Which word is best?

Whether it’s your business card, tagline, article title, web site title and description or ad, just the difference of a few words can either pull in prospects and clients or push them away. Getting it right can determine whether your phone is ringing off the hook or you are twiddling your thumbs hoping someone will call.

Just by changing a word or two or combining a couple of phrases, you can increase your response rate dramatically. Book publishers know that a book’s title can make the difference between it becoming a best seller or a loser. Wouldn’t you like your service and products to be best sellers?

In the past if you wanted to be sure you’d found the best name for your business or the right phrases to use in your marketing materials, you needed to hire a marketing research firm to get a reliable answer. Using phone surveys and focus groups, a market research firm can tell you which names turn prospects off and which make people want to buy your services and products. While marketing research firms may still be the best answer for mid to large businesses, most independent professionals and small business owners, don’t budget tens of thousands of dollars for this type of in-depth analysis. So how do you find out which key words and phrases will attract clients to you?

You can research and test words and phrases to dramatically increase the response to your marketing. Thanks to the development of the internet and a couple of free and almost free on-line tools you can easily research which words pull in prospects and which push them away. Use the steps outlined below, to refine the words you use in your marketing.

Start with a focus on the client’s problems
Don’t make the mistake of marketing your services and products by focusing on your name, professional label, your credentials or processes. Your prospects are concerned about their own problems, issues and needs. For example, the phrase ‘back pain’ is searched for on the internet one and a half times as often as ‘chiropractor’.

In self storage, your marketing materials should focus on solutions such as storage space, boxes, more room, storing personal belongings. Start with words that focus on prospects’ problems. If you can’t think of any, use words that describe the solution to their problems. What problems and solutions are your clients looking for?

Use attention-getting words
Everyone knows that certain words like ‘sex’ attract attention. The problem is ‘sex’ won’t help attract customers for a lawyer, cleaning service, caterer and certainly not self storage. Other words that get attention are ‘how to’, ‘secrets’ and ‘free’.

Fish where the fish are
Certain category phrases exist to describe most types of businesses or tasks. If you are a web designer, the phrase ‘web design’ is one. If you sell pyrotechnics, the more commonly used term is ‘fireworks’ by a factor of twenty-two. Improve the response to your marketing by using the common phrases people use to search on-line, the same ones used commonly in association with the services and products you sell. Wordtracker provides free on-line tools to help you find the words and phrases your prospects are interested in. Place in the search words you think people will use and word tracker will make a list of the top search strings association with this.

The easiest tool to test word or phrase popularity is Google trends. Type in possibilities from your list and look at how many times they were used in a Google search. You can compare different word searches, look at data from Australia, New Zealand, even Australian states if there is enough data for that search criteria. Make sure the keywords you use to describe yourself, and the ones you use on your web pages to help the search engines find your site are ones your prospects use too. A real trick with Google trends is not just to look for the most popular search items, but to find those words that are popular with searchers, but not as commonly used within the industry, hence not often on websites. Everyone will be competing on the top three search items, but you could be one of only a few businesses with top results for the less popular search items, which could still represent hundreds of searches a day.

Inexpensive market research
Once you know the category phrase that best describes your services and products,t he next step is to develop your tagline, or the copy you use in your website description or even yellow pages advertising copy. If you are a lawyer you might have a listing in the yellow pages under attorneys, but what should you say to prompt people to call your office? Do you know which of the following phrases is most likely to pull in prospects?
– Free consultation for serious injuries
– Need legal help?
– Find the right attorney
– Maximum cash compensation

Without doing some market research you won’t know which phrase, if any of these, is the most effective. Thanks to www.google.com.au/adwords it’s easy to test out your ides. Depending on the popularity of your key words and how long you run your test, it will cost twenty to fifty dollars or more at Google. You can sign-up, put up as many variations of your ad as you want, and see which ones people respond to. You may be surprised that changing a word or two can increase your response by factors of five or more. Once you see which phrases are working, try combining them to improve your response even more.

Even if you never run an ad, researching which phrases pull in prospects can help your business grow. Use the results on your business card, in your tagline, as the title to your website or as the title to an article and pull in many more clients and customers.

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