Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teach Me Wednesday: Tag, you're it!

Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from the Etsy success team about tagging. For those of you who don't own an Etsy store, this little word has becoming the bane of their existence for some etsy sellers (me included).
Trying to find 12 words that describe your creation and make it 'findable' in the big pile of stuff being sold on Etsy seems like a daunting task and the e-mail that I got from Etsy left me feeling a little well....underwhelmed.
So, I sat down and did a little tagging research and wanted to give both buyers and sellers a few points of advice on tagging. I say sellers and buyers because after making treasuries, you begin to get an idea of exactly how a buyer searches for an item. This will help you when tagging your own.

1. Be super-specific about what it is and how you made it:
Is it a bracelet? Great! Is it also a bangle? Ah-ha! Is it a cuff? Even better.
People who regularly buy from Etsy tend to be specific about what they want and they search with that in mind.
Also, I tend to write "bead embroidered" in my title, but I'll add "bead embroidery" to my tag list in case someone searches the noun rather than the adjective.
I've also added "upcycled" and "recycled" to items when I've re-used materials to create them. Not all of my work re-uses materials, but some of it does.
This cuff for example has "brass" in the tags because it is embroidered around a brass base. (A fact that is explained in the description)

2. Ask who would wear this and where?
I got this idea recently when this bracelet was featured on a blog by an artist who was reviewing a local production of Carmen. This bracelet was part of a feature with other artists who were doing flamenco/Spanish-inspired work.
I can only imagine she found it because I had "spanish" in the tag.
So, is your item for a steampunk fan or a gothic girl or a modern trendsetter? Would they wear it to the prom or on a cruise or for a date night or to work?
Try to think outside of the box with this one as well.

3. Be "aqua marine ocean blue" color specific. This really works if your piece is monochromatic and it's very helpful if you want to get into Treasuryland or if you're making a treasury!
On Monday, I was searching "mustard", "garnet", "buttercream", "gray", all in an attempt to make my Grace Kelly treasury.
It's not just blue, it's denim blue with ivory rounds and hints of mustard yellow seeds with layers of chocolate brown.
This article by the Etsy Treasury Team gives great alternatives to commonly used nouns.

4. Use your internet resources to see what people are looking for.
I check Craftopolis and the tag report to see what terms people are using to find my work, and then I'll include that term in almost all of my items. (After all, everything I make is "beaded", no?)
I've used Tagwars in the past to see what the post popular keywords are for the tiype of jewelry that I'm creating.
Google Insights can also help you to identify what kind of keywords people are using to find products similar to yours and to help you narrow your market a little as to where they are finding those products.
Oh, and on the note of internet sure and add your name and/or shop name in at least a few of your items. I've checked Craftopolis to find that people are searching "la bella joya" in Handmade, and they're not going to find my shop that way, so I've added my name to a few of my tags just to be sure.

5. Last but not least, and I think that this one is really important:
Ask someone else! Really.
Sometimes you're so close to a piece that you can't see what you've actually created. Maybe you wanted it to be Grace Kelly and it ended up being Katherine Hepburn, or perhaps you were thinking art deco, but may have crossed a little over into arte nouveau.
(My mother is an artist and old movie buff, so she's full of much better ideas than I am on this one.)

Okay, for a little practice. I created this bangle yesterday and I'm really struggling trying to find a name for it (and consequently some tags).
Here's what I've got so far:
geometry squared
sideways squares
tumbling tiles
three-lane highway

What do you think? What words would you use to describe it?

I hope some of this info is useful to you. If you'd like to do some more research, follow some of the websites above for more info, or just search "Etsy tagging tips".
Have a great Wednesday!


  1. Thanks, Marcie. This is good. I am terrible at tagging and even worse at titles. BTW, I like 'tumbling tiles.' Has that alliteration going for it.

  2. Marcie, this is a great post. One I know I'll refer back to many times. I love the cuff, and I like the tic-tac-toe title, with "geometry" for the tag.

  3. You are most awesome, Miss Marcie! I have started tagging a lot of my items with my name and I try to use colors, but they are very basic. Knowing that you can use multiple words in the tag, like pine green or dove gray, can probably work to your advantage too! Thanks for the resources, I had no idea about Tag Wars and Google Insights. I will come back to this post again!
    Enjoy the day!

  4. Great post! I'm going to go experiment with some tags and see what happens.

  5. Great article. You can also tag your items by which kinds of stlyes or costume they evoke. Some examples include circus, gothic, victorian, pixie, etc.