Keywords: Using Language to Your Advantage

Keywords are an excellent way of catching current and potential new customer’s attention.

Short and simple phrases, linked with short codes make getting in touch with your business easier than ever. So how can you make the most out of them?

How do keywords work?

SMS keywords are either a single word or short phrase.  Which users can type in the main body of their text to the linked short code in order to receive a pre-defined set of information from your company. For example, those in the property business could use the name of a property (for example, ‘Hall Farm’, ‘1 Bridge’ or ‘Plot 2’ to send the corresponding particulars on a ‘for sale’ board.  Charities can use a call to action with a set monetary amount (e.g. ‘donate10’ or ‘donate20’) on posters.  Takeaway restaurants could use the word ‘menu’ on their delivery vehicles to have their latest offerings sent straight to customers’ phones.

What are the benefits?

The best reason to use keywords and short codes is to entice new customers on the go. If users don’t walk or drive past your establishment every day, your company may not be the first to come to mind. However, if they see your adverts with keywords and short codes, they can receive the necessary information, upon request, with only a few taps of a keyboard. Using a short code and keyword are also a great way of building an opt-in database.  Allowing businesses to then ask users to opt-in to further communications.

What keywords should you be using?

The type of keywords you can use are completely dependent on the information you’re offering to customers. For those offering information for something physical – for example, the previously mentioned takeaway menu or property particulars – a noun works best. For those offering information on services, verbs which have a call to action are best.  For example, ‘donate’ for a charity, ‘build’ for a construction company or simply ‘call’ to allow users to register their interest in having a phone call in the near future.

Keywords and short codes are also a great means of attracting customers in via offers. Particularly for the bar, restaurant and events industries, ‘discount’, ‘241’ or ‘half price’ are enticing and clear for users to understand and action. You could even link these with an automatic response, such as an SMS voucher, meaning customers can immediately get their offer and store it safely on the device they used to request it.

What keywords should you avoid?

Your keyword may be seen and used when the customer still has a full and constant view of it – but this isn’t always the case. Property ‘for sale’ boards on a fast road and keywords advertised on moving vehicles only give prospects a few seconds to understand and remember the information. Even users who have a long time to process the keyword and short code may not be able to use it right away.  A good example is on the London Underground with no phone signal.

Firstly, try to keep your keywords as short as possible. Linguistic studies have suggested that reading longer words increases brain activity.  This means that the brain is working harder to process longer words, and your business needs this to be easy.

As well as shorter in length, brands should also aim for their keywords to be unique, as short words are more memorable. If you’re aware of a competitor using a certain keyword, make sure yours is different to stop customers getting confused!

Secondly avoid any forms of plurals.  Whilst some customers may text your short code when in full constant view of the advertisement, this is not always the case. Regardless of whether you are offering single or multiple services, potential enquiries could be lost if customers can’t quite remember if your keyword was ‘offer’ or ‘offers’.

Finally, avoid homophones – these are words that are spelt differently, but sounds the same when spoken out loud.  For example ‘heard’ and ‘herd’, ‘road’ and ‘rode’. These can make it more difficult for to recall the keyword after having seen it.  Studies have found, even when presented with a visual of a certain word, confusion can arise with its homophone.

There’s no doubt that picking a keyword for your business is not as simple as it may seem! That’s why you’re never on your own when you create an account with us – our team of experts are always here to help you choose the best keyword for your business.

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