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  • Writer's pictureGoodness Azubuogu



Ever since I started my SEO journey a few months ago I always look at Job roles and responsibilities advertised by recruiting agencies or companies to see what is required and test my capabilities in handling such roles. A few weeks ago, I came across a job advert for an SEO Analyst for Whirlpool Corporation and began thinking of how I could come up with a plan that will have a direct impact on their organic traffic and conversion.

Whirlpool is an American company that manufactures and sells home, kitchen, and laundry appliances. So, I did a quick dive into their website to look for any issues that might be affecting the website or opportunities that could improve their performance and I found an interesting pattern with their organic search traffic from branded and non-branded traffic.

I will be explaining how they are missing out on gaining new audiences via non-branded terms, why this is important, and how to do better.

Branded Vs Non-Branded Organic Traffic

Branded organic traffic is organic traffic that brings in visitors to a site when they search for keywords containing the brand name. Here, visitors are specifically looking for that brand e.g. [brand name] + [product], in this case, “Whirlpool appliances”.

On the other hand, Non-Branded organic traffic is organic traffic from visitors who are not directly looking for a brand, but something your site offers. In this e.g. it could be a “refrigerator”.

About 79% of Whirlpool's organic traffic is from branded search, this is normal for most sites like them where a large portion of their traffic comes from branded organic traffic. While almost 21% of said organic traffic is from non-branded organic search.

How Is Whirlpool Missing out on Reaching New Audiences?

The goal of every business is to generate revenue and make profit. With SEO, the goal is to increase organic search visibility and this can be achieved by bringing in new traffic from visitors searching for non-branded phrases or keywords, and not only from people who are familiar with the company.

Think about this for a second…if a business only sells to clients that know about them, how will it expand its reach?

I’m positive they will also want to reach potential customers who are looking for something they offer. This brings me to Non-branded traffic…let’s take a look at Whirlpool's organic traffic.

Whirlpool's branded vs non-branded traffic by semrush

Whirlpool's Branded vs Non-Branded Traffic by SEMrush

Now, the challenge with branded organic traffic is that traffic is gotten from branded keywords meaning that sales could be coming in from PR, PPC, Social media, and not specifically SEO efforts. But by looking at a website’s non-branded organic traffic, one can decipher if its SEO strategy is driving conversions.

What’s Going On With Their Non-Branded Organic Traffic?

Using Semrush, I observed that there has been a decline in their non-branded organic search traffic for the past 6 months. From December when it was at 1.1million, to January when it peaked at 1.4million. From there it went downhill to hit a low of approximately 759,000 searches in May.

trend for non-branded organic traffic in the past 6 months for xyz

Trend for Non-Branded Organic Traffic In The Past 6 Months

What Could Have Caused Such A Drastic Decline in Non-Branded Traffic?

If I had access to their Google Analytics and Google Search Console, I would have done an in-depth analysis to find out what went wrong. However, let’s take a look at the data from SEMrush on their competitors.

So, I filtered for non-branded keywords ranking in positions 1 - 20 with high search volume and checked the target keywords to see if there have been changes in their ranking surprise there. They have lost some positions to their competitors. Hence, the decrease in traffic.

For example;

Whirlpool which was ranking in position 3 for the keyword “impeller”, is now at position 7. This could only mean that their competitors who took up those positions are doing something better.

This is one out of several keywords that have lost their rank in SERP. Let’s not forget that increase in ranking = an increase in traffic and subsequently more audience/customers that could potentially convert.

Now, How Can They Do Better?

First, I will recommend optimizing those pages targeting high-volume non-branded keywords. Especially those already ranking in positions 5 - 20. What are the pages ranking higher doing? This will help them understand what Google wants.

Remember, the goal is to bring more traffic, but to do that they need to rank higher in SERPs.

The good news is, that there is a significant amount of non-branded organic traffic for them to take advantage of, they could be reaching new audiences at different stages of their purchase journey, from those trying to get information about a product, to the ones who want to make a purchase.

Let’s take a look at the keyword “Deep Freezer” with a monthly search volume of 110,000. Whirlpool was formerly ranked 12 but is currently at position 19. So I asked myself, What went wrong?

The page for that keyword is a blog post on what a deep freezer is and how it differs from a freezer. If I had access to Frase or Surferseo (can’t afford this now), I would compare their URL content and that of their competitors to see opportunities for optimizing that page; from keywords they are not targeting, to internal linking, and backlinks.

I performed a single page analysis using sitebulb to see how the page ranking for “deep freezer” is performing from a technical SEO standpoint.

The page is mobile-friendly however, some images in the screenshot did not fully load.

Also, its page speed and core web vitals are very poor as shown in the data from Sitebulb, which I also double-checked using Page Speed Insights and GT Metrix. I will recommend fixing these issues to ensure the web page delivers on good user experience.

core web vitals report for Whirlpool

Core Web Vitals for blog page

Now, to answer the question posed at the beginning of this study:

Is Whirlpool Missing Out On Significant SEO Opportunities?


There is so much organic traffic to gain from targeting non-branded keywords relevant to their business, and they can do this by doing a thorough SERP analysis of competitors to find opportunities for improvement, and fixing any technical issue that might be affecting the site’s performance.

They could be doing that already because I see a forecasted upward trend for the month of June in the data from SEMrush.

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