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Sales Factors

Understanding Sales Factors.

Richie Peplin avatar
Written by Richie Peplin
Updated over a week ago

What are Sales Factors?
Sales factors are the factors that influence your chances of success (making the sale) once you’re listing is found in a search. With that said, your photos and descriptions aren’t actually a part of Etsy SEO. Because of this, they aren’t figured into your listing grades.

So are they even important?
YES...they’re incredibly important!! We have a little saying around these parts and it goes something like this: “SEO gets you found, but photos and descriptions get you sold.” 

Break it down for me!
Basically, good photos get you engagement and good descriptions are what convert that engagement into a sale.

Photos: When it comes to photos, you can have up to 10 and Etsy prefers you to have all 10. But they won’t penalize you for having fewer. 

A while ago we had a Marmalead user write in and say “It’s like once you’re found in search, it all comes down to a photo contest.” While that’s a bit oversimplified, it isn’t far from the truth! Compare your photos to your competitor’s photos and ask yourself a few questions. Whose listing would I click on, mine or theirs? Why? Do their photos look consistent and well done? Do mine? Do they have more photos than me? Whose photos draw me in more, mine or theirs?

These are the kinds of questions you’ll want to be asking when you’re thinking about your photos. 

Descriptions: Descriptions are your opportunity to reach out to the shopper and tell them a story about your product! It’s your chance to connect with the shopper and really drive their purchasing decision by painting a story of how your listing is going to add value to their life. Don’t just hit them up with bland details. Create a description you’d enjoy reading because chances are, if you enjoy reading it someone else will also!

Let’s look at the Description metrics piece by piece!

  • Words & Sentences: A lot of research has been conducted and the conclusion is that there is a targeted number of words and sentences you want to aim for when writing your descriptions.

Of course, 250-300 words in your description might not always be practical to every seller out there. This is one of those things where the answer usually ends on "It depends"

If you're selling shirts, then there might not be enough things to talk about and you can get away with a shorter description. But if you're someone who's selling expensive wedding rings, you might want to have as much info in there as possible including your sizing guide and proper care. It's probably a good opportunity to tell a story that will paint a picture in their heads if you want them to act on such an expensive purchase. This is just one example where you might want to have a long product description.

We encourage you to go on Etsy and look at typical good selling listings in your category and see how they are structuring their copy. It depends on the platform too. Apparently, Amazon and Dell recommend at least 300 words, Home Depot says at least 150, and Yoast says 300.

Here are some resources that talk about the optimal number of words in your product description:

Pro Tip: To learn more about the Words and/or the Sentences metrics, hover over the circle with the question mark at the end of either metric and it’ll bring up a few details about each one!

Bonus Pro Tip: Most of the metrics on the site will show more info. when you hover over them.

  • Readability: You’re going to want to target around a 4th grade reading level regardless of the education of the person reading the description. Consider the difference between the words ‘obtain’ and ‘get’. Research shows that ‘get’ is more effective with shoppers and resonates far more than complex words like ‘obtain’. This is likely because it takes less time to process the word so the shopper gets to the heart of the seller’s message a little faster. 

Pro Tip: There are those who sell sophisticated products that require the use of more complex words. For example, someone selling fine wine won’t want to describe it as “Fancy grape juice” because that would fall flat with the buyer! The intent with grade level is to make sure you aren’t aiming to fill your descriptions with $100 vocab words!

  • Sentiment: This looks at whether your description is putting out positive or negative vibes. Ultimately, you want your descriptions to avoid words like; broken, cracked, damaged, sad, costly, dinky...things along those lines. Because at the end of the day, you want to put out all the positive vibes you can! Why? Because buyers buy happy!

Dang, that was a ton of information!
Don't worry! If you have more questions about Sales Factors, reach out to us at

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