Knowledge Center

Branded & Unbranded Search

It's estimated that the entirety of the internet contains 5 million terabytes of data, and as that number continues to grow, search engines will become even more essential to the user search experience. With 89% of consumers consulting search engines as they shop, the level of confidence in online information is apparent. For businesses hoping to stand out in this sea of online information, an understanding of branded search and unbranded search is crucial, as consumers who search for a business by name are a much different audience than those who don't.

Unbranded search is a method of searching for something without any mention of a specific brand or business name. An unbranded search culminates in a list of sites related to the search keywords, and the results are ranked on a search engine results page based on how trusted they are, as well as on the quality of their content. An example of this type of query would be "pizza delivery" without including the names of pizza delivery companies such as Domino's, Pizza Hut, or Papa John's.

Because unbranded searches often garner a result page of brands associated with the searched keywords, it's essential for businesses to have a strong local SEO strategy in place to remain relevant in their vertical or category.

A central component to any business' local SEO strategy is correct NAP data and enhanced content across all business listings online, which helps to improve trust in the brand and its content. Monitoring a business' appearance in an unbranded search helps to analyze the effectiveness of a local SEO strategy, but more importantly it provides insights about new and unique visitors to a business' site. These visitors show the greatest potential for brand conversion because although they may not have known about a business prior to their search, the unbranded search has introduced them to a new brand.

Conversely, a branded search is a method of searching online for a specific product or service from a particular business or provider by including the brand's name, any variations of it, as well as other words related to it. For examples, typing "GEICO" or "GEICO insurance" into a search engine are both instances of a branded search, and would only deliver results involving the GEICO brand name.

Unlike unbranded searches, branded searches do not return pages of businesses within the same vertical. However, the biggest difference between these two types of searches does not diminish the importance of maintaining a strong local SEO strategy. Companies ideally want all relevant material about their business to appear when the brand is listed as a keyword. Fortunately for businesses named in a branded search, listings related to their brand typically make up the majority of organic search traffic, and 99% of the time the brand name will rank in the number one spot for any and all variations of brand keywords.

Consumers conducting branded searches not only represent a group that already has exposure to a brand, but also a group that is farther along in the purchasing funnel. It is therefore imperative that a business' online listings are correct so when consumers search for their them all relevant listings for the brand appear (and appear correctly).

Ensure that your business always shows up for consumers with Yext. Yext is the single source of truth for its clients by maintaining information on the Yext Knowledge Manager, so all your digital knowledge is accurate and up to date everywhere consumers search.