You have a great product to sell, but you don’t know how to draw buyers in. Your product description has a lot to do with how your product is presented to potential buyers, so it’s important to get it right. There are a few key elements to include in a well-written product description. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to more sales in no time!
1) Start with a strong statement of what your product is
Don’t beat around the bush. Buyers want to know exactly what your product is and what it does for them, so lay the essentials out in two or three sentences. Also, search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google only show the first one or two sentences in search results, so you have to make a strong impression within that short amount of space. Be concise and persuasive.
2) Make the rest detailed
Once you’ve got your customer’s attention, it’s time to really let them know all the amazing features of your product. Perhaps you have a knit hat for winter time that you want to sell; be specific about the product. Make sure to tell them how warm the alpaca wool is that you used to make it and that it has a special button for adjusting the hat in the back. Use good descriptors – really let your language flow. The only thing worse than no product description is a boring one.
Your customers want to get to know you a little, so don’t be a robot. Use “I” statements that show you’re personable; it helps the customer connect with you. Talk about what your inspiration was for your product. It makes an interesting story of how the product came to be and the hard work that you put into it. Failing to show your humanity to customers will leave them feeling like you’re the cold corporate type who’s just there to make some money (although you are looking to make some money, to be fair).
4) Include links to relevant products
You know that scrolling list of items on Amazon that says “Other Items You Might Like”? People will buy more products from you if you suggest complementary items to go with the one they’re purchasing. They’re buying a bar of homemade soap from you, so why not suggest a handmade loofah or rag to go with it? It’s easy to put hyperlinks to your other products in the product description, so make sure to include ones that complement one another.
5) Use keywords
Put keywords in your product descriptions not so buyers can more easily find them, but you’ll actually assure your buyers they’re looking at the right listing if you carefully place them throughout your product description. Things like “handmade dog collar” or “hypoallergenic mittens” may be what users are searching for. Take a look at your Shop Stats to see what keywords pop up the most and use those in your product descriptions to drive even more sales.
Ah yes, you’ve arrived at the FAQ. Or what we like to call – Marmer Questions.
We’ve gathered questions asked and answered by fellow Marmers so we can all benefit from sharing the knowledge. This is a living document, we’ll continually add to it as the discussion continues. You’re encouraged to ask questions in our open forums (Facebook group, Etsy Team, Twitter, etc) so that we can all learn from one another.
Search Engine Optimization
Since I have been using your site I have moved up to the front – they seem to put 1 listing on front and 1 each consecutive page. Is that how it works? –Cynthia
That’s correct on the spreading out of the listings in search. Etsy will de-clump them and put one per page. Aim for your shop to be on pages 1-10 for each target keyword. The more listings you have show up, the greater the chances you’re going to get explored. – Richie
Can Marmalead be used to get SEO for a website? – Bethany
You will want to use Google Adwords to help with SEO for a website. I don’t think Marmalead can help as it is geared towards Etsy versus anything else. – Mina
I had written to Richie regarding a question I had about something an SEO expert had told me. They said that Marmalead doesn’t give you tags/keywords that are used by shoppers, only sellers. Whereas Google Keyword Planner gives you what is used by buyers. Maybe Richie could clarify what the differences between Marmalead and Keyword planner are pertaining to our Etsy shops. Thanks. – Gina
Google keyword planner is designed for selling ads on Google. If you’re buying Adwords, use Google keyword planner.
Anyway, it’s the single biggest misunderstanding about Marmalead. We don’t say hey 10,000 people per month Google this word because it doesn’t help you. It only matters what people engage with (views and favs) on Etsy. The further down the funnel the better. We tell you how many views and favorites are there and what rank each listing is. – Richie
When I change my titles and SEO my items are landing on the first or second page, which is awesome. The down side is I’m still not getting any more sales. – Bethany
Compare your items to those listed on the front page of the search terms you are using. How do your photos look compared to others listed? What about your price points? Are your descriptions up to par and captivating?
Another good thing to check is how much buyer attention that keyword search seems to be getting. If you look at “Avg. Views / Week” and “Avg. Favs / Week” in Marmalead, you can usually get a good idea if there are lots of people interested in those products. A typical number of views per week will be in the 50’s or 60’s….any less than that and it may indicate a market where not many people are shopping. More than that and you’ve got a hot one! For favorites, the average is around 8 per week. – Gordon
Sometimes you have to look at the full picture and work on everything collectively. SEO can only get people on to your page; it is up to you to work on everything else for sales. – Mina
I used Marmalead a few weeks back, even though I did not get any sales, I was landing on the first 7 pages, mostly pages 2-4, but through a Paid FB group, I was told to use Google Ad Words, which I did and I went from 100 views in a week down to a few since I switched? I am so confused right now that I have stopped everything. – Brianna
Google Adwords is sooo different from Etsy. Plus it’s designed to sell Google ads. It’s even been accused of suppressing good keywords in favor of more profitable keywords for them.
