After a few days of browsing through some really beautiful Etsy shops, I've just had an interesting conversation with another seller about shop visibility as it relates to tagging items. I'm usually either comfortably oblivious to or completely out-of-sync with trends, but I have noticed that tagging has recently been a topic in the Etsy emails and on a couple of the blogs I follow. I'm not prone to writing about what everyone else is, but my window-shopping and convo have prompted me to share a little "Dos & Don'ts" list of suggestions I've found helpful as well as some of my own thoughts. These aren't revelations & I'm certainly no expert, but they may prove useful.
1. Use all of your tags
It seems obvious, but just this morning I've seen three shops that don't even come close. One had simply chosen four of Etsy's main categories. Tags are one of the things Etsy uses for calculating search results, so it's very important. First use any applicable main categories provided by Etsy, then get creative! * For ideas on the kind of things to include in your tags, check out Guidelines & Tips: Tagging on Etsy.
2. Use root words
A common example of this for jewelry would be variations of the word "bead". Unless it's already an Etsy category like "beaded" and "beadwork", or very particular to your listing like a book titled "Barnyard Beading", you're better off using the base word. Etsy's search results will include any variations and your listing will be relevant to more searches. Bead may not be the best example since you could also get lost in the number of results, but I'm sure you get the idea. And don't ask me where the barnyard thing came from, I don't even have a barn. * More info on increasing your visibility can be found at this Seller Workshop Recap & this Etsy Success Tips article.
3. Include specific terms where applicable
In most cases it's best not to get too technical with your tags. However, if you make unique or unusual items, or use specific techniques or materials, it's a good idea to include a related tag. This can open your items to views by the focused shopper as well as the casual browser. An example from my own shop is a pair of deer toe bone earrings I'm about to re-list [hey, I like them!]. In addition to "bone", I included the term "phalanges" as a tag because there just might be someone interested in science or anatomy who could stumble upon them while searching for medical drawings of a hand & decide there's nothing they'd love more in the world than a pair of earrings with toe bones on them. Or maybe they just watched that awesome episode of "Bones" in which Bones flails her fingers around in front of the baby, saying "dancing phalanges, dancing phalanges!" and now they want some of their own. These things could happen.
I also have three "Don'ts" and a couple of thoughts on materials lists, but I'm actually tired after this one, so I'll do that next post. I hope this was helpful to someone, and that everyone has a great day!