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Etsy Listing Optimization: How to Create a Listing that Sells on Etsy

Etsy Listing Optimization Tips For A Listing That Sells

Products sold and bought through Etsy vary. They range from art, clothing, jewelry, and other decorative objects to arts and crafts supplies. 

After the launch of Etsy, the company had immediate success, reaching up to a million in sales within a couple of years. The annual gross merchandise sales volume has been on a steady increase. In 2005, it was $170,000 and by 2019 it went over $4.5 billion.

But what can a new seller do to create a listing that will be highly ranked and, most importantly, that will sell on Etsy? 

Nowadays, the competition on Etsy is strong. And you have to work hard on your Etsy listing optimization if you want your listing to stand out among so many others on the platform. 

Whether you’re new to the Etsy platform or you already have a listing that isn’t selling that well, there are some things that you can do to turn the tables in your favor.

Optimize Your Titles

There’s a lot of misguided information out there concerning Etsy optimization. There are tons of hacks and tips that promise you a fortune overnight. The reality is much more mundane. There are certain things you can do to optimize your listings. They work but require time. 

When creating a listing, the first thing you need to optimize is the title. There are three specific things you need to pay attention to:

Title Length 

The title should have between 70 and 120 characters. It needs to be clear, concise, and it has to accurately depict the product you’re selling. 

According to Etsy’s recommendation, your title should be short and easy to understand, because these types of titles have better conversion rates. But, it's also useful to have a longer title, because Etsy uses the words in your title to determine which keywords your listing ranks for. 

Therefore, we recommend creating a title that is between 70 to 120 characters long. This gives you plenty of room to add in quite a few keyword phrases but ensures the title isn’t so long that it’s tough for buyers to read.

Focus Keyword in Title

Now, the recommended title length gives you just the right amount of space to include a couple of keywords. Words at the beginning of titles have a particularly strong influence on Etsy’s search algorithm. If a word is used in both the title and tags of a listing, the search algorithm considers that listing more relevant than a listing with that word or phrase in the tags or title alone. This is why you should place your focus keywords at the beginning of your title and in your tags. 

A focus keyword is the search term that you want your listing to rank for most. You should do proper keyword research when selecting your focus keyword. Again, make sure to include your target keyword in the first 30 characters. This means that you should avoid putting any unnecessary things like color or brand name in this prime spot. 

Repeating Words in your Title

Repeating words in your title is a missed opportunity to save space for a broader variety of keywords and phrases. Instead of repeating the same keywords multiple times in your title, add different keywords to broaden your reach and increase your chances of getting found.

Etsy handles single and plural words the same. This means that the word "diary" and "diaries" will count as a repeated word.

Add Quality Photos

Another thing that the buyer can notice when examining your product is the photos. Etsy listing photo size and quality can impact the user’s decision of whether or not to make a purchase. This isn’t uncommon among ecommerce shoppers. 

An Etsy survey found that the quality of images was the most important factor in an online sale for 90% of Etsy shoppers.

The more visual information the shopper has, the more they’re willing to buy a certain product. That’s why you should include multiple images of your listing featuring the back view of your product and a couple of close-ups as additional images. 

The quality of your photos is also an essential factor. Etsy recommends using photos with at least 2000px on the shortest side of the image.

Also, don’t forget to optimize your images:

  • Name You Image File: When naming your product photos, try to use words that describe the image and possibly include a few keywords too. That might help you get a few consumers from Google. 
  • Alt-Text on the Image: Every search engine has a hard time interpreting image files. Most depend on image names and alt-text to know what an image contains. That’s why you should include a keyword in the alt-text. 
  • Image Size and Type: Only use JPEG as your preferred image format. Most ecommerce sellers rely mainly on this format since it allows high-quality photo preview for their customers with small file sizes. 

Detailed Product Description

Give your best to write a detailed description of your product. The more details you provide in the description the better. This way the buyers can confirm that it’s the product that they need.

A brief and poorly written product description might make the buyers they would then turn to the products that have a more detailed description.

Even though the Etsy algorithm won’t use your product description to rank your listing page, other search engines will.  Google, for example, will use the first 160 characters of your product description to create a meta description for your page. 

That text will be displayed on Google’s search results page. That’s why you should use your main keyword in the first 160 characters, to help you rank in Google SERP. 

Optimize Your Product Tags

If you’re working on your Etsy listing optimization, then you should pay attention to product tags. Product tags have a similar function to the ones of the title. They can help your listing ranking. But also they can be the defining factor if the buyer will find your product or not.

Number of Tags

For every listing, Etsy allows 13 tags of a maximum of 20 characters each. A tag can be a word or a phrase. This is a perfect opportunity to use keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your product but haven't been included in the title.

Quality of Tags

The quality of your tags depends on the types of keywords and phrases that you use as tags. If most of your tags are single-word keywords, then you’ll have low-quality tags. Try using as many multi=word phrases as you can that describe your listing. For example, the tag “woolen sweater” will rank higher in quality than “wool” and “sweater”. 

Duplicate Tags

Avoid having duplicate tags, because they’re redundant. Duplicate tags occur if you place the same noun in both singular and plural, as an attribute, or as a category. For example, if you placed the tag “book” there’s no need to put the tag “books” because it’ll be a duplicate. Also, if you added “red book”, you shouldn’t place “red” as a standalone tag. The same goes for categories. If you used a certain category for your listing, that name of the category acts as a tag. 

Offer Free Shipping

Every buyer prefers a seller who offers free shipping to the ones that charge more. Low shipping costs, and better yet, free shipping options will always attract more users. Moreover, it can also influence your ranking, so that more buyers can see your product. 


See how all items ranking for “name necklace” have free shipping?


Etsy platform also offers a free shipping guarantee. This can only be used for buyers that are from the US. A free shipping guarantee is an option that automatically applies free shipping to orders that are over $35. 

Alura Etsy Listing Optimization Tool

Manually going through all of your listings and optimizing them based on best practices can seem like too much for one person to handle. But we’ve developed a tool that analyzes all your listing titles, descriptions, photos, tags, conversion rate, potential copyright infringement phrases, and more. 


Alura Listing Helper


Alura Listing Helper gives you actionable recommendations for how to improve your listings based on Etsy’s “Seller Handbook” so that you can improve your listing ranking on Etsy search results and increase your visibility and sales. 

Final Thoughts

Etsy listing optimization can help your listing become visible to the future customer, which will have a direct impact on your revenue. Investing time in choosing the right title, taking high-quality photographs, or writing a detailed description can seem like a lot of work. 

However, with the right tools by your side, you can optimize your listing in no time. Sellers who don’t pay attention to these details are less likely to make a sale than those who do. It’s up to you to decide which of these two types of sellers you’re going to be.


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