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Your keywords suck and are outdated

You probably built your website years ago by now. You’ve probably never updated your CV, just added your latest jobs and clients to the top. Your corporate bio, what you do, your products and services were probably written back either when your company opened, when you ported your brochures to the web or the last time you did a major revision. Like I said, probably years ago.

Admit it

Why does this matter? Because language evolves very rapidly and how it evolves has little or nothing to do with what you call yourself, how you describe you your products and services, or the keywords you have locked and loaded into your tweets, your websites, your hashtags, your textual links, your Google AdWords contextual ad campaigns, your Facebook ad programs and Twitter promoted tweets.

And, if you don’t call your services what others are searching for, you’ll be surprisingly invisible when it comes to your prospects finding you on the Internet — and if you don’t add the exact, literal, titles, subjects, hashtags, and keywords that people are using to find you and your valuable services, then you won’t be found at all.

As I have said again and again, Google may well be the most sophisticated, intuitive, and relevant search engine going, but there’s a terrible secret that even Google doesn’t want you to know about when it comes to folks searching for and finding you:

Google plays dumb until it needs to be smart

Google is amazingly painfully literal and only gets smart and clever when and if it can’t find relevant results that satisfy its customers immediately and easily. When it can’t find what you’re looking for, Google will search its databases for name variation, for light synonyms, and the like — but if Google Search doesn’t need to be ingenious, then it’ll just be useful, serving only results that explicitly mention the exact keyword strings that the customer shoehorns into search.

Why, you may ask, does it play dumb? Well, being smart is very resource-intensive so if Google’s literal, all it had to do is find a match in it’s cached-and-prepped index — literal is quicker, simpler, and mostly a better result than when Google tries too hard to be clever — it’s win-win, until it doesn’t result in you or your business anywhere to be found. And that’s your fault, man — own up!

Let me give you a personal example

When I started in digital, what I did was called new media marketing. Then it became social media marketing, then blogger outreach, then digital PR and digital marketing. Another example is a service I offered which cleaned bad search engine results off of Google. I called it defensive SEO then defensive search. Now it’s called Online Reputation Management (ORM).

And, who knows what digital PR and ORM will be called in the future? It’s always evolving and one needs to not only keep up with what the professional wordsmiths and copywriters are calling what we do, it’s also what sticks, what people adopt, and finally, what people call what you and I do if they’re not part of our acronym-loving digital Internet cabal — we’re very often way too clever for our own good.

So, have you brainstormed recently? Have you interviewed your friends, clients, mom, dad, high school mates, wife, husband, kids, and colleagues? To ask them when they would search for were they involved in a particular scenario and needed someone to perform a service like yours?

“How do I clean bad search results from Google”

Folks don’t often get onto Google with a set of keywords or a professional industry style guide to help them choose the la phrase juste. They’re just writing words into Google as though asking the netherworld for answers via their handy Ouija board or Magic Eight Ball.

And it’s not so much about dumbing down or becoming a simpleton, it’s about covering all your bases. Dude, even dumb people have money, have businesses, and have things they need from you — it would be foolish to only avail yourself to a clientele who thinks exactly like you do — that’s a fool’s errand.

So, give it a go and make a schedule. Keep your ear to the ground and be sure to interview prospects and everyone else to find out what the cutting edge of your industry’s language is as well as what the long tail of your prospects’ language is as well — and then make sure that this language is constantly rolled into the already rich dough that is your businesses Internet and web assets: bios, social media profiles, social network platforms, websites, micro-sites, personal sites, promotional pages, your blog, and Tumblr — everything you can.

And if you do maintain the keyword-based advertising campaigns for yourself and your clients, you need to work on updating your keyword list as well. These string go stale surprisingly quickly. In fact, I don’t want to waste any more of your time — move your butt and get going right now!

Good luck and happy hunting!

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Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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