Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The CraftStar: Titles, Text, Tags Tips and Tricks

The CraftStar: Titles, Text, Tags Tips and Tricks

The CraftStar
Recommendations for Success

Opening a successful shop (anywhere) is not just a matter of upload and run!

You are not only an artist: you’re a copywriter, photographer, promoter, and advertising executive!  This is no easy feat, but there are ways we can help you.   I’ve read that the optimum balance between creativity and promotion is 70 / 30.  That may sound like a lot of promotion time, but keep in mind; you’re competing with a lot of artists for buyer’s attention.

We’ve talked about how important the quality of your photos (images) are, how promotion is one of the most crucial factors in getting your work “out there”, so now let’s take a look at the abc’s.

“Words” in your store are a precious commodity!  Every product title and description you write for your CraftStar shop is indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo as “keywords”.  This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  In order to maximize your store’s SEO potential, there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when building your shop on The CraftStar, including some design recommendations when designing your banner. 

Your shop front page is your display window to your product. It’s your chance to show customers what a professional and unique operation you run. You probably wouldn’t wander into a shop in the mall if it didn’t have a sign on it, or enticing items in the windows, right? It’s the same for your customers shopping online! As a seller, it is important you are presenting an intriguing web store that customers want to venture into, look around, and hopefully make a purchase.

Now let’s talk about the presentation of your store. First up:  do you have a banner?  The banner in your shop is equivalent to bricks and mortar shop signage – it says a lot about you!  The banner space on The CraftStar is quite prominent to allow you the seller to create a positive impression for your products.  So for your banner to be empty or unbranded makes it look like you haven’t put much effort into your store or don’t take your store seriously.  Both serious turn offs to potential customers as it also reflects the professionalism of your work.  If you do have a banner, does it sum up your work, your brand, your message? Does it get across the essence of your talent? Branding is a multi-billion dollar business for a reason ... it sells!  So make sure you’re presenting as cohesive and creative a message (if you don’t have a banner, there are shops on The CraftStar who specialize in graphics packages for very reasonable prices).

Have you added some info about yourself in the “About Me” section in your profile?  People want to know about you and your craft!  How did you start?  Where does the inspiration come from?  An empty profile looks a bit weird.


How you title your items is critical.  Titles need to describe the piece concisely, without going over the top and without saying too little. 

Think like a shopper. If you have, say, a bracelet that is made of lapis, carnelian, and amber, you might want to get cute and call it "Moroccan Sunset Bracelet".  The only problem is, unless someone is searching on Google for "Moroccan Sunset Bracelet", they aren't going to find you.  Therefore, you are best to title it "Lapis, Carnelian and Amber Bracelet" as the type of stones is searchable by a customer because they are general gem keywords.

If you *are* the type to want to use a fancy title, use it in the body of the product description. For instance, you can describe how this color combination brings to mind a sunset to help paint a romantic picture about the product. Product descriptions should also describe what inspired you to create the item. Buyers love to understand the essence of a product.

Titles are also really important for sharing.  When people share your items through Twitter, Facebook, etc .. the title is what the piece is identified by … without the whole description.  So again, make sure your title REALLY sells the item!

Title Do’s and Don’ts:

Do: Properly describe the item you’re selling.  Do capitalize the letters as a title!  (*see more about Capitalization at bottom of page).  Again, sloppy lettering and punctuation sends out an unprofessional message. This is right:  Red Fused Glass Bowl With Flowers.  This is wrong: red fused Glass bowl w/ flowers.  See the difference?  Titles of anything always have capital letters in the appropriate places.

Adding your shop name to your title is important and we used to have to do this manually … but the techs have now added it in automatically (check the bar at the very top of your screen).  This helps search engines and customers identify your work with your shop name.  Example:  Red Fused Glass Bowl With Flowers By Glass Mania.   Customers / fans are likely to remember your shop name and will use this to search for you directly.

Don’t: use any characters that aren’t alphanumeric.  Search engines cannot read - + = , &, etc.  You’re wasting precious potential search results by using those characters.  Having said that, non alphanumeric characters can be helpful in some cases because you can use them to remove non-critical words. Example: you could use "w/" instead of "with" if users do not search for the product with "with" in the search. There is some dilution of importance for keywords as you add more characters to the title so the example above could be useful to remove unnecessary characters that won’t be recognized.

