Thursday, November 13, 2008

Article: Are You Using Tags to Their Full Effect?

Let's give it up for winemakerssister for giving us some oh-so coveted info!

Currently there are 170,000 estimated sellers on Etsy, with 600 new shops opening every day. So how do buyers find your needle in that enormous haystack? One answer to this eternal (and often frustrating) question lies in the effective use of tags.

Tags are keywords that describe your product. They’re used in searches and to categorize and subcategorize your product.

Every item listed on Etsy has the option of including 14 tags. Are you using all your tags? If not, you’re closing yourself to search options that might help a buyer find you quickly and easily.

It is generally believed that when tagging an item, you should start with the general and end with the specific. The first tags should match one or more Etsy categories. For EtsyGreetings members, this would certainly include “Paper Goods,” but also might include “Holidays,” and even some specialty categories like “Supplies” (if your item could be considered a supply), “Geekery,” or another category that describes the content of your item.

Next, make sure that you select any subcategories that describe your product. In the “Paper Goods” category, these might include “Cards,” and then “Christmas” and “Linocut,” if you’re describing a card made with a hand-carved stamp.

But where do you go from here? Let’s continue with the example card. It’s one of mine – three sets of mittens stamped from a hand-carved rubber stamp. “Warm Wishes” in casual calligraphy completes the message.

When selecting tags, try to think about searches. Use the tags to describe the product as completely as you can. In this example you might include “mittens,” “calligraphy,” “warm wishes,” “knitting” (in case knitters are looking for holiday cards), “hand carved rubber stamp,” and the colors of the stamped images (in this case: red, blue, and green). And don’t forget other holidays that might not be a part of your own culture. In this case, tagging with “winter solstice” is a great idea.

Try to think about other terms that describe the same subject. When describing an evergreen tree, other tags might be “conifer,” “pine,” or “spruce.” And don’t forget “tree!”

Also, don’t forget to tag the item with any teams you belong to, e.g. “EtsyGreetings Team,” and any promotion you’re involved in.

Another reason to tag well is to get into treasuries. Often a treasury curator has some ideas of the items s/he wishes to include in their treasury. But if s/he is looking for additional items to fill out the treasury, most likely she’ll do a search.

Say the curator wants to do a treasury that includes grey November colors with hints of other color. If she searches for “grey” and “chartreuse,” will your grey card show up in the search? Did you tag it with “grey,” “gray,” “chartreuse,” and “lime?” If so, it might show up in that treasury. If a curator is doing a Bird treasury, will your card with a swallow silhouette show up in her search? Did you tag it with both “bird” and “swallow?”

There are a few “don’ts” to remember when tagging. Don’t tag with possible uses, such as “poetry” for a blank book, or “gift” for a pair of earrings.

Don’t use the same words in your tags that you used in your title. All tag searches also include the title search, so you’re just wasting your tags if you’re redundant.

How about whimsical tags? They won’t help you in most regular searches, but might help you stand apart from the crowd in specialty searches. What are whimsical tags? Well, take a look on Etsy and you’ll find tags for such concepts as: whimsy, relationship, silly, zakka, heartbroken, and just about anything else you can imagine. Including “imagine.”

My card that I used as an example:

Other EtsyGreetings team members’ “tags”:

1 comment:

tinybird said...

That's a great tip about not duplicating words in titles and tags...I never thought of that. Off to fix my shop!