Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Defining Etsy Relevancy

Through all the reading and networking and trying things out in an effort to "get found" on etsy I can testify that this is a multi-layered topic. I can honestly say this is the most time consuming part of keeping my Mama Bleu shop open and thriving! I am constantly digging through a variety of resources in order to better understand the complexity of the how to become more relevant on Etsy.

So what does relevancy mean? Relevancy is how closely your product title and tags match a customer's search terms. The more closely those words match the word(s) that a customer types in the search box, the more relevant you are and the more likely you will get found by that etsy shopper.

In an attempt to peel back some of the layers of this topic let's look at what impacts relevancy. A very successful etsy seller once shared with me that TITLE + TAGS = RELEVANCY. This means that your title and your tags - working together - increase your potential of getting found.



The TITLE of your item carries the most weight in relevancy. Some people will tell you that a short title is best. Others will say that a title with more words is better. I have chosen to make my descriptions long but I have no proof that this is the best method. Whatever the length of strung words you use, be sure to use the best phrases for your item at the beginning of your title.

To create a relevant product TITLE consider these things:
  • Be accurate and descriptive.  
  • Clearly describe your item at the beginning of the Item Title. These first couple of words carry the most weight.
  • Take a short phrase like "purse with floral fabric" and replace it with "floral purse". 
  • Determine the best phrases for your titles (and tags) by referring to the Top Keyword section of your Shop Stats. 
  • If you have several items in your shop that are similar be sure to use different descriptive words for each or switch the order of the words in the title. You don't want to list them all identically.
To find your Shop Stats you need to log in to Etsy and go to Your Account > Shop Stats. This page will show you all sorts of interesting things and give your valuable information.

Etsy says that, unlike the title, the order of the TAGS does not impact your relevancy ranking. There are DOs and DON'Ts about tagging your items.
  • You may use a short descriptive phrase as a tag if it accurately describes your item (for example: “sterling silver” or “messenger bag”
  • You may not stuff multiple words into a single tag that do not form a descriptive phrase such as “beach water sunset”, “handbag purse clutch” or “green red blue black.”)
  • Some of the best tags come from your title and I make it a practice of repeating most or all of those phrases and words in my tags.
  • For additional tagging terms I consult the most current merchandising report, trending tags and the Top Keywords found in my Shop Stats section.
  • Etsy has a blog post with suggestions of other words you may want to consider for tags.

So what about the DESCRIPTION of your items? This is an area of my shop that I still need to work on. I have read that the words used here do not effect your shop relevancy on Etsy but they can effect your relevancy on Google search. The big world of SEO (search engine optimism) is daunting to me but I'm doing my best to wrap my head around it.

Since Google seems to likes repetition, I do my best to repeat the key words and phrases from my title in the first couple of sentences of my description. Etsy encourages us to use this area to not only describe our item more fully but to make a personal connection with our customers with stories and experiences with the product. You may find this Etsy article helpful.

Another awesome tip I learned early on is the importance of linking customers back to your shop with hyperlinks within your descriptions. I have my shop items divided into sections so my customers can find things more easily. So when I add a description to a listing for one of my personalized clutches I include a link to the shop section that gives them the opportunity to view other designs and colors that I offer. I also include a link back to my shop so they can keep looking around at other items I have to offer. Creating inbound links help your customer stay engaged in your shop. You want them to stay awhile, browse, favorite items and make a purchase.

My best advice for you at this point is to work on some of your shop listings. Tweak your titles and tags and add some in-bound links to your descriptions. Wait a bit and then test things out. Search for your items by using some of the key words in your title and tags to see how those words and phrases are working. If you aren't landing on one of the first 3-5 pages of the search you may want to change more words.

I would love your feedback! What did you change and how did it effect your relevancy?