Etsy shop titles and tags are essential for virtual footfall. And with transaction fees for sellers soon to become 6.5% – quadruple the amount charged in 2018 – Etsy visibility and conversions are more important than ever. Of course, there’s more to making a profit on Etsy than tags and titles. But the boost these carefully-researched words bring to the ranking table can’t be ignored. Today, we’ll be looking into the best … and worst … Etsy tag and title strategies.

Every word and image of every Etsy product has the potential to bring in new customers. But there’s so much misleading information out there. So let’s perfect our titles and tags for the Etsy 2022 algorithm!

Think “Etsy Dog Tags”

One of the hottest trending Etsy tags is “dog tags”. But when we think of dog tags as a search term, we’re not understanding its full potential. Just like with everything we do to increase visibility and conversion rates, we have to look at the bigger picture.

Dog tags are a means of identification, and not just on dogs. Identification of military personnel made these metal ID cards famous during the Vietnam war. And this is the right way to think about them. Dog tags are all about the identification of one soul lost among a huge group of non-communicating, similar individuals. Or your Etsy shop, hidden somewhere in the middle of similar shops.

So while you might be tempted to use exactly the same tags as your competitors, think again. You need to separate yourself from the crowd … but just a little. Your dog tag name, number or address can work to make you unique.

A tag is a keyword. Any keyword research you implement on this selling giant should be geared to your target audience and also keep an eye on the possible expansion of this audience. This means knowing exactly who that audience is and how the people in that group think.

Etsy buyer veterans know all the relevant, principal search terms. They’ll use all lots of filters and have reached a high level of algorithm personalization. New Etsy buyers, on the other hand, don’t always know the most popular search terms. Using our dog tag example, new audiences might begin by using:

  • Dog ID
  • Dog identifier
  • Dog name
  • Personalised dog collar

That’s an opportunity. New buyers using the ‘wrong’ terminology see less relevant search results. By using these keywords, you get their attention before they become Etsyfied.

Another possibility is attracting the wrong audience. This commonly applies to newcomers who aren’t very Etsy savvy. These potential buyers are less likely to use strict filtering; the algorithm has less data for personalization. Dog tag sellers could find they are attracting non-pet owners looking for human jewelry when these buyers don’t select the pet supplies category.

In which case, how tough would it be to expand? Offer canine and human versions and grab yourself a fresh target group?

While the top ranking tag combo is dog tag, it’s obvious you don’t limit yourself to 2 keywords. But the choices you make for accompanying tags can help or hinder your success. Even if you’ve added a great picture and free shipping badge.

Etsy Tag and Title Character Limits

Before we look deeper into metadata, how many characters do you get? Products can use up to 13 tags, and each tag has a 20 character limit. No special characters are permitted. Tags must be separated by a comma AND a space.

Your Etsy title can be 140 characters or less. You can use special characters, but how many buyers use them when searching for products? The same goes for emojis. Emojis make your title stand out, but use up multiple characters. They work for new sellers, but might not have an impact for established ones. It’s important to remember not all your title is visible in the search results. The results page only shows the first 46 characters followed by three dots. The buyer only gets to see all 140 characters after clicking on your product.

Free Etsy Keywords!

Avoid wasting characters in your tags and titles without losing important algorithm ranking data with these two methods:

  • Attributes, and
  • Categories

Jenny Benevenuto of the Etsy Taxonomy department explains:

Attributes are like free ‘super tags. 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.

This applies to categories, subcategories and attributes like color, size, and materials. So there’s no need to put words like pink, small, or cotton in your description and tags when other keywords take priority. 

Exact and Broad Matches: Tags for Etsy Ordering

The order of the keywords in your title and tags is also vital. An exact match pushes you higher up the results page than a broad match. Anyone looking for pink feather boa is more likely to find your product than a competitor listing a boa feather pink.

Oh, don’t worry about plurals or capitals. The Etsy algorithm is smart enough to cancel out an extra ‘s’ or capital letter. It’s even smart enough to figure out misspellings, so don’t waste space on alternative spelling in the hope of getting more hits.

Broad matches are a more complex. Use red oven gloves, silicon baking mitts, kitchen gloves and you’ll be top of the list for oven gloves, and lower for oven mitts results. Always use the most common phrases in the right order to get maximum outreach, even if this means the occasional repeated word – oven gloves, oven mitts, baking, kitchen, cooking – for example. Color and materials aren’t necessary if you’ve used those attributes. But put them in if they are included in the top keyword phrase.

Attributes and categories are calculated as broad matches. To be an exact match, you need the exact phrase in the exact order in the title and/or tag. At least, that’s the way 2022 Etsy titles and tags are calculated. The ranking algorithm might change in the near future.

Same Keywords In Etsy Titles and Tags?

etsy keywords

There’s a lot of conflicting information about doubling up your keywords. The right answer? Yes. But only for the top-scoring keywords. Doubling up on 1 to 3 keywords or keyword phrases within your titles and tags won’t double your algorithm score, but will definitely boost it. Integrate the most popular keywords in both if you can, but as the difference in total character allowance is huge. So it’s impossible to do this all the time. And there’s also the risk your title will look like a bad case of keyword stuffing.

