Beware Industry Lingo in Search for B2B SEO, PPC Advertising

People who work in industry deal with industry-specific vocabularies. Words people commonly use in everyday life have very different, often twisted, meanings in industry. For example, in the chemical industry, you don’t need cucumbers for pickling. In the laundry industry, you may take the cake from one machine to another but you don’t want to eat the cake.  In metalworking, even veteran screw machine operators still laugh to themselves when describing their jobs to people outside the industry. Using these words properly in advertising, Websites, articles and other marketing materials establishes a connection with the target audience and demonstrates you’re a member of that audience. But when it comes to search, these keywords with multiple meanings create other challenges.

In organic SEO, clicks are free but that doesn’t mean we want to inundate our sales or customer service staff with requests from people looking for a completely different product or service. Focus on ranking for the longer, more descriptive key phrases used in the industry – diaphragm pump parts rather than diaphragms, for example, or 55-gallon chemical drum rather than drum. Ideas for these key phrases are often handed to us as related searches shown at the bottom of the search results page. If you sell dry cleaning presses, for example, it makes more sense to try to dominate industry-specific key phrases like dry cleaners press machine than to try to compete for keywords like press and presses that are also used in the printing, powder metal, fitness and coffee industries. There is also a far greater likelihood of achieving a high ranking towards the top of the page with this approach.

In PPC advertising, every click costs money so focusing on the target audience becomes even more vital. Selecting longer, key phrases versus individual keywords not only allows you to dominate the searches your target audience most often uses but also at a far lower cost per click than using the individual keywords. In many cases, capturing a 100% search impression share whereby your ad shows up every time the key phrase is searched is both doable and affordable. The longer or more focused the key phrase, however, the less searches available to capture. 

When a limited number of searches or other factors require using the broad, individual keyword, write the ad message using the esoteric, industry terminology to capture the desired clicks and help filter out everyone else. Timers, for example, are used everywhere for a million different applications. But a headline such as “Timers for Electroplating Bath” attracts the target audience and deters clicks from people trying to boil the perfect three-minute egg. Using this approach in conjunction with longer, descriptive key phrases ensures the ad shows up for as many relevant searches as the budget allows at the least cost.

Any amusing terminology in your industry that doesn’t quite translate outside of work? To share it or for a free conversation about your Web strategy, email paul at or call 908.479.4231.

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Paul Entin’s Marketing In Real Life explores every facet of marketing from advertising, PR and lead generation to content marketing, direct response and the latest in marketing automation – and more. Paul Entin’s Marketing In Real Life provides real-life insight into the relationship among sales, marketing, and customer service – and the customer – plus quick commentary from epr founder, Paul Entin.