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How To Use Regex in GSC Performance Report to Show Branded v/s Non-Branded Traffic Data

Filtering Brand v/s Non-Brand Traffic in Google Search Console

James Gibbons
Filter Performance by Brand and Non Brand Keywords Using GSC

Imagine this scenario: You are a marketing professional responsible for driving organic traffic to your website who has invested time, effort, and resources to build your brand presence, optimize your website, and target specific keywords. However, you have started noticing that your overall traffic numbers are increasing, but you are unsure about the proportion of branded versus non-branded traffic.

Understanding this distinction is critical as it helps you gauge the effectiveness of your branding efforts and identify potential growth opportunities. This is where Google Search Console (GSC) comes to the rescue. With its powerful capabilities, GSC lets you delve deep into your website's traffic data and precisely distinguish between branded and non-branded keywords.

In this blog, we will explore how to filter and analyze only non-branded traffic data in GSC, allowing you to uncover valuable insights, optimize your SEO strategies, and take your online presence to new heights.

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What is Branded v/s Non-branded Traffic?

Branded and non-branded traffic are two distinct types of traffic that websites receive.

Branded traffic refers to the percentage of your website's organic search traffic from people searching for your brand name or other terms closely associated with your brand.

It includes users searching for your company name, product name, or any unique phrase associated with your brand. These users are already familiar with your brand and have a specific intent, and are more likely to convert into customers or engage with your website.

Non-branded traffic encompasses visitors who arrive at your website through generic or industry-related search terms that are not directly associated with your brand.

These users may be searching for information, products, or services related to your industry but may not have prior awareness of your brand. Unlike branded traffic, non-branded traffic consists of users who may not be familiar with your brand. Presenting them with relevant and valuable content is essential to convert them into customers.

Here are the reasons why it's important to differentiate between branded and non-branded traffic:

1. Assessing Brand Awareness: By analyzing the proportion of branded versus non-branded traffic, you can gauge brand recognition and awareness among your target audience. Higher branded traffic indicates a stronger brand presence and customer loyalty.

2. Evaluating Marketing Effectiveness: Distinguishing between branded and non-branded traffic allows you to understand the effectiveness of brand-building campaigns versus SEO or content marketing strategies targeting non-branded search terms.

3. Optimizing SEO Strategy: Identifying the sources of non-branded traffic helps you understand which keywords, topics, or industry trends are driving organic search traffic to your website. This insight enables you to optimize your SEO strategy by focusing on high-potential non-branded keywords and expanding your reach to capture a broader audience.

4. Tracking Conversions and Attribution: It allows you to determine the impact of brand awareness on user behavior, conversion rates, and overall marketing ROI. This information helps allocate resources effectively and optimize conversion funnels.

5. Competitive Analysis: Understanding the balance between branded and non-branded traffic in your industry can provide valuable insights into your competitive landscape. It allows you to benchmark your brand's performance against competitors and identify areas for improvement or differentiation.

Which is More Important: Branded or Non-branded Traffic?

Whether to focus on branded or non-branded traffic is subjective and relies heavily on your specific business goals. Both types of traffic offer unique benefits, and the decision ultimately depends on what you aim to achieve. However, it is crucial to consider various factors and potential risks associated with each choice before determining where to focus your efforts.

Branded traffic, consisting of visitors who actively search for your brand or products by name, can be highly valuable for businesses aiming to nurture existing customer relationships and drive repeat sales. These visitors already have familiarity with your brand, which often leads to higher conversion rates. By prioritizing branded traffic, you can reinforce brand loyalty, maintain direct communication channels with your customer base, and capitalize on their recognition and trust.

On the other hand, non-branded traffic presents an opportunity to expand your customer base and reach new audiences. Non-branded traffic is valuable for building brand awareness, generating leads, and attracting potential customers unfamiliar with your brand. However, it is important to note that converting non-branded traffic into customers often requires additional marketing efforts, as these users are in the early stages of their buyer's journey and need to be nurtured.

Relying heavily on branded traffic may limit your customer base and hinder growth by overlooking potential new customers. It could also leave your business vulnerable to changes in customer preferences or a decline in brand loyalty. Conversely, an overemphasis on non-branded traffic may result in inconsistent revenue streams, as new customers may not exhibit the same level of loyalty or make repeat purchases. Additionally, relying solely on search engine rankings for non-branded traffic can expose your business to algorithm changes or increased competition.

To mitigate these risks, striking a balance between branded and non-branded traffic is crucial. Building a strong brand foundation while investing in non-branded traffic strategies can provide a diversified portfolio.

This approach increases market dynamics resilience, enables continuous customer acquisition, and fosters long-term business sustainability. A deep understanding and analysis branded & non-branded traffic data can provide valuable insights into discovering new opportunities for growth and identifying areas where your content and SEO efforts can be improved.

But how do you filter your traffic by brand v/s non-brand? Using regex filters in Google Search Console allows you to effectively measure and check your branded and non-branded traffic, allowing you to make better-informed decisions for your marketing strategies and campaigns.

