Welcome to another post in the Content Creator Basics series. Here, we’ll share our go-to tips for flexing your freelance writer muscles—whether you’re writing content for someone else or for your own blog. Check in for more tips to sharpen your online content writing skills.
What Are Our Standards?
At WritersDomain, writing SEO blogs or marketing content about branded keywords is tricky. This guide will explain the best way to approach these keywords.
We’ll discuss the two standards our writers struggle with when it comes to branded keywords, then offer tips on how to write about these keywords.
The style guide our editors use explains that we should:
Refrain from highlighting a particular company or referencing competitor brands in the given industry. It’s okay to cite information from most websites, but do not focus on and talk about any competing company specifically.
Why is this important? First, some brand names are trademarked, and we want to avoid any potential legal issues. Second, we want our content to be most useful to our client, which means we shouldn’t focus on the entire article on the benefits of using a particular company or brand, but rather on the benefits of using a particular service.
For example, let’s say the keyword is “Frigidaire repair,” and the vertical is “Appliances;” we can assume that this client repairs refrigerators and that this client probably works on multiple brands and types of refrigerators. An article that focuses on the benefits of refrigerator repair in general will be useful and relevant to our client (even if the brand name like “Frigidaire” is never mentioned in the article).
Along those same lines, how the writer approaches the topic is important when dealing with brands and branded keywords. For example, a topic like “why you should buy Frigidaire instead of Samsung” is inappropriate because it promotes one brand over another within the same market.
It’s easy to slip into advertisement mode when writing about branded keywords. Our project guidelines clarify our standards even further.
Articles should be helpful and unbiased, and they should present industry-related knowledge. However, do not write a review of or advertisement for any product or service, even if you are given the company name.
The purpose of our articles is to provide useful information in an easy-to-understand, authoritative manner. One way to build online authority is to present your information in unbiased ways. Anything ad-like or too enthusiastic often sounds too good to be true or makes promises the client cannot keep. As a result, we ask our writers to avoid writing promotional content.
How Do We Write About Branded Keywords?
Writing Without Highlighting the Brand
First, let’s discuss how we can write about branded keywords without highlighting that brand or particular company.
We’ll use a keyword like “2015 Jeep Wrangler cars for sale” as an example. In general, the best approach to keywords like this is to completely ignore the “for sale” part and instead focus on the product or service.
The other aspect of keywords that’s important to consider is our client. Our client could be a used car dealership, a local Jeep dealership, or a car manufacturing company; however, our client probably isn’t Jeep itself.
We want our content to be most useful to our client (not Jeep the company), which means we shouldn’t focus on the entire article on the benefits of buying a Jeep. Instead, try to think about what will generally benefit our client. For example, every client could benefit from an article that describes the pros and cons of buying SUVs or compact cars.
By taking a general approach or focusing on the “Jeep Wrangler” or “cars” part of the keyword, you can avoid highlighting a specific company too much.
Writing Without Advertising the Brand
Next, let’s discuss writing about branded keywords without writing a review of or advertisement for any product or service. Let’s use our “2015 Jeep Wrangler cars for sale” example again.
First, think about tone. Tone defines a piece’s genre, mood, and intent. Tone makes promotional content work — it invokes an emotional response intended to get people to buy or do something. Promotional content utilizes a positive or enthusiastic tone, so if you find yourself using a lot of exclamation points, your tone is too promotional.
In addition to a positive tone, promotional content typically includes enthusiastic absolute statements. For example, “you can never go wrong with a Jeep” is an absolute statement that promotes Jeep. For this reason (and others), we should avoid enthusiastic absolute statements. Along those same lines, we should never make promises like “we guarantee you’ll always love your Jeep” because we never want to make a promise our clients can’t keep.
Writing About Generic Brand Names
Sometimes, the keyword will be a brand name. However, brands and brand names are frequently trademarked, which is one reason we try to avoid using them at WritersDomain. In some cases, the trademark loses legal protection after a court case. These trademarks are sometimes known as generic terms due to common use.
At WritersDomain, we allow our writers to mention and include brand names that are used generically because there are no trademark issues. To know if a brand name is used generically, look it up in the dictionary. If the word is there, it’s a generic term. For example, “laundromat” used to be a brand name but is now a generic term for a coin laundry shop. Since “laundromat” appears in the dictionary, it is appropriate to use in your article.
However, in some cases, it’s okay to mention non-generic brand names — especially when they are keywords. For example, when you Google the keyword “Invisalign,” you quickly realize this is a brand of clear aligners. However, “Invisalign” is often used interchangeably with clear aligners — meaning, the brand essentially embodies an entire sector of the market. Since this brand name is used this way, we typically allow writers to mention this brand, as long as the content is factual and doesn’t sound like an ad.
That being said, it’s easiest to avoid discussing a brand at all — even when it’s the keyword. For example, let’s use the keyword “Disney timeshares.” Since “Disney” is a company brand, we should avoid mentioning it. However, these timeshares are pretty specific. Instead of focusing on the brand, write about this type of timeshares.
Overall, remember that the WritersDomain editors can find a way to organically mention any keyword, so you shouldn’t have to mention the brand — even when it is the keyword. In addition, remember: “Keywords do not need to be included a certain number of times in an article….[but] the topic should closely relate to the assigned keyword phrase.”
Writing About Branded, Very Specific Keywords
Occasionally, our clients have very specific services and target very specific keywords. One example is the keyword “Elvis themed restaurant.” Remember, we don’t want to specifically highlight Graceland or Elvis Presley (since neither is our client), so how should we approach a super-specific keyword like this?
Whenever dealing with a super-specific keyword, look at the vertical. The “Elvis themed restaurant” keyword is attached to the “Restaurant” vertical. Knowing this, we can take several approaches:
- Specific – Here’s why you should visit an Elvis themed restaurant
- Specific – Here’s the food Elvis would eat at an Elvis themed restaurant
- General – Here’s why you should visit a themed restaurant
- General – Here’s things (food, shows) you can only experience at themed restaurants.
- General – Here’s the best time to visit a themed restaurant
- General – Here’s how much it costs to visit unique themed restaurants across the country.
When done right, each of these approaches or topics should be relevant enough to pass.
When writing a super-specific keyword, you should stay unbiased. Remember, we cannot advertise or make promises for our clients. Instead, focus your article or blog on the research or information you’ve found. For example, information like “many Elvis themed restaurants have Elvis impersonators put on a show; you and your family may find this show entertaining as you eat at the restaurant” is helpful and unbiased.
Writing SEO content is difficult when the keyword includes a brand name. However, when you avoid referencing brand and company names as much as possible and avoid sounding like an advertisement, your articles will provide better SEO value to whichever client you’re working for. What other tips do you have for writing about branded keywords? Let us know in the comments.