Oct 20, 2010

Creativity vs Functionality

I spent a lot of time using search engines. Since I'm on etsy.com selling, I'm often researching something or other and run across items I like. Often, I find my research is very challenging-due to the way sellers list their items. In an effort to create a catchy title that sets them apart from their competitors, sellers come up with all sorts of interesting titles.

The problem with this is functionality. We should create our titles and first paragraphs in our listings like shoppers shop. Do you walk into the mall thinking: I need a lush, whimsical, flight of fancy? No. You think: I need a navy blue sweater, maybe cropped. 

Dorothys shoes if she was livin in eighties

Take these great shoes for example. Google won't easily find these. Only someone on etsy looking for shoes or browsing will run across them. Still a decent gamble if you already have an established customer base, but why cut off such a large potential audience? A more searchable title might be: Pink Satin Pumps 8.5 Narrow Circa 1985. A cute reference can go in the description. A buyer is much more likely to search under the shoe style, fabric and size before anything else. 

Antique Tiger Oak Cigar Humidor, Porcelain Lined

Here is a fantastic example of a well written title, with enough facts to get found and enough details to entice. If I want an antique humidor, this will turn up. I'll see the link along with all the other antique humidors. BUT, that extra tiger oak makes it sound beautiful and the porcelain lined interior sounds like a must click through. Remember, having your item turn up in a search isn't enough-you then need to get the buyer to click through.

Whatever you can't fit or don't want to use in your title can go into the first sentence. Use words that would be searched under. The era the item was made in, style, material, country of manufacture, etc. 

Aesthetic Era etched silverplate teapot 1800s

 This listing does a great job of spreading the searchable information out between the title and first sentence: "Beautiful highly collectible quadruple plate cut-engraved teapot or coffee pot from Wilcox." What the search doesn't find in the title is easily gathered from this first information given.  In that first sentence the seller has added coffee pot into the search, as well as quadruple plate and Wilcox. Excellent details to include. 

We'll always find exceptions to this rule. I've seen sellers using crazy titles with hundreds of sales. They usually have established reputations and often sell like items. I still believe it's worthwhile to get the main details buyers are looking for front and center. Why stay hidden from potential buyers? Help buyers to find you! We have great vintage items, we should show them off!


Suzanne@threepeats said...

Very helpful! Looks like I have some writing (I mean rewriting) to do!

ImSoVintage said...

Thanks so much for including my teapot as an example. It is always a challenge to come up with just the right combination 8-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for this! Gett'n to work...