Learn the Language of Your Customer: SES Latino Speaker

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MIAMI - To ensure success in search engine marketing, it is important to understand which terms to target. Targeting the wrong terms could lead to disaster: your audience may never find you.

That was the key message from a session July 10 called "Search Term Research and Retargeting" at the Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo Latino '06 in Miami.

"First and foremost, remember that it is not about the keywords you want to be found on," said Christine Churchill president of KeyRelevance, Wylie, TX. "It is about learning the language of your customer."

Ms. Churchill recommended learning the lingo of customers through interviews, surveys, customer focus groups, reviews of discussion forums and blogs.

Another useful way of thinking up relevant keywords is by having lists made up within the company, she said. Good keywords can be found in print collateral, press releases and on company products and reviews.

"It is imperative to see what competitors are doing," said SES co-panelist Larry Mersman, vice president of Trellian Software, El Segundo, CA. "Reviewing their Web site [is one way of doing that]."

The speakers all agreed that using keyword research tools is crucial to the selection process.

"WordTracker, Google's keyword tool, Overture, Terespondo and Keyword Discovery [are among some tools out there]," said Emerson Calegaretti, senior sales manager at Google Brazil.

These tools list possible keywords for sites in a rating system where the ones that have been used for the most searches appear at the top and so on.

Mr. Calegaretti also said that when targeting keywords, marketers should be thinking language and geographic options.

Including misspellings of keywords could also help, Ms. Churchill pointed out.

"When it comes to the Latin American market, specifically, it is important to remember all Spanish is not the same," Ms. Churchill said. "Due to that, it is important to hire a native speaker who knows the local connotations of certain words and grammatical differences based on location."

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