As suggested in the previous blog post “Target Keywords Your Market Searches – Not What You Think They Search“, putting yourself in your audiences’ shoes is necessary to accurately identify which phrases are best to target. In most cases the proper key phrases include targeting both industry-specific jargon and simplistic, everyday lingo that can differ from region to region. To fully optimize a site and gain the greatest search results, knowledge of different spellings and uses of words will only help companies that do business outside of their local area.
As a quick demonstration of why it’s crucial to make the effort to identify word variants, take a company that sells its products exclusively in the U.S. The company has a team of proactive online marketers who have created, maintained and updated a list of targeted keywords which have generated great search results.
The business now wants to expand across the pond into the U.K. They know the demand for their products is there, but after some time search results have not gained a foothold. Why the difference? Both are English-speaking countries so the language barrier shouldn’t be an issue. The problem: chosen keywords may not be search-friendly because of a difference in spelling or use.
Here are some simple examples. In America cars have four tires, but in Britain they run on tyres. When you want to see a movie in the states you go the theater. In London, you would visit a theatre. Does this product come in many different colors or colours?
Although miniscule in the grand scheme of things, these varying spellings can have a debilitating effect on search results generated from one location to another. This is where thorough research and professional copywriting come together for SEO. When researching keywords there will be different search frequencies for variations of one word, and these alternatives should not be overlooked because keywords are not always appropriate for all markets.
Maintaining awareness of how your customers use targeted phrases in all locations is important when drafting new copy for your pages. By putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and finding the correct spellings and uses for target phrases, you’re practicing top SEO behavior/behaviour.