The importance of getting your keywords right

KEYWORD Get it right!

There’s no doubt that using a text keyword in your advertising can be a really effective way to get your customers to engage with you – IF you use them the right way.

The recent #nomakeupselfie trend highlighted the importance of picking the right keyword and communicating it effectively. The social media campaign quickly went viral and raised millions of pounds for Cancer Research UK, with selfie posters donating money by texting ‘BEAT’ to an SMS shortcode.

Unfortunately for Cancer Research – but luckily for the World Wildlife Fund – some phones autocorrected ‘BEAT’ to ‘BEAR’, meaning instead of donating, people registered their interest in adopting a polar bear. Unicef also received extra donations amounting to £18,625 by people texting ‘DONATE’ to the same number.

In order to make sure that get the most benefit from your keyword, make sure you make it as fool proof as possible. Here are our top five tips for making your keyword work for you:

  1. Make it memorable
    One of the best things about using keywords and short codes is that they are often easier for potential customers to remember than full phone numbers, email addresses or URLs. Keywords that use unfamiliar acronyms, special characters or multiple words are much more difficult to remember than a short, one syllable word.
  2. Make it easy to spell
    Words that you need a degree in English to be able to pronounce are not the best choices for keywords. If your customers are going to have a hard time spelling the word, there’s no telling where their messages to you could end up. Messenger is smart enough to redirect messages with spelling errors to the right inbox – but if the mistake spells someone else’s keyword then then that person will end up receiving the text! Simple, easy to spell keywords are always your best option.
  3. Plan for autocorrect
    As shown in the #nomakeupselfie campaign autocorrect can changed even correctly spelled words into something completely different. You might think you’re being clever using the keyword ‘FROYO’ for your frozen yoghurt shop, but when that word is changed to ‘GROUP’ by the customer’s handset, you’ve lost out on a new communication. Test your keyword out on different operating systems before using – and if all else fails, claim the autocorrected word too to make sure you’re not missing out!
  4. Communicate it properly
    It might seem obvious, but when you’re telling people about your keyword & short code, make sure both parts are abundantly clear. Make sure that they are prominent and easy to read on printed material, and of course, spelt correctly. Customers have got to be able to remember both parts, or their message could end up somewhere totally unexpected!
  5. Make any charges clear
    We don’t offer premium rate services, but always make it clear that messages sent to your short code number may be charged at standard network rate, depending on what’s included in your customer’s mobile tariff.