Also, don’t make sweeping changes to your shop all at once. Test changes! – Richie
Keywords and Tags
Is it okay if we use “comma, dashes, and back slash” in our title? – Jay Ryan
In all seriousness those characters all perform the same in search. It’s just an aesthetic preference on how you want to break up the words to look best.
I’ll also add:
A lot of sellers don’t think titles are important to shoppers because a lot of people focus on the pictures. Yes, as a shopper I am initially drawn in by the pictures. BUT the title is what I look at next to assure me it’s what I’m looking for.
Make sure I can read it without a headache. – Richie
Bulk editing – How it will affect the shop listings if more than one item have the same title and tags? – Yassena
I don’t think bulk editing will hurt in some ways, but then you will be competing with your own listings too. – Mina
Question: My shop offers an online design service. I have placed most of my listings in the category of Home and Living, with the sub-category being Home Decor. On the 2nd sub-category, I usually grab something, but it doesn’t necessarily apply, does that make sense? My question is, how do I branch out to show up on everything HOME related, such as art, furniture, etc? Should I include these items in my Title, Description, and Tags, to gain that exposure? Thanks. – Catz
You can actually use Marmalead to compare different search results and how popular each one is with views etc. Honestly, I am not sure how many people use online design services, but you can use the Etsy search bar to type in the first word of what you offer to see how Etsy users are actually searching for your type of service.
If you type in “interior” into Etsy, you’ll see a few different search results that actually are useful for your titles and tags. You can then take them into Marmalead and compare which ones get the most hits to find the best keywords of value and match up your titles/tags with your new words. – Mina
Would it be a good idea to do half listings with certain top keywords and tags, and the other half with the other top? Just so you remain in the top of all searches? – Dara
Yes and no. I would vary some of the same keywords and titles so that it would hopefully scatter where you are on what pages for the first results. If you had 20 listings with the same exact titles and keywords, only one listing would ever be on each page. If you had 20 listings using the same titles and tags but in different orders, it would help ensure a more varied result. – Mina
I do have a question about renewing. Should we renew our listings every time we change the SEO? – Bethany
It’s better to renew so you know exactly where your listing would be compared to your competitors (who may get renewed automatically when an item is sold), and you want to compete with them right? – Joshua
What are the “Other Ideas” for? What purpose or how should I use that data? – Brenda
Those are what people search in Bing. You want your title, description and tags to jive with what people are searching for. When people are going to purchase your products what would they look for? If I wanted a Christmas wreath, I’d search for things like Christmas wreath, burlap wreath, snowflake wreath, etc. Make sure your tags, title and description all have those words in them; in the order you feel they are important. Marmalead helps you find where you rank to see if all the SEO work is paying off. – Dara
If my most searched keyword is nursery decor, and Marmalead shows that it can only find 6 of my listings in the first 101-500 results, where should I be adding the “nursery decor” keyword – in the title, the description, tags, in all 3? I am also having a hard time ranking/ getting found in the browse sections… is there a trick to that too? Thanks – Yassena
So vary up your keywords in your titles and tags and try to use each set of the same keywords to hit other markets. – Mina
Etsy in General
Should I split my shop into 2 or 3 different shops? I have such an eclectic mix of items for sale. I don’t believe I would have the energy to run more than 1 shop. Does it matter if it’s all together? – Sue
I believe it’s best to have one shop. Each listing is an opportunity to get someone into the virtual door of your shop. An eclectic mix just means you have more opportunity. – Richie
I have found a strong keyword in Marmalead but it is not appearing in Etsy search drop down. Should I use this keyword? – Kim
I’d recommend utilizing the Etsy search bar to see what terms buyers are currently searching. For example, when I run a search for “X,” I can see suggested searches populating beneath the search bar. These suggested searches are popular terms that buyers are currently using on Etsy. Do any of these terms apply to your listings? If so, I’d encourage you to add them (or variations of them) to your titles and tags.
