Beginner's Guide to Etsy Search

Search is how most shoppers find items on Etsy. To make sure that your items are highly relevant, optimize your listings for Etsy search. Read through this article to learn tips for optimizing your listings for Etsy search.

How Etsy search works

When someone searches for an item on Etsy.com, Etsy’s search algorithm looks for the most relevant matches. You control the most important factors in Etsy search placement when you create listings in your shop. 

How to optimize your listings for search

To optimize for Etsy search, you can improve key factors for your listings. The top factors that determine which items appear in Etsy search and the order in which they’re displayed in a shopper’s search results are:

Tag and title relevancy

Every listing has a title. It's the text that appears above the listing image on the listing page, in your shop, and in search results. Use your title to tell shoppers what your item is in a few words.

A tag is a word or short phrase that describes your item. Etsy matches listing tags with shoppers' searches to find relevant results. A single tag can be a short descriptive phrase (for example: "silver earrings"). Learn more about writing great tags and titles.

Tips for optimizing titles and tags:

  • Use all 13 available tags for each of your listings.
  • Exact phrase matches are stronger than matches on individual words. For example, a search for “banana backpack” would return all items with the words “banana” and “backpack” in the tags or title, but items with the exact search phrase “banana backpack” in the title would be considered a closer match.
  • If a word or phrase in a buyer’s search appears in both the title and tags of a listing, the search algorithm considers that listing more relevant than a listing with that word or phrase in the tags or title alone.
  • Words at the beginning of titles are considered more important than words at the end.

To add or update your titles:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
  2. Search for the item you’d like to edit. 
  3. Click Quick Edit.
  4. Make your title changes.

To add or update tags:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
  2. Click Listings.
  3. Find the item you'd like to update.
  4. Click the gear icon of the item and 
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Once on the listing page, scroll down to Tags.
  7. Add tags that best describe your item. 

Item attribute relevancy

Listing attributes help buyers find your items in search results. Adding attributes and being specific is important for the Etsy search algorithm to identify your products. When adding attributes, first choose the kind of item you're listing (handmade, vintage, or craft supply) and its categories. You'll then see the option to add attributes based on the category you select. 

Tips for optimizing attribute relevancy

  • Try to use the most relevant attributes available to you in each dropdown.
  • Select as many accurate attributes as each item has available.
  • Remember, shoppers search by different attributes. For example some may search by color, size, occasion, etc. 

Learn more about adding relevant attributes to your listings.

To update the attributes of your items:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
  2. Click Listings.
  3. Select a listing.
  4. Choose the attributes for that listing in the Listing details section.
  5. Click Publish.

Listing quality

Etsy’s search algorithm also considers how well individual items tend to do in search based on how likely customers are to interact with a listing or buy a product. We call this “listing quality.” 

Listing quality is impacted by things like the product thumbnail photo, clear titles, and how shoppers interact with a listing. If a shopper clicks, favorites, or purchases an item after they’ve seen it in search results, that action contributes to the listing’s quality score.

If you just opened your shop, your  listings will have a neutral quality score, which has no impact on placement.

Tips to optimize listing quality:

Customer & market experience on Etsy

We want buyers to have a great experience when they purchase from a seller on Etsy. Because of this, we consider a shop’s record of customer service and whether it’s in good standing according to Etsy’s policies.

Tips to optimize customer experience:

  • Complete your shipping profiles to represent processing times to your buyers accurately. Be sure to mark orders as shipped to help buyers know when to expect their items.
  • Make sure your About section is complete. Read more about telling your story.
  • Fill out your shop policies and use the template to give buyers helpful information about your shop.
  • Take steps to communicate with past buyers and swiftly resolve open cases.

For US shoppers: Free shipping

Items that ship for free and shops that offer free shipping on orders $35 or more to US shoppers are prioritized in US search to help US shoppers to find more items that ship free within the US. 

If you sell items to shoppers in the US, consider setting up a free shipping guarantee to optimize your listings’ place in US search.

To learn more about how Etsy search works, read the Ultimate Guide on Etsy Search in the Seller Handbook. 

Etsy Ads

You can use Etsy Ads to promote your listings in Etsy search. There are ad spaces reserved in Etsy search for ads and are separate from search results. You can set up Etsy Ads to have your listings compete for these ad spaces. Learn more about Etsy Ads.

Explore our Beginner's Guides to help you get started on Etsy.

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