Brother UK - SEO Case Study 6

We’re pleased to launch the sixth ‘Are you being found online?’ search marketing case study focussing on the IT sector. The purpose of this research is to establish the following:

• On-site and off-site factors which influence and affect keyword rankings

• How successful companies implement these factors to enhance relevant, targeted traffic.

• Examples of good practice in the field of search marketing.


Brother UK was created in 1959 originally located in London, moving to Manchester in 1968 after taking over the Jones Sewing Machine Company. The Manchester office is the headquarters of Brother Europe, with product marketing from this location. The Brother UK product portfolio includes colour & mono laser Printers, Fax Machines, Multi-Function Centres, All-inone Inkjet printers, Word Processors, Typewriters, Labelling Machines and Sewing Machines.

Brother UK Online

As with previous case studies included in the ‘Are you being found online?’ series, Manchester digital agency researched Brother UK’s organic search behaviour to understand the traffic volumes to the domain. The search data reveals on average there are approximately 550,000 global monthly searches, for the term ‘Brother’. This number of searches does not include any combinations of the branded keyword term, for example ‘Brother + location/product/service’.

When compared with other manufacturers such as Lexmark, HP, Dell, etc it is possible to ascertain the search hierarchy and recognise which company performs well for global branded searches.  Advertising significantly affects these results and impacts branded search results.

Brother UK Search Behaviour

From the search data and competitor analysis, it is evident that Brother has less ‘branded’ searches in comparison to its competitors (i.e. Samsung and Dell) for relevant search terms due to its global brand equity/reach and usage (e.g. Samsung Galaxy handset or the range of Dell computers and servers).

Research into relevant non-branded search terms was assessed in order to understand how Brother optimises its site for specific keywords. This exercise focused on a logical core group of relevant keywords which were compared to produce an estimated figure of web traffic per month.

Note: the above search research data is a sample and represents a subset of Brother UK’s search traffic based on a variety of non-branded search terms. The data allows us to identify the performance of a variety of search terms relating to its products offerings.

Looking at the results and the current organic rankings for Brother’s non-branded search traffic, it is evident that Brother place a strong focus on search marketing (SEO) to attract non-brand aware search traffic relating to its product range.

Brother UK Paid Search

Brother UK utilises the Google AdWords platform to run a series of campaigns targeting relevant non-branded search terms and for {brand + keyword} terms. This approach is a cost-effective solution for attracting relevant traffic whilst integrating the paid advertising search behaviour.

What on-site factors influence organic search for Brother UK?

It is common knowledge that good site architecture and well-designed content is crucial for customer acquisition. For more information on the importance of site structure you can read our post on Pets at Home SEO.

Branded keyword terms are well incorporated into the site at various levels; from navigation to numerous forms of sitemaps. Once into the main pages of the site the optimisation kicks in and it is clear to identify target keywords group through the use of targeted anchor text, h1’s, h2’s, alt text, calls to action, site links and optimised copy. Brother UK has a focus on non-branded keywords throughout, suggesting it’s pro-active in SEO. Branded keywords are often searched for at the later stage of the buying cycle and are some of the highest value and highest converting keywords, though non-branded keywords attract customers at the initial research and comparison stage.


The Brother UK site has been well designed around a clear and simple structure allowing the user to make simple, obvious steps in order to find the correct product information. Both of these are equally important as they go hand in hand, if a user cannot find the product information they will become frustrated and look elsewhere for the particular product or a similar model from a competitor. Naturally, this brings us onto the call to actions which are well placed throughout the site and compliment the customer journey.

Top level navigation is broken up into various sectors, shop by product, shop by market etc. with a compact sub-menu below based on the hover, allowing the user to instantly navigate to a more specific page and continue their journey. Service and support is clearly positioned in the centre of the screen allowing the user or customer to choose the most relevant option.

The combined organic and PPC approach focuses predominantly on specific keyword terms or {brand + keyword} related searches. This allows Brother UK to target the potential customer at an early stage of the buying cycle and compete with other big brands online.