Friday, September 9, 2011
The Art Of Tags And Keywords
I have been asked by a few people to try and explain tagging a little better, so here goes. Lets try to think of tags as search terms. Try to get the idea that a single word is a poor search term. If you are looking for an item like a "purple beaded chunky bracelet for a woman" would you try and look for it by typing "woman" into Google? Probably not. Depending on your search filter you may not like what you find.
The same thing goes for typing the word "purple" into Google. You are not going to find what you are looking for if you are not specific when you are searching. "Beaded bracelet" might get you a little closer, but it still does not say what you are looking for. When you search for something on the Internet you want to find it as quickly as possible and avoid as many unrelated items as you can.
Etsy allows you 20 characters to tag your item. That really is not a lot but it is plenty if you break up your tags. With relevancy, the Etsy search algorithm looks for exact keyword matches in exact orders. So, if you cannot fit all the words into one tag, break them up: "purple beaded chunky" and "bracelet for a woman" would work to get the exact keyword phrases listed. To me "purple beaded chunky" sounds a bit like tag stuffing so that isn't the best example, but I hope that helps a little.
Another question that has come up recently is repeating the same word in multiple tag phrases. Here is an example: "Steampunk Jewelry" and "Steampunk Necklace" and "Steampunk Choker" are all three different terms. Since the Etsy search is looking for exact matches, this is a good way to tag the item as long as it is relevant to the item. Each tag is treated individually. It would also be good to describe the item with all three terms in the description so that you are also making it easier for other search engines to pick up these terms. Some search engines do not put any weight on the tags you are using.
If you get stuck, take out a piece of paper or open a text editor and start entering all the words you can to describe the item you are tagging. Does a color describe it? Is it round? Does it fit into a holiday? Is it seasonal? What kind of person wears it? How was it made? Is there a special material involved? Is there a certain type of process used in the making? Though you may not use all of these for tags you may be surprised at how many ways there really are to describe it. You may even rewrite your descriptions because of it.
Try not to make tagging any harder than it has to be. Instead of not having enough ideas to fill the 13 slots, you should be looking at the way too many ideas and putting the best ones into the 13 slots. I hope this helps to clear a little bit more up on tagging. As always, I am here to answer your questions so keep them coming.