Monday, August 27, 2012

MONDAY CHALLENGE: Tweak, Tweak, Tweak

Let's All Dance
While We Sing (to the tune of "Shake Your Booty"):

Tweak Your Ti-tles
Tweak Your Ta-ags
Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
Tweak Your Ti-tles
Tweak Your Ta-ags....

Etsy search is a joke challenge, to say the least. And as Sylvie has indicated, it can make your head explode trying to figure it out. But if you have been in our forum this past week, you may have read the informative posts about how to tag and title for relevancy in search. Because of the importance of this subject, I am repeating here, in part, the shared tips and experience of some of our members:

Stephanie of SquishyCouture:  I've tweaked my tags in the past few weeks and my views have drastically improved. Quite a few of my items are now in the first or second page for multiple searches. Plus I made two sales this week. This is exactly what I did: I threw all the rules out the window. Ok, not entirely true, but I just can't remember all the rules at the same time.

I just experimented. And really, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Once you do the first few and test to see that it works, the rest come much easier. Pick one listing. Do a search for it the way YOU would search. Then try it the way you think SHOPPERS will search. You can use to make this process MUCH faster. It tells you what page a specific listing shows up on for a specified search. (Just make sure statsy searching by relevancy, since that's Etsy's default.) One of my items didn't even show up in the first 25 pages so I changed my title, description and tags to have my specific search phrase. Update, wait a few minutes and voila! I jumped to the first page. BUT, I tried doing another listing with extremely similar title, description and keyword, and while it did bump me up several pages, it's still probably 4 or 5 pages in. Try optimizing similar items for different searches. You also need to be mindful of how saturated that search is. "Newborn photo prop" brings up thousands of listings, so no matter what I've tried, I can't get to the front of that. So I optimize for slightly more specific phrases like "newborn girl photo prop." First page.

In relation to what Robin said regarding repeating doesn't really work when you are optimizing a similar item for the same search. Etsy has some sort of formula for "spreading the wealth." I don't think it always works the way they intended because I often see one shop with a few listings per search page. I don't fight it, I just optimize similar items for different search phrases. (That's where backlinks are important!)

Also, Etsy search and Google search work differently. Google search DOES pull from the description, and it really dislikes repetition. So while you may bump your ranking in Google search, it might not make much of a difference on Etsy (though it shouldn't hurt either.) Optimizing for Google makes my brain hurt so I've focused on optimizing for Etsy.

Also, ADD BACKLINKS! That's where you include a link in your description back to your shop, or a specific section, or another item. This has helped me a lot! Look at it this way, you jumped the biggest hurdle of getting your item in front of them. Maybe they like your style, but it's not exactly what they want. Give them an easy way to find similar things. Or send them right to your shop so they can see everything you have to offer. People clicking on these links also helps your google standing. Supposedly it helps with relevancy too (along with hearts and treasuries) but to what extent, I don't know.

Sorry for the book, but that's the simplest way I can think to explain what I've done. By no means am I the hottest thing around, and there is much more to consider but I have seen a gigantic difference in my shop visibility. I figure I should start with the basics instead of not starting at all because I don't understand the rules. For those of you that have hundreds of listings...I know it's got to be ridiculously time consuming, but you can use (free) to batch edit your listings. Makes it much quicker.

Sylvie of AlbinaRose: I have also thought that item descriptions had something to do with relevancy, but they really don't.

... titles and tags matching is the big difference to being relevant or not...

Two word tags are SO important. And if you have those two word tags in your title it will make all the difference in the world in relevancy.

But they also have to be words that would be searched by buyers. Keep that in mind when selecting your keywords.

It's great if you use certain key words in your titles and tags and then search for those specific keywords. You definitely will be relevant in that search. But are those words that shoppers will use to find the kind of item you sell? That's what really matters in relevancy. Not whether we are relevant in our own searches when using our specific key words. Rather if we're relevant in buyers' searches when they punch in the words searching for an item. Views and stats will tell you if you are being found by shoppers.

Regular activity in your shop helps too. So listing, tweaking titles and tags, freshening up your policies, your profile, renewing...all help to keep you relevant.

Robin of WolfiesBindery:  Search engines weight the first two words in a title more heavily. This is universal, the Google search works the same way.I don't know if repeating the same two words in a title and tag will get you anywhere. Example: I can list 2 journals, use the exact same title, and tags and one will wind up on the first page of the relevant search the 2nd not anywhere to be found. Etsy's search engine is not capable of searching the entire listing... 

...If you use RED SQUIRREL in your tile you need to repeat RED SQUIRREL as one of your tags... experiment.

I went through some of my listings and simplified the Titles. Then I repeated combinations of words from the title, in the tags.


Title: Journal Lined Paper Large

Tags: Journal, Journal Lined, Journal Large, Large Journal, Lined Journal etc.

1-2 word tags seem to work best

Sounds too stupidly simple, but it seems to have worked. I went from "where is my stuff" to listings in first 15 pages.

There's no magic bullet, but this might help.

Sheri of SheriBeryl:  ...your tags need to mirror all of the keyword phrases in your titles...

Joy of thecraftfrog:  ...a couple of people suggested that Etsy takes the first 3 words of your title. If your title is Crochet Blue Dog Purse, then the relevant part of that is Crochet Blue Dog. When someone is looking for a purse, they are less likely to be looking for something crocheted specifically, and purse doesn't even register- which means that this is probably not going to be anywhere close to the top of the search. If, instead, you went with Blue Dog Purse Crochet, or Blue Purse Dog Crochet, or something else like that... You're going to be more likely to show up near the top as "relevant."

Also, I think this has been discussed here before, the Etsy's tags don't deal with partial terms for search. So if someone puts in "Ballet slippers" and you have "Ballet Slipper," they're not going to come up with your result. This may or may not bring up a "no results found, so we searched for this close thing instead," I spent some time playing around with it and the results were pretty mixed.

Thank you all for sharing!

Our challenge this week is to tweak your titles, tweak your tags.... and...

...shake your booty...

all the way to page one of search!

 Cap'n Kathi

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