updated: October 7th, 2009 / Ross Johnson / 1 Comments

online langauge analysis / linguistic analysis

I attended an interesting discussion last night by Ed Vielmetti of Pure Visibility in which he discussed the difference between language used by providers of goods or services vs those who use the same goods or services. The problem in short is that what you label your good/service is not always what your client would label your good/service, and if you fail to realize that you could be losing business.

The solution is to perform language / linguistic analysis, which allows you to discover what words, phrases, and terms that people use when talking about your business. The most common use after obtaining this information is to use in as “keyword” research for search optimization or pay per click services.

This is of course effective, as you have now positioned yourself in front of those people who are interested in your product/service by bidding or optimizing for their used keywords. However too many people stop there.

Once someone reaches your site you must be conscious of their language expectations. If a user reaches your site looking for “green widgets” and you fail to mention that term anywhere (instead referring to it as a green doohickie) the user is likely to leave in frustration after they can no longer find the widget they were looking for.

Ideally your whole site should reflect the analysis that you have made in terms of language. Your site has specific goals, which should be predetermined from before it was built. Every aspect of the site then must reflect those goals, including copy, labeling, and vernacular.

You may be tempted to use complex language and intelligent words, but unless your research shows those are the terms your target market is indeed using and looking for you simply will be driving away potential clients/customers. Make sure that your copy, terms, and language all compliment the marketing strategy of your website. To overlook this important area is to cripple yourself before you even begin.

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