The terms you see in our drop down will be relevant to the term you are entering and not popular items for all of the site. – Etsy via email
Have any of you had issues with ETSY closing your account because of copyrighted products? I’m making custom NFL mugs and Stein. – Anthony
Yes, Etsy can and actually does go after people who break copyright law. If you do not have legal permission to print NFL merchandise, then Etsy can close the listings that have NFL logos, or can just close your whole shop. It is at their discretion. – Mina
I love talking about SEO and even more, experimenting to find out what is working and what isn’t. Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out effective places to advertise on the web. I’d love to hear what has worked for y’all! – Kim
Blogs have been a huge help in getting my name out there. I would also want to add that I have made friends with some smaller blog owners that have really helped because they feature my items from time to time. Making friends with others in your market can be a huge help. – Molly
Does anyone have any thoughts on paying well-followed Instagram accounts to advertise your work? – Molly
I have seen a few that have advertised services to feature an item etc. Do some researches before you agree to pay for anything. You can find the date the item was advertised for other shops and then look at their sales on Etsy. If you don’t see that product being sold or have many sales, you know that no matter how many followers they have, an advertisement or plug isn’t going to be worth it. – Mina
Keep in mind that advertising is all about context. If the account matches your niche it will work a lot better than one off topic. – Richie
My main focus is coming up on first page results as often as possible without any paid advertising through Etsy. There is an oversaturation in my market, which I’d like to stand out from using strong SEO. Do you have any tips how I can do that? – Molly
I’ve been told in a few Etsy groups and also in the forums that you want to pair up your title and keywords. That may help strengthen your search results. Also, try to find the words people are using to search for: e.g. “Wedding Cake Toppers”. – If you actually pull it up in Etsy, you can see at the bottom are other suggested categories. You can use that info in Marmalead to see what keywords and tags get searched the most. – Mina
For those of us who were not available for the webinar, was it recorded? If so, how can we access it? Thanks. – Pat
Hi my name is Tara and I am an SEO addict! I have been working in SEO and marketing since 2001, before there even was a Google or an Etsy. I currently rank on page one of Google for keywords like “Realtor SEO” and on the first page of Etsy for “Etsy SEO”.
I don’t say this to brag, but to let you know that I am knowledgeable and successful at actually DOING SEO for my business on both Google and Etsy.
Now, there are some serious SEO differences between Etsy and Google. With that said, should you use Google Keyword Planner OR Marmalead for your Etsy SEO Research?
There Are A Lot Of “Experts”
I am writing this post because someone was talking badly about my favorite Etsy SEO tool, Marmalead, and confusing the nice sellers on Etsy who are just trying to figure out how to get their listings to rank so they can sell more.
It seems that there are a few “experts” out there who are saying that Marmalead only tells you what keywords people are using while Google shows what people are actually buying (false, and more about this later).
Tip #1 – Please check out your experts before you go changing a bunch of things in your store. Are they SEO experts or are they just well meaning people who know a little about SEO?
How SEO Works
SEO can sometimes be a mystery to new marketers. It seems like there must be some kind of magic mojo that people are using to get to the first page of Google or on the first page of Etsy listings. That is just not true!
Both Etsy and Google are databases that use words to rank the results that should appear first. They do this very differently and that is an important distinction!
Google has spent years battling spammers who are trying to game the system. There were entire industries built around trying to trick Google into putting bad sites on the first page. They have mostly fixed this now, but they are super vigilant about what they rank well, changing the rules often.
To rank well on Google you have to have certain elements on your page or site:
One or two main keywords that you are trying to rank for
A strong title that is keyword rich
Content that supports the targeted keyword
Formatting in your post that shows emphasis on your target keyword
Backlinks to your page from outside sources
Etsy ranks things differently than Google does. They place absolutely no weight on the content of your description, instead using the following criteria to rank your product listings:
That is it for what YOU can do to manipulate your listing rank in Etsy. Now, there are definitely factors working behind the scenes that depend on the number of sales you have, the number of items in your store and even the percentage of views to favorites your items get, but that is a post for another day.
For now, let’s just look a the things that we can control!
Tip #2 – Before you start worrying about anything else, get good at writing great title descriptions and picking good tags for your products.
It is easy to get romantic about companies and think they are looking out for our best interests, but they aren’t. Companies like Google and Etsy are designed to make a profit, period.
How Google Makes A Profit
Google’s customer is the searcher. They have built a business on providing great results when you are looking for something and they are not going to jeopardize that one principal to make the people who provide the content they index happy.
Google’s search profits come from selling ads on their network (called Adwords). These are seen on the sides websites, in blog posts and even on YouTube videos.
How Etsy Makes A Profit
Etsy makes a profit two ways. First from the sellers who are paying $.20 for every product they list. There are tens of MILLIONS of products listed on Etsy today (estimates are in the 30-40 Million item range, equaling six million dollars there alone).
Additionally they get paid when an item SELLS. This is an important distinction that we will look at more now.
What Is Commercial Viability?
Commercial viability is the difference between using the Google Keyword Planner and Marmalead to do your SEO keyword research!
Google is not at all concerned with how much you sell (commercial viability), except as it pertains to Google making a profit. You can rank for hundreds of keywords in Google and never sell anything.