Don’t: make the title the description of the item.  You don’t need to say: Red Fused Glass Bowl With Flowers By Glass Mania Made in the USA In a Smoke Free Environment Last Tuesday While My Dog Was Sleeping.  Keep your titles concise, yet descriptive.  You can add all the other information in the DESCRIPTION box.

Along the same lines as above, you don’t need to repeat words in the descriptions: Red Fused Glass Bowl, Red Bowl, Fused Glass, etc. The detailed description goes into the DESCRIPTION box, while the repetitions above, should be used in tags.

Do: use spellcheck!  The amount of typos we see is amazing!  And remember if you misspell a word in your title, a search engine isn’t going to be able to deliver your store in a search result.  “Galss” means nothing for a search. 

It also worth noting that the first 20 characters or so are shown in the product thumbnail box, so you should keep that in mind.

Example: someone has this: "Wearing Your Hearts on Your Sleeve tenth doctor inspired geek necklace".

In the thumbnail box, you only see "Wearing Your Hearts ..."

We show the full title on hover, but as you can see, if the first 20 characters aren't good, then it won't engage users optimally.


As an ecommerce site, where people can’t physically touch the item before they purchase, you really need to use your images and text descriptions to describe and sell your items as best as possible. Having the title: Red Fused Glass Bowl, then having the description just: “Glass Bowl” isn’t going to sell the item as it just isn’t that intriguing.  Use the description to tell your product’s story!  What is it made of?  What was the process of making it?  How big is it? (use actual size dimensions in both centimeters AND inches).  What would it be used for? How should it be taken care of?  How long will the earrings hang from my ears?  You get the idea … a customer wants this information when making a purchase. I want to know how long that necklace is and where it may lay on my neck.  Or how to take of care the scarf I’m interested in buying. Is it machine washable? Have you won awards for your work?  Let’s hear about them!  Have you been featured in magazines or blogs? Brag about it!! You don’t need to write a novel, but an enticing, informative story is great!


THIS area of your listing is where you put your “catch” phrases or Tags. If I were listing a Red Fused Glass Bowl with Flowers, my tags would be along the lines of:  red glass, glass, fused glass, flowers, pink flowers, handmade bowl, handmade blown glass, bowl, serving bowl, kitchenware, gifts, home, home d├ęcor.  Think outside the bowl / box!  Not just what the item actually is, but what could it be identified with? What is it made of? What are its properties? What categories does the product fit into?  Think like a shopper.  These tags are how search engines are most likely to find you so phrases like “handmade blown glass” are going to get YOU more hits than just using the word “glass” or “handmade”.  While you’re thinking laterally, you also need to think about what phrases people might type into Google looking for an item like yours.  They wouldn’t just type “glass” – it’s too nonspecific.  They may very well type in “handmade glass bowl.”  See where we’re going here?

Don’t forget to use commas after each of your tags: red, blue, green NOT red green blue (without the commas, the words will come up as one phrase in search engines)


Ever wonder what words and phrases are searched the most?  You can spend HOURS (having fun!) researching keywords here: gives you continual updates on phrases that are being searched.  Do a comparison, for example: handmade vs artisan … see how much more popular of a search  “handmade” is compared to “artisan”!

In Titles: What to Capitalize
Generally, these parts of speech are capitalized in titles:
   Nouns (man, bus, book)
   Adjectives (angry, lovely, small)
   Verbs (run, eat, sleep)
   Adverbs (slowly, quickly, quietly)
   Pronouns (he, she, it)
   Subordinating conjunctions (as, because, that)

In Titles: What Not to Capitalize
As you have probably noticed “small’ words are generally lowercase in titles, unless they are the first or last words in a title. However, some title styles that do capitalize these words.
 Generally, we do not capitalize:
   Articles: a, an, the
   Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, or, for, nor, etc.
   Prepositions (fewer than five letters): on, at, to, from, by, etc.

So, there you go.  Our “dummy’s guide” to Titles, Text, and Tags.  There is a lot of information that goes into much greater detail out in the webo-sphere.  But if you focus on the above points, you’re taking a great stride forward!

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