Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tags tags tags tags....

When someone asks for a shop critique, wonders why no-one is viewing their items or why they have no sales, the one thing you can guarantee is that their tags will need some work.

I'm sure right now you're thinking 'I have tags!' - but have you used them to their best effect? Let me explain what's so important about tags...

To tag effectively takes a little more work that just accurately selecting a category (although this is a good start!). It's only a little more work, I promise, but this little work will make a BIG difference.

Firstly,you MUST use all 14 tags. I can't stress how important this is. People have no way to search for your items other than via your tags. This is the ONLY way they will find you.

As an example throughout this post lets use this necklace:

If you have tagged this: Jewelry, Necklace, - this is going to be lost in thousands of other listings. People can't narrow it down enough. Let me illustrate this (and you do the same): right now, search in etsy for "jewelery, necklace" how many items come up? (I get 250710!!).

Okay, so now you understand why, but how do you use all 14 tags? This will take a little bit of brain power! There are a few ways to do this - but the best way to start is by brainstorming,
you might call it a spider diagram. Something that looks like this:

Start in the middle using all the descriptive words you can find - using our example above, words like: colors, rainbow, sparkle, multi-color, reflecting, silver, girly, fun, kitsch, dangle... and so on.

Next a new branch: a list of all the materials used - so for the necklace: swarovski, crystal, chain, sterling, silver, clasp.

Continue this spider diagram using even more descriptive categories, for example:
  • Colours,
  • method used to make it,
  • the size,
  • any important features,
  • the occasions it could be used/worn for,
  • any specific styles.

Now you should have a huge list of words to choose your 14 from, but how do you narrow this down? The best way to do this is to put yourself in your buyers shoes. Which of these words do you think a buyer would use to search for your item?

And now you should have a brilliantly tagged item that can be found by all your potential customers!

For more information about tagging take a look at the resources below:
Storque - Tagging for Success
Esty Wiki

-lishlash runs her etsy store selling jewellery and paper goods, and has been known to lurk in the forums dispensing advice on making your shop look great and getting it seen! For any other advice you can find her here:


niftyknits said...

In your example above you spell jewelry two different ways - and I think that is another point. I spent ages searching for jewellery (Uk spelling) on etsy when I first came here...only to find most was under "jewelry" yet there is also some under "jewelery" ... so that's 3 tags already!

lishlash said...

Thanks for pointing that out niftyknits! I'm from the UK hence the 'normal' spelling and the spellchecked version coming through.

I think most people use Jewellery (jewelry) as a category, so its automatically spelt the american way.

An interesting thing to note is that search also finds similar words, and words that originate form the same root. You'll often find complaints from people looking for 'organised' that have search return things tagged as 'organic'. For some reason this doesn't work with jewellery!

Denise said...

You are so right, right, right! I thought I was using the tags correctly, but I see I have some work to do.