Branded versus Non-Branded Keywords: Advanced Segments in Google Analytics
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Examining Branded vs Non-Branded Terms… Wait, that’s a 25% Jump in Traffic!

Posted in Search & Social — September 14, 2011

traffic increase

One of my favorite hang-outs in Google Analytics is examining branded versus non-branded traffic. As an SEO, I can’t really take credit for increasing traffic on branded terms – at least, in the normal sense of the matter. Most clients are already positioning #1 for searches on their brand.

This means we must prove the value of our services in terms of NON-branded traffic. The easiest way to compare branded vs non-branded traffic is to set up a custom segment in Google Analytics. This lets you do fun things like compare non-branded traffic over time, and point out how you have helped clients achieve things like a 25% increase in non-branded traffic over the past month!

Creating An Advanced Segment for Non-Branded Terms:

Click “All Visits” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and you should see something like this. Go to “Create a New Advanced Segment”

create new advanced segment

Once there, you will want to:

1. Find the green “Keyword” box under “Traffic Sources”, and drag the box over to the main section of the page where it says “Dimension” or “Metric”.

2. Select “Does Not Match Regular Expression” from the dropdown

3. Enter in a regular expression of terms. Since I’m filtering out any keywords that match big daylight, I entered in big|day|light|lite

regular expression settings

Wait a minute. A regular WHAT? A regular expression is a special series of characters that lets you account for a variety of different possible keyword variations. So, if I want to filter out anyone searching for Big Daylight, that could include terms like:

Big Daylight
BigDaylight
Bigdaylite
Bgdaylite
DaylightTraverse
BigMarketing

So if I enter in Big|Day|Light|Light, that means it will ignore any keywords or keyword phrases with Big, Day, Light, or Lite in them. As illustrated, you need to use a vertical pipe character to separate|possible|terms.

As far as our company name goes, that covers about 99% of it. Depending on your brand name, you may need even more complex regular expressions.

4. Name the Filter (ex: BDG Non Branded Terms)

5. Hit “Save and Apply to Report”. That’s it! The nice thing about this general keyword segment is that you can toggle between looking at non-branded terms for paid traffic, non-paid traffic, or total traffic:

paid vs non-paid traffic

But what if you wanted to have separate segments for PPC vs Organic? You can also define additional custom segments.

Creating An Advanced Segment for Non-Branded Terms PLUS Paid or Non-Paid:

To do this, follow the exact same steps as above, except there’s one additional filter to add to your Advanced Segment. In this example, I am going to set up a segment for non-paid, non-branded terms:

non branded, non paid traffic

1. Drag the “Medium” box over to the Metrics and Dimensions section and select “Matches Exactly” “Organic”

2. Next, select to add an “AND” statement.

3. Drag the “Keywords” box over to the Metrics and Dimensions section and select “Does Not Match Regular Expressions” and then enter in your RegEx (i.e.: big|day|light|lite)

4. Name the Filter (ex: BDG Non Paid, Non- Branded Terms) and save.

That’s it! Additional segments can include options for paid terms, as well as branded terms and more.

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