I often have this conversation with clients and potential clients.
The client will usually say something like, ” We don’t want to target (insert keyword here), because that’s not what people in our industry use when they search.”
There are many reason’s why this person might say this. Sometimes it’s because they’re too close to their work. Maybe they are only thinking of how people “in the business” talk and not how people search for products like theirs.
A great example is a recent project we were working on for a staffing firm. The company was strongly against using the word “temp” or “staffing.” as keywords. They said we could get away with using “temporary”, but definitely not “temp”. His reason was something along the lines of people aren’t looking for staffing anymore, they are looking for employment and employees. Not temp workers because “temp” has a bad connotation.
When this discussion came up, I went to my tool set to find out the truth about search. Here’s what I found.
This graph shows you the amount of times people have searched on the five terms on the left comparatively over time. Looking at the data, you can see they were definitely right about “employment agency.” People are definitely searching for this, but look a the trend and the two surprises: “staffing services” and “temp agency.” As “employment agency” has dropped off in the last few years “temp agency” has dropped then grown again from 2011 until now. “Staffing services” has held steady for almost the last 10 years. And look at “temporary agency.” It goes from bad to worse, well actually to the worst.
In the end we settled on using “employment agency” and “staffing services.” I wasn’t able to convince them to use “temp agency” on their home page, but we did use it on some lesser pages.
The lesson here is don’t let your preconceived idea of what you think people search for take away opportunities for keywords you can use to bring in traffic.