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Etsy SEO Tips: Writing an Effective Product Listing (Part 2)

Etsy SEO - How to write product listings

It’s not enough to find great keywords, but you also have to use them effectively in your Etsy listing, creating a listing that is balanced between effective for search engines and understandable/appealing to potential customers. Here are some tips for optimizing your Etsy product listing.

Titles

Titles are arguably the most important part of your listing when it comes to using keywords. Though Etsy says the order of words in your title doesn’t have a direct effect on search ranking on Etsy, because the first 35 characters create the URL for your listing, you should put your most important keywords in the first part of your title to help external search engines—like Google—index your product. The first phrase should be what a customer would most likely search for.

The firs part of your title is adding to the URL

Etsy also recommends keeping your title short and written for humans, i.e. NOT just a list of keywords. It used to be recommended to repeat your keywords in your title and tags, so sellers would create titles using comma-separated lists of keywords so that they could just copy and paste them into the tags; but Etsy now says that you don’t need to repeat keywords, making this style of title both redundant and a turn off to customers.

Example Title

Design and sweatshirt mockup from Placeit

Let’s consider this sweatshirt as an example. It contains a trending phrase that customers may be searching for exactly, as well as a prominent graphic; these keywords, along with the product type, should be the first part of the title.

Because this product is for a specific holiday, we should include that as well. Though this is not necessary for Etsy SEO, as they have an attribute for Holiday, it will help external search engines index it for the holiday.

Expanding it just bit with important keywords in a descriptive phrase, here’s how you could title this product effectively:

Zero Lucks Given Leprechaun Shirt - St. Patrick's Day Green Sweatshirt - Irish Flag Colors

Description

Etsy SEO - Descriptions: 1) Few sentences describing design and product with keywords. 2) product specifications and features. 3) Links to related products. Learn more at ThePODFiles.com

Much like short, descriptive titles, Etsy recommends the following for your product descriptions:

  • relevant keywords in the first few sentences of your listing descriptions
  • avoid copying your title or simply listing your top keywords
  • include important information that will help buyers best understand your product

An effective format for product descriptions is starting with a paragraph of descriptive sentences about the design, use, and audience of your product, followed by a list of product specifications (materials, sizes, features), which you can usually get from your manufacturer.

When applicable, I also link to other products with the same design, which will be clickable links on the live listings, e.g. in case the customer is looking for a t-shirt instead of a sweatshirt. However, don’t link to products offsite, e.g. on your own website, as this is prohibited by Etsy’s Terms of Service.

Example Product Description

This green St. Patrick's Day sweatshirt is a great way to show off your Irish pride! Featuring an illustration of a leprechaun wearing a four-leaf clover shamrock top hat and the pun "zero lucks given," this cozy shirt is perfect for celebrating the luck of the Irish. Design is done in the colors of Ireland's flag: green, orange, and white.
Gildan Sweatshirt
• Fabric: 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester
• Medium-heavy fabric (8.0 oz/yd² (271.25 g/m²))
• Loose fit
T-shirt: https://etsy.me/3ZLtu7T
Tank top: https://etsy.me/3ZLtu7T

See the last section of this post to see how this example was written using artificial intelligence (AI)!

Categories & Attributes

“Attributes are like free ‘super tags’”, explains Jenny Benevento, Senior Manager of Etsy’s Taxonomy team. “They’re extra category-specific keywords, which you can add on top of your 13 open-field listing tags to help your items appear in relevant searches and browse experiences.”

Select as specific a category as possible and complete all of the attributes provided to increase your probability of matching a customer’s search queries. If a word is used in your categories or attributes, no need to use it in tags.

Tags

Etsy listings can include up to 13 multiple-word tags up to 20 characters long each. The tags section is where you can get a little more creative and include keywords that indirectly related to your listing; with our example product, “pot of gold” may make sense in tags, because it relates to the holiday, but could cause customer confusion if listed on the title or description as there is no pot of gold on the design. Be careful not to use irrelevant keywords though, because lots of views without clicks will hurt your SEO.

