Now more than ever, listings on websites need descriptive tags. Even on Etsy, tags are increasingly being encouraged as a way for potential customers to find your products.
In the age of algorithms and SEO, you want to show up in search results and get clicks. But you may be wondering if they really make a difference, especially on Etsy.
In this article we’ll cover:
- What Etsy tags are and how important they are
- How to add a tag to your listing
- How many tags to add to your listing
- Best practices for adding tags
- How tags can help with your view count.
What Are Etsy Tags?
According to Etsy, “A tag is a word or short phrase that describes your item” — your ‘item’ being the product you are selling on Etsy.
When you post a listing for a product, you can add tags to it. The tags should relate to the type and specificities of the product. Be “accurate and relevant”, Etsy instructs.
For example, if you list a crochet handbag, the accompanying tags might be: “crocheted handbag”, “yarn crafts”, or “vintage inspired boho bag”.
The tags cannot be seen by Etsy customers, but they are there to help those customers. When you add a tag to an item, you automatically sort your item into a category.
If someone inputs “vintage inspired boho bag” into the search bar, your bag will be in there. The more tags you apply to your listing, the more places it will show up.
The more places your listing appears, the more likely it will be seen and clicked on. And when people visit your listing, there’s the possibility they will buy it!
That’s the end goal, right?
The Importance of Etsy Tags
Before you toss tags aside thinking they’re clutter on your listing, listen up.
Etsy tags are important because they navigate viewers to your products.
Think of tags as coordinates — the more detailed coordinates your listing has, the easier it can be found. If you don’t use enough tags, your listing can be lost in a sea of others.
To find what they want, Etsy users search for it in the search bar. Or, they explore categories.
Without tags to put your listing in specific places, you are less likely to be noticed.
How to Add a Tag to Your Etsy Listing
When you are getting a product ready for listing, there will be a space at the bottom for tags. Add them there.
If you want to add them to the listing after posting it, head to:
- Shop Manager > Listings
- Pick a listing to edit
- Add tags there.
How Many Etsy Tags Should You Use?
Characters and Limits
The maximum number of tags you can use per listing is 13. Each tag has a 20-character limit.
I recommend brainstorming keyword ideas on a page, then organizing them into a list of ready-to-go tags.
If you know your product well, then tags shouldn’t be too hard to come up with.
Think about the materials you used, the type of craft you made, and who is most inclined to buy it.
“Think closely about what words you would enter into the Etsy search bar to find the item as if you were shopping for it. Those are your tag words.”
In the Seller Policy, under ‘Creating and Uploading Content’, you’ll find a whole list of rules.
These are the rules relating most to tags:
- No “hateful or derogatory language”
- It can’t be “false, deceptive, or misleading”
- No “prohibited medical drug claims”.
For example, you could not list a homemade jam with the tag “thisjamcuresdisease”, or “buyitorperish”.
- No “abusive, threatening, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, or otherwise offensive” content
- No stealing Intellectual Property.
In an Etsy community discussion, one Redditor clarifies:
“You can’t use any trademarked/copyrighted words to sell your item, whether in the title, description, or tags.”
While this is true, you’ll still find trademarked tags all over Etsy. These profiles are at constant risk of being taken down, so try to avoid this route!
Etsy Tags: Best Tips and Practices
Don’t Use the Same Tags Multiple Times
If you reuse tags again and again, you limit the reach your listings might get.
Try to use tags as few times as possible. Instead of repeating, think of another. That will widen your range.
Some may recommend that you should:
“…vary your tags between items as much as possible. If you have very similar or the same tags on multiple items Etsy’s algorithm will pretty much choose one item to promote regularly.”
Use More than One Word in Your Tags to Generate Targeted Traffic
One-word tags are just that — one-word. To reach more specific audiences, use two or more words in your tags.
Phrases do very well; just remember that 20-character limit per tag!
Some assert that, “Using phrases instead of single words is better, because you get more mileage out of your limited number of keywords.”
“Shoppers who know what they want to buy often use more specific searches — and you can deliver just what they’re looking for.”
If you were on Etsy searching for something specific, you’d type in more than one word to find it. Think about it that way!
Keep Your Tags Up-to-Date
If something is trending, move quickly. If you agree with it, incorporate it into your work in some way. Even just a nod to it could get people’s attention.
There’s no shame in jumping on the bandwagon. Many creators do it, including other Etsy sellers.
If you are struggling to generate buzz all by yourself, try a tag that everyone’s doing!
A reliable trend to involve yourself in is seasonal holidays. Creating special themed items for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc, can drum up business.
When much of the world is thinking about the same thing (ie, a holiday) at the same time, use that collectivity to make sales.
After all, even the big chains do it. Why not you?
Utilize Long-Tail Keywords Because They Are More Particular and Lead To More Sales
Long-tail keywords are usually three or more words long. They tend to contain a question or numerous details.
