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How does the search algorithm work?

Every site has their own unique method of searching, and Stockabl is no different. In this article we will review what goes into our search algorithm. how to optimize your listings, and why SEO best practices help your brand stand out.

Shop analytics is a commonly requested feature and is on our radar for release in the next few months. Stay tuned for this exciting development!

Stockabl’s Search

When a buyer uses the search bar on Stockabl, our algorithm looks in a few places for matches to the search terms the buyer used including the title, descriptions (both short and long), attributes, categories, and tags.

As of October 2019, the search bar will now also return results for products with a shop name matching the search term, even if you don’t include it anywhere else in your listing.

All search algorithms work by searching webpages for keywords either identical or similar to the search term used. In our algorithm, keywords are assigned a score based on where in the listing they are found, and the total score for a listing is calculated by adding up the scores of all its matching keywords.

Listings with higher scores will show up higher in the search results than listings with lower scores.

Optimizing Listings

When creating or editing your listings takes some time to think about the keywords that belong with a particular listing and how you want to incorporate them.

How to choose keywords

Brainstorm a list of descriptive phrases that apply to your product. Think about how your customers will search for them and the words they would use.

While obvious keywords like “necklace” or “candle” are a good place to start and shouldn’t be left out, there is going to be a lot of competition for those terms. This means you will have a harder time landing in one of those coveted top 25 listings that make the first page.

It’s also important to keep in mind that buyers will likely further narrow down their search from there to look for specific products. Focus on building out more specific “long-tail” keywords that will help your product stand out.

A long-tail keyword is a two to four keyword phrase which is very, very specific to whatever you are selling. Whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase like these, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.

In addition to the type of product you are selling, keywords can also include the materials or methods used to make them, where they were made, your brand values, or special features of the product.

It might help to sit down with some paper and a pen and brain dump as potential keywords as you can think of with these different sources in mind. Keep this list handy so you can reuse it for creating new listings, optimizing old ones, or even when you’re trying to think of new hashtags to use on social media!

Where to put keywords

Take note of all the places that the search algorithm looks for keywords (either matching or similar) in a listing and consider how you can incorporate them into your listings.

Titles

Including keywords in your listing titles helps them appear in search, but unlike Etsy we do not recommend creating long keyword-stuffed titles for your listings. This contributes to an unprofessional and spammy appearance to your listings and can have the opposite effect of your intent.

We recommend creating short, specific titles with your primary keyword target. For example, we see many listings for greeting cards which have the caption of the card as the title but leave off the keyword “greeting card”. While these listings would likely perform well for a search for the phrase on the card, a more general search for greeting card would result in them appearing lower in the results.

GOOD:
“World’s Greatest Mom Sorry I Ruined Your Body”
(note the lack of keywords)

BETTER:
“‘World’s Greatest Mom Sorry I Ruined Your Body’ Snarky Greeting Card”

Whatever you do, don’t use the title “World’s Greatest Mom Sorry I Ruined Your Body Snarky Funny Greeting Card Stationery Notecard Blank Card…” (this is title stuffing).

Descriptions

Your short and long descriptions are also a key place to thoughtfully place keywords and have the added bonus of also helping you to rank in offsite searches like Google or Pinterest.

Again, stuffing as many keywords as possible so that your descriptions read like a bad 90’s spambot wrote them is not the goal here. Incorporate your primary and long-tail keywords into your descriptions naturally.

Remember that the first 180 characters or so of your primary description will be what people see when your listing shows up on offsite search engines, so make them memorable! Good SEO is not just about tricking a search engine into showing your page, but also about making people want to click through after they find you.

Categories

We have a lot of categories on Stockabl to help you drill down to choose the most relevant categories for your products. Browse through the categories lists to find ones that work for your brand.

Feel free to include your products in any categories that are relevant to them, but beware including them in irrelevant categories. This will ultimately hurt your shop as your products will be ranked as less relevant in search results and buyers will perceive your brand as spammy.

Tags

If you have sold on Etsy before you are familiar with the concept of tags. This is your chance to include many keywords with your product that may not fit naturally or easily into your titles or descriptions. We recommend including both the keywords you have already used elsewhere AND additional ones.

While we do not have a limit or hard rule on the number of tags you can include we recommend between 10-15. You can browse from tags already in use, or create your own.

Attributes

Both simple and variable products can have attributes associated with them whose only purpose is to provide additional keywords for search. Create custom attributes or use the built-in global attributes to

Use the built-in global attributes to add values like color family, recipients, applicable holidays or styles, and more to your listings. Not only do you get the benefit of an added keyword boost in search, but global attributes are also used as product filters.

Create custom attributes for things like your materials, production methods, custom colorways and more. Both global and custom attributes can be used to create product variations, but can also be used simply to provide more detail on your products.

No matter which attributes you decide to use, again remember to only include relevant ones or your brand will look spammy and your ranking with drop.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing your listings for visibility on Stockabl has the added benefit of making them stand out on search engines like Google, Bing, and Pinterest which makes you even more likely to be found by retailers over time.

One of the best resources that you have as a member of the Stockabl community is support of your fellow makers. Use them as a sounding board for new keyword ideas or other ways to make your listings stand out! Feel free to jump in the hotseat in the Facebook group by posting a link to one of your listings and requesting feedback from the community.

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