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can anyone explain this term in layman terms so i can understand. Every time i look it up i get so overwelmed i give up. I'm kind of a learn by doing or being shown kind of person. The reading it is just not clicking in my brain

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I will have a go.

It is your Auntie Vera's birthday, and you want to buy her some silver earrings. She is crazy about poodles, so poodle shaped ones would be great.

You come along to Etsy (or google if you haven't heard of Etsy!) and you type something for it to search for.

Well, if you type 'earrings' in you will get millions of things come up, and you know you want poodle earrings - so that is what you type 'poodle earrings'.

The search engine (Etsy's "brain") now will attempt to find the things that will make you happy - the things that are closest to what you are looking for.

Something that has 'poodle earrings' in its title, and 'poodle earrings' as a tag will be, the search engine suspects, just what you want. So this item will come up very high in the search results.

Something that has a tag of 'poodle' and one of 'earrings' and does not have the two words together anywhere MIGHT be what you want, but could also be a painting of a poodle wearing earrings - so the search engine puts it further down the results.

It will probably take other things into account (we don't know the EXACT things it checks). If an item has been in lots of treasuries or hearted a lot, for example, the search engine may decide that it is clearly something lots of people like, so perhaps you will to - and give it a bit more of a bump up the search results it shows you.

SEO is simply trying to get your listing tweaked so that people who are looking for just that sort of thing will find your item. You want to come up nice and high in the search results when they look for this thing.

I hope gives you a bit more of an idea of the basics.
SEO = Search engine optimization

There are lots of do's and don'ts and it is confusing to keep it all straight. This link helped me. I like how it is organized step by step. Much more beginner friendly. I bookmarked it, worked my way through the list, and keep referring back to it.

Good luck.
To add to Deborah's analogy (cute, BTW), if I'm selling "Pink Poodle Earrings" and you want that color, it would be better for me to tag (or describe, title, etc.) my listing as "pink poodle earrings." (That wouldn't fit as a tag, but you see what I'm getting at.)

The more specific you can be with your item, the better keyed to a customer looking for exactly that can find it!

That's what's called "Great SEO." (And, I'm sure there are other factors involved. We're just trying to simplify here.)

Oh, wait! I think that WOULD fit as a tag, it's got 20 characters/spaces!

This article helped a lot for me:

thats it? the poodle thing did it for me. thanks i'm already doing that in my tags so DUH! now i feel like a real doofus... im doing that in my title too...thanks everone
LOL!! Deborah....what a FANTASTIC way to describe SEO!! LOVED it :)
Maybe etsy should simply put this in their handbook!!
Marybeth: I just peeked at your tags; they should be multi-word phrases that a buyer might search on. Single-word tags are no longer very helpful in searches. So "bib" (which brings up 70,451 items) is less effective than "flower bib" (which brings up 7,055 items). You want effective tags that accurately reflect what the item IS and what its attributes are.

Hope this helps!
thank you vintage rescue squad i didnt know that.
Etsy search doesn't look at your item description, but Google search does. Remember that Google is trying to help people find information, so it wants to know what a page is about. If the page is about pink poodle earrings, it wants to see that phrase in more than the title - you could be mistitling the page in order to draw in the hordes of people looking for pink poodle earrings. To be sure about it, it also wants to see "pink poodle earrings" in your description - ideally more than once - so it can feel safe sending someone to your page to find out about pink poodle earrings.

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