Keywords Are Alive and Relevant to Promoting and Selling Products

SEMA News—February 2018

Keywords Are Alive and Relevant to Promoting and Selling Products

By Stephanie Jones
 
  SDC
   

The term “keyword” is broad and perplexing. There may still be misconceptions in the automotive aftermarket as to why they are, in fact, relevant in promoting and selling products. Let’s debunk the myth.

Keyword [kee-wurd]: noun; a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word. A significant or memorable word or term. Used to classify or organize digital content or to facilitate online search.

Google initially used keywords (meta keyword, keyword metadata, keyword metatag) for search-engine results pages as a means of determining a website’s relevance or ranking on subject matter. In 2009, Google announced that practice was no longer in use due to abuse. Thus, keywords were no longer a factor in regular organic ranking results. That practice was replaced with better analysis of page code, content and credibility. All that said, this is completely outside of the purpose of keywords in the description segment of the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES), and the two should not
be confused.

The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) initially announced support of the usage of keywords at the SEMA Show in 2017. Keywords have great significance in describing a product and connecting that product to a consumer. We believe that this is an under-utilized asset in PIES. Many of you many not even be aware that it is already in the description segment under the Code “Key.”

The SDC is designing and developing a program to help our members procure keywords and assist with automation to add them into data sets for your data receivers to use at will. The importance of making the connection in terminology through keywords is important in internal searches. In many cases, it builds the bridge between finding or not finding a product on a seller’s website.

I may say, “Hey, let’s go grab a soda.” You make say, “Let’s go grab a pop.” And he may say, “Let’s go get a Coke.” We all mean the same thing just worded differently: “Let’s purchase a carbonated beverage of our own choosing.” Through verbal communication, we are able to understand what each other is asking. Keywords provide the means of digital communication in a similar manner, resulting in an understanding of what is being searched.

Some have publicly stated that the SDC is out of touch with what is needed to sell products and that there is undue complexity in the standards. That is a short-sighted assumption. We proudly support and promote the Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and the PIES data exchange standards for a reason: They work. They are the most efficient ways to transmit data to power the myriad of systems that your resellers, WDs, jobbers, repair shops or dealers use. Everything from point of sale, inventory and shipping to e-commerce and you name it can be communicated by those means. The standards allow us one channel to transmit into multiple internal systems.

Keywords are not intended to rank your website. Everyone is already aware of that old news. But keywords are intended to help your resellers aggregate products on their webpages through internal searches. Adding keywords to your PIES file for each of your products will:

  • Improve product visibility.
  • Connect you with a consumer who phrases things in a different way.
  • Connect alternative terms and phrases.
  • Relate products to actions.
  • Relate products to other
    related products.
  • Relate products to a purpose or usage. PIES is a proven data exchange platform that provides a stable, predictable conduit to transfer keywords and other pertinent product information. If you are not yet familiar with PIES and how industry data standards can help your business, reach out to the SDC to learn more. 

Keywords are a vital part of good-quality product data, and PIES is the means through which you can transmit common search phrases and usage terms. Keywords help consumers find your products through website searches. They help your selling partners promote your product in common language, resulting in more eyes on your product data and increased sales.

To learn more about how you can take control and manage your product data at the lowest possible cost, contact SEMA Data Co-op Senior Director of Membership Jim Graven via email at jimg@semadatacoop.org or by phone at 888-958-6698 x4.

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