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Using Excellent Terms That Don't Apply To Your Biz


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12 replies to this topic

#1 copywriter

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:43 PM

I recently was faced with a challenge. A client of mine (Mark Goodman of Accomplish Travel) wanted to use an excellent search term he'd found, but it had nothing (or hardly anything) to do with his business. However, it was such a good term, we just had to find a way to use it.

The term was "cheap travel insurance." However, Mark doesn't sell cheap travel insurance. "Affordable," yes, but not cheap.

As he told me the difference between "cheap" insurance and what he offers, we decided the best place for this term would be on his comparison page. Even though he didn't sell cheap and dirty insurance, we were able to use the term.

I asked Mark's permission to show the page. You can see it here.

http://www.accomplis...ompareRates.htm

With a little creativity, you can find ways to cash in on these types of terms.

#2 Jill

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:23 PM

That is an interesting dilemma and way to get around it.

But does the site rank highly for the phrase? I get a bit nervous about using techniques like that.

As the search engines get better at semantics (don't think they're very good now), they should be able to spot that sort of thing. It would know that this page really isn't about "cheap travel insurance" but is actually knocking it.

I have had clients who want to get phrases onto their site in similar ways. For instance by saying, "we're not a keyword phrase" but really more of a "different keyword phrase."

I just don't feel comfortable doing that and don't think it will be effective, at least not for the long haul.

I'd be interested in knowing how the insurance one goes. Is it still too soon to tell?

Jill

#3 Toadally

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 08:18 PM

I think it's a good example of cheap travel insurance because it's ABOUT cheap travel insurance and it's pitfalls. To me, that has relevance. There are many other instances where the top ranked sites in Google are negative to the actual search term. I also think they should be there to offer the pros and cons of the keyword sites. Where else would the searcher get them?

#4 copywriter

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 09:33 AM

Yeah... it's a bit too early to tell. We know that after the rewrite of his index page and the comparison page that sales doubled! (Pretty exciting!) But I don't have stats on the rankings yet.

Well, I made sure that I found a way to make the phrase relevant. In the comparison page, it gave opportunity to discuss the other guys and us.

Good point about the engines though. Will keep that in mind. Wouldn't you say that - as long as it has relevancy - it would pass muster?

#5 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 10:01 AM

We know that after the rewrite of his index page and the comparison page that sales doubled! (Pretty exciting!) But I don't have stats on the rankings yet.

Well, that actually does make sense! Whether it's good for the engines, it was darn good copy, and it was a good way to set him apart from the cheap brands.

Wouldn't you say that - as long as it has relevancy - it would pass muster?

Most likely it would be fine. And we're pretty far off from the search engines being able to do things semantically anyway!

Jill

#6 mcanerin

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 06:46 PM

I think that a site that provides the negatives of a product or service is at least as important as a page touting said product or service.

For example, if I did a search on a movie I was thinking of seeing or a product I was thinking of buying I would certainly consider a review (either negative or positive) to be relevant - sometimes more relevant than the "Official Site". The popularity of sites like e-opinions attest I'm not alone in this.

I certainly wouldn't want Google deciding that I shouldn't know that everyone who saw the movie hated it! I would also be interested in information like - "if you liked/hated that, you should also like/hate this"

I could see a need for "hate" site removal, since the primary purpose there isn't review and opinion, but negative information itself should be considered relevent.

Case in point, I may actually be interested in buying better insurance now that I've seen the page :manybounce:

#7 mcanerin

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 06:56 PM

Second note: I agree with Jills "gut" as far as being asked by a client to use a keyword just because it could generate more traffic from people who may be marginally interested in the topic.

I'd approach it like it was spam unless I could genuinely use it in a relevent way that was likely to generate sales (after all, unless you are a banner farm it's not the traffic, it's the sales that matter - tricking people is bad) I think copywriter did a great job in this case.

I also have a client with a keyword problem, but it's the opposite. He really wants to be cool and trendy, and therefore doesn't want to use normal words to describe his site. For example, they do custom t-shirts but he hates "normal" words and want's to call them T's throughout <sigh> Any suggestions from my esteemed collegues on this one?

I had one idea on creating a list of "Words we don't use here" packed full of keywords, but it seems forced and trite - I'd really rather use something else. Suggestions?

#8 Peter

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 02:56 PM

Good SEO Consultants always have an eye out for ilegal SEO techniques, and they should. But to me this example does not have any ilegality.

I would call this page very simply an ad page. A good written ad to convince people that getting the cheapest isn't always the best buy. It also tries to show that they are everything but a "cheap" insurance company, yet not an expensive one neither.

You could do the same in a 1 page ad in a newspaper.

This page helps people to convince that this company does not want to "screw" them. (excuse my french)
More sales could actually have been generated mostly by the visitors who found the site through other search terms, but did read this page.

Best regards,

Peter

#9 copywriter

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 03:14 PM

Thanks everyone. No... if it just didn't fit at all and was only used as a ploy to generate more traffic, I would never have done it. But with a little creativity we were able to work it in nicely I thought :)

As for the client who wants to use "T's" instead of "real" keywords <giggle>, I'd just have to tell the fellow that my job, as the SEO, is to offer you solutions that will increase traffic to your site. Here are the keyphrases that are most likely to do that. We can use the term "T's" if you want, but you'll be sacrificing traffic and potential customers.

However, some hard heads just won't listen :cheers:

#10 dragonlady7

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 07:39 AM

Hm... Yes, offline catalogs for the teenybopper set often use "T" instead of the mundane "T-Shirt", but even teenyboppers don't go on Google to search for Ts.
Ah, the oppression of the fuddy-duddy world. Words that don't make any sense out of context don't make good search engine keywords.

#11 mcanerin

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:40 PM

No kidding. You wouldn't believe how many more visitors I'd get if I mentioned the word "wet" anywhere on the T-Shirt page :P

Naturally they wouldn't be very relevant visitors - but boy would I get visitors lol

That reminds me, while researching this phrase I came across a phrase that doesn't fit with the business but not only has a huge KEI but a really good "hey that would work" gut check as well.

I've considered registering a domain based on it and developing a site in my copious amounts of spare time <rolls eyes>, but am not too sure about it ethically. I've checked with the client - they don't care and aren't interested, but it still feels "grey". What if they would have been interested? Would they have moral ownership to the idea? I'm a consultant, not an employee, but just because you can do something legally doesn't mean you *should*.

We all do keyword research all the time - at one point or another almost every one of use will learn something doing research with one client that could be used or personal benifit - either for another client or for ourselves. What's everyone's take on this?

Example: Doing research on a real estate client will net you all sorts of keywords and concepts. Since real estate is location based, you could easily transfer the info to a client in another city and save time/money. I'd call this "experience", others may call it "stealing from Peter to sell to Paul". Any thoughts?

#12 Jill

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:46 PM

Example: Doing research on a real estate client will net you all sorts of keywords and concepts. Since real estate is location based, you could easily transfer the info to a client in another city and save time/money. I'd call this "experience", others may call it "stealing from Peter to sell to Paul". Any thoughts?


That doesn't seem any different from using the knowledge you've learned from working with previous clients. Everything we do is a learning experience (or should be).

I see absolutely nothing wrong with using the information you gleaned from one client's research, for another client if it's relevant.

Jill

#13 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 05:53 AM

Maybe not in general practice, but in copywriting it will get you a VERY bad reputation! Now, I've used some of the principles and broad concepts from client to client, but never the same copy just altered enough to suit.




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