September 6, 2022 | 7 minute read

Checklist: Optimize Your Shop for Etsy Search

Check off all the items on this list and you’re 10 steps closer to more visibility in Etsy search.

Avatar image for Etsy Staff by Etsy Staff
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Shoppers are coming to Etsy looking for special items like yours. Make sure they can find them by optimizing your shop and listings for Etsy search. A lot of factors go into Etsy search ranking, but you control some of the most important ones. Follow these best practices to create more opportunities to match your items with shoppers’ searches and improve your placement in those results.

Explore our Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search for more on the factors that go into Etsy search and tips for optimizing your shop.

1. Use all 13 tags

Each tag you add to a listing is an opportunity for it to appear in a shopper’s search. Unused tags are missed opportunities, which is why you should add 13 tags to all of your listings. Your tags should be multi-word phrases and use natural-sounding language. One rule of thumb to follow: If you can’t imagine someone typing a phrase into Google, it shouldn’t be in your tags. Add variety to your tags, too. There’s a lot that makes your item unique. Add tags that describe what your product is, how it’s made and who it’s for. Read Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know for more tips on tags.

Update your tags

2. Get specific with categories

Categories on Etsy act like tags and adding more specific categories creates more opportunities for your listings to get found. Etsy’s listing categories start with a broad category and get more specific. Categorizing your listings down to the most specific subcategory can give you greater visibility on Etsy.

Add more categories

3. Offer free shipping

High shipping costs may turn off buyers and keep them from completing their purchase. Listings that ship for free to the United States and shops that offer a US free shipping guarantee get priority US search placement in the Etsy app where millions of Etsy’s most active shoppers are searching. Digital download items are also eligible for priority search placement in the Etsy app because they don't have any shipping costs.

We also include shipping price as a factor in search ranking. If you don’t offer a US free shipping guarantee or free shipping to US shoppers, offering free shipping or lowering your shipping costs for shoppers in your country can improve your search ranking.

Read How to Create a Competitive Shipping Strategy

4. Add relevant attributes

The attributes you add to your listings also act like tags and can help your item match with a shopper’s search. Attributes describe specific characteristics of your item including primary color, secondary color, holiday, occasion, height, and width.

When you add more specific categories to your listing, you may also be able add more specific attributes that are unique to that category. For example, when listing a necklace in the jewelry category, you can add attributes for the chain style or number of strands. When listing beads in the craft supply category, you can add attributes for the bead size and shape. Choose the option that best fits your item, even if it’s not exactly how you would describe it.

All these super-specific keywords can help shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for find your item in Etsy search. If a phrase appears in your attributes, you don’t need to add it as a separate tag.

Add attributes

5. Grab shoppers’ attention with short, easy-to-understand titles

Listings that are popular with shoppers perform better in Etsy search. While the order of words in your title doesn’t have a direct effect on search ranking, putting your most important keywords first makes it easy for shoppers to see what you’re selling at a glance and may result in more clicks and sales from search, which can improve your search ranking over time.

Update your titles

6. Put your best photo first

The first photo on your listing is the thumbnail shoppers will see when browsing search results. Encourage them to click with a photo that clearly shows what’s for sale. Whether you photograph your items on a clean white background or in a more editorial, lifestyle context, your first image should help shoppers imagine your item in their lives—and in their shopping carts.

While the first photo is what shoppers see in search results, using all 10 photos gives buyers more information about your item, and in a 2017 survey, 90% of Etsy buyers surveyed said photo quality was “extremely” or “very” important to their decision to make a purchase. Get more photography tips in The Ultimate Guide to Product Photography.

Add or update your photos

7. Fill out your About section

Adding an About section gives shoppers a behind-the-scenes look at you and your Etsy shop. It also can increase your customer and market experience score. We look at a variety of factors to give each shop on Etsy a customer and market experience score based on the shop’s customer service history and whether it’s in good standing according to Etsy’s policies. Adding an About section increases your score, and a higher score may improve your search ranking.

Add or update your about section

8. Add clear shop policies

Clear shop policies let buyers know what they can expect when they make a purchase from your shop. Having shop policies has a positive effect on your search placement and using Etsy’s shop policies template can give you an additional boost. Learn more about customer and market experience score and its influence on search results in How Great Customer Service Can Improve Your Search Ranking.

Add or update your policies

9. Add titles and tags in your shop language

Your titles and tags should be in the language you chose when you opened your shop. Adding tags in a language other than your own shop language won’t help your listings appear in search. Etsy will automatically translate the titles and tags you add into a shopper’s language. If you speak multiple languages, we recommend setting up your shop and tagging your items in your native language. You can choose to add your own translations for any additional languages you speak. Learn more about translating your own listings.

Add your own translations

10. Experiment and adjust your strategy

Your search optimization strategy shouldn’t be “Set it and forget it.” Look at your stats on a regular basis to see which listings could be bringing your shop more traffic and refresh the tags and titles. The start of a new season or before a major holiday are great times to give your keywords a refresh. Scan your listings for tags with lots of repeated phrases—those are opportunities to try new tags.

Check your stats

Go back > The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search

Note: Etsy search is always changing and every shop is different. These are some of the current best practices we recommend and we’ll regularly update this content to keep you informed*. Results may vary and are not guaranteed.

*As of September 2022

Avatar image for Etsy Staff Words by Etsy Staff

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