Hey there, Etsy sellers! Let’s chat about words to avoid like the plague when crafting your Etsy listing titles! Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the forbidden territory of words that make Etsy bots go bonkers, resulting in your listings doing the infamous disappearing act and getting deactivated from your shop. Trust me, you don’t want your hard work to vanish into the mystical depths of Etsy oblivion. So, let’s go through it together.

Starting with the rebels of the word world: the forbidden/”no-no” words. Etsy, being the strict enforcer it is, has cracked down on certain categories like drug paraphernalia, medical claims, and certain baby products. So, if you want to avoid having your listings flagged and removed faster than a cheetah chasing a gazelle, pay close attention to these linguistic landmines.

  1. AMBER.  Ah, the infamous amber necklaces, touted as a homeopathic remedy for teething pain in babies. Etsy, being the responsible platform it is, no longer allows the sale of amber necklaces, anklets, or bracelets due to the potential harm they pose if those tiny beads turn into appetizers for curious kiddos. But here’s the kicker: even innocently mentioning “amber” to describe the color of an entirely unrelated product can set off the Etsy alarm bells.

  2. LAVENDER. Some sellers say their items with lavender have been removed, citing conflicts with Etsy’s drug and plant policies. It’s possible that lavender is considered an “invasive species” or that these sellers were touting medical claims related to lavender which is a big “no-no”. However, I have seen some sellers who just describe the color or their products as “lavender” and their products are removed.

  3. POPPY. Because the poppy plant is used in the creation of certain drugs, Etsy has mostly banned the word from their site. Unfortunately, even describing a Poppy flower on an item can flag the system.

  4. BEES. I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the issue is with bee items but I’ve had several wreath makers message me that their bee themed wreaths were removed. However, once Etsy reviewed the products they were reinstated without an explanation. If anyone has insight into why “bee” seems to get flagged please let us know!

In almost all cases where Etsy has removed products with these “forbidden” words, sellers were able to appeal and the items were reinstated. In fact in most cases the listings were reactivated on their own after a few days.

For more information, here is a screenshot from Etsy’s help menu regarding the products that are prohibited on Etsy. Any words associated with these types of products are likely to get flagged:

We’ve covered the forbidden words but there is another category of words to avoid. It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often these words are used – I’m talking about words that customers simply aren’t using when they’re searching for an item like yours. If you feel like nobody is seeing your listings this might be why! For example, customers don’t often use descriptive words such as “luxury”, “whimsical”, “XL” (unless referring to clothing size), “colorful”, “designer” when searching for a product. Cut the fluff and describe what your product actually is, who it’s for, where it can be used, etc.

Now, let’s not forget that there are plenty of other instances where using the wrong words in your listings can lead to trouble. For example, steer clear of anything trademarked. You don’t want to find yourself tangled up in legal battles over the unauthorized use of someone else’s brand. That’s a recipe for disaster, my friend. And while we’re at it, let’s kick irrelevant words to the curb too. If it has nothing to do with your product, why waste precious space in your title? Stick to the words that matter and watch your listings soar.

Oh, and one final tip before we wrap up: keep an eye out for trends and popular keywords in your niche. What are customers buzzing about? What are the must-have terms of the moment? By staying in the loop, you can sprinkle these magical keywords into your titles and increase your chances of being discovered. It’s like riding the wave of popularity and having customers flock to your virtual storefront like bees to honey.

Remember, my fellow Etsy sellers, mastering the art of choosing the right words is like unlocking the secret code to success. Avoid the forbidden words that send Etsy bots into a frenzy, bid farewell to the jargon that leaves customers scratching their heads, and embrace the power of relevant, trending keywords.

Want more tips for SEO and creating Etsy listings that get actually get found? You can grab my Rock Your SEO mini course HERE and learn all about keywords, titles, tags, and how to increase conversions on your listings. It will have you speaking the Etsy lingo in no time!

Happy Listing!

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