Branded or Non-Branded Keywords: When Should Senior Living Marketing Teams use them?

I believe is was Shakespeare who famously said, “To include Branded or Non-Branded keywords, that is the question.” Okay, this might be a bit of hyperbole, but it’s a thought every senior living marketing professional has had to ponder at one point or another.

Today, we weigh in on when to use branded and non-branded keywords, and how either/both should fit into your keyword strategy. You’ll learn:

  • The difference between branded and non-branded keywords
  • Two considerations to make when to optimize branded and non-branded keywords into your keyword strategy

Branded, Non-Branded, or Both? Quick Tips to aid Your Keyword Strategy

The chicken or the egg, whether Jack could have fit onto the door at the end of ‘Titanic’, and branded or non-branded keywords. These are the great debates of our time.

It’s not to say brand-centric keywords shouldn’t be incorporated into your senior living community’s keyword strategy. There’s just an ideal time, place, and circumstance to incorporate and optimize for branded keywords.

Branded keywords – Simply put, a branded keyword would be any keyword with your senior living community’s brand name included. This could include keyword variations related to your brand as well. A prime example of this is when a user accidentally misspells your senior living community’s name, but is clearly searching for your brand.

Non-Branded keywords – Conversely, a non-branded keyword would include any keyword or keyword variation relating to levels of care, questions, or queries specific to the entire senior living industry. These searches are broader than branded in intent, and don’t contain any reference to your senior living community’s brand.

Why should your senior living marketing team incorporate non-branded keywords into your overall keyword strategy?

Non-branded keywords begin building trust with both your adult-child influencer and digitally savvy senior before they express interest in your community. Most are only seeking information, looking to have questions answered, and concerns addressed early on. Your senior living community can set itself up for a prime opportunity to attract this positive, top-of-the-funnel attention. This top-of-funnel attention can quickly accumulate into a steady stream of leads based on the quality content your community is creating.

2 Considerations to make Before Using Branded or Non-Branded Keywords

Consideration #1: What type of leads does my senior living community need? Branded search terms are considered a bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. Meaning, prospective residents searching for your senior living community’s brand are familiar with your campus and levels of care and are on the verge of booking a tour or becoming a resident. They’re specifically choosing your community over competition – local or national.

Non-branded keywords will drive general interest for your community, which your community can leverage and capitalize on by following content, UX, and CRO best practices. Non-branded keywords are a fantastic way to drive awareness and traffic to sites. For brand awareness and visibility, look no further than non-branded. Like we previously mentioned, non-branded keywords will provide top-of-funnel traffic, which are crucial for senior living marketing and sales teams.

Consideration #2: Combine both branded and non-branded keywords to increase brand affinity. As Larry Kim explains in this WordStream post, brand affinity produces high click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions. Look to your community’s data to see where the possibility is to combine a branded and non-branded term together, also called a brand-plus keyword.

An example of this would be “ABC senior living community memory care.” Ideally, the better your senior living community’s awareness is with the public, the better your branded keywords will perform. To supplement your community’s branded keywords, it can attach a relevant keyword that you also want to rank and be visible for.

Branded AND Non-Branded Keywords? Bring the Brand Band Back

Alliteration aside, your senior living marketing team will need to conduct keyword research to determine the optimal branded and non-branded keywords to focus on. To help your community refine this research and strategy, consult our previous post addressing approaches to senior living keyword strategy.

If your senior living community feels more lost than found after reading, feel free to contact us. Our team will help your senior living marketing team align the keywords that will help your community reach its goals.

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