How to search when you don’t know the keyword

How to search when you don’t know the keyword

We recently bought a beautiful country home – one of those with decorative ornaments along the gabled roof. Now we need to replace the pointy “things” that finish off the decorations at the peak of the roof. The problem is, I don’t know what they’re called!

Many people do not know or do not remember what an item is called, making the online search difficult. This is especially hard if they are looking for a particular product or a complex subject matter. They first conduct a preliminary research to find out what an item is called. In our case, I spent considerable time search for “gabled roof decorations”, “Canadian country home”, “roof ornaments”. This is called keyword foraging.

How do you make sure users find your product or service when they don’t know what it’s called?

Here’s what you can do if you suspect people may not know the correct term for some of your products or services:

  1. Anticipate what keywords people might use to search for your products and use them on your website.
  2. Check your website analytics to see exactly which keywords bring people to your site. Do this often and tweak the website copy, so it contains these terms.
  3. Use plain language and avoid inventing terminology specific to your industry if your audience is not likely to be familiar with these terms.

And what are the poles we need to replace called you ask? They are called “finials” 🙂

Read more on this topic in The Search Before the Search: Keyword Foraging