It doesn't really matter where you host your shop (your own website, eBay, Etsy, Folksy etc.), the fact remains that you will rely heavily on prospective customers being able to find your shop and your makes and to ensure you maximise your chances of this, the words you use when in relation to your business, are crucial.
There are a few opportunities to ensure search engine optimisation:
- your shop name
- the title or name of each item
- the description you use for each item
- the tags used for your items
To maximise your search within Etsy, the title and tags of the items should match, using the same words and phrases because this is how the search engine works within the store. For Google, the title and descriptions should have similar words and phrases to maximise your SEO.
As you can see, different search engines use different criteria so it's important to get all 4 of the naming opportunities spot on.
A shop name that contains words relating to what you sell is of course helpful, but it's not necessary. If you haven't yet named your business, use this as a consideration. If you've already named your business and it bears no relation to what you sell, don't worry about it and focus on more dynamic elements such as titles/names, descriptions and tags.
Titles and Names
Naming your items is supremely important for returning your shop/item in searches. The order of the words is also important - the most prominent/obvious feature should occur first. Think of the way ingredients are listed in a ready meal - biggest % ingredient first, then 2nd largest, 3rd largest etc. The top 3/4 ingredients should be obvious by the name of the dish.
The same rules apply here in listing the key ingredients first. Try to duplicate words and phrases that are used within the title and limit non-descriptive words. You should be evoking emotion and creating a "need" for this item and really get in to the detail of the item, it's make and in's intended recipient.
To give you some ideas, pick up the main elements of your item and start with those and then focus down into the detail.
finish - matt, gloss, etc.
material, fabric, medium
hand made, hand cut, hand sewn, hand finished
shape - round, square, oval, box
size (use comparative sizing - tea cup sized, shoe box etc)
dimension (or small, medium, large)
who it's meant for (girl, boy, mum, uncle etc.)
what occasion is it (birthday, Christmas etc.)
use some occasional terms like seasonal, festive, party, NYE etc.
use synonyms - some people don't use standard terms
use words that might describe other items in your shop, or your shop as a whole, to bring your customer to the right location
Tags are how your item is searched for within online stores such as Etsy. It's also how blogs might turn up in searches which could relate to your store and products so don't forget to tag your blogs too!
- use all tag allowances for each item
- use multi-worded tags such as "red glitter card" rather than "red" , "glitter" and "card" (you get more bang for your buck)
- repeat tags that are used in your item title or name
- use tags that relate to other items in your store
- use your shop name in your tag allowance
- use tags that are related to your item which customers might also be searching for - if you're selling birthday cards, try using "birthday balloons" and "birthday cake" for example
When deciding on how to Title and Describe your items, try typing it into the search box within Etsy, eBay or Google and see what other options are presented. These will show in order of the most popular searches within that category and give you an idea of how customers might be searching for your items.
What things have you tried when naming, describing and tagging your items? What has worked, and perhaps, what hasn't? It's worth remembering that the algorithms and rules within search engines are constantly being updated and they are extremely complex so it's worth refreshing your items on a regular basis - something that didn't work before, might work now!
Let us know how you get on in the comments box below.
PS did you know that Etsy have introduced location into their search calculation for buyers in the UK and Australia? Apparently these markets are more sensitive to postage time/cost and exchange rates.