One thing that makes your website a great place to come to for content is the ability to be found on the subjects people are searching. It seems like a no-brainer but what happens time and time again is that some businesses get locked in “Industry Speak.” Industry Speak is language used among company peers and other people in a particular industry.
Thinking like an outsider to your industry strips away the layers of jargon and gets to the root of what you should optimize for. Writing your website by using industry terms will most likely get your site ranked for those inside your industry and that’s not necesarily a good thing.
One client in the heating and cooling business built their site around “HVAC.” In doing some research on what people thought HVAC meant, some thought it was a vacuum mold type of machine. Others thought it meant Home VACuum. Those whole house vacuum systems that are in the walls. Industry speak for HVAC pronounces it H-V-A-C. One letter at a time. In fact, I was told that anyone who calls it H-VAC is spotted as an outsider. I told them “well, that’s one way to get on the right track!”
For the most part, the HVAC company understood that people need to find answers fast online when their furnace breaks, but the majority in their area use a heat pump matched with an air handler. It was willing to wadger that people associated the outdoor unit as the air conditioner and the indoor unit as the furnace. I ditched terms such as HVAC, air handler and R-12 in the most prominant places and replaced them with Air conditioner, furnace and freon.
At the local level, different keyword tools didn’t have enough information and I have tried to rank based on national terms, but I decided to go with my gut. It paid off. The website copy helped educate on the industry terms, but the common knowledge out there in the public helped bring in traffic.
Don’t be vague
One web client I helped had the following copy on the website “This Company is designed to provide solutions that will enhance communication through privatized web properties.” The power of vague works in politics, not in SEO. People don’t speak in vague terms, and when they do, it’s so obvious it’s annoying. Their mindset is that they didn’t want to limit their potential with whoever came to their site. What happened was that no one could understand what it is what they did, so they didn’t bother.
Think like an outsider. Imagine that the person who needs your service is in an elevator with you and you have only a short amount of time to make it click in their mind. If there is one thing that I’m thankful for Twitter, it’s forcing people to think and communicate in shorter sentences. Stay away from vague knowns and ambiguous adjectives. Once you start nailing down your “Outsider” language, you’ll start to see keywords that speak to your potential customers. After all, it’s all about creating stylized synergistic appropriations.