You could search the forums and the Storque Blog on Etsy for all eternity and read forever on how to properly tag your items. I am writing this article in the hopes of saving you some time. At the end, I have included a list of links to most of the Storque Articles and some forum threads and, of course, the Do’s and Don’ts.
Now you’ve read the Do’s and Don’ts and you are listing items. Congratulations! Until, you hit that tag page and you are struggling to come up with 14 different tags. First of all, you need to decide which main section your item belongs: Handmade, Vintage or Supplies. This tag, your first, should be a very easy decision. A few quick rules for tag #1
- If it doesn’t fall into one of these 3 categories, you can’t sell it on Etsy!
- Vintage is 20 years or older. No less than 20. No exceptions.
- Supplies are items that can be used to make something. If the item is a finished product and can be used as-is, it is not a supply.
- If you didn’t make it or alter it, it is not handmade.
Moving on to tag #2. This should be your main category that you would define the item as if you have a handmade item. Take your time here and decide which category is best suited to your item. Some items can fit into any number of main categories. In this case, I would suggest perusing those categories to see how clogged up they are with similar or mistagged items. This will give you a feel for which category would be the best fit for your item. If you are selling supplies, tag #2 will be a choice between handmade and commercial. If you even have to think about this one, you’re gonna need more help than I can give you.
So now you’ve chosen the main categories that your item belongs in. You may have also chosen a few subcategories at this point, depending on your main categories. Now it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of your item. Here are a few rules to remember:
- Tagging an item with a possible use (such as tagging a blank card with “birthday, wedding, etc”) is against the TOU on Etsy. Don’t do it. If the item is occasion specific (say a wedding card) it is okay to tag it with that occasion only.
- Tags should be only one word for the most part. Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly or sterling silver. Some things don’t, like peanut butter and pickles or silver earrings. Using more than one word in a tag when they do not go together, is known as “stuffing” your tags and is against the TOU.
- You don’t need to tag your items with the singular and plural of a word if they are similar. If the words vary quite a bit, you may want to do both.
- Only tag your item with what it really is. For example, don’t tag a necklace with “earrings” in the hopes of someone seeing it. If someone is looking for earrings, they don’t want to wade through 5 pages of necklaces first. They searched for earrings for a reason. It only hurts the community to mistag. It doesn’t help anyone.
- Get creative with naming your colors. Some people search for blue while others look for periwinkle, cornflower or denim blue. I’ve included a link at the bottom which includes a vast array of color names.
Etsy Do's and Don'ts
Etsy Seller's Handbook
Etsy Tagging How-To's
Storque Article with Lots of Keywords
List of Colors