Welcome to the latest installment in my Etsy Seller Tips series, which tackles SEO on Etsy. You can find the previous articles here.
SEO on Etsy – What is SEO?
Yup, it’s a scary word. But once you get to know it the concept is simple. SEO is search engine optimization. This is how people who regularly shop on Etsy will find your product among millions of others on Etsy.
Search engine optimization means, in a nutshell, making your list reach the top when people search for such an item. This works with keywords you will set for your item.
As you can see, I keep referring to SEO on Etsy – that is within their website only. In this article, I am teaching you about optimizing your item for Etsy search engines, not outside search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This will come in a later installment, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
SEO on Etsy – Why is it important?
Etsy is an extremely crowded marketplace. When a person searches for something, say “blue and silver earrings” as a classic example, there are so many results; it is crucial to be near the top to be seen at all. Most people will not sort through 25o pages of search results, and only some will narrow down results enough to find your item if you land on page 200.
Right now, Etsy’s default sort settings sort by relevancy, which means items with more applicable keywords will reign higher. So placing the right keywords in the right spots will let you jump to the top and be seen!
SEO on Etsy – How to choose keywords
The building block of your effective SEO on Etsy is relevant keywords. This is a phrase that you decide is what people will type when looking to buy a product like yours.
Look at the image above. You can see that all of the products in my search are at least partly blue. Meaning if I’m looking for a pair of earrings to match a blue dress, all of these are contenders. However, if a purple pair popped up, I’d just pass it by.
This seems obvious, and I seem to be just spewing out things that should be self-understood, but apparently it isn’t. If you look closer, you will see a necklace among the results. This happens to be an ad, however it’s important to know that ads as well work with the same concept of keywords. Whenever you set a keyword, it MUST be relevant to be effective.
Having a group of 3-4 words that would target a highly relevant audience is the only effective way to do SEO. To decide which keywords to use, take the actual item (necklace, case, bib, mug…) and add to it the most relevant of the following:
- color (orange – cushion, coral – headband)
- material (silver – necklace, organza – ribbon)
- size (newborn – bodysuit, Womens – blouse)
- use (pencil – case, baby – blanket)
- other description ( statement – bracelet , Italian – shoes)
Sometimes it can be hard to filter out what you really want there and other things people might think. You will need to prioritize. Think “what would I search if I was looking for such an item?” As I write this, I realize that many of my items include the keyword “wire wrapped bracelet”… I’d most likely be more effective using “Pearl statement bracelet” as my keyword.
Another great way to decide, is to do a test search. Go to the Etsy search box, and type in the item you are selling and don’t hit search. You will see a list of popular searches. Choose keywords from those that are relevant to you. For example, I see both “pearl” and “wedding” earrings in that top list. So for a pair of white pearl earrings, a keyword such as “white pearl wedding earrings” would be highly appropriate and relevant.
SEO on Etsy – Where to put the sacred keywords
The placement of frequent keywords will help the relevancy, as the search engine assumes that if you used the searched phrase multiple times, your item is more relevant to the search. Here are some places to put them.
You’ll see many sellers using a “name” as their item title, as artists tend to name their works. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to go about your product title. Start your title with your keyword, as the first few words in the title are high relevancy denominators. Add other relevant descriptions. Then, if you have enough characters left, you can add a “name”.
It is important to keep the sentence flow comprehensible, and to use this article as a guide to really sell your product. However, in this process, you want to put in as many keywords as possible. Focus on your established keyword phrase. Add it in the sentence flow a few times, spread apart. Use other words people might search in relation to your product – as long as it’s an accurate description. Spread those among the sentence structure as well. Be careful not to spam – you do not want to be penalized by search engines, or by Etsy either.
Your first three tags are your based on your categories, so choose the most relevant ones! People tend to shop more based on search results, rather than by category, so keep that in mind when choosing.
Your first tags you add should be the most relevant. You will see that you have a twenty character limit, so you may need to split your phrases into a few tags. As long as the multiple words work as a phrase, you are allowed to bunch them into one tag. For example, “Pearl earrings” is a great targeted tag.
You will want to use all your tags as they are powerful and can gain you more exposure. Add in all those things that were applicable and you were “considering” using as your longer main keyword. For example if you were debating between “dangle” and “wedding” earrings for your title, add in the “dangle” here. Also, add things not appropriate for the main keywords – in case people happen to search it – such as material, descriptive (romantic), target audience (baby girl) , occasion (valentines day). Make sure these are still relevant – you don’t need a pacifier clip showing up in a search for a bridal headpiece.
SEO on Etsy – Outside of Keywords
While keywords are your main determining factors, there are a few more things that help a listing appear higher, when all other options are equal.
There is also an option to search by most recent listing. This option is very unpopular, so it is not an important determining factor. When I first started my Etsy shop, this was critical, to the point that people would pay to renew listings that hadn’t yet expired to keep their things at the top. I DO NOT recommend this, although keeping things fresh always helps. I plan to go further into this in a later installment, so please subscribe to keep posted on this.
If an item received lots of views, favorites or was featured in lots of Etsy treasuries, the search engines will decide that is a popular item, and will prioritize this over other items with similar relevancy. A great way to gain this is by joining Etsy teams, where people make treasuries featuring team members, and post their new listings for others to favorite.
An added benefit of this is the chance to be on Etsy’s front page when you are featured in a front-page worthy treasury, and the fact that when someone favorites your item, it will show up in all his follower’s activity feeds. I DO NOT recommend spending too much time on this, however, as I haven’t found it to make a big difference in sales in my shop. It is worth it only as far as SEO is involved, in my experience.
For your convenience, I’ve summarized this information into a simple info-graphic for those of us whose minds absorb information visually
PLEASE REPIN TO SHARE THE LOVE! I’ve make it easy – just hover the arrow over the image, and click on the red “Pinterest” symbol to pin.
Once again, I remind you that this article is relevant for the search option within Etsy’s website – not for Google or other such search engines. Those I will tackle in a later segment.
Do you have any questions about this? If you are an Etsy seller, do you find that following this listing structure comes natural or is it a chore? If you are a buyer, what suggestions do you have for Etsy sellers, as far as keywords and relevancy are concerned?
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— Menucha + M and C (@MenuchaJewelry) August 3, 2014