Item Listing Basics



Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

I often see folks asking for help in the critiques section of the Etsy forums wondering how to improve their shops because they aren’t getting many hits.

The most common response is to improve your photos, and while good photos are very important, even excellent photos will mean little if your items are not showing up in search results for folks to see those photos and click through to your item. Web-based searches don’t return photos with their listings, so you really need to improve in other ways to get outside traffic in to your shop.

Promoting your business is great and usually necessary for success, as is getting the internet search engines to work for you…

The key:

Search engines can only find you based on the text in your listings.

Repeated text in titles, descriptions and tags is a good thing–it gives more weight to those keywords when search engines are returning results. Improve your listings with better titles, descriptions and tags by including words and information that folks would use when looking for items like yours–basically think like a buyer…

If a buyer saw your item once, then wanted to find it again,
what words would they search to find it?

Some important ways to describe your items in the text:

    Content–tell us what your item is in detail.
    A print? original? watercolor? photograph? hat? earrings? purse?
    Does it have two orange cats in a field of flowers? a field of yellow and white daisies? of light pink tulips?
    Red hand-knit hat with a multicolor tassel? or pompon? (or pom-pom, since that’s a common alternate spelling)
    Yellow and light blue handmade clay pendant on a bright pink ribbon necklace?

    Mood/Theme–Use common descriptors for your style so folks shopping for a “feel” can find you.
    Examples: Retro, goth, rustic, folk art, steampunk, kawaii, mod, surreal, formal, casual, country…

    Colors–describe all main colors in your item.
    Don’t describe the color of the background of your photo of a product (or the props you used) since that’s not what a shopper will be looking for/able to buy from your listing. (Obviously if a photo is the product, all main colors in it should be included.)

    Size–in inches and centimeters.
    The web is international, don’t make your buyers guess what something would be in their units of measurement.
    Print sizes in the title is very helpful in addition to it being in the body of a listing.
    Personally, I like to break the size out of the descriptive text to make it easy to see, like here: Suncatcher–Roswell

Working all those in to a flowing description & adding the appropriate bits to the title and tags can be a challenge.

It helps to have some writing skills, a friend who can help or to post in the forum critique section to get ideas on how to refine your listings. Here’s an example of an item description I helped someone with in the forums:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6556178&page=2

That’s not the only way to work keywords in, sometimes folks tell a story in their description and/or use humor and that’s a great talent. I’m sure if you browse Etsy and see a few good description styles you’ll find one that suits you and your items, but be sure not to copy anyone’s listings.

Just a list of keywords isn’t good, search engines will see that keyword spamming and it may actually hurt your search engine results.

These should also help you get a feel for what tags and text will help:

Guidelines & Tips: Tagging on Etsy
etsy.com/storque/how-to/guidelines-tips-tagging-on-etsy-281

Etsy: Meta Tags
gotogreatpanes.com/blog/2009/07/21/etsy-meta-tags

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) info straight from Google
gotogreatpanes.com/blog/2009/06/22/search-engine-optimization

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

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