You’ve worked hard to create a beautiful line of products that you want to share with the world. You’ve worked your tail off to perfect your craft. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, not to mention the endless hours you’ve spent. You’ve set up your Etsy shop and are ready for the sales to roll in. And then…crickets.
With over 50 million items listed on Etsy, how is one seller expected to get her products to pop up for shoppers? How can you possibly get your items to rank high enough for potential customers to find them? Etsy store owners may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the competition and confused by all the jargon thrown about.
SEO, keywords, rankings…what do these mean in the world of online commerce? And what do they mean for Etsy sellers in particular? How important are they, really? We’ll help you out with this right here. Let’s walk through it together.
Explain SEO Again…Please?
If you have any sort of online presence or marketplace, you hear the term SEO used on a regular basis. What is it exactly? SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. That is, SEO is the way in which websites increase their visibility and ranking in search engine results.
In regular person terms, if someone Googles a product like the one you sell, where does your site pop up in the search list? Are you right at the top, beckoning potential buyers to click on your link? Or are you on page two or three of the results, lonely and frustrated?
Ideally, you want to be at or near the beginning of the first page of search results, of course. Visibility leads to clicks, and those clicks potentially lead to sales.
Before jumping into SEO in particular, let’s make sure you’re clear on what Etsy is and how it works. At its core, Etsy is simply a giant database of items for sale. It’s an enormous online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, as well as supplies for crafting.
Founded in 2005, Etsy has seen incredible growth in its 13 years. One of the most significant recent changes is the use of AIs (or bots) to manage the searches and results. Yes, robots are now in charge of how you rank on Etsy.
This change has created new SEO requirements for those who want a positive impact on their rankings and results, meaning anyone selling on Etsy. So, let’s take a look at how to work this SEO magic.
Four Best SEO Practices for Etsy
You surely have heard about keywords by now, probably more than you’d like. Sellers often feel that there is some magic formula for coming up with the perfect keyword or keywords. But really, it isn’t too complicated.
Think of what your ideal customer might type into a search engine when looking for a product like yours. Got it? That’s a keyword!
You should include one or two general keywords as well as one or two targeted, more extended keywords. For example, let’s say you sell peg dolls. (That’s a thing. They’re pretty cool.) “Peg dolls” is a perfect general keyword. To get more targeted and specific, try “custom Rolling Stones peg dolls.” (Also a thing.) It’s not rocket science, but it does take some time and thought.
Also notice, the keyword examples here are plurals. Why? That is how most people type in their search queries, so you might as well cast the net that gets the most fish.
For additional help, consider using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool or sites such as Marmalead to guide you in your keyword selection. Marmalead has a free option if you sign up as a “Dabbler.”
With the lightning-fast pace of online commerce, consistency is key to remaining relevant in searches. Here are three ways consistency will help you drive sales in your Etsy store:
Consistently add new products. Etsy loves it when you restock and put new items in your shop and rewards you with higher rankings.
Consistently use your targeted keywords early in your title. Use your 140 characters wisely. The Etsy algorithm ranks your title’s first 40 characters as the most relevant content, and shoppers don’t see the whole title without clicking. Make those first 40 characters count.
Consistently learn about Etsy. Stay on top of their changes and evolution so that you can adjust your listings as needed. Pay attention to updates that impact you.
For example, recent changes have caused some sellers to worry that they are no longer ranking for strategic keywords. When they do searches for their own keywords, their Etsy listings do not come up. What’s happening is that Etsy bots are now explicitly seeking relevance to the shopper. They know that you are the owner of the shop based on your IP address, and they know you aren’t going to purchase anything from your own store. So, you don’t show up to yourself. Pretty sophisticated, right?
SEO can take time. There is no quick-fix, one-size-fits-all in digital marketing, and especially not for something as personal as your Etsy store. Changes you make can take days or weeks to reap benefits for you, particularly if you have a very new shop. So after you’ve carefully stocked your store and strategically crafted your listings, you may have to wait a bit, but the work will pay off.
Building and maintaining a successful Etsy store is a lot of work. You may not be showing up at a brick and mortar each morning to turn on the “Open” sign, but you are probably working more hours than not.
If you feel overwhelmed and are ready for some assistance, be proactive and reach out for professional help. We at Romain Berg live for this stuff, and we’re happy to be on your team. Reach out today and let us help you find the success you deserve.