Looker Studio building branded vs non-branded keyword charts

Learn how to use Google Looker Studio, formerly Data Studio, by building branded vs non-branded keyword charts.
Google data studio branded non branded keywords pie and column chart

We will build:

  • Pie chart showing the percentage of branded vs non-branded keywords in a given period.
  • Column chart showing ratio branded vs unbranded keywords in last 360 days

Build a pie chart showing branded vs non branded keywords ratio #

  1. Create a new report in the Google Looer Studio panel

  2. Connect to data source Google Search Console
    Connect Google Search Console to Google Looker Studio

  3. Choose your site connected to the Search Console, then Site Impressions > Web

  4. Create a Pie chart. Insert > Pie chart

  5. Click your pie chart and choose to Add a field under the Data panel on the right side. You can use Ctrl + F to find this field.

  6. In the field name, type: Keyword group
    WHEN CONTAINS_TEXT(Query, "brand name") THEN "Branded keywords"

ELSE "Non-branded keywords"

  1. In the Dimension, add Keyword group
    In Metric Add Clicks
    Default date range choose auto
    Your fields should look like this:
    Fields set-up for branded vs non-branded keywords fields pie chart

  2. Select your chart and Add a control > Data range control to it

  1. Create column chart
    Insert > Column Chart
  2. Add new field Year Month field and format it properly
    Suppose you want to aggregate the daily data into Year and month to see how the organic traffic change monthly. One way is to create a new field for date and change the format for Year and month.
    Create year month field in Google Looker Studio

Under Data source on the right side, Add a field. Name the filed Year and Month. In the formula field, type Date and click Save. Then go to all fields by clicking “← ALL FIELDS”
Let’s change our created field “Year Month” type Year Month by choosing Date and time > Year Month. Click the blue-button Finished.
Create year and month fields in Looker studio

  1. Change the fields SET-UP on the Chart:
  • In the Year Month
  • Breakdown Dimension Keyword grouping
  • Metric Url Clicks
  • Sort Year Month
  • Your fields should look like this:
    Fields set-up for branded vs non-branded keywords column one year chart

Default date range > Custom >Advanced

  • Start Date Today Minus 1 Year
  • End date Today Minus 1 Day
    Looker studio create custom date range within last year

Why is it necessary for analysis? #

Branded and non-branded keywords represent two different kinds of search intents in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO). Branded keywords include the name of a company or specific product (e.g., "Microsoft" or "iPhone 12"), while unbranded keywords do not include specific brand names and instead focus on the general product or service for example "laptop" or "smartphone".

Now, let's talk about a chart comparing the performance of branded and non-branded keywords. It could be in the form of a line graph, a pie chart, or a bar chart that shows the volume of searches, click-through rates, conversion rates, or other metrics related to branded vs non-branded keywords.

  • Search Intent Understanding: By comparing the performance of branded and unbranded keywords, businesses can gain insight into the intent of their target audience. For instance, a high volume of branded keyword searches may suggest that the brand is well-known and users are specifically looking for their products or services. On the other hand, a high volume of non-branded keyword searches could mean there's a large audience that may not know about the brand yet but is interested in the products or services it offers.

  • Brand Awareness Measurement: If there's a higher volume of branded keyword searches over time, it could indicate growing brand awareness. The chart can be used to track this growth or measure the impact of branding campaigns.

  • SEO Strategy Refinement: The data can help businesses decide where to focus their SEO efforts. If a company is not ranking well for non-branded search terms, they may need to produce more content around those topics or improve their on-page SEO.

  • Competitive Analysis: A high volume of non-branded keyword searches could suggest a competitive market where many different brands are vying for attention. This information can help companies understand their competitive landscape better.

  • Conversion Optimization: By comparing the conversion rates of branded vs unbranded keywords, businesses can see which type of keyword tends to lead to more conversions and sales. This can be particularly helpful for optimizing ad campaigns and landing pages.

