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 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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Here’s the product listing ChatGPT wrote:
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:
Then I asked it for ideas for tags for this product, making sure they were under the 20-character maximum.
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).
- “Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know.” Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/382774281517.
- “Add Attributes to Help Increase Your Shop’s Visibility.” Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/604203126614.