The #1 Mistake Etsy Sellers Make That Kills Sales (With Case Study)

Are you ready to learn the number one mistake you’re making that is crippling your Etsy sales?

This mistake is commonly overlooked, but so easy to fix.

It is so under the radar, that not even Etsy properly emphasizes its importance in helping your shop to thrive. So, you may wonder, what could this mistake possibly be?

The answer is:


Those pesky things you have to fill out at the end of each listing.

Those keywords you have to enter in when you are done adding in your photos and writing your description. They often get rushed through because of their positioning (low on the listing page), which doesn’t make them seem as important as they really are.



Why Are Tags So Important?

Etsy Tags are so important because Etsy matches tags with shoppers’ searches to find relevant results. Therefore the better your tags the more likely a potential customer will find you.

You’re allowed 13 tags per listing, and you must use them all!

So many times I see listings with beautiful product photos and great descriptions, but when I review their tags, I’m shocked to see just a few basic ones used or worse, none at all.

How to Come Up With Killer Tags

A tried and true method I use to find the best tags for a listing is to complete a search on the Etsy Search bar.

To do this, type up the keywords for what you are selling on the Etsy search bar. A drop down will appear with all of the most searched for terms relating to that keyword. Review all these keywords and use all of the ones that apply to your item as a Tag.

Only 10 suggestions are shown at a time, so keep typing in slightly different search terms to get other suggestions from Etsy.

Example of search results for the word ‘lavender’ which could relate to the color or scent:

etsy seo: how to write tags

Noticed that all of these terms are 2-3 words long?

Always use two keywords at a time when choosing tags. Think like a customer and write the tags as if you were searching the item in Etsy.

As you can imagine, if a customer is in the market for a lavender candle, they will likely type in Lavender candle in the search box, instead of just the word lavender.

The more specific your keyword phrases, the more likely you are to be found by potential customers.

I Did a Case Study with Etsy Tags (Here’s What Happened)

In order to best showcase the power of tags I decided to conduct a case study.

The internet has tons of articles telling you how important tags are, but no article shows actual cold hard proof of their power. This case study proves how the traffic to a listing improves once the tags for that listing are revamped using the methods described above.

I recruited Etsy shop 19LA as a volunteer. They are a new vintage clothing shop that are still honing their tag generating skills.

I pulled up the Shop Stats data to see which listings were the sore losers of the bunch. I chose 10 listings that all had five or less views within a four day time period (December 22 to December 26).

These dates were four days immediately before the tags were revamped.

Once the ten listings were selected I went to work and edited the tags. I used the Search Bar method to come up with ninety percent of the new tags.

The Results

After four days I checked the listings again, and to my astonishment the views of all of the test listings combined had improved 150%.

During the first set of four days the listings had 22 combined views. After the tags were improved, and the same time period of four days passed, the combined listings views total jumped to 54.

The listing views more than doubled for these items which were all the sore sad losers of the shop (views wise).

The name of the listings were reduced to their main keywords. You can look up all of these listings by typing these keywords in the 19LA shop’s page search bar.


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Single Listing Before and After

This Silk Bomber Jacket had the most improvements in views once the tags were revamped. It went from a mere three views to a whopping 23 views!


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Properly using Etsy Tags will improve your listings’ views, which in turn will improve your sales. Tags are so important, yet so many shops have not mastered how to use them.

Do your shop the favor of going back and editing all of your listing’s tags.

Yes, this will be annoying, but so worth it once your sales roll in!