Etsy on the other hand is a website dedicated to commercial viability (Ecommerce). They want you to sell more, so you list more, so you pay more, so you sell more…in a dazzling spiral of commerce.
Buying Keywords Versus Searching Keywords
So let’s get down to brass tacks now and start looking at searches. I will use my product, a business calendar, as an example (because I can show you the behind the scenes data).
First let’s search for “business” on Google, which is a broad keyword and not good for selling:
As you can see there are 6.5 BILLION results for this keyword search. Holy buckets, batman, that is a LOT of competition and not really commercial viability. No one searching for “business” on Google is going to find my little planner pages for sale.
Results include an online business magazine, Bloomberg’s Twitter account and Forbes magazine.
There is a LOT less competition here, only about 125,000 results. BUT the main thing to know is that every one of the results is something to buy!
Results include a water bottle label, a tie and a business card.
I KNOW, you are thinking that I am not even using Marmalead or the Keyword planner, what the heck! When you are looking at numbers this big, it is super important to understand the motivation of the search. Someone searching for that broad a keyword on either Google or Etsy is probably not going to be BUYING anything today!
Now let’s move on to my actual product, a business calendar!
As you can see I get keyword results that are factually correct, there ARE about 210 searches per month on that exact search term in Google and people ARE willing to pay $4.27 a click in Adwords. BUT what does that actually tell us? That the search volume for my business calendar is low across Google, not sure how that is helpful even to someone like me who understands SEO better than the average bear.
Additionally the keywords that they suggest are not relevant to my product, calendar software, scheduling software, business calendar software.
If I wanted to find actual buying keywords in Google I would have to add “for sale” or other commerce based keywords to get a clear picture of buying terms.
Now let’s look at that same data in Marmalead, which is using ONLY Etsy data to provide results!
We can see that there are 1,566 competing products and 58 shops competing. Interesting, not all that helpful for SEO research (good for product development though), but what IS helpful is the total views (quite substantial at 221,846).
The average favorites per week (4.4) will help me to know if I have targeted the right keyword. If I have a high ranking but but a low favorites per week compared to the average then I will know that my product is not a good match for the keyword and there will be few purchases from ranking for that word.
The reason that is is important is that I would effectively be “wasting” that keyword and should instead target one that is more relevant to my selling something.
Now let’s get down to the meat of the argument that Marmalead is only displaying keywords that other sellers are using. That is EXACTLY right! These tags and additionally the tag clouds are a compilation of the words that other SELLERS are using in their listings.
Words for me like business planner (obvious), and printable planner (a staple of my niche), but also words that I hadn’t thought of yet like small business and business printable.
THESE unthought of words are the magic that Marmalead shows us!
These words are the ones that sellers have aggregated over time to be selling words for products like mine. And because they would not be used at scale if they were ineffective for selling products, I can safely assume that some or all of them would help sell products in my store too!
Because Etsy is an ecommerce site to begin with, we don’t have to worry about whether the words are buying words or just informational words. All the words are selling based, unlike in Google.
You Can Lead A Horse To Water
This is an already epic post so I will just mention a few things that may be what is really frustrating Etsy sellers.
SEO just gets the eyeballs, it is your description and pictures that will sell the products. I have read a bunch of comments that sellers are ranking better but not selling more. Well, that is not SEO’s fault. SEO got the people to at least have the OPPORTUNITY to buy, but if your descriptions are bad or your pictures are blurry, they are not going to convert to a sale.
You can be great at SEOing for the wrong keyword. Another thing that will not help sales is to find a “popular” keyword that doesn’t really match what your product is. For example, I did use “business planner” in my title and keywords for the business calendar so I do rank for that term on page one of the Etsy search (#32 today) BUT it is not exactly a good fit. The business planners are more robust than my product and I doubt that this term will drive many sales.
DO NOT change too many things at once. I have been reading that people are sad because they spent days using the Google Keyword Planner to change all their listings and now they aren’t getting any views. While it is tempting to get all this done at once, that is a recipe for disaster. Work on one product, get a good ranking, check your sales and then work on another one!
Last but not least, SEO is much more an art than a science. You have to try things, see what works and then change or pivot if you see that something is not working. As you do it more, you WILL get better. My shop and my products are only a couple of months old but I do rank in the top page for many different keywords. That is because I already know how to do SEO and can look at the data and figure it out easily. You will get there as you do more SEO research too!
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This is a guest post from Tara Jacobsen, an SEO expert since 2001. She is a current Marmalead customer and a Etsy shop owner herself, having started her Paperly People shop in the late summer of 2015. If you would like to learn more about Etsy SEO, please visit her article, SEO For Etsy Sellers | Ultimate Etsy SEO Guide.