Here are are some of Etsy’s tips for effective tags:

  • Use all 13 tags without repeating words
  • Write multi-word phrases
  • Include synonyms and regional phrases, but not misspellings

Example Etsy Tags

zero lucks given, St Patricks Day, Saint Paddys Day, leprechaun sweatshirt, green jumper, four leaf clover, lucky shamrock, Irish Pride, pun shirt, pot of gold, pub crawl, college drinking, grumpy gnome

Need ideas? Try asking AI for suggestions…

Using ChatGPT AI to Write Your Etsy Listing

I’m always looking for ways to be more productive, and am interested in how artificial intelligence (AI) may help. Text generating AI like ChatGPT can be a valuable brainstorming tool, especially with short text like product descriptions. The more specific your prompt is, the more useful the results will be.

For our example sweatshirt, I entered the following prompt into ChatGPT:

Example ChatGPT Prompt
You are an expert copywriter. Write a product description for a St. Patrick’s Day themed green sweatshirt with an illustration of a leprechaun and the phrase “zero lucks given”

Here’s the product listing ChatGPT wrote:

ChatGPT Output
This St. Patrick’s Day, show off your Irish pride with this stylish green sweatshirt! Featuring a fun illustration of a leprechaun and the phrase “zero lucks given,” this cozy top is perfect for celebrating the luck of the Irish. Crafted from a soft cotton blend

Here’s how I would edit it for my Etsy product listing to prioritize my most important keywords and adding additional keywords that I found through keyword research:

My Edited Copy
This green St. Patrick’s Day sweatshirt is a great way to show off your Irish pride! Featuring an illustration of a leprechaun wearing a four-leaf clover top hat and the pun “zero lucks given,” this cozy shirt is perfect for celebrating the luck of the Irish. Design is done in the colors of Ireland’s flag: green, orange, and white.

Then I asked it for ideas for tags for this product, making sure they were under the 20-character maximum.

Example ChatGPT Prompt
list 13 etsy keywords for this product with a maximum of 20 characters each
ChatGPT Output
St. Patrick’s Day, green, leprechaun, luck, Irish, sweatshirt, Irish pride, zero lucks, illustration, cotton blend, festive, holiday, apparel

I was rather underwhelmed with AI’s suggestions for tags, so I fell back on my keyword research instead.

Up Next: SEO Beyond Keywords

The next part of this Etsy SEO series will cover additional ways you can optimize your Etsy listings that don’t involve keywords at all!

Missed the first part? Read Etsy SEO Tips: Choosing Keywords (Part 1).

Sources

  1. “Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know.” Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/382774281517.
  2. “Add Attributes to Help Increase Your Shop’s Visibility.” Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/604203126614.
Part 2 of the Etsy SEO Series shows how to use keyword research to write an effective product listing, with examples and how to use ChatGPT.
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Etsy SEO Tips: Choosing Keywords (Part 1)

Etsy SEO: How to Choose Effective Keywords

With over 7.5 million active sellers on Etsy, standing out on the platform and getting your product in front of the right customers can be challenging. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is the process of optimizing your listings and shop to rank higher in Etsy’s search results, making it more likely that potential buyers will find your products. This series will provide tips and tools for improving your Etsy SEO.

SEO begins with finding effective keywords. Here are some tips and tools for generating more and better keywords for your Etsy product listings.

How To Choose Effective Keywords

Search algorithms are mostly based on the text information in your product list, so the most important factor in optimizing your SEO is to include effective keywords, i.e. the words that your customers will use when searching for your product. It’s equally important not to keyword spam with terms that are not related to your product, which will actually hurt your SEO when your product gets lots of views but no clicks.

Describe Your Product and Its Design

The most obvious keywords are those that come from simply describing your design and product, considering the main senses (not all may apply to your product):

  • What does it LOOK like? Describe the design, including any text, colors, and design styles. Describe the specifications of the product, including the size, fit, and finish (glossy, matte, metallic, etc.)
  • What does it FEEL like? This is especially important for textiles, e.g. how soft or thick the fabric is and any textures.
  • What does it SMELL like? If customers expect the product to have a scent, e.g. a candle, be sure to describe the scent or that it is unscented.
  • How does it SOUND? While not relevant to many products, sound (or the absence of sound) can be important to note. For example, does the tumbler have a rubberized opening so that the straw doesn’t make an annoying sound? (If you’ve ever used a reusable metal straw, you know how this is an important feature!)