For example: “What to wear at festivals”, or “Rainbow beaded friendship bracelet” are both long-tail keywords. Type them into the Etsy search bar and you’ll get something specific.
No one really searches for one word products.
If you were going to buy a car, you wouldn’t just search “car”. You’d say “second hand car” or “red Toyota Corolla”, depending on what you wanted.
The same happens on Etsy. Say you’re looking for a silver ring with an opal stone. You wouldn’t search for just “ring”; you’d search for “silver ring with opal”!
Etsy Searches by the Basic Word, So Regardless Of Whether You Use Plurals, It Still Works
Etsy isn’t fussy about grammar in your tags. If you say “poster” or “posters” it won’t matter.
As long as the root word is there, the tag will work.
Correct Any Typos or Misspelled Words
You can get away with plurals/no plurals, but misspelled words are a no-no. That is, if you want to show up as a search result!
When users type a keyword/keywords into the Etsy search bar, a suggestion tab will appear below with the correct spelling. Users will click on this tab instead of typing it out. That means the likelihood of them misspelling a search is low.
Double (or even triple) check your spelling to ensure your tags are functioning. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted a tag.
Don’t Mix Different Languages
When setting up your shopfront, Etsy asks you to pick a default language. This is the language you write your listings in.
However, these listings can be automatically translated by Etsy, so more people see your listings in their own default language. You can manually translate your own listings, overriding the automatic translation.
The important thing to know here is to use one language per listing. If half your tags are in English and half are in German, that listing has a lower chance of reaching either audience.
You are essentially halving the reach you could be getting from your 13 tags. If you stick with one language for your listing, it can all be translated after.
Label Tags with Precise and Clear Descriptions
Clarity is paramount. Don’t be vague or secretive about your listing. Give as much information over as you can — resist the urge to be the mysterious stranger.
For example, if you’re selling a dress you made from vintage curtains, you could mention in the tags:
- The fabric
- Its vintage status
- Where you got the material
- The sustainable practice you employed
- The color, size, style, and length
- What event the dress is suited for.
Giving this information — via tags — will put the listing for the dress in more search results across Etsy.
If someone searches for a “pink upcycled dress from vintage fabrics for prom”, they could find you.
How to Increase Views on Your Etsy Tags
A phrase is “a small group of words standing together as a conceptual unit, typically forming a component of a clause.”
A conceptual unit makes an excellent tag. Use phrase keywords to reach more niche audiences. It’s hard to stand out in “jewelry”, but easier to stand out in “rose gold hypoallergenic jewelry”.
Phrase tags give more details about the product, thus sending it to specific areas of Etsy. They improve your chances of being found, clicked on and purchased from.
Now is not the time to be a minimalist. If there’s a box you can fill in– fill it in!
Empty space on Etsy listings is wasted potential. Don’t be too restrained when it comes to making a comprehensive listing. Tags are your tools — you should use them to your advantage.
Filling in the tags box is absolutely worth it. There are lots of things to fill in to make a full listing, but don’t let tags be the one you skimp on.
Make Use of Trends
Trends come and go. You might have noticed this on TikTok, where a new trend appears before the last has been phased out.
When a trend pops up, you need to act quickly!
A recent trend that flooded social media was the Wednesday Addams dance from Netflix’s show, Wednesday.
Instantly, everyone on TikTok knew about the latest branch of the Addams Family. TikTokers were performing the dance, dressing in Wednesday’s clothes, and creating everything Wednesday-inspired.
Etsy sellers pulled out all the stops to provide Wednesday crafts. Typing “wednesday addams” into the Etsy search bar brought up fake hands, t-shirts, jewelry, wall art, plushies, and more, all on-theme in black and white ruffles.
This is a textbook example of how to make use of a trend.
You can reference it in your work, and gain clicks by doing so. People want to buy what is on trend, and you could be the one to provide it.
That being said, you don’t have to jump on every popular thing that comes around. You can reference trends without tossing away your business’s integrity; people might enjoy your unique take on an idea, after all.
A simple “wednesdayaddams” tag could get you some sales, and while this trend is fading out from TikTok, be rest assured another will pop up to take its place.
Consider Other Countries
It’s important to think geographically. Your location and language can influence how your business runs on Etsy.
Different countries have different names for things. For example, “hot chips” in New Zealand equates to “french fries” in the US. Etsy recommends tagging both iterations so everyone knows what you’re talking about.
To accommodate diverse audiences, use tags that explain your product to the masses.
If ever there’s a time to tag, it’s on Etsy.
To the sellers out there wondering why your sales are down, take a look at your tags — there’s huge potential there!
If you don’t have tags already, add them to every listing. Use words and phrases that describe your product with accuracy. Tag a trend if it’s relevant.
If you have tags and want to improve them, switch out the one-worders for long-tailers. Longer keywords target a more specific audience, which is more likely to result in a sale.
By putting your listings in more niche categories, you are tapering down the competition. Use outstanding tags, and you will stand out.