How to use tags in your online shop
(and which tags will get your work seen)
When you list an item on Folksy, you can label it with up to 15 ‘tags’. Tags are designed to help customers find what they’re looking for more easily. To help you understand how they work and how you can use them effectively, we’ve put together this guide to tags.
What are tags?
- Tags are used within Folksy to help shoppers find what they are looking for.
- Tags are one of the factors our internal search engine uses to bring back relevant results. The others are product titles and descriptions.
- We match tags to searches done by shoppers on Folksy, so if they search ‘picnic blanket’ and you have tagged a product ‘picnic blanket’ it will show up in their search.
Tags help our internal search engine find the products that best match a shopper’s search on Folksy – they are not the same as ‘keywords’ which are words or phrases people type into search engines like Google.
How to use tags:
- You can add tags to your items when you list or edit a product.
- Think carefully about which tags you can use to match shoppers’ searches.
- Tags can be one word or a short phrase.
- Long tags with multiple words are less likely to help your work to be found because people may not use the exact same phrase with words in the exact same order.
- Use tags alongside other ‘keywords’ or phrases in your titles and descriptions to help your work get found within Folksy and also by search engines like Google.
How to choose a tag
Let’s imagine you’ve made a crochet blanket and want to create relevant tags. Start by thinking about who would be looking for it and why – what words would they use in their search? Does your product have multiple uses? Try to think sideways too – are there any words or phrases people might use that might not be immediately obvious?
In this case of our crochet blanket, any of these words and phrases could be relevant: ‘blanket‘, ‘cot blanket‘, ‘baby blanket‘, ‘nursery blanket‘, ‘pram blanket‘, ‘pram‘, ‘nursery deco‘, ‘nursery decoration‘, ‘wool blanket‘, ‘picnic blanket‘, ‘picnic‘, ‘English Summer‘, ‘granny squares‘, ‘crochet‘, ‘modern crochet‘, ‘contemporary crochet‘, ‘knitted‘, ‘knitted blanket‘, ‘crochet squares‘, ‘crochet flowers‘, ‘throw‘, and possible even something like ‘Wimbledon‘.
So which ones of these do you use as tags? It really depends on which are most relevant to your product – there’s no point in tagging your product with something misleading because that’s just going to frustrate shoppers. Instead pick the tags that best match your item.
Tip: Use Google Trends to see which search terms are the most popular. It’s free! If you can’t decide between two tags, you can use this tool to compare the popularity of different search terms. For example, more people currently search for ‘granny square’ than ‘crochet square’ (see below), so as you are limited by the number of tags you can use, it may make sense to use the tag ‘granny square’ rather than ‘crochet square’.
How to use tags to boost your search ranking
The number of tags you can add to each listing is currently limited to 15, so you need to decide which searches you want to rank highest for. Tags are currently given the most weight within searches on Folksy, so a product with a tag that matches a search *exactly* will rank higher than a product which only mentions that word or phrase in the title or description, or which is tagged with a word that only partially matches the search.
For example, if a shopper enters the words ‘picnic blanket’ in a search on Folksy, any items tagged with the phrase ‘picnic blanket’ will show up first in the search results. Any items tagged with ‘picnic’ or ‘blanket’ will also show up, but lower down in the results (all things being equal). Any items that also have the phrase ‘picnic blanket’ in their product title and/or description will be boosted in the rankings.
In our example, you would probably want to rank high for ‘blanket’ too – but if you only used the tag ‘picnic blanket’, a product tagged with ‘blanket’ would appear higher in the results (again, all things being equal and forgetting for now about title and description).
So, the question then is, should you use ‘picnic blanket’ as well as ‘picnic’ and ‘blanket’. That would depend on how relevant your item was for those individual terms. Would someone searching for ‘picnic’ be likely to think that your picnic blanket was relevant? If you think so, then it may be worth having it as a separate tag. It may also be that the number of items on Folksy that come up for ‘picnic’ is low, so you would rank highly anyway just with ‘picnic’ as a tag, and it’s not worth using up one of your tags with a separate one for ‘picnic blanket’.
Experiment and see what works!
Never neglect your product titles and descriptions!
While tags are significant you should also think about clear and concise titles and well-described description fields. As well as being important for our internal search on Folksy, the words in your product titles and descriptions are used by Google and other search engines to determine their results. So research them well, and think about how you would describe your item to someone if they couldn’t see the photos!
(Featured image: Copper Heart Gift Tags by Emma Jo)