by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Last week, my wife, Edith, shared some Pyramyd Air-related stories about how hard it is for some people to find the products they want on their retail site. So, I asked her to write up a guest blog, and that’s what you’ll read today.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.
by Edith Gaylord
Pyramyd Air gets some emails every day from people who say they can’t find the gun, ammo or accessories they want to buy. The same frustrations you have doing a search on Google are similar to what some Pyramyd Air customers have.
While there are algorithms to help you find products and answers to questions even if you misspell things, it’s obvious Pyramyd Air isn’t nearly as creative as shooters searching their website!
Crossman and Daisey are very common misspellings, and I’m guessing everyone might typo those words occasionally. Of course, Pyramyd Air can’t point fingers at anyone for misspellings! In fact, we recently got an email from someone who works for an airgun manufacturer and said he can no longer correctly spell the word pyramid due to writing Pyramyd so many times!
Usually, the people who conducted searches with typoed words didn’t recognize that they didn’t find what they wanted because of their misspellings instead of the website being inadequate. Here are some words we’ve had to enter into our cross-reference search to help people find what they want. On the left is the correctly spelled word or name; on the right is what we’ve had to add as an acceptable alternative due to customer typos or just because they’re not familiar with the word or name:
FWB or Feinwerkbau–>F&B, FBW, Fineworkbo, Frauhoken, Finewerkbo
Beretta–>Bretta, Berreta, Berretta, Breta
H&K, HK or Heckler & Koch–>Hecker & Cock, Hecker & Koch, Heckler & Cock
muzzlebrake or muzzle brake–>musselbrake, mussel brake, musselbreak, mussel break, muzzle break, muzzlebreak
machine (as in machine gun)–>macheen, machene, machiene, masheen, mashine, mashinene
This represents only a small number of alternatives we’ve created, but it gives you a good idea of what we’re doing to give you what you want.
Some of the trickiest searches are for scopes. Apparently, many people are unaware of how scope dimensions are properly written. When I worked for a military surplus company before coming to Pyramyd Air in 2006, I learned how optics manufacturers write scope dimensions (across the board — I have not found one exception, so far), and that’s the system I implemented on Pyramyd Air’s website. However, many (and possibly MOST) shooters don’t do it that way and frequently get frustrated because they can’t find the scope they want.
A scope with fixed magnification would be written this way, for example: 4X40. That’s a scope that magnifies what it sees by 4 times and has a 40mm objective lens. A variable scope has its dimensions written this way, for example: 4-12X40. Because it has from 4X magnification up to 12X magnification, people tend to write it as 4X12X40. Since we had a number of complaints about people not finding any scopes they searched for, I went through all of our scopes and came up with a number of different ways people might write the various scopes we sell. However, I’m sure I haven’t come up with all the ways, and more will be discovered as other creative people come up with new ways of writing things.
Think calibers are easy? Sure, just search for .22 caliber and that’s it. Not so. Look at all these substitutes we had to create to find just that one caliber…and we had to duplicate this for every smallbore and big bore caliber we sell: .22, .22 cal, .22-cal, .22 caliber, 0.22, 0.22 cal, 0.22-cal, 0.22 caliber, 22, 22 cal, 22-cal, 22 caliber.
People have learned from Google searches that you want to be as specific as possible to help find exactly what you want. Sometimes, that doesn’t work so good. If you want a breakbarrel air rifle with a muzzlebrake in .22 caliber with a scope, you might think you’d find exactly what you want when you enter this search term: .22 cal breakbarrel air rifle muzzlebrake. You’ll get over 2,000 results! That’s because Pyramyd Air’s search engine is returning results for each of those terms…not results for any items that has all those attributes.
It’s a good idea to do a general search. After those results come up, use the left-hand navigation column to narrow your search and find exactly what you want. That’s how I do searches, and I usually find what I want within a couple clicks.
The next time you can’t find something on Pyramyd Air’s site, feel free to send us an email via our web contact page. I’m one of the people who gets to see all these emails. If the reason you can’t find something is due to a typo or the way you’ve written it…and it doesn’t jive with the way we’ve written it, I’ll forward your email to our marketing specialist, Stormie (yes, that’s her real name), and she’ll check all of the searches on our site to see how many other people conducted the same search but didn’t bring it to our attention. If at least one other person has conducted the same search, chances are real good it’ll be added to our cross-reference list.
If you have any ideas to make it easier to search our site, let us know. Many of our website upgrades were ideas from customers. Pyramyd Air is very open to suggestions and considers its customers as partners in making the website user-friendly.