Does Etsy Fine for Keyword Stuffing?

No, Etsy doesn’t fine or ban titles stuffed with keywords. And the algorithm doesn’t care, either. But the buying public does.

Etsy has a reputation. It’s the go-to marketplace for quirky, unique gifts. Its sellers are expected to show a little soul. They need to walk a fine line between marketing and caring communication. This is where using attributes and categories gives you more breathing space. That breathing space can be used to present a personality. 

Test 2 or 3 titles using the same tags. Use the principles of exact and broad matches with and without a little personality in the first visible 46 characters. If the winning selection is a full keyword combo, you can inject the personality in your description, rather than your title. But for certain (handmade, unique) products, the character behind the product is often just as important as the product itself. The results of Etsy A/B testing might surprise you.

Make Your Etsy Shop Name a Tag

Your shop name counts towards broad matches. Not using your primary category or product here is a wasted opportunity. If you deal with sustainable products, you need ‘sustainable’ in your shop name. Art dealer? The shop name should be relevant to art, paintings, ceramics, or whatever art you deal in.

Cute shop names are attractive, but won’t help lift you up the search results on their own. A memorable name without keywords can, over time, gain a following. Even so, incorporate the top keyword for your target audience for added value.

An Etsy shop name can’t contain more than 20 characters and you’re not allowed spaces or special characters. You’ll need to be inventive – most of the clever names have been taken.

Etsy Tags That Sell 2022

The tags that sell your Etsy products should be the result of deep research into your competitors on and off this marketplace. This research is only finished when you close your shop doors forever. Why? Etsy trends.

Trending keywords explode and recede. While the most popular product noun usually stays the same (dog tags), adjectives almost definitely won’t. Items relating to the latest top movies, games or fashions, for example. Christmas or Easter gifts. Trending colors and shapes. New sustainable materials and technologies. How good are your powers of prediction?

Put aside a few hours each fortnight or month for a keyword and topic research session. Set up a file featuring:

  • Important dates – holidays from every religion, world days, anniversaries of relevant classic movies and bands
  • Competitor keywords – watch how they change and follow their lead
  • Trends – if you sell handmade clothing, keep an eye on fashion week. Use innovative materials? Sign up for relevant scientific newsletters and find a supplier early on
  • Current keyword stats: review the efficiency of your existing Etsy product titles and tags

It’s a lot of work, but makes all the difference in your ranking status.

Do Etsy Titles and Tags Change When I Refresh or Renew My Listing?

When you create a completely new listing for an existing product, you have to fill in the keywords all over again. You delete all data when you remove a product listing. Refresh or edit your listing, and the titles and tags on Etsy stay the same. Refreshing is the equivalent of reloading a web page.

As we’ve just seen, titles and tags for Etsy must be tweaked at regular intervals. But how useful is it to refresh your listing? Many marketing advice sites tell us this boosts visibility. In truth, the effectiveness of that boost completely depends on your shop or product’s success.

If you’re new to Etsy and haven’t sold many items, the algorithm has very little data with which to rank you. That’s the principle behind the Etsy new listing ranking boost. It’s a very short-term period of higher visibility that gives the algorithm a chance to collect data. So refreshing listings very early on in your Etsy career can bring you higher in the Etsy SERPs than organic SEO. But not if you’ve been selling for a few weeks.

Refreshing products doesn’t give as good a boost as positive, long-term data. The positive data gathered through positive reviews, items sold, free shipping, message response, on-time delivery to name the most important. If Etsy already has data on your products, relisting won’t work. There’s no need to push you higher to collect data. In fact, all your hard work to increase your organic audience is put to waste.

Tag Your Etsy Geek!

For the ultimate in Etsy marketing advice and consistent top ranking, why not tag an Etsy Geek? Etsy Geeks has over a decade of expertise in everything Etsy. That’s all its team of Geeks does 24/7 … Etsy marketing.

By keeping its all-in service in tune with every Etsy algorithm shift, Etsy Geeks can shift your products to the top of page 1. Those Geeks have figured out multiple ways to rank products, even those blocked by high personalization and multiple filters.

In fact, if Etsy Geeks can’t rank you, no-one can!

The Best Tag Is You

I hope I’ve cleared up a few of the mysteries that surround Etsy titles and tags. It’s easy to think Etsy success depends entirely on keywords. It’s true. Keywords get you seen by newcomers.

But quality of service is what turns these newcomers into loyal customers. Loyal customers who automatically browse your shop without browsing the SERPs. Driving potential buyers to a physical or digital store is only part of the retail or ecommerce journey. It’s a big part, but it’s not the only part. And that’s something we often forget.

The best SEO in the world won’t make you a success unless you provide an excellent service. So in the end, the top Etsy tag and title is … YOU.