Lately, here on the blog I've been discussing the tags, titles, and product photography that go into our listings on Etsy. These things are vital to getting our items in front of buyers. But there are other things that go into listings.
Like, the product description.
Product descriptions don't tend to get a lot of attention, generally. That's because, sadly, many people don't bother to read them. If you've run your shop for any amount of time, you've probably gotten a convo from a buyer with a question that was clearly answered in your product description. Probably more than one.
But that doesn't mean you should skimp on them. There are plenty of people who do read the descriptions, and you'll probably never hear from them. Or you might just get a sale that you would have missed otherwise. So, it's generally a good idea to take some time to write and edit your product descriptions so that they don't cost you a sale.
From a search engine optimization viewpoint, product descriptions may or may not be helpful. Etsy does not use them in their internal search (they focus on tags and titles), but other search engines (*cough* Google *cough*) may look at the first 160-500 characters of your description. So, it's a good idea to spend that first sentence or two saying what the item is and targeting your good long tail keywords.
Product descriptions need not be very long. They should answer the 20 important questions, though. And they should sound natural, like a human wrote it.
Much like newspaper journalism, the important stuff should go in the beginning, and extra details can be added towards the end. Assume that anyone who is still reading to the end of the description is pretty much sold, so that's where you include fun tidbits and really let your personality shine.
Etsy also encourages adding links. If your item happens to also come in other colors, include a link to the shop section where those other colors reside. You can include a link to your about page, your shop policies, or another item that might pair well with that listing. If the item is a pattern and you also sell the finished item (or vice versa), include the link.
Try to keep the links internal to Etsy (it'll help with ranking).
One last thing: If you have many items that are the same, do find a way to change up your product descriptions a bit. Etsy's algorithms won't care, but outside search engines do "read" the words, and copies (a description that is exactly the same) won't "register" as a new page. But different listings have something different about them (size, color, etc.), so changing that up in the description will help.
How much time do you spend on your product descriptions? Do you get many questions that you did answer that just got missed?