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Every e-commerce enterprise has its own way to acquire the attention of Internet customers. Check the best way to optimize SEO for Etsy Store.
No matter how great a product you’ve created and how affordably you’ve priced it, your potential buyers will never appreciate or order it if they never see it. That’s precisely the reason why to be successful in platforms like Etsy you have to spend a lot of time and effort on your SEO (search engine optimization).
SEO comprises a multitude of different components, actions, and marketing strategies. This post contains 10 proven practices which are a must-have for both beginner and more experienced sellers.
The first 6 of them are known to impact the Etsy search algorithm directly. They influence the position in the search results in which your listings appear.
The remaining 4 strategies focus on improving your conversion rate (the ratio between the number of sales of a listing and the number of times it has been viewed). The conversion rate is one of the most important components of the ranking. Therefore, improving it will inevitably get better positions in Etsy’s search results.
1. Use all 13 tags in each listing
You should always strive to include all 13 tags in your listings. Each tag that you don’t use is a missed opportunity to be found by a wider customer base. The number of shops on Etsy is ever-growing - about 5 million active shops as of August 2022. Every missing tag gives your competitors a slight advantage.
In the beginning, it will most likely be very challenging for you to think of 13 different keywords and key phrases to describe your product. You will likely get discouraged and frustrated and simply move on to your next listing. Like all new things, it takes time and practice to master this process, but eventually, it gets easier and faster.
Remember that using all 13 tags is not enough - you must use them wisely. For example, if one tag is contained entirely in another, the former is useless. When Etsy sees a tag like “gold engagement ring,” it breaks it down to its components and combines them in all possible ways. Thus, Etsy will match your listing for searches like “engagement ring,” There is no point in adding this keyphrase separately to your tags.
It is easy to make a mistake when writing your tags. Thus, it is important to check your listings for such issues regularly. Software products like Koalanda and eRank can make your life easier by automatically detecting them and informing you about them.
2. Select Etsy SEO keywords carefully
You should choose the keywords for your 13 tags carefully and thoughtfully. This is arguably the most difficult and the most important part of the SEO process, especially for beginners. Several rules of thumb can be followed to be successful:
- Only use keywords that are relevant to your product. We know how tempting it could be to start adding an unrelated but popular keyword with little competition to all of your listings. This is almost always a mistake - even if the listings start showing up in the first pages of Etsy’s search results, people won’t click on them. Even worse, they might click on them and then leave them quickly, reducing their conversion rate.
- For example, the cottage come style is extremely popular, and the competition is reasonably small. But don’t start using the cottage come tag in your non-cottagecore products because this will hurt how Etsy sees them.
- Find the right mixture of highly popular and competitive keywords and longtail niche keyphrases. The truth is that you need to use a combination of both. It will be difficult to rank high for the most competitive keywords, especially at the beginning of your Etsy shop. However, if they describe your product well, don’t hesitate to use them - after all, the buyers are searching for them a lot. At the same time, do use longtail and specific keyphrases. They are searched for less often; however, they are more likely to lead to a sale.
- Imagine that you are selling wedding dresses. The tag “wedding dress” has a competition of 500,000 and the chances of reaching a customer with it are slim. Try to make it more specific - for example, “lace wedding dress”, “boho wedding dress”, or “beaded wedding dress” (all of them with competition less than 100,000).
- Don’t think only about the product itself. Think about how it can be used. Is it suitable for a present? Maybe for some other specific occasion? Does it have a certain style? Thinking outside the box can lead to interesting tag ideas:
- For example, if you sell a personalized doormat, you might include a “wedding gift” or “housewarming gift” on your tags.
- Follow the Etsy keyword trends. Buyers are looking for all kinds of weird keywords, and sometimes it is hard to guess them. Various tools can come in handy when researching the search volume for your tags. Koalanda has a keyword explorer which shows which are the hottest and most searched keywords on Etsy.
- For example, the term “mid-century modern” is very popular at the moment. Does it fit any of your products?
3. Use keywords in your product titles
Don’t forget to include keywords in your titles too.
The title is the third thing the customer sees (after the photos and the price). This is why it should be accurate, clear, and keyword-rich. Try to make it relatively short and descriptive so that a customer scanning the search results page can read it effortlessly.
Place the most important keywords at the beginning of the title. Don’t keyword-stuff it with inaccurate or irrelevant keywords because this will confuse both Etsy’s algorithm and your customers.
4. Don’t forget the listing descriptions
The listing descriptions have always been important for your buyers. The description is the place where you can let your imagination run wild. It should contain all relevant information that will give your customer the final nudge to buy your product. It should convince your customer that this is the exact product for them and earn their trust.
Recently, the description became even more important. In May 2022 (see here), Etsy’s search algorithm started inspecting the listing descriptions for keywords and key phrases. And it started ranking your listings based on them. Now it is more important than ever to write accurate, keyword-rich, and concise descriptions suitable for your buyers and Etsy’s algorithm.
5. Add relevant attributes
The attributes are details about your product that you can specify once you’ve selected your product’s category. Don’t forget that the attributes and categories work like tags in Etsy’s algorithm. Each attribute is another opportunity for your online listing to match what a buyer is searching for and to rank higher in the search results. Don’t duplicate your attributes and categories in your tags, as this would be a waste of valuable tag slots. Additionally, Etsy lets the customers filter by attribute in their extended filters menu.
