Adjectives Really Do Matter!
By Robin Nobles
Copyright © 2006
When you create content, titles, and descriptions for
your products and product lines, what descriptive words do you use? What
descriptive words do your potential customers use? Have you even taken the time
to think about it, or better yet, find out?
Let me give you a perfect
I've been in the market for a watch lately, but not
just any watch. I like unique and unusual things. But when I plugged in
descriptive keywords into the search engines-words like unique, unusual,
colorful, and funky-ladies watches, the organic results held nothing of
In the organic results, I found collector sites, blogs, and
sites in other languages. I found description tag spam. However, the watch sites
were classic women's watches like you'd find in any department store. There were
absolutely nothing unique about them.
I actually went through six pages
of search results under numerous keyword sets each and came up with nothing.
Count them ... six pages.
So, I went to the PPC results. Again, most of
those weren't relevant to my search. However, I did find the most phenomenal
watches made from safety pins. That's what I call unique!
Look at Your
How are you describing your own products? What
descriptive words would your customers use when searching for your products? The
more accurately you describe your products, the more targeted your traffic will
How do you know how people are searching? Try Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com),
which is the best online resource for researching your customer's behavior.
Also, study your log files.
A Niche Within a Niche
you're selling classic ladies' watches by Seiko, use those words to describe the
watches. Don't call them unique or unusual unless they are. Call them feminine,
elegant, or classy. Or describe them as being bracelet watches, silver-tone, or
with diamonds. Are they replica watches? Luxury watches? Fashion watches?
Waterproof? Made of a particular material?
Men's watches can be a certain
brand as well as military watches, LED, dress, sports, diving, vintage, casual,
bargain, pocket, pre-owned, and the list goes on.
Form a niche within a
niche, and build content around the types of watches you sell. That way, if you
sell vintage watches reminiscent of the 70's, you can describe one of your
unique watches like this:
Psychedelic orange orb ladies' watch that
brings back memories of the smell of patchouli and the sound of Janis
If you have a whole section on vintage watches, you'll have a much
better chance at ranking high for that keyword phrase. Use "vintage" in the
title, description, and content on each page, but describe each watch
differently. You certainly wouldn't describe a watch like the one above as
"classic" or "feminine."
Plus, your visitors will be getting relevant
results from the organic searches, and your site will be getting targeted
traffic. Win/win situation.
Adjectives are Subjective
you're right-they are. When searching for watches, I didn't consider the
majority of watches I found to be unique. I personally don't consider classic
ladies' gold-toned watches that you can find in any department store to be
unique. However, someone else might.
However, I also wasn't after unique
in the sense of a watch with Gene Autry in the center of it. Even I have my
limits on unique!
Look for Keyword "Holes" in Your Niche
In the case of watches, I definitely found some keyword
holes that a good SEO needs to explore. The organic results are desperately
lacking the long tail of marketing keywords that are well known for bringing in
a steady stream of targeted traffic. The results may be there, but they're
pointing to irrelevant pages. How many people are going to go through the first
six pages of results? This is a treasure mine for SEOs.
Do you have
something similar in your industry? Study your industry and how people are
searching. Again, Wordtracker is your best source for this type of information
as well as your own log files.
Let's visit the following Web site:
Click on products. Study the
watches, and come up with five words to describe those watches. We know they're
unique, so let's come up with other words.
We'll do it
one of a kind
Now, I want you to study the words above. If you were
looking for a unique watch, would you type any of those words into a search
The answer is probably no. How you describe something and how buyers
search for something are two totally different things. You have to use
descriptive and accurate words to describe your products, but you have to use
words in your title, description, and content that your potential buyers will
use when searching for your products.
an Excellent Resource
To me, Jakob Nielsen is and always has been
synonymous with usability on the Internet, and I've been watching what he writes
for years. His latest article couldn't have been published at a better
"Summary: Familiar words spring to mind when users create their
search queries. If your writing favors made-up terms over legacy words, users
won't find your site." http://www.useit.com/alertbox/search-keywords.html
Describe your products and product lines accurately.
Use descriptive words (adjectives) that your readers will type into the search
engines in your title and description tags as well as in the content of your
Don't deceive your potential customers. You want happy potential
buyers, not disgruntled, deceived potential prospects that are ready to hit the
About the Author: