How SEO (Still) Works in 2024: Understanding the Language of Your Audience

Understanding the language of your audience - how SEO still works in 2024

In my last blog I talked about what I’ve observed as a disconnect between how businesses often talk about their own products and services and how their prospects and customers talk about them. This disconnect can become a significant obstacle when it comes to SEO designed to get audiences to your website. If you’re not using the same words and phrases that your target audience uses when they’re looking for products and services like yours, they’re not likely to find you. They’ll enter in their search terms and phrases and, other companies that have used the right words and phrases, will capture their attention first.

You don’t want that to happen.

Understanding the Language of Your Audience

But, how can you step outside your own strong feelings about what your products and services are called to recognize the way that others talk about you? Here are some suggestions:

  • Listen to your customers. Pay attention to how your customers refer to you as you have conversations with them or as you monitor comments they may make online. Instead of discounting their terms (which I’ve actually had businesses and their subject matter experts do) recognize that, “right” or “wrong,” it’s their language that will drive traffic to your website. Not, necessarily, yours.
  • Ask customer service and sales representatives for input. If you don’t have a significant amount of direct contact with your customers (and shame on you if you don’t, but that’s a topic for another blog…) ask your staff members who do.
  • Visit online forums and blogs frequented by your potential customers. We have opportunities today like never before to be “flies on the wall” when it comes to listening to our prospects and customers. It’s very easy to monitor what they’re saying and how they’re talking about issues related to your products and services. You can do this quite simply by following blogs, social media discussions and forums related to your industry.
  • Visit competitors’ web sites. You likely know who your top competitors are. Just as with your target audience, the internet gives you access to insights and data about your competitors that you never had access to before. Analyze the copy on your competitors’ websites. What terms and phrases are they using prominently? When you enter those terms and phrases how high do your competitors’ names come up in search results? How closely do those terms and phrases align with what you’re hearing from customers, prospects, and the public at large?

It is admittedly difficult for any of us to take off our blinders and toss aside our own preconceived notions about our businesses, and the products and services that we are so close to. But, the key to effective marketing is taking an “outside in” perspective. Nowhere is this more critical than when trying to boost SEO results.

(P.S. We offer web-site analysis services for our clients—if you’re interested, just let us know).


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results at reasonable rates.

In addition to content creation we specialize in helping B2B clients raise awareness and drive website traffic through a strong LinkedIn and X presence.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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