What’s In A Name? A File Name That Is.

by Heather Melcer

Being a Feng Shui consultant as well as a bit of an organizer by nature, I tend to like things to flow smoothly in all areas of life, including website functionality with regard to file names. It may seem like a small thing, but details are what make great businesses stand out from mediocre ones. The problem is that the names are too generic. In the big picture this is simply not smart business.

Whether it’s for a hobby or how you earn your living, engaging your website visitors is key even AFTER they have left your site. You should strive in all areas for people to be able to easily find you, recognize you, and with the amount of computer clutter on everyone’s desktop and in download folders, your goal should always be to stand out.

Here are a few examples from recent research I was doing that led me to write this post:

1) I was considering running a few ads in local magazines for one of my businesses. I went to their websites and downloaded their media kits. Want to know what some of the file names were?

    adrate.pdf

C’mon now! Naturally I glance at them as they open when I download, but when I am ready to buy I have to sift through and open every file to find what I am looking for. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to realize that perhaps a few other options would be better such as:

    Ad-Rates-Heathers-Magazine.pdf
    Media-Kit-Hthr-Mag.pdf

I don’t even care if you abbreviate certain words, just make it clear what the content is so as I am browsing around my computer and stumble upon it, or more importantly want to find it, it’s seamless.

2) Another day I was looking into art classes at various local art centers and found a few of these:

    Summer.pdf
    Brochure-2011-.pdf

Summer what? Brochure what? How about this as a more suitable option:

    Art-Classes-Summer-2011-ChicagoCenter.pdf

3) Oh and my biggest pet peeve and the one that drives me absolutely crazy is when restaurants do this:

    Menu.pdf

Really? Oy vey! This just amazes me every single time!
How about:

    Heather-Café-menu.pdf
    Or my winning choice would be
    Menu-Heather-Café.pdf

I may not remember the exact name of every restaurant website I’ve visited, but if I had a bunch of files that started with menu, I can pull them up easily and scroll through trying to figure out where to go eat tonight. Menu1.pdf, menu2.pdf just isn’t going to be as appetizing. And to be honest, I usually don’t end up saving those with generic names on it. Every now and then when I clean out my desktop they get tossed right into the trash.

I take it you can see the point I am trying to make which is Always name your file so it is relevant to the end user. Simply keep in mind that sometimes a teeny, tiny detail such as a file name can go a long way at helping the brand of your business stay alive well beyond when the visitor has moved on.

p.s. – While google’s spiders are always changing and they’ll never let you know how things are ranked, using identifying key words for all file names can only be beneficial and give you a leg up towards the top of the page.

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