When I was asked how you get found in Etsy search results, not just in Google, I realized I haven’t posted a lot about SEO at all here. Actually, it’s not even a “category” on my blog… So it’s definitely time to teach you a little something about getting found on Etsy.
The Basics: getting found on Etsy is really similar to getting found on Google. So if you’re optimizing for Google already, you won’t have to do much more work. Always remember that it’s very hard to get found for broad terms like “jewelry” or “oil painting”, both on Etsy and on Google. But if you narrow your keyword phrase a little, like “modern sterling silver handmade jewelry” or “abstract floral oil painting”, you’ll have more luck getting high in the search results, which is where you want to be even if it’s for a term that isn’t searched a lot.
[UPDATE: Etsy’s tagging feature only allows for 20 characters now. You won’t be able to get quite as specific as I’ve mentioned above within your tags, but you could use similar phrases in your titles, descriptions, about page, and shop announcement to help your shop and your items get associated with these terms.]
Going a little more in-depth,
Where should you be optimizing?
- Use all 13 tags, every time you list a new item.
- Put keywords in your titles, but be careful not to overstuff or it won’t be buyer-friendly so no one will want to purchase when you do get found.
- Make sure the most important and relevant keywords are also in the first two sentences of each listing.
- Use keywords in your shop announcement, policies, profile, and shop about page.
- Don’t forget the little shop title section, which should use the most accurate and descriptive words.
How do I optimize?
Step 1: If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed on your Etsy shop, do that ASAP. It doesn’t track anything until you’ve set it up. It has a more robust set of statistics so you’ll be able to find out a little more about your shop and traffic than Etsy’s Shop Stats can give you. Plus, if you expand your own external website or add other trackable sites to your online presence, you’ll be able to see information in one place and easily compare your Etsy shop’s performance to your other sites.
Step 2: Visit your Shop Stats on Etsy and scroll down to the keywords section. If you uncheck the boxes for “google” and “others”, you’ll be left with the keywords people are using on Etsy to find your shop and items.
Step 3: Take note of the keywords that are working really well for you and ignore the rest.
Step 4: Check out Etsy’s search bar. Type in the keywords that are working well for you and see how many items (and what types of items) show up in the search. This can help you identify if you’re using a keyword in a way that buyers don’t so they won’t use those terms to search for your item. It can also help you decide, depending on your personal strategy, whether the keyword is too saturated (too many items show up in search results for that keyword) to be worth trying to optimize for it.
Step 5: Using Etsy’s search bar, begin to type other keywords you’ve thought about using. Etsy will give you options for popular search terms that start the same way. For instance, if a lot of people search for “dog portrait” and you type in “dog”, there will be an option for “dog portrait” that shows up. That means a lot of people are searching for that keyword phrase. So perhaps you might get more attention using that keyword in your listing. Of course, we are all searching for the “golden keywords” out there – the phrases that are searched for frequently, but also don’t have a lot of items showing up in the search result for that phrase.
Step 6: Make some decisions. It’s tough, but as a business owner, you’ll just have to make a decision. Choose about 5 keywords that you’ll use across your Etsy shop and put them everywhere I mentioned earlier in the article. Be careful not to overstuff anywhere, not just in your titles. While Etsy doesn’t penalize you (yet), Google will punish you for text that doesn’t sound natural. So it’s better to use only 2 of your keywords and have a sentence that sounds real than to try to make all 5 fit into one sentence. Make note of the keywords you aren’t including in your 5. They may be useful later on.
[UPDATE: SEO experts are now noting that using a few keywords across your site could have a slight negative result on your Google ranking. There haven’t been any clear, crisp studies yet. But it seems that Google thinks your separate webpages are competing with each other. So for Etsy, this 5 keyword thing works but for Google it’s not helpful and might do a slight detriment.]
Step 7: With each item, you’ll want to use some (or all) of the 5 keywords you’re using for your whole shop. But even if you use all 5, you’ll have 8 spots left over in the “tags” section of your listing! So be sure to also think of important keywords for each item. While you would probably never use “red leather bag” as an important keyword for your whole shop, it would be a really ideal keyword for a listing for a red leather bag, naturally.