May 5, 2010, 4:57 PM

PetMedPros boosts search results by uncovering the phrases shoppers use

Changing product descriptions on its retail web site so they better match the phrases that customers type into the Google search engine has boosted search results for PetMedPros.com, an online retailer of pet medication.

Changing product descriptions on its retail web site so they better match the phrases that customers type into the Google search engine has boosted search results for PetMedPros.com, an online retailer of pet medication.

The company went into business a year ago, competing against such retailers as 1800PetMeds.com operator PetMed Express Inc., No. 101 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Drs. Foster and Smith, No. 105, along with medications sold through Amazon.com, No. 1. PetMedPros.com fulfills about 20 orders a day, but CEO Dan Root is planning for expansion, and has invested in a warehouse that will include the retailer’s own pharmacy.

One way the company has helped fuel its growth is by making sure PetMedPros shows up on the first or second pages of Google search results for consumers browsing for pet medicines, especially relatively common ones.

Endosorb, for instance, is an anti-diarrhea pill for dogs. PetMedPros, working with search engine optimization consultants DIYSEO, realized that consumers were not always typing “endosorb” into Google but instead using “endosorb tablets,” Root says. That’s why the retailer added “tablets” to product descriptions on its site.

Typing “endosorb” into Google in recent days brought up search results that placed the PetMedPros offering on the second page. However, typing “endosorb tablets” into Google put PetMedPros on the first results page.

“We did this because we were a small fish in a big pond and we weren't selling anything because nobody noticed us,” Root says.

Another product description tweak focused on consumers’ preferences for generic drugs. Droncit is a prescription drug that treats tapeworms in dogs and cats. Typing “droncit” into the Google search engine would leave the consumer with at least four pages of organic search results without PetMedPros. The retailer, though, changed the description on its site to “generic droncit.” Typing that phrase into Google in recent days gave results that include PetMedPros on the first page.

Changing product descriptions to better match what consumer type into Google initially resulted in daily sales of one or two items that previously were not selling at all. “Now, several months later, we see a much higher number go out the door,” Root says.

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