Understanding Regex Filters in GSC

Regex filters are a powerful feature in Google Search Console (GSC) that enables you to segment and analyze your data precisely. Regular expressions, commonly known as regex, are patterns used to match and manipulate text strings. In GSC, regex filters allow you to define specific patterns and criteria to include or exclude data from your analysis.

Using regex filters in GSC aims to gain deeper insights into your website's performance by focusing on specific data segments. By applying regex patterns to fields like URLs, queries, or page titles, you can create custom filters that help you analyze and understand different aspects of your website traffic.

Here are some of the features of regex filters:

1. Wildcards and Quantifiers: Regex supports wildcards, such as the asterisk (*), and quantifiers, like the plus sign (+) or curly braces ({}), which allow you to match patterns with variable characters or repetitions.

2. Character Classes: Regex character classes, denoted within square brackets ([]), enable you to define a set of characters to match specific positions in your data. This feature is useful for capturing variations and specific character patterns.

3. Logical Operators: Regex filters support logical operators like the pipe symbol (|), which allow you to define multiple alternative patterns. This feature enables complex filtering conditions to account for various scenarios.

4. Capture Groups: Regex capture groups, enclosed within parentheses (()), allow you to extract and isolate specific parts of a matched pattern. This feature is particularly helpful when focusing on specific data segments for in-depth analysis.

5. Lookaheads and Lookbehinds: Advanced regex features like lookaheads and lookbehinds allow you to match patterns based on the presence or absence of other patterns before or after them. These features enable more intricate filtering conditions and provide greater flexibility in data segmentation.

You can also use regex filters to exclude specific geographic locations from traffic analysis. It can be done by creating a regex pattern that matches IP addresses associated with the geographic locations you want to exclude.

How To Use Regex To Filter Performance Report To Show Only Branded Traffic Data

To filter brand traffic in Google Search Console using regex filters, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your GSC account and navigate to the desired property.

2. Select the "Performance" section from the left-hand menu to open the performance report.

3. In the performance report, click the "Add Filter" button to create a new filter.

4. Select the "Custom (regex)" option to indicate that you want to create a custom regex filter.

5. Choose the appropriate field to apply the regex filter. For brand traffic, select the "Query" field to filter based on search queries.

6. Enter the regex pattern that matches your brand-related queries. For example, if your brand name is "ExampleCo," the regex pattern could be "exampleco||example company" to include variations of your brand name.

7. Click the "Apply" button to apply the regex filter to the performance report.

Here are some example use cases for regex filters in analyzing branded traffic.

Including Variations of Brand Name

To ensure comprehensive tracking of your brand, it is essential to consider different variations and misspellings. Regex filters allow you to create patterns that capture these variations. For instance, if your brand is "Quattr," you can create a regex pattern like "quattr|quatr|quatrr" to include brand name variations in the traffic analysis.

Filtering Specific Product Lines

If your brand offers multiple product lines, regex filters can help you analyze their performance. Create separate regex filters for each product line by including specific keywords in the pattern. For example, if your brand has product lines A, B, and C, you can create regex filters like "quattr A." or "quattr B." to focus on the traffic and performance of each specific product line.

Excluding Competitor Brand Terms

Exclude competitor brand terms from your analysis to obtain a clear picture of your brand's impact. Crafting a regex pattern that matches competitor brand names allows you to filter out queries containing those terms. For instance, a regex pattern like "^(?!competitor1|competitor2).quattr.$" will exclude queries that include competitor brand names while including your brand-related queries.

Analyzing Brand + Keyword Queries

Regex filters can help identify brand-related queries that include specific keywords, enabling you to analyze their performance. For example, if you want to track queries that combine your brand name "Quattr" with the keyword "technology," you can create a regex pattern like "quattr.*technology" to capture queries like "Quattr SEO Platform" or "Enterprise SEO Platform Quattr."

Tracking Brand Mentions

Regex filters can monitor brand mentions or discussions beyond direct queries. You can uncover valuable insights by creating regex patterns that match common ways your brand is mentioned. For instance, if your brand is often referred to as "Quattr Inc.," you can create a regex pattern like "quattr inc.|" to capture queries that mention your brand in different contexts.

How to Use Regex Filters to Filter Non-brand Traffic in GSC?

Accessing the GSC Performance report for brand traffic and nonbrand traffic remains the same. However, you need to enter the correct regex patterns:

1. Enter the regex pattern that excludes your brand-related queries. For example, if your brand name is "ExampleCo," the regex pattern could be "^((?!exampleco).)*$" to exclude all queries containing your brand name.

2. Click the "Apply" button to apply the regex filter to the performance report.

Let us look at some example use cases for regex filters in analyzing non-branded traffic.

Excluding Branded Queries

To analyze non-branded traffic exclusively, you can create a regex filter that excludes queries containing your brand name. For example, if your brand name is not "Quattr," you can use a regex pattern like "^(?!.quattr)." to filter out queries that include the term "Quattr" anywhere in the string, ensuring that only non-branded queries are included in the analysis.

Filtering Competitor Terms

Regex filters enable you to focus on queries related to your industry but not specific to your brand. By creating a regex pattern that matches competitor brand names or industry-specific keywords, you can analyze the performance of non-branded queries. For instance, a pattern like "^(?=.competitor1|competitor2)." will include queries containing competitor brand terms while excluding queries related to your brand.

