Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Relevancy Revisited: Part 3 Descriptions

This week we have been revisiting relevancy with a focus on Etsy. We talked about how to come up with good tags that answer questions about your item. We also talked about how to use the tags you come up with to create a relevant title. Today we are going to explore descriptions. Please note that Etsy all but ignores the description in their search algorithm. It pulls from tags and titles with a few other variables.

Artist Bear Wearing Chainmail Armor

Optimizing your description helps with Google and other search engines as well as describes your item for your customer. Today we are going to use my little Teddy Bear Knight Wearing Chainmail as an example. Note the title, it is optimized for several terms. Artist Bear, Teddy Bear being the most prominent, with Knight Wearing Chainmail and Chainmail Costume being used as well. Also note that my bear is photographed with a white background with nothing that could take your eyes away from him. (Be sure to read my article on taking better pictures for your handmade or vintage items)

Though it may be a little hard to see in this snapshot you can see that the first thing I put was "Teddy Bear in Chainmail - Chainmail Home Decor by Tangled Metal" and what that does is give a keyword rich statement of what the item is and who made it. Part of the reason for this is keywords near the beginning of the text is weighed a little heavier than further down in the text and part of it is for the purpose of branding.

I go on to answer questions like, what is it, who is it for, what occasion is it good for, what materials were used, etc. I use keyword phrases where ever I can fit them in without sounding like a list of key word phrases. I try to make it sound as conversational as possible.

Writing copy is not my strong part and I struggle with it every time I list a new item. The one thing I try to do is make it so that it will come up in Google search. Google gives a lot of weight to key word phrases. Using the same keywords throughout the description is fine. How many times is too many times to add a keyword? Read it out loud and see if it sounds awkward, that should help.

Questions? Comments? That is it for today. Come back tomorrow for a list of tips to help make your life a little easier when listing an item.


  1. Excellent article as usual - thank you! Better go make some changes... :)

  2. I have a question about your titles. Etsy's new search only uses the first 3 words of your title so "Artist Bear Teddy" only gives you 3 separate words. If someone was searching for "teddy bear" Etsy's search would skip over yours because it will not search for the words out of order. In addition the "chainmail" part of your title won't even register because it's not one of the first 3 words. I am only saying this because this is my understanding of how their new relevancy search works. I'm finding it very frustrating trying to compose good titles that only comprise the first 3 words. Additionally, I read on the Etsy site not to use colors as one of your first 3 words. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!

  3. Gloria,
    Etsy puts more focus on the first three words, but the entire title is searchable. Tags are also search able. Etsy's search algorithm goes through looking for exact keyword phrase matches. The title is searched first concentrating on the first three words, then the rest of the title is searched, then the tags are searched. Of course there are some other factors in it as well such as renewing and how many times your item gets clicked from search. Etsy has not released their entire algorithm to the public so everything is best guess from what information they have shared. Since one of my tags is "teddy bear" and the phrase "teddy bear" is IN the first three words I get found. Google is the same way, but they completely ignore your tags and pick their relevancy from the title and the description.

    If you are trying to optimize your listing for say "Red Ballet Shoes" I would certainly put the color in the first three words. However if you are listing an item that isn't searched for by a color I would not include it.

  4. Found you through the Helpful Relevancy Team, just wanted to say thanks, this is really great!

  5. I am loving these articles. I am not the best at 'advertising' my stuff. I have been using your tips today and am off to update all my item titles!