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Etsy Hacks:  How to get your keywording and tags right,

so they mean something to both Etsy and Google


Here’s something that veteran Etsy sellers know, that novices have a hard time wrapping their minds around:  the grammar in your title means nothing.


You get 140 characters in a listing title.  You might be tempted not to use all of them;  you’d be wrong.  You might be tempted to have those 140 characters read like a nice phrase or sentence.  Again, this would be wrong thinking.  


It’s possible that once, long ago, back when there were only 78 listings for jewelry on Etsy, perhaps the most grammatical title of those 78 listings had some sway or meaning, superior to the other listings found there.  Those days are long gone.  


Here is what an effective listing title looks like now:


Inspirational Quote Silver Ring/Hipster Jewelry/Wedding Shower/Bridesmaid gift/Mothers Day/Free Shipping/Custom silver jewelry for her/ 


Of this title, the first 28 characters will appear in an Etsy search title:


Inspirational Quote Silver Ri...


And 55-70 characters will show up in a Google shopping”product listing ad”


Inspirational Quote Silver Ring/Hipster Jewelry/Wedding Shower...


While all words in the title listing will be considered for search engine results, the words up front and up top matter most, for both human and machine readability.  You want it to be clear what you’re selling, and not leave anything to chance.


For this reason, avoid listing titles that include fanciful”style names”.  You may want to call your ring the”Magda circle of hope” but see what happens when you include that up front in your listing.  


Magda circle of hope silver...


Unless you have a huge amount  of brand awareness off of Etsy, these lonely 27 characters will only serve to confuse would-be shoppers, not help them.  It’s not likely they’re searching for”Magda circle of hope”.  What they want is”silver jewelry for bridesmaids.”  Help them find you!  Help them buy your stuff!


Same goes for Google.


Your very most descriptive and important concepts should occupy the first 25-30 characters.  The second-most important stuff should occupy the remainder of up to 70 characters.  Reserve the final 70 characters of your 140 character allowance for long-tail concepts that might attract specific (but not all) buyers.


The other thing that appears in Google product listings is a small portion of your item description on Etsy.  Figure on somewhere between 150-190 characters.  So, again, be descriptive here.  Make your first sentence or two very enticing and descriptive.  Make them want to know more!!  Make them feel compelled to click”more”.  Don’t disappoint them!


 Some people like to keyword stuff the lower portion of their Etsy listing description.  This is probably not a problem on Etsy (they have a comparatively low-grade algorithm retrieving search results that doesn’t filter for unnatural sounding language).  It could potentially harm you for SEO on Google (Google really dislikes keyword stuffing), but since a product listing ad is actually SEM (paid search engine marketing), not SEO, it will probably not hurt you too, too much.  Go ahead and stuff a few keywords right there in the bottom portion of your listing description, if you feel it improves your chances.  Until such a day as Etsy significantly changes its search algorithm, there’s really no reason not to do this...Unless you don’t enjoy the aesthetics of it, in which case, by all means, follow your heart.  


The next question is whether tags should match keyword terms from your title.  Frankly, we don’t know for sure.  Etsy is no more forthcoming about its search algorithm than Google is, and there are strongly opinionated Etsy sellers on both sides of the fence.  Some argue that having the tags and title match increases relevance, and thus boosts sales.  Others contend that having different words and terms in your titles and tags increases reach, and thus boosts sales.  All we have is anecdotal evidence on this, so the best solution is probably to A/B test.


List some things where the tags match the title closely.  List some other things where the tags don’t match the title at all.  See which one works better for your goals, and gets you a better return on your listing investment.



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