Etsy Keywords Demystified

Getting found on Etsy is the hottest topic among sellers and one question that is asked over and over is: what are keywords and long-tail keywords?

First, let’s look at how the dictionary defines “keyword”.

Keyword: a significant or memorable word or term

Keywords are single words you use when you’re describing the item you’re selling. You add them in the title, tags, and categories of your listing. Some examples are jewelry, card, and mug. Single keywords (like jewelry, card, and mug) can also be called broad keywords because they describe a large variety of items. A keyword like jewelry covers earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. You can add additional keywords to help narrow down your listing from “jewelry” to “gemstone jewelry”. By adding even more words to this keyword string you help potential customers find the “raw gemstone ring” that they’re searching for.

So now that we have an understanding of what keywords are, where do they go? Keywords are found in the title, categories, attributes, and tags. 



  • Max length is 140 characters
  • %“, “:“, and “&” can only be used once
  • No more than three words can be in all caps 
  • 31 characters can be seen in the search result gallery

Think about potential customers when writing your titles. Humans have to read them and figure out if what you’re saying is what they’re looking for. Use only the most important information and use all 140 characters if you can. Going back to our jewelry example, “raw gemstone ring” is a great start for a title. Adding “emerald” to the title gives an even better description of your item. Keeping the most important facts about your item at the beginning of your title will ensure that they’ll be seen in the gallery of search results. As you continue to add words to your title, keep them organized and on topic. 

Easy to read:

Raw Emerald Gemstone Ring | Rose Gold | Stackable | May Birthstone | Birthday Gift | Solitaire Stone Ring | Gift for Her | Cocktail Ring

Hard to read:

raw emerald gemstone ring rose gold stackable may birthstone birthday gift solitaire stone ring gift for her cocktail ring



  • 13 tags per listing
  • 20 characters per tag
  • No punctuation 

A “tag” is a short collection of keywords that describes your item. Use these 13 opportunities to include any word you think a potential customer will use to look for your item. Combining keywords into short phrases is a good practice because you get more bang for your buck. Committing one of your 13 keywords to just the word “ring” and another to just the word “emerald” is not as effective as combining the two into “emerald ring”. By doing this, you’re using just one of the 13 tags and creating a strong phrase.

You also do not need to repeat words in your tags. Using “emerald ring” in one tag means you do not need to use “emerald” or “ring” in any other tag. (You can reuse them to reinforce certain phrases.) You also do not need to repeat the keyword phrases you used in your title. Use the most important words from your title and then add some variety to your tags. 

Some examples for our raw emerald gemstone ring:

  1. Raw Emerald Ring
  2. Gemstone Jewelry
  3. Mothers Ring
  4. Custom Boho
  5. Solitaire
  6. Gift for Her
  7. Natural Stone
  8. Green Crystal
  9. Engagement
  10. Minimalist
  11. Pure Emerald
  12. Raw Gemstone
  13. Jewel Ring


Adding your item to a category is like adding a 14th tag. Categories are broken into main categories and sub-categories. Adding your item to a descriptive sub-category also gets your item into the main category. “Jewelry” is the main category. “Ring” is a sub-category that has sub-sub-categories under it. 

Screenshot of the official list of Etsy categories found here

So if we’re picking a category for our “Raw Emerald Gemstone Ring”, the sub-sub-category “Statement Rings” might be a good choice. This means that our item will appear in the categories “Jewelry -> Rings -> Statement Rings”. If we had used “Statement Ring” as one of our tags, we could now change that tag to something else since the category is handling it. 


Attributes are yet another place you can add keywords to your listing. The number of attributes is determined by the category you chose for your item. Some categories will allow you to select more attributes than others. Generally, you’ll be given the option to select the main color and secondary color. In our case, the emerald stone in the ring could fall under the main color “green” and the secondary color “gold” for the metal color. 

So, what are long-tail keywords? A phrase or string of keywords such as “Raw Emerald Gemstone Ring”. Yep, it’s that simple.  

Although it may seem that many of these places where we’re adding keywords and descriptions of our item, is redundant, it is actually a benefit. Each time you add a keyword you’re diversifying your listing description and/or reinforcing what’s important. In our example of the “Raw Emerald Gemstone Ring”, we repeated these words several times because they’re important. They’re the core description of our item. Search engine optimization (SEO) loves both variety and saturation of keywords. This applies not just to Etsy, but to search engines like Google. Finding the right mix of words that get your listing found will take time and paying attention to shop statistics, but the pay-off of being found by your target buyer is worth it.

Articles I read while researching this post:

Using Listing Titles to Get Found in Search

Using Tags to Get Found in Search

Long Tail Keywords for Etsy Sellers – What You Need to Know

The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search

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