Etsy: Meta Tags

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

What are meta tags? Text placed in the computer code that make up a web page that you can’t see when looking at the web page.

A lot of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) info talks about having good meta tags because that’s part of what search engines use to decide your placement in search results. While you can’t control what Etsy uses in the way of meta tags, you can control what some of the meta tags say. Here’s how:

For your shop homepage
meta name= Where it comes from in your listing
“keywords” Comes from your shop section names:
Use keywords that folks looking for your items will use when they search.
“description” Comes from your shop announcement:
The first 160 characters are key so don’t waste them with info or characters that don’t describe what you sell.
“author” Your Etsy ID

For your item listings
meta name= Where it comes from in your listing
“keywords” Your tags
“description” The start of your item description:
The first 160 characters need to describe your item for search purposes. This is what will be displayed about your item in search results, so don’t waste them with info or characters that don’t describe the item.

Not meta tags, but still very important:
Page Title–Shop Home
The text in the blue bar at the top of your browser when viewing a webpage.
On your shop homepage:
Shop Title by UserName on Etsy

The first 30 characters you use in your “Shop Title” on your shop’s appearance page followed by your user name, and then on Etsy if there’s room (download Etsy’s SEO PDF document for a more precise description).

If your business name is different than your Etsy ID this is a great place to put it, describe what you sell, your business’ tag line….

Page Title–Item Pages
The text in the blue bar at the top of your browser when viewing a webpage.
On your listing pages:
Item Title by UserName on Etsy

The first 60 characters you use as the title of the listing followed by your user name and on Etsy if there’s room (download Etsy’s SEO PDF document for a more precise description).

Describe the item a little if you can, limit the title to about 60 characters. Anything over 70 characters is definitely too long for Google’s taste.

Alternate Text for Images
(also referred to as alt text)
Your listing title is used here again:
But only for the thumbnail of the first image. When your items get picked up for Google image search, it will use this info to define the photo. It’s also the text that shows when a mouse hovers over the image.
Web Page Address
(also referred to as URL)
Cobalt Blue Screen Bug
Your listing title is used here again:
The first 40 characters of your listing title will be added to the web page address to increase search engine friendliness.

For example, my happy little screenbug has the title:

Screenbug – Cobalt Blue Screen Bug – protect your screens from walk throughs

The URL will be:

Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Google Base: Items on Multiple Websites/Domains

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

If you sell your items on several venues (your own website, sites like Etsy, Ebay…) you’ll find you can’t just add a second data feed for items located on another domain if you are using the scheduler for uploading your goods (such as the Etsy RSS and Google Base method). The data feed address will differ from the website URL and your feed will fail.

To work around that, you can do one of three things:

1. Get another Google Base account for each additional venue you sell from,

2. Change your current Google Base account to a multi-client account, and your shops/websites will be the clients of the account and allowed to have different addresses: Multi-client account, or

3. Add items for the additional venues using Google Base’s manual upload link in an additional data feed. To upload your Etsy shop feed via the manual link see this post: Manual Upload.

Please note: Google Base doesn’t like when you submit the same exact items through multiple feeds–it muddies the searches–so your feed may get disapproved if you do that.

Need a jump start for getting your website feed going? See here:
Google Merchant Feed for Your Website

Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Google Base: Email says Failed Upload

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Google Base says the scheduled feeds are still catching up, and while the feeds are processing successfully, emails are going out that mistakenly say the feed has failed. Log in to Google Base to see if your feed really did fail or not.

If it did fail and your data feeds page says no items were inserted, see FAQ # 3 for help.

From Google:
Two feed related issues

Friday, July 10, 2009 | 6:39 PM

We’re currently experiencing processing delays for feeds automatically submitted via scheduling. Our engineers have resolved this issue and your scheduled feed should start getting processed within the next few days. If you’d like to update your feeds before that time, we recommend that you submit your items manually via the Google Base dashboard.

We’re are also experiencing a separate issue, where data feed notification emails are including incorrect feed status information. While our engineers work to resolve this issue, you can verify the status of your feed directly by logging in to your Google Base account.

We appreciate your patience and we’ll update this post once the issues are resolved.

Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Google Base: Slow Processing Fixed

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Google Base has said the slow processing is fixed!

They are still catching up with feeds–it took 3 days for our feed to go but it’s been successfully processed now for the first time since July 3rd (manual upload), and for the first time automatically since the June 25th processing slow down/errors. 🙂

From Google:
Resolved: Data feed processing delays

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | 4:45 PM

Please know that this issue has now been resolved. If your data feed is still in the ‘Processing’ state, please resubmit your file to Google Base. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Resolved issue:
We were previously experiencing data feed processing delays.


Etsy RSS & Google Base–In German!

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

This guest post by zafran is a transalation of our Etsy RSS for Google Base post into German. Thanks zafran, for helping more Etsy sellers get their goods into Google Base!

Etsy and Google Base

Tataa! Ich habe alle Artikel meines Etsy Shops nun in Google Base hochgeladen. Ich habe GoTo’s Leitfaden “What is Google Base?” getreulich befolgt und es hat einwandfrei geklappt. Deshalb jetzt das Ganze auf deutsch.


1. Es ist sinnvoll sich als erstes bei Google Base anzumelden. Für alle, die Google Mail haben ist dies besonders einfach, sie finden Google Base in ihrem Google Account und melden sich mit ihrem Benutzernamen + Passwort an.
2. Am besten hält man folgende Fenster während der Installation geöffnet:

  • Deinen Etsy Shop (geh auf “view shop”)
  • Deinen Google Base Account
  • diese Anleitung

Los geht’s!

