Search Tips from Creative Market's Search Engineer

Awhile back we asked Paul, Creative Market’s Search Engineer, to write some tips about how shop owners can best position their products to make sure they are found via search. Here are his tips, published in full:

Search plays a critical role in connecting customers with your products, but with all the fields in the product upload view it’s sometimes hard to know exactly what to put in each one. Do you keep things short and concise? Do you include as many terms as possible? What about plural and singular terms, and what about synonyms?

By far the most important field to craft is the title. It not only gets substantially more attention by our search algorithm, but it also shows up in tag pages, category pages, emails, and of course on your shop page. Ok, so that’s hardly a surprise, but what are the best practices for the title?

  • Keep it specific: Where applicable be sure to include the type of product in the title. So if you’re offering a brand new elegant font you can try something like “Elegantastic Serif Typeface”. If it’s a presentation bundle for pitching investors try adding “PowerPoint” or “Keynote” or “Pitch Deck”.

  • No need for overkill: In many cases it’s overkill to include the top level category in the title, especially for photos (e.g. you wouldn’t put “Dog Photo”). In general think of the specific terms the customer may use to search for your product, so instead of just “Dog” you could try “Dog Running at a Park”.

  • Keep it unique: It’s important to pick a somewhat unique title especially within the photos category since there are so many identical titles already. If your shop has many similar offerings you may also want to change up a few of the titles. Not only is this a great way to differentiate your products, but this has SEO benefits as well. When Google’s crawler sees lots of similar text with lots of similar content they may ding those pages for duplicate content.

Next down the line are tags. Tags are an important component in search and are used heavily when determining similar products.

  • Keep tags varied: Think about all the different ways a customer could search for your product and include those tags. You could even put yourself in the customer’s shoes and do a few searches to get inspiration.

  • Don’t “keyword stuff”: While the relevance of tags to the product is not strictly black and white if you find yourself wanting to include a term just to appear in one more search results you should probably leave it out. For example don’t include “St. Patrick’s Day” if you’re offering a texture that’s mostly green (do include it if you have a bunch of clovers). It’s important to note that including irrelevant terms on your product hurts everyone in the long run. It dilutes the quality of search results on Creative Market and it won’t increase the chance that someone will click on your product.

  • Group concepts in tags: Our search engine isolates certain specific phrases and treats them as atomic concepts. For example the words in “work out”, “rock star”, and “make up” are grouped to represent specific concepts, and as you can see, they completely lose their meaning if the words are split up. Use this reasoning when determining how to tag your products. With broader concepts such as “wedding icons” or “product mockups” the search algorithm will treat them the same regardless if they’re split up or not. You can ask the following question if you’re having a hard time deciding: are you describing a concept that will lose meaning if the words are split up? If the meaning is not lost then use the variation you like the most. If the concept strongly represents your product you can include both variations to make sure you have good term frequency (see below).

While it’s not heavily stressed within Creative Market search, the description is a great way to talk about the full offering of your product. It’s a good idea to include several complete sentences describing the product. This is a great way to bolster your product page for SEO purposes since search crawlers will be less likely to view the page as thin content.

Here are some additional guidelines that apply to all fields:

  • Term frequency matters: A large component with search engines is a concept called term frequency. It’s important to stress the primary words that describe your product. So if you have a “medical icon set” make sure the term “medical” shows up in the title, description, and tags. But keep in mind there is quickly a point of diminishing return here so no need to include key terms 10 times over.

  • Shop Name is Optional: There is generally no added search benefit to include your shop name or your username in the tags or description since we already include those two fields in our algorithm. Also don’t include anyone else’s shop name (you know who you are). Having said that you may find value in using a unique tag to give a set of your products a dedicated tag page for social/promotional purposes.

  • Keep it simple: There is generally no need to worry about localized English spellings, plural/singular terms, and hyphenated words. We have spent a lot of time identifying different uses of various search concepts. Our search engine knows that a “colour” is a “color”, that “mock-ups” are the same as a “mock up”, that “PowerPoint”/“Power Point”/“PPT” are all the same thing, and that Batman is Bruce Wayne (just kidding on the last one).

We are constantly improving search and discovery at Creative Market. We are obsessed with making sure our customers find that perfect product and we want make sure shop owners have all the right tools to succeed. I hope you found these tips helpful and appreciate any comments and questions you may have.


Thank you for the useful info!

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Thank you for sharing, Drew! :blush: :+1:
That is what I’m thinking about recently.

I’ve got a question on sorting products on CM. Someone creates entire products, including more than two or three templates. But someone publishes separate items and complicating the search on the website.
Whether is it impossible to make a filter to distinguish these separate items from entire products?

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Thank you this is really helpful!

Soo many questions…
It is hard to be unique in titles with current size limit. For example, if I have and “elegant handwritten typeface” - whoops! It’s over! I barely can specify if it is sans or serif. And there’s tons of elegant handwritten typefaces on the Creative Market. I just have no room to include specifics in the title.
Keywords. “Merry”, “Christmas” is not equal to “Merry Christmas”? How does it works in the search engine, when customer enters “Merry Christmas”, but I don’t have a phrase, only a separate words? Isn’t it just sum it up? It is an important question. Do phrases have priority, or it’s just a good practice to make phrases in controversial situation? Can I include “merry”, “christmas” and “merry christmas” both?

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super helpful. This is the first post I have read in the community and I am excited to get more involved.

Thank you very much for this insights, they will help me a lot in the evolution of the shop.

I would love at least a little bit longer title limit for some of my products.