Monday, July 5, 2010
What's in a name? Make your products Googleable!
Some of the keywords that that convert well (a.k.a. result in sales) for my ecommerce website are my company brand name and my product names. This traffic converts well because it’s visitors who’ve come to my site and already know what we sell and they’re seeking it out.
In the past I’ve talked about the importance of a good brand name and search engine optimization, but product names are also an important part of branding and SEO. This is because when customers wear your products out in public or display your products in their homes they’re advertising for you. Their friends and passersby see your products and maybe they want them.
Your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to find your products, and that means giving products names that describe them. In the design world I often see companies giving products cutesy names like “The Josephine Pendant” or “The Romance Hobo”. While these product names might have a story behind them, they make it very hard for customers to seek out these products.
Imagine a consumer saw your “Josephine Pendant” on the subway but she searches for “Silver and aquamarine stars pendant” (because that’s what the pendant looks like). Is she going to find your product? Maybe not, you’ve optimized for “Josephine Pendant” and that’s probably what’s in your title tag and file name.
Imagine another customer knows she wants a bright red cotton hobo bag. The “Romance Hobo” might be just that, but this customer doesn’t know anything about “Romance Hobos” she just knows what she wants her new bag to look like.
The point is, you have to optimize product names and product descriptions to match the way customers shop. Customers rarely know about your clever product names so it’s important to use the language they speak.
Here are a few ways you can help customers find your products online:
Choose names that describe your product
Make your product names descriptive. If it’s a black satin mini dress call it a black satin mini dress, don’t call it the “sweetheart” dress. You might want to call it the “Sexy Black Dress” or the “Going Out Dress” but make that decision based on research. Pull up Google’s Keyword Tool and find out if there’s actually search volume for a “Going Out Dress” or a “Sexy Black Dress”.
Write a product description that uses the right keywords
To follow my example above, if you do determine that “Sexy Black Dress” is the name you want to go with, make sure your product description uses words that describe the product’s style, materials, color, etc. Is it an A-line? Is it strapless? Is it belted? Answers to these questions may be self-evident in your product photos, but putting specific descriptors in your copy helps customers looking for your exact product to find you.
Google your own products
Take a look at your inventory and imagine you’ve seen it in a friend’s home or on a stranger on the street. How would you then go about finding those products on the internet? What keywords come to mind? Plug those words into Google and see if your items come up. If they don’t you’ve got some work to do.
Ask your friends to help
It can be hard to be objective about your own products. Ask friends to find your products online using only words that describe the items. Can your friends find your products? Did they find your competitor’s products first?
Ask your friends what words they’d use to seek out your items and take note of what they say. These are the words and phrases you’ll want to work into your title tags, file names and product description copy.
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