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SEO's and Weasel Words

Every morning I receive Instore Magazine's Work Smart Tip of the Day email. These tips are very brief and take only a few seconds to read.

Generally they are good and I recommend all jewelers to signup for more junk in their inbox ;-) All joking aside, you really should sign up for them and then ACTUALLY READ them every day.

BTW, if you are reading this and you sign up for Instore's tips then please sign up for the jWAG Daily Golden Nugget too.

Here's this morning's Tip (#171 August 29, 2011)
Avoid weasel words like may, might, could...
WHY? Because they suggest to your customer that you’re not confident in what you're saying.
HOW? Use alternatives such as "definitely," "we will," "I know" and "consider it done."
(read this tip on the Instore website)

Since I'm in the SEO and website business I'd just like to point out that "weasel words" are used all the time by myself, my team and all of my industry peers.

It's not that we don't know what we're talking about, it simply that the game changes every day and we cannot guarantee that what we say today will be valid tomorrow.

Take our Daily Golden Nuggets, for example, they are absolutely loaded with coulds, shoulds, cans, should nots, dos and don'ts; but normally we are prevented from using absolutes in our education.

It's not that we don't want to, it's simply that if we do then the Federal Trade Commission will always want us to back up our claims with published research data. Although we've love to do that we are prevented by either confidentiality issues or, even more importantly because past success never dictates future success when using the same methods.

When you are looking to hire any website company, SEO company, internet marketing company you shouldn't base your determination on their past success, but rather on the methods they use.

Don't discredit an SEO because they use weasel words, because they might just be covering their ass against FTC regulations. On the other hand they might be covering their ass because they are clueless. You have to determine which "CYA" they are worried about.

On the other hand, please run as fast as you can from any SEO company that does use absolute terminology.

Phrases to watch out for when hiring an SEO:
"We guarantee 1st page placement."
"We guarantee we will increase your mailing list."
"We guarantee 1000 backlinks each month."
"We guarantee increase of visitors."
"You will increase online sales."

Sure, someone can make such grandiose claims, but will all the increased links, visitors, signups and page 1 placement be worth anything?

There are ways to do it right and provide absolutes, but I've never met a retail jeweler, jewelry vendor or even a jewelry trade organization that had the intestinal fortitude to commit a large enough marketing budget to do it correctly and achieve those absolutes.

With more than 400 educational articles published here on jWAG, I hope the readers here do under understand the difficulty of getting internet marketing to work.


Thanks for reading
-Matthew Perosi
AT: 08/29/2011 08:37:43 AM   LINK TO THIS ENTRY

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1 Comment on SEO's and Weasel Words

Anonymous said...
I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I'll love to read your next post too.


Mcx Tips,
10/21/2011 at 07:42:58
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