In the past few weeks I have completed a few website assessments for clients. When I review a website, I am looking for certain criteria:
• Does the “voice”, and tone of the content (words) match the business owner?
• Does the content clearly explain the services/product provided within 15 seconds of reading?
• Does the content engage customers, tell a story, and invite them to read more?
• Is there a call-to-action that matches the values of the business?
• Is the format of the content easy on the eyes?
• Has the content been intelligently key-worded and are the key words customer friendly?
It’s this last bullet that has been causing concern lately. Allow me to explain.
I’m not an SEO technology expert. I don’t know the magic formula for back-links that will make your page debut on page one of a Google search. SEO experts have a depth of technical knowledge that I admire and I have no desire to acquire.
What I am, is an expert on language and customer interaction. I know how to engage customers through words. My talent is communicating your message, in your voice, in a manner that connects…while also incorporating key words and phrases that support your SEO strategy.
I constantly work with web designers and SEO experts to ensure that our client’s websites have the perfect blend of key words and high impact messaging. Most SEO experts are sensitive to the importance of keeping the content appealing; as opposed to drenching it in so many key words it becomes incomprehensible.
Lately, I have stumbled on a new issue. Industry specific key wording. I have found some websites very highly key worded for technical phrases very common in my client’s industry. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, not really. This practice becomes a problem when the client or SEO expert uses terminology that their customers would never use.
For example, if you are a local florist in the city of Seminole, being on the first page for Roses Delivery Seminole is outstanding. However, being number one for Rosaceae Cultivator is useless. It may be a valid term in your business, it may represent who you are 100%, but if customers are not plugging those words into Google, you will be on the first page of Neverland.
Pull out your key words or have your SEO expert send you a list. Review them carefully. Yes, it’s great to have your industry terminology covered, but make sure your success is measured by your Google placement on the search terms most likely to be used by customers.
Avoid claiming SEO success with terms that only get you first place in obscurity. What is the best way to measure this? Ask around. Ask family, friends, peers, or past clients:
If you were to search online for services/products like mine,
what words would you use in your search?
Yes, there are other SEO factors such as how much competition certain words or phrases have in searches, yet for the most part simple is best.
Another proof in the pudding method is to analyze your results and determine: Are you getting traffic from those key words? Note that I say traffic, not sales. The measure of good SEO is how many people view your website. How often visitors click through and become customers is a function of your content and value proposition, not your SEO. (Can you hear SEO experts applauding?).
The bottom line: key word your website from the perspective of your target market. It doesn’t work when you try to make them search for you in your language. You need to be present in their mindset, using their vocabulary.
If you are not sure how to connect with your clients in their own language. Contact me, I can help.