Identifying Generic Product or Service Queries

To gain insights into non-branded queries related to your products or services, you can utilize regex filters to capture generic queries. For example, if you offer software solutions, you can create a regex pattern like "software|solution|product" to include queries that mention these generic terms, helping you understand the broader market demand for such products.

Analyzing Industry-Related Keywords

Regex filters allow you to focus on non-branded queries containing industry-specific keywords. By creating a regex pattern that matches relevant industry terms, you can identify trends and analyze user behavior within the broader context of your industry. For example, if you operate in the technology industry, a pattern like "technology|innovation|digital" will capture queries encompassing these industry keywords.

Tracking Topic-Specific Queries

Regex filters can analyze non-branded queries related to specific topics or trends. By creating patterns that match relevant keywords, you can uncover insights into emerging topics or user interests. For instance, if you want to analyze queries related to artificial intelligence, a pattern like "artificial intelligence|machine learning|AI" will help capture non-branded queries associated with this topic.

Limitations of Using Regex Filters in GSC

Regular expressions (regex) filters in Google Search Console (GSC) can be a powerful way to analyze and manipulate your website data. However, it is essential to understand that regex filters come with their own set of limitations. Here are the limitations of using regex filters in GSC:

1. Lack of Comprehensive Interpretation: While regex filters can narrow down data from GSC based on the defined patterns, they can't interpret the context of your traffic. For instance, it can differentiate 'branded traffic' from 'non-branded traffic' but can't understand the reason behind any changes or spikes in traffic.

2. Complex Syntax: Regex has unique syntax and complex pattern rules, which might be difficult for beginners. Any small mistake in this syntax can lead to incorrect filtering of data.

3. Limitations with Large Data Sets: When dealing with large data sets, regex filters might slow down the process, causing a delay in generating the performance report. It could affect your ability to check or measure branded traffic swiftly.

4. Inadequate for Real-Time Analysis: Regex filters are unsuitable for real-time traffic analysis. They can't provide instant results or updates, which makes them less effective for estimating real-time branded traffic.

5. Type and Format Specifications: Regex filters in GSC may not support all data types and formats. Consequently, it might not be possible to filter certain types of data related to non-brand traffic, limiting the usability of regex filters.

How to Filter & Compare Brand v/s Non-brand Traffic in Quattr?

Using regex in Google Search Console's performance report effectively filters out branded traffic and analyzes non-branded traffic data. By understanding regex patterns and their limitations, you can create custom filters to help you analyze your website's performance more accurately.

When dealing with many brand variations, multi-brand companies, or multilingual websites, consider using tools like Quattr to help automate the process and provide more comprehensive results. However, despite their utility, regex filters have limitations, such as the inability to interpret context or provide real-time analysis.

Quattr can quickly help you compare two traffic segments, like non-brand v/s branded traffic, or run a sophisticated SEO A/B test. Save as many comparison segments as possible and revisit them anytime.

Compare & Analyze Branded v/s Non-Branded Traffic in the Quattr Platform
Compare & Analyze Branded v/s Non-Branded Traffic in the Quattr Platform

By leveraging the power of regex and supplementary tools like Quattr, you can gain valuable insights into your website's performance and make data-driven decisions to improve your online presence and drive non-branded traffic growth.

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Filter Brand & Non-Brand Data in GSC FAQs

What is the purpose of using regex filters in Google Search Console?

The purpose of using regex filters in Google Search Console is to perform advanced filtering and segmentation of website data. It allows webmasters to analyze specific subsets of traffic and gain deeper insights into their website's performance.

What are the advantages of using regex filters to segment brand v/s non-brand traffic?

Using regex filters to segment brand v/s non-brand traffic provides a valuable way to distinguish between branded searches (those containing the brand name) and non-branded searches. This segmentation helps webmasters understand the impact of their brand on search visibility and allows them to analyze performance and user behavior separately for different traffic sources.

Is it possible to create multiple regex filters in Google Search Console to analyze different segments of non-branded traffic?

Creating multiple regex filters in Google Search Console to analyze different segments of non-branded traffic is possible. By crafting specific regex patterns for each filter, you can segment and analyze various aspects of non-branded traffic separately, gaining deeper insights into user behavior, industry trends, and targeted keywords. This flexibility allows for a more granular and comprehensive analysis of your website's non-branded traffic data.

About The Author

James Gibbons

James Gibbons is the Senior Customer Success Manager at Quattr. He has 10 years of experience in SEO and has worked with multiple agencies, brands, and B2B companies. He has helped clients scale organic and paid search presence to find hidden growth opportunities. James writes about all aspects of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.

About Quattr

Quattr is an innovative and fast-growing venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California USA. We are a Delaware corporation that has raised over $7M in venture capital. Quattr's AI-first platform evaluates like search engines to find opportunities across content, experience, and discoverability. A team of growth concierge analyze your data and recommends the top improvements to make for faster organic traffic growth. Growth-driven brands trust Quattr and are seeing sustained traffic growth.

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