Shop Tags—What the Heck are They?!
So, what exactly are tags, and how can you use them to your advantage in your listings? Tags are small portions of text that buyers are likely going to use to search for your item. In my case, a tag that folks would use to find things like I sell would be “Etsy Banner Set.” Try it out—think of a short bit of text, one or two words, that you might use to find your item. Do a search on that term on Etsy. What do you find? Did one of your items show up? A bunch of things similar to yours? That’s the idea. Putting tags in your listings make it easier for Etsy’s search engine to find your items and put them toward the front. Here are a few suggestions on good ways to use tags, and how to find good ones for your items.
1) Use Them All
Etsy allows you to use 13 tags, in addition to the categories that you have to put your item in when you list it. Use them all in every listing. Try using specific descriptions (shower gift) and broad ones (baby gift.) Think of other ways your item might be of use to buyers, condense that thought into a couple of words and use it as a tag. Try to think of what a buyer that needs your item would search for. Make them specific enough so that buyers won’t say “what’s that doing there?” (Use “green glove” instead of just ”glove.”) But don’t be so specific that no one would ever search for that term (“chartreuse glove.”)
2) Get Inspiration
Open up an Etsy window and put one of your tags that you’ve developed in the search bar. What do you see? Would your items fare well on the page? If not, keep looking for tags until you find a few that get results a lot like your items. Click on the listings in the top row and scroll down to the bottom and look at the tags. What are they using in addition to the one you chose? Would any of those, or a variation thereof, work for your item? Try them out in a few of your listings and see.
3) Pretend They Are in Front of You
Let’s say you were selling your item in a brick and mortar shop. Someone comes in and asks for “such and such” for her next event or occasion, or to go with her new clothes or furniture, etc. What does she say that you leads you to choose your item to show her? Condense that into a couple of words and use it as a tag in your listing.
4) Don’t Forget Holidays, Seasons and Events
If your item looks the least bit fall-ish, add seasonal tags to it. Do the same with other seasons. Don’t forget that it’s always summer (and winter) somewhere, so anything seasonal should have seasonal tags all year round. Remember to tag holidays too, if your item would be appropriate, including ones celebrated worldwide. Could your item possibly be a Valentine’s Day gift? Say so in one of your tags. I’m not sure this works as well with Christmas, just because everything just about could be a Christmas gift, but I think you can get mileage out of the other holidays throughout the year. The same goes for events and occasions. If your item could be a great gift for a Quinceanera, or a house warming, put it in your tags.
It takes time and diligence to get tags right, but they are worth the trouble. No one is certain exactly how Etsy’s search engine works, but tags are an important part of the equation. If you find a tag that really works and puts you on the first page of your search, congratulations! Be sure to keep checking that tag in your search to make sure it still is giving you the results that you want.
OK, go make some tags, I’ll wait here.