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A Word Makes All the Difference

September 20th, 2011

Paul Merrill

Old Navy sends me email. With three kids, our family takes advantage of some of their amazing deals. Anyhow, this little snippet caught my eye: performance fleece.

The fleece in question was a kids’ jacket. What kid cares about the performance of their jacket? Most kids I know only care about the style. (Obviously, this ad was pitched at the parents who buy their kids’ clothes.)

But the word “performance” brought to mind my backpacking days. Performance is important when you are braving the elements and want to keep your backpack as light as possible. Old Navy was trying to subtly say that their fleece is in the class of jackets you’d buy from North Face and not from Walmart.

That one little word elevated their fleece to the next level.

Similarly, in the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), one word can make a huge difference in the number of visitors to your site. I did research for a client and found that “ski” gets 45,500,000 global monthly searches. “Skiing” gets just 673,000. Guess which word they’ll be featuring on their website more?

(Give me a shout if you’d like help figuring out what your best words are.)

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