Keywords are King: How to Perform an Effective Search

When searching for the suppliers you need, from packaging vendors to sewing contractors to furniture makers, it’s crucial to use the right keywords to narrow down your search results. Smart keywords can help you cast a wide enough net, yet narrow down your options to a manageable number of factories.

Here are a few tips for keywording like a pro:

1) Use Multiple Angles

Let’s say you’re making a line of activewear. Looking for ‘apparel manufacturers’ and ‘sewing contractors’ would yield some helpful results, but so would searching for what you’re actually making. For example, ‘yoga pants’, ‘activewear tops’, ‘sports bras’ etc. It’s best to come at each search from both the type of factory you’re looking for (sewing contractor) and the product noun (yoga pants).

2) Think of Synonyms

One of my clients was making a line of women’s underwear and having trouble finding enough factories when she searched ‘underwear’. When we switched the search term to ‘intimates’, she generated many more results. By brainstorming and searching for various synonyms, you open up your results to factories who may be tagging themselves differently.

3) Work off of a List

Instead of randomly entering search terms as you think of them, sit down and write a list of all the different keywords you plan. Once you have a decent number (3-4 per item you’re sourcing is a good place to start), run a search on each one, saving the factories you like as you go. Being methodical helps you avoid missing an important keyword (and a potential dream partner!).

Need help finding, vetting and negotiating with suppliers? Figuring out quality control, logistics and inventory management? As the in-house Sourcing Specialist at Maker’s Row, I can help you with this and more! Learn about one-on-one support here.

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