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Keyword research – watch for acronyms, jargon, and user intentions

I’m in the midst of some keyword research and just wanted post quickly to remind everyone how important it is to keep the INTENTION of the search phrase in mind when selecting your keyword phrases.

Everyone has acronyms that they use in business. For example, SEO, or MLS. What does the acronym STD make you think of?

For our client, its Short Term Disability. For the rest of you out there, I doubt your intention when you search for “California STD” is to set up some short term disability. HA.

How do I know? Well, Google tracks user activity for all searches, and all of the page 1 results for “California STD” are about sexually transmitted diseases, preventing AIDS, etc. Google wouldn’t put all 10 results on page 1 about sexually transmitted diseases if that was not the primary intention of their searchers when they used the acronym STD. Google KNOWS what you want by tracking what you click on. And what you don’t click on.

Its also interesting to note that “California State STD” brings up results that are about half and half. Some of you ARE using that phrase for short term disability. Do you see how one word changes the intention of the phrase?

If you are doing your own research, bidding, and optimizing, make sure you don’t go after terms that could have a confused meaning. It will only waste your time and $$. I will surely be reporting these findings to our client so they can avoid this problem!!

Go take a look at your keywords – are you using acronyms that have multiple meanings? Be careful if you are, maybe you need to dig deeper for phrases that are 100% relevant to YOUR target market 🙂