How Do You Search?

September 18, 2006

Topics: Search Marketing.

One question it can be useful to ask yourself when beginning an SEO study is how, exactly, you would go about finding the product you’re trying to emphasize. It’s not enough to simply brainstorm synonyms or chain together descriptive terms: you need to think like an amateur.

The vast majority of customers for any web site are amateurs. Amateurs buying ski gear, amateurs buying computer equipment, amateurs looking for medical information. They aren’t likely to be professional researchers, either. So you should never assume that they actually know anything specific about your product.

After all, why would a beginning canoe enthusiast know that your particular brand of tortured plywood kayak is the best? For that matter, do they even know what "tortured plywood" is? Probably not. But they do know that they’re looking for a boat which is light, easy to portage, hard to overturn, and they may even know whether they’re going to be using it on whitewater or flat water.

Even assuming amateur customers, you’ve got to assume some knowledge at some point…

But the key point here is that you can’t just describe your product – also describe how it’s used and what advantages it has. Not only will this provide you with a wider variety of search phrases to be found for, but your potential customer will be able to learn more about your product sooner. It’s a win-win situation.

A good practice technique to use when thinking about product searching and product descriptions is to go shopping for something else. Specifically, some product you don’t sell and don’t know a lot about.

Searching for gifts is a great way to explore this whole avenue of thought. You’re looking for a product which you know little about and you can’t ask the nearest expert without giving away the secret – the perfect opportunity to try and discover what a good product description is in this industry.

Escaping the barrier of your own knowledge is such a challenge in writing product descriptions. When you are an expert in your product line it’s easy to find yourself focusing on the nitty-gritty details and ignoring the more widely known characteristics in your writing.

Providing your detailed specifics certainly doesn’t hurt you – but don’t write your description just for the product’s designer.

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