Are you like me? When you work with a client and they tell you they're bringing in a "brand manager" does your stomach start to tense - do your eyes roll up into your head - do you want to mumble something about your cat having a contagious skin rash (when you do not even own a cat) pick up your laptop and run out of the room never to return?
Why this extreme reaction? Because, and I can only speak from my own experience, brand mangers come in and spout fancy new terms they want to plaster all over the website and marketing material.
"We want to be known as the human capital management solutions resource"
"When you think integrated component technology applications - think Brand XYZ."
"We're going to name the new suite of services Technology Synergy products."
(quick disclaimer - not all brand mangers do this - some of my best friends are brand managers and they're wonderful smart people)
Here's the problem.
These aren't the words your customers are using to describe what they need, what their problems are or what they're looking for. They're not looking for "human capital management solutions" - they're looking for a staffing company. They're not typing "human capital management solutions" into search engines. They're typing "staffing company" or "staffing services".
From a search engine standpoint, of course you want to include the words or phrases customers use to describe their needs, problems, or solutions they are seeking. But these visitors will also respond when you use their vocabulary on your website.
I did an online copywriting job for a client who was previously using a lot of technospeak phrases. I re-wrote the copy using more simple language, using the language of their customers. The result? Conversion went from a trickle of leads a month to a flood. It's the first time I've ever had a client respond to the results of a project by saying they were "doing cartwheels". Now, keep in mind, there were also changes made in design and linking that also helped tremendously. But the copy did make a big difference.
What are you doing to find your best keywords? Are you speaking your customer's language? It affects everything you do from the copy on your website, to the design of your product. Be sure to check out Andrea Learned's post about a fabulous article I also read in the November issue of Fast Company. It's a must for anyone who's serious about connecting with their customers using their customer's language.