Ideally, you should add attributes to all of your listings. The attributes are specific and predefined for each of Etsy’s categories, so it is easy to navigate them and choose the relevant ones. For example, if you sell dresses, you can choose attributes for the length, sleeve type, and neckline. If you sell jewelry, you can specify the material, color, closure, style, several strings, theme, cut type, etc.
6. Keep your shop sections optimized
Your shop sections provide an easy and intuitive way to organize the products in your shop. They help your customers get a quick overview of what you are offering.
At the same time, the sections can help your SEO. Etsy’s algorithm views them as tags that are attributed to all listings in the section. Thus, when choosing your section names think about the algorithm as well. And don’t worry if your section is repeated in your listing tags - in this case, this will only help Etsy consider this keyword more relevant to your listing.
7. Include high-quality photos and videos
According to Etsy’s analysis, photos are the single most important factor which influences the customer’s decision to actually place an order (see here). A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. You can’t expect to be successful selling online without quality photos.
The easiest way to get quality photos is to simply pay a professional photographer to take them and enhance them for you. You can also learn to do it yourself if you are on a budget. In many cases, even your phone camera can be good enough to get great results. Taking
the photos on your own also give you the additional flexibility of being able to upload new products immediately when you make them.
Don’t forget to include various photos of your products. Shooting them from different perspectives and angles is a must. Try to make close-up photos to reveal important and beautiful details and also to gain your customer’s trust. Add photos of your product being used in real life.
Your product description is not always easily visible to the customers (especially if they are browsing through the Etsy app). As a matter of fact, most customers never read it. One simple trick to make your customer read the description is to include important information about your product in the images.
You can add a separate image with a color palette or a size chart. You can add an image with important highlights about your product qualities, discounts, mailing lists, and more.
One of the most popular software to create such images is Canva. With it, you can easily add text to your existing photos, resize them, add banners, or create completely new designs.
Consider adding a short video of your product being used in real life. This will help your customers get an even better feeling of exactly what you are selling. They can’t touch or try your product, and such a video can be extremely helpful in convincing them that this is the right one for them. Moreover, Etsy has already started ranking listings with videos higher in the search results. This might be an easy way to get a boost to your SEO compared to your competitors since most Etsy sellers are not using listing videos yet.
There are many software products out there that can help you edit and enhance your videos. Veed provides a great balance between flexibility and ease of use and professionally looking results.
8. Run Etsy ads for your shop
It is understandable to want to reduce expenses for your Etsy shop to a minimum. Sometimes this is possible by learning to do things you would typically have to pay for (e.g. photography, copywriting, etc). On other occasions, you could do this by decreasing your marketing costs… In most cases, this is not a great idea.
Etsy ads allow you to get seen by a lot of customers quickly. Getting to the first pages of the search results for highly competitive keywords with a new product without any ads is nearly impossible. Having a few quick sales of a new product hints to Etsy that this product is in demand, and Etsy will increase its position even in the organic non-paid search results.
Remember, the conversion rate is one of the most important factors in Etsy’s search algorithm, and the ads can help you improve it. Don’t forget to optimize your listing before you start running ads on it. The listing needs quality photos, a good description, and relevant tags and titles. Otherwise, the ads will not be effective, and you will simply lose money on them.
9. Write your listing for the customers
Many of the online advice about being successful on Etsy are focused mostly on SEO. Knowing the main principles of the Etsy search algorithm and how it positions your product in the search results is indeed extremely important. After all, the customer should first see your product even to consider buying it.
You shouldn’t forget, though, that at the end of the day, it is the customer who decides whether to buy the product or not. If you write your titles and descriptions only thinking about the algorithm, the result can often be confusing and difficult to read by a human. You can’t expect many sales if your customers are getting frustrated while reading your description.
After all, you have to earn your buyer’s trust to make them buy something which they’ve never seen in real life. Otherwise, they will simply move on to the next listing.
10. Experiment and adjust your strategy
There are way too many things you should think about when running your Etsy business. It won’t be easy to track them if you don’t have a plan. It doesn’t matter how big your business is and how experienced you are - it is always better if you have a strategy to follow along your SEO path. Having a framework of dos and don'ts will help you be more systematic and less chaotic in your actions.
It is important to remember that the purpose of every strategy is to grow your business. The plan which you set, in the beginning, should be regularly revised, improved and adapted. There are many things that change in Etsy which might affect it, for example:
- changes to the Etsy algorithm
- changes in your competition
- changes in material prices
- changes in delivery methods
It is important to be flexible enough to adapt to the dynamics of the marketplace quickly and without frustration.
When dealing with SEO, there are a bunch of rules which should be followed. At the same time, a big part of your success still depends on your own assessment. The tools and the data can support you along the way, but the final decisions can only be taken by you as a seller.
If your strategy doesn’t quite work as you’ve expected, don’t hesitate to experiment. Use new keywords and keyphrases, try new product photos and videos, and research new product niches. And most importantly, give yourself time. Every change needs at least a few weeks in order to start seeing its actual impact.
Following the 10 practices above will not guarantee your Etsy success. Running a successful Etsy shop takes a lot of time and dedication, and SEO is only one part of the puzzle. What is certain is that the 10 practices in this post will move you one step further down the road to success.
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