1. Kopier die Adresse Deines Etsy Shops aus der Adressleiste. Zur Kontrolle – die Adresse sollte so aussehen, allerdings natürlich mit Deiner ID:

2. Öffne jetzt das Google Base Fenster und log Dich ein.

3. Klick den Reiter “Einstellungen” an. Du solltest jetzt hier sein:

4. Im ersten Feld “Anzeigename” trägst Du den Namen Deines Shops ein, so wie er in den Suchergebnissen erscheinen soll. Auf keinen Fall trag Deine Email Adresse hier ein. Ausser Du willst Spam.

5. Im dritten Feld “Website URL” trägst Du die Adresse Deines Etsy Shops ein, wie Du ihn unter Punkt 1 kopiert hast. Achtung: es muss die URL sein, nicht der Name Deines Etsy Shops, sonst funktioniert’s nicht!

6. Alle anderen Felder auszufüllen ist Dir frei gestellt. Es ist aber sicher sinnvoll einiges über Deinen Shop zu erzählen (unter “Beschreibung”), aber nicht zu viel über Dich selbst an dieser Stelle.

7. Scroll nach unten und klicke auf “Änderungen speichern”.

8. Nun klicke auf den Reiter “Meine Artikel”. Du befindest dich jetzt wieder hier:

9. Geh auf “Daten-Feeds”. Falls hier noch kein Daten-Feed eingerichtet ist (in meinem Fall war es so), ist das kein Problem. Klick einfach auf den “Neuen Daten-Feed” Button. Dabei musst Du folgende drei Schritte beachten:

  • Wähle das Land. Sinnvollerweise wählst Du hier USA. Etsy ist nun mal dort lokalisiert und alle Preise in Deinem Shop sind in US Dollar.
  • Wähle Artikelart. Wenn Du “Produkt” wählst, musst Du selbständig alle 30 Tage einen Upload durchführen. Vorteil: alle Artikel sind immer aktuell. Wählst Du “Benutzerdefiniert”, dann sind Deine Etsy Artikel zeitlich unbegrenzt in Google Products zu finden. Nachteil: auch Artikel, die schon längst ausverkauft sind, schwirren dort noch herum.
  • Definiere den Daten-Feed: verwende den Namen Deines Etsy Shops, gefolgt von der Endung .xml; in GoTo’s Fall sieht das so aus: goto.xml

10. Aktiviere Deinen Zeitplan auf eine möglichst nahe Stunde und kontrolliere, ob alles ordentlich hochgeladen wurde.

11. fini! fertig! finished!

After the Upload

See these Google Base “Frequently Asked Question” posts for what to expect next:

# 1: I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

# 2: My feed uploaded and it says items were inserted!

# 3: My feed processed but shows a 0 items inserted message!

Need more help after reading the FAQs? Please post in this Etsy forum thread:

Get into Google’s “Shopping” search results–use Google Base

Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Priority Mail: by Weight or Flat Rate?

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Domestic Priority Mail:

When are flat rate boxes better than shipping by weight?

While we use First Class Mail whenever possible, sometimes you need to ship Priority. Boxes are free from USPS and they’ll even ship them right to your door for free if you order them online: Priority Mail Boxes

Domestic Priority Mail rates change based on shipping zones, unless you are using their Flat Rate Boxes (good for up to 70 pounds). Sometimes the flat rate boxes are a good deal–sometimes it’s better to ship Priority Mail by weight.

Small Flat Rate Box & Flat Rate Envelope (same price):
These cost the same as the “up to 1 pound rate” for Priority packages regardless of the zone they are being shipped to. If your items are going Priority and fit in this package, you’ll get the best Priority rate possible.
Envelope: 12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″
Small Box: 8-5/8″ x 5-3/8″ x 1-5/8″

Medium sized flat rate boxes (formerly the “regular” size):
Comes in two shapes:
Medium Box 1: 11″ x 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″
Medium Box 2: 13-5/8″ x 11-7/8″ x 3-3/8″

Shipping by weight cost is better than using the medium box for these packages:
$8.70: Up to 2 lb, shipping to all zones.
$9.90: Up to 3 lb, shipping to zone 6 or closer.
$9.45: Up to 5 lb, shipping to zone 4 or closer.
$10.30: Up to 7 lb, shipping to zone 3 or closer.
$9.90: Up to 10 lb, shipping to zone 2 or closer.

Large sized flat rate box:
There are two different boxes, both the same size–one is especially for shipping to APO/FPO Destinations ($11.95), it has a lower price than the one for all other addresses.
Large Box: 12-1/4″ x 12-1/4″ x 6″

For non-APO/FPO destinations:

Shipping by weight is better than or equal to using the large box for these packages:
$11.95: Up to 3 lb, shipping to all zones.
$12.95: Up to 4 lbs, shipping to zone 7 or closer.
$13.75: Up to 5 lbs, shipping to zone 6 or closer.
$13.95: Up to 9 lbs, shipping to zone 4 or closer.
$13.30: Up to 11 lbs, shipping to zone 3 or closer.
$13.95: Up to 19 lbs, shipping to zone 2 or closer.

The flat rate box is always less expensive for these packages:
$14.30: 19 lbs and up

You can see USPS Priority Mail shipping chart and the rates and compare for yourself here:

Priority Mail Postage & Labels Online

You get a discount for paying for your postage online, and for Priority packages you get free delivery confirmation! You can buy postage for all the flat rate boxes through’s Click ‘n Ship.

Paypal only offers postage for the flat rate envelope (not the small box, though they are the same price and I use that label for the small box, which might be risky since the label says it’s for an envelope…) and the medium (formerly the regular) sized flat rate box. More on Paypal shipping here: Shipping Through Paypal

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies