What’s In A Word?

If I asked you what Laparoscopic surgery was, would you know?

Well, what about minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?

Or how about keyhole surgery?

The reason I mention this is that the other day I was having a chat with a Spanish consultant (as you do when you're on holidays!) and I mentioned the word "keyhole surgery". He hadn't heard of this term before but used the words laparoscopic surgery (cirugía laparoscópica in Spanish). When he said this I started to think about keywords and target audience and how different people would use Google to find the same web page, with the same procedure.

All too often companies and individuals (who write, blog and tweet for them) have great difficulty in talking in terms of the other man's interests. Instead they seem to speak the language which their peers and colleagues understand. It is so important to get into the head of the people you're going to talk to and speak their language.

Now, in order to explore this use of keywords a littel further, I decided to pump in the terms, keyhole surgery, laparoscopic surgery and minimally invasive surgery into Google AdWords' Keyword Suggestion Tool. I must say that the results somewhat surprised me and there are many conclusions that can be drawn from them.


As you can see the top term of the three, for global searches, was laparoscopic surgery. Keyhole surgery, on a global basis, only generated under 10% of the searches that laparoscopic surgery did. However, if we look at the local searches - in this case from the UK - we can see that keyhole surgery achieves double the number of searches that laparoscopic surgery does. If you analyse this further, you will undoubtedly be able to filter these searches according to whether they were doctors, students, patients or 'other'. Once you better understand which people you intend to 'speak' to and the countries they come from, the better your engagement and conversions will be.

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