write transparent and entire product names to your product’s on-line presence
By Gradiva Couzin, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert and partner, Gravity Search Marketing
Congratulations! You’ve created products you’re proud of. They look great on store shelves, where customers may even be able to pick up your product in their hands to get a closer look. Now you want them to look just as great online.
You know everything there is to know about your products, but do you know how to describe them in a way that will attract online shoppers? Increasingly, suppliers are expected to provide product names and descriptions – in other words, marketing language – to flesh out their product pages in online stores. This can be a daunting task for suppliers, especially for those who have no marketing experience.
Here, we’ll focus on tips for naming your products to improve their chances of being found online and capturing your customers’ attention.
To empower online shoppers with the information they need to make a purchase, your online product names need to be complete, clear, consistent and discoverable. To perform best online, there’s a good chance your online product name will be slightly different from the name you’ve been using offline.
Here’s how to create effective product names for your e-commerce presence:
Write a product name that works on its own
The product name is one of the first pieces of information an online shopper will see. Often, it will be shown in a competitive environment, without many other product details around it. Here’s an example of product names in search results on Walmart.com:
The product names shown here do a good job of giving quick and thorough product information. All three of the above product names include the following information:
- Brand (Mobil or Valvoline)
- Product line (Maxlife, Extended Performance, Advanced Fuel Economy)
- What the product is, in words everyone knows (Motor Oil, Synthetic Motor Oil)
- Product Specifics (5W30, 0W-20)
- Size (5 Quart)
Here are a few fictional product name examples that don’t do the job as well:
- Maple Tree Farm Beef Summer Sausage – What size is this?
- Maple Tree Farm Little Smokies 14 oz – I know the size, but what is a “little smoky”? Is this some kind of sausage?
- StrongTown Bakery White Buns Sliced, 12 oz – How many buns am I going to get?
Shoppers are in a hurry, so if you leave them with questions, they’ll move on to another product that has all the answers. Make sure your product name tells the full story of your product, even in the absence of a photo or other details. Often, this means including a brand name, product line, size, and descriptive words. Here’s another example:
- So-so: Assorted Brownies Tin
- Better: Rothsberger Bakery Assorted Brownies Tin
- Best: Rothsberger Bakery Assorted Brownies Tin, 24 Brownies
If you are in doubt about whether your product name is clear and complete, try this test: Imagine instructing a stranger to purchase your product by telling them only the product name: “Please go to the store and buy a/an [product name].” Would they know exactly what to buy, or could they end up buying a similar product from your line, or a totally different item?
Use words that your customers are searching for
Many people find products by performing a search, either on a search engine like Google or directly on a retailer website:
To have the best chance at being discovered by shoppers, name your product using words that people use when they search. Product names are one of the key factors that are used by retailer websites and search engines to determine which products will be shown in search results.
Here are some rules of thumb that describe a searcher’s mindset:
- Searchers don’t always use your preferred terminology; they often use generic words
- Searchers may not remember your brand or product name
- Searchers avoid extra effort, and tend to type as few words as possible, particularly if they are on a mobile device
One tip covers you for all of the above: Be sure your product names include straightforward words a shopper would use to describe your product. The product name “Maple Tree Farm Little Smokies 14 oz” is a good example of a name that doesn’t do this! Some shoppers know that “little smokies” are a type of sausage, but many don’t. Since this product name does not include the words “Sausages” or “Mini Sausages,” it may not show up in search results for those words.
Follow the guidelines of the retailer or solution provider
It’s uncommon for retailers to provide specifications for product names, but if you’re working on product data for a specific retailer, be sure to check if they have product naming convention guidelines.
For example, Walmart provides this example of what to put in a product name in its Product Name field description:
- Brand + Category + Defining Quality + Item Name + Pack Count if applicable.
- Example: George Girls’ Short-Sleeve Polo; Hanes Men’s V-Neck Tees, 3-Pack
Google provides some tips for Google Shopping feed product titles. Even if you are not developing product content for a Google Shopping feed, this is good advice for any online product name:
- We recommend you include characteristics such as color or brand in the title which differentiates the item from other products.
- Do not include any promotional text such as “Free shipping,” and do not use BLOCK CAPITALS.
Amazon offers tips that help your product names read better, and keeps them clear of editorial concerns:
- Capitalize the first letter of each word.
- Do not include promotional messages, such as “sale” or “free ship.”
- Do not include subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item,” or “Best Seller.”
Some retailers may also have character limits for product names that you should stay within. For example, Walmart’s character limit is 200 characters including spaces. Be sure to stay within these limits to avoid having a product title that gets cut off.
The EDI Assortment solution gives you the tools and expertise you need to provide consumers with robust product attributes and descriptive content to fuel their purchasing decision.
Your dedicated EDI Here consultant will work with you to provide guidance around what needs to be improved and criteria for meeting quality standards, then the EDI service converts your product information into each retailer’s unique format.
Learn more here: https://edihere.com/products/assortment/assortment-suppliers/
Gradiva Couzin is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert and partner at Gravity Search Marketing.