April 28, 2010

What’s In a Name? Make Your Product Names Googleable

Filed under: Branding,Ecommerce — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 5:23 am

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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  1. Wow, great info!! Thank you. New ideas for me to work with. We all want to increase views & convert views to sales, but sometimes with our own blinders on, it’s hard to see how. Thanks.

    Comment by Deb S — April 28, 2010 @ 10:45 am

  2. These are good tips. I think it’s a fine balance between naming your product with a title that is easy to find while spicing it up enough to make it exciting and intriguing.

    Comment by Courtney — April 28, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  3. Wonderul tips-thank you so much for sharing

    Comment by Jamie Creason — April 28, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  4. Thank you so much, for the great information.

    Comment by renee — April 29, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  5. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I have some re-writing to do!

    Comment by Mona — April 29, 2010 @ 7:09 am

  6. Good tips, thank you. I will keep on doing improving my title, product name and stuff.

    Comment by DesignDream — April 29, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  7. This is exactly what I need — tips to find my stuff. I used to worry about coming up with cute names for my jewelry but now I see it’s better to be direct.


    Comment by Lee — April 29, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  8. Thank you, as always for the great information. I’m in the process of (slowly) updating my website. I have always struggled with titles and descriptions. This post has just made my life easier. : )

    Comment by Mary-Jo — April 29, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  9. Thank you for the great article, I am going off now to review my product names in a realistic light!

    Comment by Nina — April 29, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  10. Great information – I did at one stage use cutsey names but now realise that’s not what people are looking for! Thanks.

    Comment by Octavi — April 30, 2010 @ 6:04 am

  11. To the point , concise , direct , thank you.

    Comment by chinmayo — April 30, 2010 @ 7:26 am

  12. Thanks, great information, explained in understandable language!

    Comment by pearlies4girlies — April 30, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  13. Thanks for making this all so readily understandable!

    Comment by thefortunatehome.com — April 30, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

  14. thank you this was very helpful.

    Comment by marybeadz — May 2, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  15. I never thought of googling my product. Thank you so much!

    Comment by nancy monsebroten — May 3, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  16. Fantastic tips to keep in mind! This is always one of my biggest problems, to think as the customer would think.

    Comment by Regina — May 9, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

  17. That’s a great point about the “Josephine Pendant.” I think many artists who create products feel that “silver stars pendant” might be a bit boring, so they try to jazz it up a little. Problem is, this backfires when customers try to search for the item.

    Thanks for the great reminders!

    Comment by Julie - A Fine Tooth Comb — May 11, 2010 @ 7:25 am

  18. […] What’s in a name? Make your product names Googleable. […]

    Pingback by Small Business Success Reading List - Packaging, Marketing, Titles, And Pricing | Handmade Spark — July 4, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  19. This was totally a slap on the head Eureka moment for me! Now I think of how would people describe a pair of earrings I’m selling and try to put those keywords in my descriptions. THANK you for posting this! File under: Why didn’t I already do that??? 🙂

    Comment by Beth — July 7, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

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