In this week’s video, I explain the importance of optimizing for how customers actually search for you. Businesses and marketers tend to use specific industry jargon, but most of the time, customers don’t use the same terminology when searching for the products or services a business offers. If you optimize for the jargon, but customers are using different terms, you’ll miss out on showing up in the right search results.


Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, I’ve got a quick tip to share that will help you avoid wasting optimization efforts so you can show up in searches for more qualified potential customers.

In last week’s video, I talked about how one of the problems with rank tracking as an SEO success metric is usually that businesses concentrate on a handful of vanity keywords. That handful of vanity phrases can also be problematic when it comes to site optimization.

I mentioned in that same video that the terms with higher search volume aren’t always the ones that convert the best, but it’s important to understand what those volume numbers mean when you’re optimizing your site.

Those search volume numbers are estimates of how many people search for that phrase on a monthly basis. Sure, sometimes you want to optimize for longer tail phrases that have lower volume because they convert at a higher rate – but that doesn’t mean you want to avoid the higher volume terms.

At a basic level, if you want to show up as a search result for a particular phrase, you need a page of content on your site about that concept. The big problem I’m here to help with this week is that far too many business owners optimize for the wrong search phrases.

You have to take your blinders off. You’re “in” your business and on your site every day. You’ve got your own jargon – your own way of referring to your products and services. In most cases, potential customers don’t use those phrases, and sometimes, they don’t even know those phrases.

If you optimize for your jargon and not for the phrases customers are using to search for your products or services, then you’re not going to show up in those search results. You’ll miss a huge opportunity to attract new customers.

My favorite example to use for this one is car dealers. Dealers love to say that they sell “pre-owned vehicles” because that sounds much nicer than “used cars.” The problem is – only dealers use that phrase. Customers search for “used cars”. If you’re a dealer and you optimize for “pre-owned vehicles,” you’re going to miss out on most of the potential searches in your area.

Let me show you just how bad things would be. Google Ads has a Keyword Planner tool that you can use to see approximate monthly search volume. I set the date range to show the last 2 years of data and only searches in the United States, and here’s what we see:

Pre-owned vehicles has about 3,600 searches per month in the entire US.
Used cars has about 823,000 searches per month.

For those of you who suck at math, that means “pre-owned vehicles” has less than half of one percent the search volume of “used cars”. Or if we flip that around, “used cars” has over 228 times as many searches per month.

So make sure you’re basing your optimization efforts on solid keyword research, so you’ll optimize for how people actually search. That way, you’ll be sure you’re showing up for the right searches and have a better opportunity to attract new customers.

That’s all the time we’ve got left for today, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.