Step away from the thesaurus!

LurkingAlthough it’s true that synonyms are an SEO copywriter’s friend, not every word in your thesaurus is created equal.

Don’t turn to a thesaurus unless you know how to use it.

Make sure the words you choose really convey the proper message.

It’s a lurking marketing nightmare

A few years ago, I walked past a sign for a youth camp which read, “Where Adventure Lurks.”

Lurks? Really?

Do you really want to send your kids to a camp with things lurking?

According to, lurk means:

“To lie or wait in concealment, as a person in ambush; remain in or around a place secretly or furtively.”

Not quite the image I would want to have in my head – especially since this banner was up shortly after the tragic deaths of two young local girls (Amber Dubois and Chelsea King) had dominated the news. (The predator that killed these girls – in at least one of the two cases – had hidden in bushes and ambushed the girl.)

Walk away before choosing the wrong word

I get it. We’ve all gotten stuck when writing. You may have already used a word and need a synonym. Sometimes it is frustrating and you just want to find a word that works.

Don’t be too hasty. When you can’t find the right word, you can:

  • Make a note, move on, and return to the word later
  • Take a break and look at it with fresh eyes
  • Throw in a word, but make sure you get someone to proof it for you.

It can save you and your client from a marketing failure.

What questionable words have you found in marketing?

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