The keyword strategy should not lean completely towards one type of keyword. Both branded and non-branded keywords have their roles in a comprehensive SEO strategy. A balance between the two often leads to the best results.

Questions to ask? #

How do branded and non-branded keywords differ in terms of search intent?
What are the benefits of using branded keywords over non-branded keywords in paid search campaigns?
How can businesses determine which type of keywords to target for optimal search engine visibility?
What role do long-tail keywords play in the branded vs non-branded keyword debate?
What strategies can companies use to effectively balance their use of branded and non-branded keywords?

Absolutely! Here are some thought-provoking questions that can deepen your understanding and approach to analyzing branded vs non-branded keywords:

What does the balance between branded and non-branded keywords say about our brand awareness? If most of your traffic comes from branded keywords, this could suggest strong brand recognition. However, a heavy reliance on branded keywords could also indicate that you need to improve your SEO for non-branded terms relevant to your industry.

How does the user behavior differ between those who found our site via branded keywords vs non-branded keywords? Are there significant differences in terms of bounce rate, session duration, pages per session, and conversions? If so, what might these differences suggest?

What are the top non-branded keywords driving traffic to our site, and why are these particular keywords effective? Could it be due to the quality of the associated content, or perhaps the lack of strong competition?

What is the competitive landscape like for our top non-branded keywords? Are our main competitors the same for each keyword, or do different competitors appear for different keywords? What strategies are these competitors using, and are there any tactics we could adopt or adapt?

How has the balance of branded vs non-branded traffic changed over time? What factors might have contributed to these changes? For example, was there an increase in branded traffic following a marketing campaign?

Are there any non-branded keywords that we should be targeting, but currently aren't? What content or SEO strategies could we use to rank for these keywords?

How does the conversion rate compare for branded vs non-branded keywords? Does a higher rate of branded keyword searches lead to more conversions, or are visitors from non-branded keyword searches more likely to convert?

Does the value of our branded keywords diminish the impact of our SEO efforts on non-branded keywords? Or do both types of keywords contribute significantly to our traffic and conversions?

How does our content strategy align with our non-branded keyword performance? Is our content effectively capturing non-branded search traffic, or are there gaps we need to address?

What strategies could we implement to boost the performance of our branded keywords without neglecting the importance of non-branded keywords?

These questions should provoke meaningful discussions and analyses that can help shape your SEO strategy.

Non branded keywords in Google Analytics 4 [GA4] #

In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the process to find non-branded keywords is slightly different from the previous version of Google Analytics. This is primarily because GA4 is event-based rather than session-based, so many of the familiar reports aren't present in the same form.

Unfortunately, Google Analytics no longer provides a simple way to access keyword data due to privacy concerns. This data was primarily collected from the organic search results in Google. In 2013, Google made all searches secure, effectively obfuscating most keyword data.

While GA4 does not have a direct feature to show non-branded keywords that users are using to find your website in organic search, there are a few alternative approaches you can take:

Google Search Console #

Google Search Console is the most direct way to understand what keywords (branded and non-branded) are driving traffic to your website. To use this tool:

  • Ensure that your website is set up with Google Search Console.
  • Go to the "Performance" report. This will give you a list of queries people are using to find your website.
  • To identify non-branded keywords, look for queries that don't contain your brand name or variations thereof.

If you're running Google Ads, you can get keyword data (both branded and non-branded) from the Search Terms report. Note, this is paid search data, not organic.

It's important to note that while these alternatives can provide valuable information, none are able to fully replicate the lost keyword data from Google Analytics.

As Google continues to evolve its products and privacy policies, the landscape of SEO analytics may change further. Always ensure you're keeping up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques to understand your website's performance.

SEMrush or Ahrefs #

Using SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can provide insights into your organic keywords. These tools essentially try to replicate Google's search algorithm to estimate what keywords a website ranks for. To do this:

  • Enter your website URL into the tool.
  • Look for the organic keywords report.
  • Filter out your brand name to see non-branded keywords.