This post in our series of Shop Front articles is all about writing the very best, accurate descriptions of your handmade item and supplies. Showing you how to write a ‘Power Paragraph’, naturally incorporate keywords and also how to format your descriptions for maximum impact and readability.
The Folksy Knowledge Base (a very useful resource for buying and selling on Folksy) recommends using the following points to help you construct your item description.
- What it is (eg evening bag, beret, wedding dress)
- How it was made
- What it is made from
- Size and weight
- Packaging and postal options
You are given a whopping 2500 words to describe an item. Long descriptions may be necessary if your item is of a complex nature but usually a short description is more likely to be read rather than scanned. Keywords are used in combination with labels and the title to ensure the best matches are returned to a search.
Keywords / Labels
Below is our imaginary Va Va Voom bag, mentioned in last weeks post on getting your item title right (now don’t go stealing the design!) We came up with the following list of keywords for our bag. There are 22 listed below but as we’re only allowed 20 to add to our Folksy shops we’ll need to prioritise these words – any left over can always be used in the description.
Physically descriptive words that real buyers are likely to use in a search – red, leather, bag, handbag, shoulder bag, zipped pocket, rolled handles, hand stitched, flat base, black lining, magnetic closure, shiny, patent, small
Adjectives that appeal to our target audience and the press! – fashionable, on trend, handmade, quality, sexy, va va voom, eighties, 80s
We now have some great keywords and need to add that first important paragraph to the description incorporating these keywords, whilst succinctly describing our bag. Search engines will mostly be interested in the first paragraph (40-50 words or so – it doesn’t have to be one actual paragraph) so you have to make this count and ensure it is full of the keywords that a person may use when searching for an item. It must be readable and attractive – a string of keywords will turn off potential buyers as will overly florid and unnatural sounding sentences.
The first 40 to 50 words is also the text that is used when people add your link to facebook, or if you use an RSS feed to automatically update your blog or other social networking sites. All of the keywords we have used have been highlighted to show just how search engine friendly our ‘power paragraph’ is. We have repeated the most important keywords “red” and “handbag” – don’t be tempted to over use keywords, this can have a negative effect – but do use variations of a word such as bag, handbag, handbags.
This patent leather red handbag is just what you need for a little extra va va voom! Made from quality materials this handmade bag features a secure magnetic closure and internal zipped pocket with a hard wearing black cotton lining. The hand stitched, rolled handles are long enough to be worn over the shoulder and close to the body. Seriously sexy, this eighties inspired handbag is on trend and red hot!
Edit your description until it really works for you, removing unnecessary words and sentences until it captures the essence of the product you are selling. If you are writing a general paragraph that you have already used in your shop bio or another listing it may be easier to add a hyperlink instead. Take a look at other listings from successful sellers on Folksy or in any online shop for inspiration and develop your own style of writing your descriptions. This will also help to speed up the listing process. Consistency isn’t boring it’s branding (even if you are consistently eccentric!).
Don’t leave out important factors about the product – materials and dimensions are a must as it can be very difficult to gauge the size of an item or what it is made from through a photograph alone.
We wrote up a tutorial for using some basic html to improve your shop bios in your profile a few weeks ago – use these codes to add impact to your descriptions too! Headline tags, line breaks and hyperlinks can all be used to add a professional finish to your descriptions and help with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) too.
We’d love to hear your comments! Will you be editing your descriptions to improve your SEO – add some links to your new descriptions here or tag us on our facebook fan page where we can see your power paragraph in action! Find more great articles from this series here – Seller Tips :: Shop Front!
All the items pictured are available from www.folksy.com click the images for more details.
This is a really great article. It’s a good reminder for all of us.
I just wanted to add something to what you said about the first 40 – 50 words being what gets shown on other sites. For those of you who have Etsy sites, when you are filling in the form with the description, if you click on the relevant button, they show you exactly what appears in the Google search. It’s a fabulous reality check. The product title appears first and then the first few lines of your blurb. It lets you see what others see first when they find you.
Keep these posts coming. They’re great. :-) x
Fabulous tips! Really has me thinking about effective use of keywords in my item descriptions. I am putting these into practice with my latest listings.
Now trying to decide whether to go through my whole shop and re-edit….
This is so helpful and now I am off to learn the hyperlinks and improve my descriptions. I think mine are too wordy! Excellent help and advice!
Excellent tips…and yes I have learnt something today and will most definitely be adjusting my descriptions…..once I have done my bio :)
Great tips, descriptions are something I need to work on and fiddlle around with a little. Thanks for the advice.
Super article – thank you so much! x
Another really useful article, thank you :)
The HTML makes it so much easier to read, I’ve just updated my shop profile thanks to your other blog post, and it’s looking so much better, so will definitely be going through and editing my listings too!
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I really appreciate all this help as I am a nube to Folksy online shops!! I have been helped by bonnita who did my signage for the shop. I am also looking for any good advice on having an online shop thank you Em
This is a brilliant article! Very helpful and full of great tips – thanks!
As I’m new to all this, this is good information to know and I’ll bear this in mind when putting items in my shop.
Thanks for posting this article. As a newbie, there are so many little tips and tricks you need to know. Some serious editing to be done on stuff I’ve already listed but I’ll know for the next time!
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