Your handmade item title at etsy and artfire: SEO differences

Wow! SEO has been an especially hot topic in the world of handmade venues this week.  Etsy and Artfire have very different positions about how your item titles are submitted to Google.

And why should you care? Well, because potential shoppers that know nothing about Artfire or Etsy look for handmade  items to purchase, where? Google. Sellers NEED their items to be easily found and easily recognizable by the average shopper.

Here is an example from my shops to illustrate the differences between the two sites.
Pools of Fire – Handmade Orange Lampwork Bangle

Pools of Fire - Handmade bright orange lampwork bead bangle bracelet $45

I used these search terms on Google:
Handmade Orange Lampwork Bangle

This is how Etsy structures the handmade item titles:

Handmade <Category Name> on Etsy – Item Title, Shop Name

So, my etsy item appears in the google search as:
Handmade Jewelry on Etsy – Pools of Fire – Handmade bright orange …

This is how Artfire structures the handmade item title:

Item Title, <Artfire Artisan>, My Studio Name

So, my Artfire item appears in the google search as:
Pools of Fire – Handmade Orange ArtFire Artisan ShinyAdornments …

Hmm, neither are perfect, but the Etsy title is worse for the seller I think. Google and other search engines return results titles that range from 60-75 spaces. The Etsy model adds in around 30 characters with the Handmade (category) on etsy bit, the Artfire model adds 15. This means my actual item title and my shop name continually are over Google’s character limit with Etsy’s model.  Developing a brand means that I need my shop name continually associated with my items in search. As I have a longer name, Etsy’s new model effectively nullifies this. :-(

If you’d like to read a LOT more info from some pretty angry etsy sellers, here are a list of Etsy forum posts for you to peruse.

Artfire is addressing it head on (of COURSE they are. :-) ) with a “Meet Artfire’s SEO/SMO Team” event in their forum.  Also, Tony, an Artfire admin has posted this info regarding their tagging methodology:
“Hey there! Working on a Sunday. We wanted to get a jumpstart on our SEO guides. I just made some additional changes based on the feedback we see from our sellers and wanted to update you. We’ll be doing full official info next week. But, for those of you following along. . .

Check out the page source on your items now.

The title is still generated based like it was before with the title first, then username, then ArtFire then Main category.

But now the author is (drum roll) username on artfire for studios and items


the meta keywords are now (bigger drum roll) the first 10 of your tags plus (coming soon) artfire and the main category.

A couple of things

A) This means you can choose what’s important

1) only want your title for SEO? = use all 70 characters

2) only want your title and username? = use 70 minus your username characters for title

3) want all of that and ARTFIRE!!!? =( good idea in my opinion) use 70 – username – 6 (for Artfire)

4) Want the main cat in there too? Use 70- username – 6 for Artfire – main cat for title.

B) don’t dupe your tags – our search engine won’t give it anymore weight and it WILL kill your search engine placement cause it makes the google people angry (no kidding steam out their ears and everything).

C) The first word or phrase of your title is your best keyword for people searching for you item. e.g . “turquoise bracelet”

D) MAKE SURE you use that keyword in the first sentence of your description – That will generate the summary on the search return with your first few sentences of description. If you DON”T do that – the spider will look for other text that has the keyword.

E) This method allows for total customization of your SEO or we do what we think is best for those who don’t want to bother. YOU GET TO CHOOSE. Freedom to choose your own path, we think that is the key.

Formal updates and guides will follow this week. . . stay tuned.”

So what does this mean for you? Make your displeasure heard at the Etsy forums. Comment in the Artfire forums about what is working and what isn’t for you. Tweak your item titles based on what you know. For instance, in the examples above, I’m going to slightly tweak my Artfire titles to make better use of the characters I’m given.  Use online tools to review your titles for length and edit as necessary with the information above. A good one to try is

UPDATE: Here is Part Two

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  1. I forgot to say, thank you for that link. I am going to try to make my titles more effective. I wish I had done so on my last purse post.

  2. Excellent post – really clarified for me, thank you! (I’ve shared your link on Twitter and it’s gotten several Re-tweets, too!)

  3. For another perspective on it, 1000 Markets has a special section where you can put special SEO centric text for your product to be submitted to the search engines. It defaults to your product description, but if you (like me) write cutesy descriptions, you can strip all that out for the search engines.

    The item title formats as:

    from s Shop on 1000 Markets

  4. thanks for the comments everyone. Gotta tweak my titles once again. Also, thanks for the 1000 Markets example. Good to know.


  5. I have a headache reading all of this info about SEO and Etsy but saying that, it has all been very helpful for those of us who aren’t real up on all the jargon. One thing, you would think that Etsy would realize that they are alienating a lot of people who make them a lot of money (not me but others) and if Artfire continues to be more accommodating to their sellers then I’m sure there are many who will completely pack up and leave Etsy to sell full-time on Artfire. Personally, it’s not an option for me as the monthly fee is way more than I can afford at the moment. Besides they aren’t the only 2 online selling venues for handmade now. Great post and thanks for the info.

  6. Interesting, I never realized how important this all is! I will check out the Etsy forums. Thanks for pointing it out.

  7. Thanks for all the info Kristy- I’m trying to wrap my head around it all & make sense of it. It’s something that I never thought I’d have to understand. HA! I really like what Artfire is doing.

  8. thanks for the tech details in understandable terms :) I have been trying to revise my title structure to make it as optimal as possible – now I can be more precise – thanks again

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