I've been selling on Etsy for almost 2 years and have learned so much through my failures and successes. It started out as extra money but now it's my main source income. The biggest way I get traffic to my site is by maximizing my exposure with my item listing tags, so I wanted to share what I've learned with you!
I've found a lot of great guidance through Etsy Forums, talking with other sellers, and reading a variety of blogs. I've tested (and currently use) all of these tips and have learned what actually works through trial and error.
Tags are CRUCIAL to the success of your business because these tags link your potential customer to your site. They work similarly to hashtags. You can add 13 tags to each of your listings and they can be different per listing. To ensure your customer is able to find you, use all 13 tags each listing.
Make sure one of your tags is your shop name. If you're advertising on social media sites (which you should be) like Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc. your audience is buying into your brand. They associate your shop name to everything you do. When they're ready to purchase from you, they'll head over to Etsy and they'll try to find you by searching your shop name. If your shop name is not in your tags, Etsy's search engine makes it difficult to find you and therefore all of your external advertising goes to waste. Make it easy for your customers to find you.
Etsy's search engine matches the words customers type to product tags and product titles. The biggest thing I've learned, is that the search phrase doesn't have to be an exact match to your tag for your product to come up. If you have some cute pink wall prints that would look really chic on somebody's living room wall, having "Wall Decor" and "Living Room Decor" as separate tags is just wasting characters. Never duplicate a word or phrase within your tags. You can only use 20 characters in each tag so typing "Decor" twice wastes 5 characters. Instead, keep "Wall Decor" as a tag and use something like "Living Room Pink" for the other. I understand "Living Room Pink" doesn't make sense and customers won't search that exact phrase, but if they search EITHER "Living Room" or "pink" it will match to that tag. You can also combine short words that don't typically go together because they're under 20 characters combined. Tags like "love gift art" work really well because it's using 1 of your 13 tags but hitting a few different search terms your customer is likely typing. You want to make sure you're using as many key words to get the best chance of getting a match.
Think like your customer when you're making your product title and product tags. Pretend you're not the seller of this item for a minute, if you were shopping for the product, what would you search to find it? Get creative with synonyms- using the example above, you may use the term "Living Room" but your customer might call it their "Family Room". Think of different tenses, like "wall hanging" and "art to hang". Take advantage of word derivations, like decor and decorations. To think like your customer, ask yourself some questions. Would your item be the perfect gift for somebody else? What occasion would it work for? Using a term like "housewarming gift" in your tags would be perfect to find the customer who isn't exactly sure what they want to get their friends for their new home. If they're just browsing for ideas, this puts your item in front of them and leads to a sale. It is also important to think like your customer during holiday drive times. Etsy does a great job of letting you know when customers have started shopping for holidays, but you can also ask your customers directly when they begin buying their presents. My sales always spike in late April for Mother's Day so I make sure "Mother's Day" and "gift" are used within my tags in April. If your product is a good gift for a holiday, make sure that's reflected in your tags during that holiday's drive time.
Here is a screenshot of the tags I use for my best selling item- keep in mind "handwriting sign" is already the title of the product, so I don't include those as a tag.
screenshot from etsy.com
I started using the search terms "funeral" and "memorial" after feedback from my customers. Through talking to them I learned a lot of my customers were purchasing the handwriting sign as a gift for somebody who lost a loved one. You should always be checking in and making sure your tags are relevant and connecting you to your ideal customer.
If you're struggling to come up with tag ideas, there are resources out there to help. Through sites like eRank, you have access to what words your customers are searching and what tags are working for your peers. You can enter in a search term that you've come up with for your product, and it will show you the most popular searched words that are similar. Use the most searched key words (that apply to your product) to put yourself in front of the biggest audience. I'll include a screenshot of the most commonly searched key words associated to "handwriting sign" and you can see how I chose to include some of them.
screenshot from erank.com
Once you get your ideal customer to find your product, it's smooth sailing. Focus on communicative customer service, a well-crafted product and thoughtful packaging and you're on your way to more sales and 5-star reviews.