Keywords and Jargon: Can Your Customers Find Your Content?

The main purpose of any business website is to reach customers. This means ensuring your site is well optimised for search engines, allowing your site to be found and accessed by your target market.

What is a keyword?

If you have a website or are looking to set one up, you may well have considered the keywords you will be using. The dictionary defines ‘keyword’ as ‘a word or concept of great significance’. When writing for the web, a keyword holds a great deal of importance: it shows the search engines what your site is all about and enables your pages to be correctly indexed. It then allows your customers to find you by searching for terms which match your keywords.

In future posts, we will look at the different kinds of keywords, the placement of those keywords in your site, and using them to best effect to improve your placing on search engines. However, before we look at that, it is important to ensure that the keywords you have chosen are relevant to your target audience.

Knowing your audience

When people use search engines to find businesses, the search terms they use will usually be jargon free, quick and simple. Unless your site is aimed at insiders to your industry, it is best to avoid the use of technical names and specific terms. For example, if you are an electrician, you may wish for the term ‘consumer unit’ to be one of your keywords, as working with these will be an important aspect of your business. This is the term you would probably use if you wanted to find a supplier. The top five organic search results for the term ‘consumer unit’ on Google are trade supply websites. However, as a customer of an electrician looking to have your consumer unit replaced or fixed, you would most likely use the widely known term ‘fuse box’. This search term brings up results for companies offering electrical services such as repairs and replacements. If you want customers to find you and make use of the services you offer, you should therefore use ‘fuse box’ as a keyword, rather than ‘consumer unit’.

Making sure that your content is specific to your audience will greatly improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO), as it will ensure that what is on your site matches up to the terms people are using to try and find you. If your keywords are overly technical but your target market does not have a working knowledge of your industry, you may well find your site gets missed by your potential customers.