X not providing the solution that people are looking for and that its competition is providing?
  • If the gap is narrow, then company X is doing good in pairing what people are searching for and what company X is providing. The next step is to identify how you create more of this traffic.

With the above questions, one can have a much better perspective of not only where you’re at, but how you’re improving and where you need to go in the future. Companies or marketplace sellers can segment their target groups into current customers, potential customers and competitor’s customers basis the current brand and non-brand traffic proportions, behaviour and usage.


  • Targeting Competitor’s Customers: Although your competitor’s customers are not loyal to your brand – they do show behavior that implies they are likely to purchase products that are similar to yours. For example, someone who buys Company Y Beauty products is likely to spend a higher price point than someone who purchases lower-end beauty products. Although a competitor’s customer might initially have a higher cost of sale (ACoS 70-120%+) once these customers are in your funnel, then you can leverage remarketing tactic to drastically lower future cost of sale (ACoS) on their repeat purchases.
  • Targeting Potential Customers: These customers typically use non-branded searches (hence the higher CPCs). Brand creative is critical when targeting new potential customers. Implementing good creatives and cataloging (example: A+ content) on your detail pages can help to attract and educate the consumer on the value of your product and improve the conversion.

Non-brand Traffic is very valuable too

In a study conducted by Google in recent years, they showed that non-brand searches drive significantly more NEW visitors to your website than brand terms. Specifically, the study showed that 65% of visitors from non-brand terms were new, whereas only 15% of visitors from brand terms are new visitors.

The total figure of the organic traffic is composed of both brand and non-brand organic visits, but only the non-brand traffic is the one dependent on search-engine optimization (SEO). Because brand traffic is nothing but an equivalent of direct traffic where consumers are searching for the brand on search engine. Brand traffic is proportional to brand recall. So, non-brand traffic is the one that is important to assess the impact of SEO. However, if organic traffic is higher usually the credit goes to SEO and that is wrong because not all of organic traffic is due to SEO. People might have heard about the brand from other channels and search for it on search engines.

Brand Searches = Direct Traffic

Not all of the organic visits you get from Google represent SEO traffic. Some of them are brand traffic, which is another form of direct traffic. Sometimes users type your brand name in Google just because they find it easier than typing your exact URL, or because they want to navigate straight to the landing page they are interested in, but that is not SEO traffic.

Therefore, in order to accurately track and measure SEO results, the non-brand traffic data needs to be isolated from the brand traffic, which is just another form of direct traffic. This split is not available in Google Analytics, where the two types of data are merged together and hidden under the not-provided label. If you want to accurately measure SEO traffic, you need to filter out the brand searches, so that you can focus on the keywords where you actually compete with other websites for a top spot. Here is a guide to setup the non-branded organic traffic on Google Analytics.

Optimising for the top performing or the most popular non-branded keywords can account for the quickest improvements that can be made towards a website for SEO.  You can also see which non-branded keywords are making the most leads/sales and then use this data towards PPC advertising or towards improving average conversion rates.

Hope this is useful, thank you!