The language of your reader will give you the keys,
the building blocks to construct your site.


Do you have your list of questions in hand?

You won't be able to complete this chapter until you take the time to list the potential questions of your visitors. You need these questions to extract the key words and key expressions your reader will be most likely to use.

An extract from the manuscript of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road"

What kind of language?

The first thing you want to notice is the kind of language your reader will use. It is often not the language you would use. You want to identify and list how your reader will name things and what exact sentences they will use to ask for them. 


The words and key expressions your reader will use when they speak

In your list of questions, you can start to regroup the words your clients use most often.

They will be looking for a "clean guesthouse or hotel in your town near the train station", and maybe they won't be asking for a "budget accommodation a reasonable distance from transportation". This is the type of misunderstanding between website readers and builders that happens surprisingly often. 

You want to identify the expressions your visitor will use and recognize most easily.


Localization

Note that Keywords don't have the same importance. Often the location is crucial. Readers won't search for "great Japanese restaurant", they will however look for "Japanese restaurant in New York". The web is vast, if you are a location based business, mentioning where you are is not only important it is essential. 


Your own keywords

You also want to list the specific more exceptional language that your business is presenting. You want to talk about what makes you different and special. In terms of marketing you could call this a niche. 

For example the things that a traveler finds in a guesthouse that would make him want to come back, such as live jazz, cooking classes at the guesthouse, specialty deserts or even something simple like a mountain view are also the things that people will be searching the web for. 


The expressions your visitors will likely use on search engines

The way a person asks for information when he talks, or when he reads a website and when he asks a question on Google are often very different. It is your job to know the language that your client will use in each of these cases and adapt your website to it. 


The usual mistake

Of course, there is always the temptation to put in your titles of your site and in your pages only what you think Google "likes". But you need to be very careful that your readers are also able to understand and feel that you are talking to them. It is better to explain things to your readers rather than trying to feed the search engines.

Also, repeating the same things over and over will not help your site on Google but it will really hinder the way your readers experience your site. Google also will try to detect if there is an abnormal density of keywords.


Before you start writing, 

let your subject determine the words: The lexical field.


The language used should, where possible, stay as clear as possible. From the list of words that you have gathered from your readers you should select the ones that are most likely to be specific to the topic you are presenting. 


For example if I were to list the words: windshield, steering wheel, transmission, tire, road, transportation.


And then said I want to sell you oil, you would not make the mistake of thinking I was selling cooking oil because all of the words that I have used fall into the lexical field for a car. When writing for the web, you need to try to keep the vocabulary you use clearly in the same lexical field as what your users and Google are expecting to see.


___

You are now on the road to creating a very well organized website for your reader and, as a side effect, you are also creating a very nice website for Google and other search engines. Too often professionals will ignore these steps even if it makes the rest of the process much easier.  

Now, let's see what you want to focus on when you write your answers to build the pages of your website.

Keeping your vocabulary similar to your reader's is a way to ensure clarity