Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Seller Handbook

How to Write Enticing Item Descriptions

Optimize your shop with effective and descriptive prose in your product listings.

By Danielle Maveal Apr 25, 2012
Photo by PicturebookLife

So you've led your buyer into your item listing. Now that you have their attention, how can you entice them to buy? The right way with words will help your buyer add your items to their shopping cart with confidence! Optimize your shop with the following five tips for effective and descriptive prose in your product listings.

1. Create an inverted pyramid. 

The most important information about your item should be first in your description — not only because shoppers want the details on your items as soon as possible, but also because it’s a smart way to optimize the way your description displays in Google search results. Feel free to repeat the words used in your item title.

2. Just like a good therapist suggests, use “I” statements.

 Speaking in the first person will help you connect with your visitor on an individual level — and isn’t that what they are looking for when they come to shop on Etsy? Show a bit of your personality! Think of your item descriptions like meeting a new friend: you want to be polite, but you also want to be your natural self.

3. Short paragraphs and bullet points are your friends.

 Visitors to your shop might be looking for a specific size or material, so make it easy for them to glean that info from your descriptions by cutting out superfluous language and making good use of bullet points.

4. Keep an eye on your Shop Stats.

 Maintain a list of the keywords visitors search for when they find your shop and write with these keywords in mind. Remember that your titles and tags are keywords used by Etsy search, but your most important tags and materials should also be scattered throughout your descriptions so that Internet search engines can find you too! External sites are more likely to pick up keywords from your descriptions than your list of tags.

5. End with a link.

 Did you know you can copy and paste Etsy URLs in your descriptions and they will function as a hyperlink? Use this to your advantage. If your visitor has read your item description and is not biting, don’t let them float away to another website, Etsy shop or back to their search results. Instead, give them a link to learn more about you, see your entire shop, check out a shop section or even link to a search within your shop.

6. Lastly, edit your description!

See what sentences are too long and make them shorter. Short, sweet and punchy prose is easier for a buyer to connect with. Run your description through a spell checker, and check for grammatical errors.

Bonus: 20 Questions Exercise. Jot down 20 questions your buyers might have about this item. Now, comb through your item description and see if you've answered them all! If you haven't, try to pop in those answers without overwhelming the buyer. More on 20 Questions.


Danielle Maveal from daniellexo

Before working for Etsy, Danielle also managed two jewelry studios/shops in Toronto and Detroit, and even had her own gallery in Brooklyn. Then she found a really cool website that allowed her to sell her own work. Within 3 months, she quit her job and ran an Etsy shop full time (she almost hit 1,000 sales before Etsy hired her!).


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