Have you ever overheard a conversation that just makes you wanna cringe? Like, those people in the restaurant booth behind you are talking about something that you actually know a lot about.. and they’re acting like experts.. and they’re just plain wrong.. and it’s taking everything inside you not to turn around and correct them?
Yeah, that’s how I feel about some of the misinformation being passed around about running an Etsy shop.
So let’s set the record straight about some of the most common Etsy myths I’ve heard.
Myth #1 - Your “most important” tags should be first.
Nope. Tag order DOES NOT MATTER. The most important thing about tags is to make them as searchable as possible. This means using phrases more often than single words, and instead of repeating the same words a bunch of times over and over, do your best to diversify! The more searchable phrases you use, the more likely you are to get found in multiple different searches.
Pro tip: Etsy has also said that title order doesn’t matter.. however, I do recommend putting your most important key phrases at the beginning. Your entire title doesn’t show in search results, so you need to make sure buyers know exactly what you’re offering in a quick glance.
Myth #2 - The shorter your title, the better (aka title “stuffing” is bad).
Okay, so yes.. awkwardly weird title stuffing that doesn’t make sense is bad. But appropriate title stuffing with actual quality keywords and phrases is GOOD. Here’s an example.
Short title (BAD): Unicorn Keychain
This only allows you to be found when a buyer types in “unicorn”, “keychain” or “unicorn keychain”, which means they have to know exactly what they’re looking for when they run a search. You want to give yourself lots of different ways to be found, so consider including some additional keywords and phrases that describe the item - color, size, giftee, etc.
Awkward title stuffing (BAD): Unicorn Keychain Key Chain Unicorns Keychains Key Chains Magic Unicorn Cute Girls Teenager Car Keys Unicorn Pink Purple Gold Small Glitter Gift
Mmmhm. Lots of keywords in here. Good, right? Wrong. It’s basically just a random stream of words. Etsy rewards listings with actual searchable phrases that match what buyers are looking for. Take these words and try to organize them into multi-word phrases.
Appropriate title stuffing (GOOD): Unicorn Keychain, Cute Gift for Teenage Girls, Pink and Purple Unicorn Key Chain, Gold Glitter Car Key Ring, Small Stocking Stuffer for Her
There are TONS of searchable words and phrases in this title, but they actually make sense. They make up phrases that buyers will be searching for, and Etsy rewards listings that match buyers' searches very closely.
Myth #3 - You should copy your title into the first line of your description to boost your SEO.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but descriptions don’t actually factor into Etsy SEO. You should use your descriptions to sound like a human, so when a potential buyer clicks in to find out more, they’ll get a little of your personality.
Pro tip: The very first line or two of your description CAN actually help you in Google SEO, so don’t be afraid to use those important searchable terms, but turn them into an sentence instead of just a list of words. Let’s use our unicorn keychain example from Myth #2. The first line of your description could be something like this: “This cute pink and purple unicorn keychain would be the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite teenager.”
Myth #4 - Don’t use the same key phrases in multiple listings because you’ll compete with yourself in search.
Read this part carefully - it is simply not possible to compete with yourself in search. Now repeat it back to me - it is simply not possible to compete with yourself in search. It is, however, possible to show up in a single search multiple times. And to do this, you actually NEED to use the same key phrases in multiple listings. If a buyer happens to miss you on page 1 or 2, maybe they’ll find you on page 3!
Myth #5 - SEO is the only marketing method that works.
Honestly, SEO is only half the battle. Did you know that even if your SEO is on point, there are a ton of other factors that play into your search page ranking? I’m sure you’ve noticed how some sellers seem to stay at the top of search pages, snag coveted spots in Etsy Browse Guides and Etsy Finds emails, and rack up crazy amounts of sales.
It’s all due to a phenomenon I like to call the Popular Listing Circle Effect, and you can learn all about it in my FREE guide, which will give you some pro tips on how to give your listings a boost in Etsy’s complicated search algorithm.
What other rumors have you heard about running an Etsy shop? Let's bust some more myths, y'all!