The Critical Role of Branded Search in Boosting Your SEO with James Schramko

If you've been online for a while, you could already be getting branded search traffic to your site. Branded search traffic is when people search for your brand name or website address in Google or other search engines. This type of traffic is important because it's made up of people who are already familiar with your brand.

To help discuss this topic, here’s an episode of James Schramko with Gert Mellak. Gert is a leading expert in SEO and has helped many businesses improve their search engine rankings. He'll share his insights on how to use branded search to your advantage.

What Does Branded Search Means?

When Gert mentions branded searches, they're referring to searches that include at least a part of the brand name.

For instance, it's quite common for someone to type in "Schramko Share.” They enter the name along with a specific topic like XYZ to find out its perspective. In other words, it’s a branded search. These searches often consist of compound phrases combining keywords with names.

The Essence of Branded SEO

Branded SEO is all about optimizing your website's online presence to appear prominently in searches that include your brand name.

The key point to note here is the value of branded searches. People already trust you. Thus, they seek your input on specific matters rather than blindly searching for general information. This is where your personal brand and expertise shine. 

Here’s what you need to do:

Educate Google

Google is a powerful search engine, but it's not always easy to get your website to rank high in search results. This is especially true if you have a common name or if you're in a competitive market.

One way to improve your chances of ranking high is to "educate Google" about your brand. This means consistently communicating your brand message to Google through your website, content, and social media presence.

Here are three key things to keep in mind when educating Google:

  • Who are you? Brand's unique selling proposition and what makes you different from your competitors.
  • What do you do? The products or services you offer and the problems you solve for your customers.
  • Who do you do it for? It’s about your target audience and their needs and wants.

Just like a child, Google needs to be taught what your brand is all about. The more consistent you are with your messaging, the more likely Google is to understand your brand.

Create a holistic SEO approach

SEO branding is about more than just ranking for your brand name. It's also about making sure that when people do type in your brand name, they see the information they're looking for.

One way to do this is to rank for your brand name plus a modifier. For example, if your brand is "SEO Leverage," you might want to rank for "SEO Leverage SEO services." This is a relatively easy thing to do, and it helps Google understand what your brand is all about.

Branding requires a layered approach to SEO that involves ranking for your brand name and creating valuable content.

What Makes a Branded Campaign Successful?

Gert believes that the most important factor in a successful branded campaign is having control over your website. This also includes any social media pages that are associated with your brand.

If you have full control over the first page of search results, you can adjust your content to match your current goals or target audience. However, if you don't have full control over results, you'll have less control over the success of your branded campaign. For example, if a client posts a negative comment on your social media page, it could show up on the first page of search results, which could damage your brand reputation.

The Two Panels in Search Results Page

Google displays two types of panels on the right-hand side of the search results page: Google My Business and Knowledge panels.

  • Google My Business: This is a free listing that businesses can create to provide information about their company. These include address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. Other people know this as a Google Maps listing.
  • Knowledge panels: These panels are created by Google and provide information about people, places, and things. They are often more detailed and can include information such as the person's occupation, education, and notable achievements. The Knowledge panel comes directly from Google's understanding of the so-called entity.

SEO Tips for Branded Search

Some tips include:

Combine your brand and keywords in your title tag

In this conversation, Gert Mellak, an SEO expert, discusses the importance of combining your brand and keywords in your title tag. Gert says that it is still important to include your brand name in the title but that you should also include relevant keywords. He says that you should run an SEO audit regularly to see which combination of works best for your website.

Stay consistent

When it comes to search branding, consistency is key. This means using the same information about yourself across all of your online profiles. He added that you should make sure that your brand name and keywords are consistent 

If you change your name, title, or other information, be sure to update all of your profiles accordingly. The more consistent your online presence is, the quicker it will be for Google to understand who you are and what you do. 

Understand how social media platforms work

Lastly, Gert discusses the issue of social media platforms charging users to verify their accounts. He says that if it can help to get rid of fake accounts, then it could be a good thing. 

However, he says that he has seen an increase in fake accounts since social media platforms started charging for verification.

How to Check Your Branded and Non-branded Search

Branded search is when someone searches for your brand name on Google. Non-branded search is when someone searches for a keyword that is relevant to your business but does not include your brand name.

Here’s how to check these searches:

  • Google Search Console. A free tool that tracks your website's performance in search results.
  • SEOLeverage App. It is important to track both branded and non-branded searches. This app will help you to understand where your traffic is coming from and how you can improve your SEO strategy.

If you are getting a lot of branded searches, but you do not see any conversions, you need to focus on non-branded searches. This means creating content that is relevant to your keywords, and that is aligned to your goal.

It is also important to be aware of negative branded search results. These are results that appear when someone searches for your brand name, but they are negative or harmful. If you see negative branded search results, you need to take action to remove them. 

What Other Strategies Can You Use?

Here are some other strategies and content that rank strongly in search results:

  • Guest blog on other websites.
  • Create infographics or videos.
  • Run social media contests.
  • Write guest posts on social media.
  • Engage with your audience on social media.
  • Optimize images by adding relevant keywords to the image alt text and title.
  • Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews.

If you find negative reviews of your business on review sites, you can try to get them taken down. You can also respond to the reviews in a constructive way. This shows potential customers that you are aware of the negative reviews and that you are taking steps to address them.


If you are struggling to improve your reputation online, you can get help from an SEO expert.

An SEO expert like Gert can help you create content that is optimized for Google. Gert, his team and the SEOLeverage app can also help you identify and track branded and non-branded searches.

If you’re interested in learning more about his SEO services, he would be happy to discuss with you!

Need Expert SEO help?

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