Friday, August 12, 2011
The Importance Of Tags And Keywords For Relevant Searches
Recently Etsy went to "Relevancy" as their default search. When they did this it made tags, titles and descriptions even more important than they already were. Now Etsy sellers do not have to rely on renewing their items many times a week to be seen. It has leveled the playing field, so to speak.
The biggest impact is the need to rework your listings to be found. Your shop needs a makeover. Today I want to discuss the first step- Tags. Tags have a lot of weight in Etsy search but they are the not the most important. However, because they are the foundation in which you build your entire listing from, they are very important in the long run.
Why are tags so important? Because in Etsy's Relevancy search if someone types one of your keyword phrases exactly like you have it in your tags, you have a good chance of being found. If you have the words "red crochet hat" as one of your keyword phrases and someone types "red crochet hat" into the search, Etsy's search algorithm says that you have exactly what they are looking for and puts you in the list of results with everyone else who has used that exact phrase in their shop.
Before they went to relevancy search default, Etsy encouraged you to use single word tags with few exceptions. They have rewritten their policy on this. They now encourage you to use multiple word phrases as long as they describe your work and are not keyword stuffing. Basically if your phrase makes a statement as to what it is, who made it, what is it made from or who it's made for then it is fine to use. If you just use multiple words stuffed together that do not relate to each other it called tag stuffing and it is not okay.
Here is an example. If you have a rainbow colored crochet hat for sale you could tag it as "rainbow colored hat" but not "red orange yellow" and "green blue indigo" because you are just listing colors. Do not confuse this with common color word combinations like "black and white" which could be used to describe a photograph accurately.
I always do my tags first, then my title and then my description. This way I can pick the words that I want to be found with. I am fortunate to be in a pretty small niche so it is a little easier for me to come up with keywords that are used to find items similar to what I make. I do however try to do as much keyword research as I can. In fact I recently found that one of my items, a chainmail and bead handflower, was searched for as a slave bracelet 60 times more often than a handflower. So I adjusted my tags, titles and descriptions to put more weight on slave bracelet.
How do you do keyword research? Start by coming up with a list of 20 keywords or keyword phrases you would use to find your product. Next sign up for a Google AdWords account. You do not have to actually start an advertising campaign to use their tools. Type your keywords into their keyword tool and see how they do. You want to try to concentrate on words and phrases that have less competition and fewer monthly searches. Look for the ones that have 1000 to 10,000 monthly hits. Ignore ones that have over 25,000 hits for now. I will go into all of this in greater detail very soon.
Next week, I will be talking more about keywords, titles and descriptions. If you have questions, please feel free to post them here and I will be happy to answer them. I hope you all have a great weekend.