What is Branded Traffic?

Have you ever searched your own name on Google?

Don’t answer that, it’s a trick question! We all have!! In fact, if you have not yet (which I would be surprised to know), you must be doing that by now!

It’s always the little bit of curiosity, perhaps a bit of reflection that drives us to see what gets listed on our own name … on our brand name. We people are brands, and the reason we search our own names is to see what shows up in the search … do our profiles show up or does a different person stealing away your thunder!

Site owners also do this, in fact they have a nice name for traffic which originates from such searches. It’s called Branded Traffic.

Branded Traffic is not only limited to search, a portion of the branded traffic is also the direct traffic viz., the set of people who already know your site URL by-heart (love you folks :-D).

Importance of Branded Traffic

Shakespeare had written in his famed Romeo and Juliet,

What’s in a name?

Well, apparently a lot! Branded Traffic is important for us …

  • These are the set of users who KNOW your site … who are searching for you. Be nice to them, these are your friends
  • If you do work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, then you will notice that your brand keywords will have awesome Click through rates … eye popping ones. At EduPristine, the CTR of the “pristine” keyword is around 32%, that of “edupristine” is a whopping 70%!!
  • Google will always give you additional benefit for your branded keywords, so get ready to be ranked on top! In fact the sad state of the Indian SEO industry I see is that most of the sales people get clients using such statements like “

Sir, we will get you on the top of Google Rankings (Meh!!)

  • If you do have Conversions setup on your site, then you will notice that your brand keywords will perform better as compared to your non-brand keywords!! If this is not the case, then perhaps you should consider taking a serious look at your site’s navigation and information architecture
  • This traffic is yours for the taking! I cannot stress on how important tracking this metric is … in fact as your site becomes popular you should see an increase in this traffic. It’s the digital version of your brand value.

How do you measure Branded Traffic?

This one is easy-peasy!

In case if you have a Google Analytics (GA) account setup, go to Advanced Segments, and define one segment.

Branded Traffic

I have set this up in my GA, you can use this segment and customize the keyword field with your brand terms! Get the Custom Segment for your GA profile here. Please keep a note to edit this Advanced Segment after you import this in your account and change the brand keywords!!

Do set up this segment and watch the general metrics for your site. I am sure that for your branded traffic all the metrics would be outperforming the site average!

Doesn’t it feel good to be loved!

Google Analytic’s URL Builder

Aside from being EduPristine’s CTO, I also happen to be my company’s webmaster. I really do not mind this task, in fact I think its one of the most under-rated jobs out there in the market.

The cool part about this role is how closely you have to work with the Google ecosystem of Analytics, Adwords and Webmaster tools. The thing about Google products is that many people might know about them, but how many of them use it the way they are intended to be?

In my quest to find the right person I have interviewed so many professionals, that its not funny. Almost all of them put everything but the kitchen sink on their resumes. That might be a good idea, but they all of them come down crashing in the interview. A royal waste of time.

In case if you want to differentiate yourself from the horde of wannabes out there, this is one of the things that you have to know!!

URL Builder Tool

Here’s the link to the tool.

* Ta-da! and all the fanfare *

What this tool allows you to do is allow you to track a segment of the visits which are generated on the provided link to be tracked as an individual campaign! The reason why anyone should be excited, is that now you can slice and dice all incoming links to your website (provided you can alter the incoming links).

Some of the ways in which it can be used is –

  • Tracking a segment of your traffic which is coming via an online-ad – For example, I could put a banner ad on Timesjob, or some site. I could also have posted a job posting there with my website’s URL in the job description. Now instead of relying on the simply the data from Referral traffic to measure the ROI of this ad campaign, I can give them a generated URL and track it without worrying about any other source of traffic
  • Email Campaigns clicks can now be tracked as a segment. With a little help of Goals and Conversions, I can calculate the ROI on a per email basis
  • You can even measure the effectiveness of traffic being generated from different properties on your website

Well, this is just the start, you can go pretty much wild with this tool. Just remember folks! Slice and Dice data for better control and tracking.