Keywords: Customer Pain Value and True Meaning

When we talk about keywords and keyphrases we talk about the commodities of an Internet financial economy. We talk about them in terms of position, density, broad match, exact match, and phrase matches. And we tally them up like wampum in Cost per Click values.

Imagine The Keyword Ticker Board….in place of a company’s stock ID you see, instead, a keyword, then a monetary figure that relates to the going value of each keyword “share,” followed by a + or – and another corresponding financial value, indicating profit or loss.

red and green LED stock ticker board

In the web markets, this is the distillation of words…

Any conversation about “keywords” is rarely about language, metaphor, and meaning. Rarely is it about WORDS. W-o-r-d-s.

english alphabet in neon

We add “key” to the front of “words” and it instantly token-izes them, doesn’t it?

black and white picture of a key with a piece of paper with "words" written on it; keywords concept

When we talk about keywords we haunt the online marketing forums hungry to ply AdWords and AdSense masters for “lists” of top paying keywords. We’re like keyword seagulls, diving in for scraps of fast food ditched on the beach sand. We leverage keywords for get-rich-quick schemes and the most uncreative inspiration for building a blog or website. We don’t talk about metaphors, flavors, nuance, poetry, sight, smell, pain, happiness, or any other connotations because that’s all very boring and non-scientific,

counter to cash-flow, and “doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.” Or does it?

Price of Pain – Meaning Behind Top Keywords

“Top paying” keywords tend to be utilitarian, wooden…and you might imagine quite lacking in meaning. Take these 3 I’ve listed below, for instance.  I sat with them for a minute and thought about each. From that exercise I retrofitted my own free associations and discovered that as utility as they are, they are valuable for these reasons:

  • “loan consolidation” — financially loaded, grabbed at by desperate people in desperate times, quick-fix, spam, credit crisis, oily money-hungry marketers
  • “data recovery” — lost computer documents, stolen data, numbers and figures down the drain, anguish, frustration, fired, disaster, lost business, bottom line, irreplaceable, f#$%, help…
  • “dui lawyer” –get me out of this quick, desperation, injury, death, embarrassment, arrest, jail, guilt, trauma, alcohol, loss of independence, seeking authority,  grabbing at straws, quick fix, a way out…image of distressed business man in bw

Do you see any similarity among these high-paying, high CPC keywords? Once you begin to explore the motivation behind them, their “inverted” connotations, it becomes clearer that they share a very high pain value…

Think about it…Does High CPC = High Pain Value?

Furthermore, could you implement these loaded keywords more nimbly once you explore their meanings and motivations–the prickly stuff lingering in the shadows behind their drab, steely fronts?

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