Product naming is something that all eCommerce businesses should pay a lot of attention to. Having the right product names affects everything from performance in search, navigation on-site, and how easily customers can find suitable products just by scanning a category page.
Whatever you sell on the website, we recommend that you think through the best set up for your product titles.
Why do product names matter?
Naming a product is both incredibly important and tough. As eCommerce products reflect your company, they need to align with your brand while having market appeal. Ensuring your product is visible online is key, and visibility stems from the name.
What's in a name?
Your product name is how potential customers find what they're looking for online. When choosing a product name, these are some of the most important areas to take into consideration to ensure its effectiveness.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
When users put a query into a search engine, such as Google, they don’t want to land on the homepage or category page of a website. Many searchers already know what they want, and want to be presented with the correct products right away.
This is why optimising your product names for search engines is important. SEO keywords are terms that you can add to your product names to improve search engine rankings. By doing this, your products will rank higher in search results, so when a user inputs a search query for a keyword, it's your website and your products that will appear higher up the page in search results.
The same goes for traffic you buy – in search, on social platforms or elsewhere. When your product appears in, say, Google Shopping, you want an informative title that is attractive to click on. And since you have limited space in the product feed, you need to present the most important information early in the title.
Whether a user just looks around on a website or uses the onsite-search function, naming is important. This is often what helps both engines and people differentiate and understand products – although modern search features can understand what users (probably) want even though the search query is not represented in the title or meta data. For more information around this, read about Loop54’s search solutions.
Knowing what you need to consider when naming eCommerce products is great, but where do you begin with the naming process? There are strategies and best practice to follow that can help.
What are product naming strategies?
Having a plan in place when deciding on a name is crucial, and a big hurdle for many brands. There are some strategies that can ensure you find a name that is suitable for your product.
Make sure you're coming up with the right kind of name for your product by considering perspective. The product name should showcase its USP, and market its uniqueness. Give the product market appeal by understanding your target audience and naming the product in a way that would appeal to them.
Research the market
Understanding and researching the market you're entering your product into is key when creating a name. A competitor analysis allows you to see what naming strategies and conventions your closest competitors are using, and going a different route might help your product stand out. Consider your use of language as well - your chosen audience will have a preferred style that works best with them.
How descriptive should product titles be?
The key rule when naming products is that users should get sufficient information about the product by just reading the title. What sufficient information is in a single case depends on what you’re selling, whether or not it is a strong brand, and your audience’s knowledge about the products.
In some cases, the manufacturer’s name and product model is descriptive enough. Say that you promote iPhone 8 64 GB on your Telecom website, then there’s no real purpose in saying that this is a smartphone. Most people looking for an iPhone know that already.
The product title below, taken from Amazon.com, describes the product thoroughly.
In other cases, when the visitor is looking for a solution to a problem rather than a brand, you might need to describe what the product actually does. In the example below – a Bluetooth audio adaptor – the product title has to be more descriptive to give the user the right information.
Furthermore, sometimes there are key attributes besides manufacturer and model customers look at when deciding whether or not to click on a product. These could be added to the product title as well. For technical equipment, it could be dimensions; for clothes, material or cut; and for toys and games, suitable age.
If you know that there are attributes a lot of people compare when buying certain products, these might be added to the title as well. In the example below, material is a key attribute.
All in all, you should consider including these three components in the product names:
- Model/product type
- Key attribute(s) of product
How to arrange the product title
The next step is to decide what you want to push early in the title: What is primary information and what is secondary? The standard formula (brand + model/product type + key attributes) is the best solution, especially for resellers.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule.
If you are the brand, and have a web shop for your own products, you don’t have to start every title stating your brand. Apple and Wrangler don’t have to begin every product title with Apple and Wrangler. Onsite, this information is obvious anyway and when having the titles in PPC campaigns, the brand will be visible in the ad anyway.
Another exception might be if the model name or product type isn’t intuitive for users. Then you might want to promote the attributes and focus more on what the product does.
As always when it comes to eCommerce field, it’s hard to provide clear cut guidelines on how to do it every time. What we can do is highlight naming strategies that work most of the time. Users should get sufficient information about the product by just reading the title.
If you test your titles on random people and they instantly can say what it is and why they should buy the product, chances are that you have a product title that works both in search and on the website.
However, we have just scratched on the surface of the topic (in fact we’ve just talked about the titles so far). Then you have the content on the page, filtering solutions, how the product should be arranged on the site, graphic layout of product pages and a lot more.
For more information on this, read our site-search and navigation design guide.