When I was in school, I was taught that language could be exclusive to certain groups; if you don’t know what the terms mean, you can’t really be a part of the group. Remember Valley Girl speak? Not everyone spoke that way, but if someone imitated it, you knew that they were trying to be (or mock) part of that group. The Catholic Church used to do mass in Latin, as a way to delineate between those who were part of the inner circle and those who were not. Similar linguistic issues have been around for as long as people have had language and have made themselves into groups. It’s the “us” and “them” mentality.
As SEO experts we can be sure there are a lot of terms that we are familiar with that are not familiar to our clients. Giving them a lesson in SEO lingo is the first step to allowing them to see what SEO can do for their businesses. You want to include them so that they don’t look at you blankly; if you get a blank stare your client has no idea what SEO can do and you may as well be talking into the wind.
Rob Ousbey wrote a great article on social media benchmarking that explains some terminology your clients may need to know. He defines the following:
- Domain mozRank: the strength of a website, based on the sites & pages that link to it
- Domain mozTrust: the trustworthiness of a website, based on links from trusted sites & pages
- Unique Visitors: Compete.com‘s estimate of the number of monthly unique visitors to a site
Although he uses these terms as a prelude to introducing the numbers proving the effectiveness of various social media sites, his introduction to his readers is the point. He’s teaching.
Our greatest failing as SEO experts can lie in assuming everyone who speaks to us or reads the articles and blogs we write will know the terminology we use. Not teaching our audience can be the pivotal point on which the success or failure of our own businesses lie.
Think about why Microsoft products are so successful: they are everywhere and they are easy to learn. Terms like window, desktop, menu, mouse, scrollbar, and point and click were not familiar to everyone in the computer world even fifteen years ago. Microsoft promotes its terminology and ensures we know what they are talking about. Their products are seen as accessible to everyone for just this reason.
Make SEO terminology accessible to your clients, so that you can include them and work together in forming an SEO business solution for them.