While counseling business owners or meeting with prospects, I am often surprised at how some people try to be clever and instead end up confusing their website visitors and totally screw up their chances of appearing high in the organic search results.

So how do they do it?

Using Dollar Words When Your Audience Searches Using Simpler Words.

In their attempt to be cute or clever with the use of sophisticated, haughty or obscure words, they effectively deal themselves out of the search listings and turn off their prospects.

These people come to me acknowledging that their website doesn’t work, yet they find it hard to believe that their own arrogance can be the cause of it.

I’m not saying that boring is best. But visitors will expect some common sense and consistency from website to website. Plus the search engines have lots of competitor content to show above your links. So you need to eliminate as many of these unnecessary reasons that affect your chances of appearing high in the ultra-competitive results.

Here are just a few of the equal opportunity offenders from our files… (Names have been changed to protect the arrogant.)

“Applause”, “Be Advised” or “Words Of Others” is not the same as “Testimonials” or “Reviews.” Make endorsements clear.

“Wares” is a poor alternative to “Products.” I don’t want you to peddle your wares to me, I want you to demonstrate you have an effective solution to my problem.

“Our Stance” is not the same as “About Us.”

“Yum” is not the same as “Buy Online.”

“About Principal” — Extremely odd choice for the consultant’s bio. Be straightforward and don’t make me puzzled! (i.e. “About Us”, “About John Smith”, “Bios”)

“Musings” or “Editorials” is not clear to promote your latest News or Blog post.

Choose Wisely

A keyword strategy is an essential component of successful websites. Properly researched keywords, along with properly optimized navigation and content pages, will help to ensure that the search engines know what your content page is about and increase the likeliness of being found in search results.

Key Marketing Takeaway

Always remember to put yourself in the mindset of your visitor. Use the language they speak. Ditch the jargon, cute and overly clever language. Get to the point quickly and guide the prospect into a transaction.

I hope you find this helpful. Please add your pet peeve words to the comments below.