Also consider the “5 Ws and H” you learned in elementary school:

  • WHO will buy it and for whom.
  • WHAT is the product (e.g. t-shirt, mug, etc.)
  • WHERE will it be used
  • WHEN will it be used (e.g. specific events like bachelorette party)
  • WHY would someone buy it, especially as a gift (e.g. occasions like retirement)
  • HOW will it be used buy the end consumer (e.g. a tumbler for a hockey mom to bring hot coffee to a game)

Where to Find Keywords for Your Etsy Shop

While you presumably know some keywords because you created a design with some baseline knowledge your potential customer and their interest, there may be keywords you hadn’t thought of. Here are some tools for finding more keywords:

Online Forums

Facebook groups, Reddit subreddits, Twitter chats, Instagram comments, and other social media platforms where your customers gather are a goldmine of keywords (and design inspiration!). Observe what slang, jargon, and other language that your customers use, especially the descriptive adjectives. Popular hashtags can also be great keywords or design trends.

Product Reviews

Read reviews on products related to yours to find what customers are saying about competitor products. Did they buy it for a specific event? Was it a gift for someone?

Search Autofill

Screenshot of the Redbubble search bar with "mom shirt" entered and suggested searches "best knitting mom ever", "mom (in t-shirts), "not a lot going on at the moment", and "dog mom" listed below the search bar.

Most search engines will suggest search terms as you type in a few words. Since you’re looking for keywords to use on Etsy, the Etsy search is obviously a great place to start, but try other search engines too, including other marketplaces like Redbubble and Amazon. Redbubble even shows what searches are trending before you type anything.

Be sure to do this research in an incognito window, otherwise your suggested search terms will be influence by your own search and browsing history.

Competitor Product Listings

Etsy (and Redbubble) show the tags that a seller has entered for a product at the bottom of the product page. To see what keywords a competitor or related product are using, scroll down to near the bottom of the product listing under the “Explore more related searches” section. On Redbubble, scroll down to the Tags section.

Screenshot of an "Explore more related searches" section from a Etsy product listing with bubbles of phrases such as "throw blanket","colorful home decor", and  "valentines day gift"
Example of tags on an Etsy product page

Google Trends & Keyword Planner

Google Trends is a great tool for finding niches and design inspiration, and can also be used to find more keywords for your existing products. When you enter a search phrase into the tool, it will show you both “related topics” and “related searches”. You can click on those related terms for even more ideas!

Screenshot of the Google Trends page for the search "mom shirt" with a list of Related Topics (Panties - Clothing, Bluey - Australian animated series, Tee-ball - Sports, Homeschooling - Topic, Leggings - Attire) and Related Queries (soccer mom outfit, boy mom sweatshirt, best dog mom ever shirt, worlds best mom shirt, mom mommy bruh shirt)
Example of related topics and search queries on Google Trends

Google also has a Keyword Planner to help customers find effective keywords for running ads. While you need a Google Ads account to access the keyword planner, you don’t actually have to run ads to use it.

Your Own Etsy Search Statistics

On the Stats section of your Etsy shop, you can see what search terms brought customers to your store and even to specific listings. This is a great way to see which keywords are effective, but also what words may be autofilling in irrelevant searches and hurting your SEO. Use Etsy Statistics to to not only find keywords for new listings, but to update your existing listings to remove keywords that aren’t working.

Up Next: How to Use Keywords in Your Etsy Listing

In the next post, we’ll look at all the different places to use keywords in your Etsy product listings and how to use them effectively, based largely on Etsy’s own Keyword 101 article in the official Seller Handbook.

Vertical graphic with orange background that says "Etsy SEO - How to Choose Effective Keywords" - The POD Files