The Ultimate Guide To Etsy SEO: How To Create Listings That Rank On Etsy
One of the most sought-after things in the Etsy ecosystem is a listing that ranks highly inside of Etsy search.
After all, if we can get our listing to the top of the search rankings, we are all but guaranteed a consistent flow of traffic and sales.
Unfortunately, the topic of Etsy SEO seems to be confusing (at least on its surface) and riddled with misinformation and bad advice.
In this guide, you’ll learn not only the basics of what Etsy SEO is and how to create an optimized listing from day one, but you’ll get an in-depth understanding of how to fix an older listing and have it rank higher than ever before.
Let’s jump into it, shall we?
What Is Etsy SEO?
Before we dive into all of the ins and outs of exactly how to craft the perfect product listing, we need to understand what Etsy SEO is.
SEO is an abbreviation that’s used for search engine optimization.
In the case of Etsy, it typically refers to the process of making sure your listings are created in a way that will rank you highly inside Etsy’s organic search results.
Essentially, it’s the process of making sure your products can be found when someone searches for something you sell on Etsy.
What’s The Job Of Etsy Search?
The job of any search engine is to serve the best result to the person searching.
In the case of somebody like Google or Bing, the best result is the one that gives the most complete and correct information for the person searching.
In the case of an e-commerce marketplace like Etsy or Amazon, their job is to provide you with the product most likely to meet your needs.
As we work our way through the rest of this article, it’s important to keep in mind that the entire point of Etsy’s organic search feature is to show prospective customers the product they are most likely to buy.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and start to understand how Etsy’s search function works and how they rank products.
How Does Etsy Search Work And How Do They Rank Products?
When it comes to search engine optimization on Etsy, most people focus on making sure they have a few keywords in their title and that’s it.
Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for you since you’re reading this article) Etsy’s search algorithm is much more complex than it appears.
Thankfully, if we understand a few basic things, we can ensure that our listings have the best chance to rank and we can approach Etsy by considering just two main factors.
The first main bucket to think about when you’re optimizing your listings for Etsy search is what Etsy refers to as query matching.
Essentially, the first thing Etsy will do is verify that your listing has the keywords someone is typing into the Etsy search bar.
Don’t let the word query throw you off, it’s simply the industry word used for what someone is searching for.
If the words we are using in our title, product description, tagged, categories, or attributes section of our listing match what someone types into the Etsy search box, we have a chance to rank and be seen by that prospective customer.
You will often see YouTube videos or social media posts which claim you need to have a keyword, a certain number of times, or that you need to include plurals and misspellings in your listing to make sure you can rank for them. This is 100% false and Etsy themselves has confirmed they take common misspellings and plurals into consideration as a part of their ranking process, meaning you don’t need to include them in your listing.
Although this is where most advice about Etsy SEO stops, having the keyword someone is searching for in your listing is not enough to make sure your listing is optimized.
Once Etsy has taken a look to see if your listing matches what someone is potentially searching for, they move into the more overlooked part of their SEO algorithm, the “rank”.
This is the portion of their search algorithm that determines where exactly your listing will show up in comparison to all of the other potential matches that they have in their catalog.
Your score in this portion is made up of several different factors all designed to help Etsy understand how likely someone is to buy your product if they decide to show it to the customer.
The first factor that goes into the Etsy rank calculation is what I see refers to as relevancy.
Since there are a ton of different ways to describe a particular product, once Etsy has seen that you are a potential match for what someone is typing in, they take a closer look to see how closely you match what someone is searching for.
For example, If someone is searching for a bass fishing t-shirt, both t-shirts featuring bass, fishing, and trout fishing are potentially relevant results in the keyword matching stage because they contain the phrase “fishing t-shirt”.
However, when Etsy gets to the Etsy rank portion of the equation, if you are selling a bass fishing t-shirt, you will score higher in relevancy since the person searching is looking for a bass fishing t-shirt.
The more closely The keywords in your listing (in your title, description, tags, categories, and attributes) match exactly to what someone typed in, the higher your score is in this particular area.
Listing Quality Score:
As I mentioned above, Etsy’s goal is to help people find items they want to buy.
To help them reach this goal, every listing inside Etsy is given a “listing quality score” which takes into account all of the data that Etsy has related to potential purchase behavior and your listing.
Here, Etsy is taking a variety of things into account such as if the listing has seen any traffic from potential shoppers AND what happens when traffic comes to your listing.
To score highly here you need two main things.
Traffic and “Buyer Behavior”
If you don’t have any visits from potential customers to the listing, Etsy can still make a few assumptions based on your “store score” (more on the later), but if you have traffic they can more accurately score your listing using the following criteria.
When someone comes to your listing do they:
- Leave the listing to purchase something else?
- Favorite the listing?
- Add the product on your listing to their cart?
- Purchase product on your listing?
By taking a quick look at the number of people who do each of those things once they reach your listing, Etsy develops a very good understanding of how likely your product is to sell (either right now or in the future) to someone searching for the keyword they typed into Etsy search.
It makes sense right? After all, if the job of Etsy’s SEO algorithm is to show each searcher the product they are most likely to buy, they would only want to show products that people want to buy!
If someone comes to your listing and leaves to buy something else, they have failed at their job.
On the other hand, if the searcher does something that indicates they want to buy your product, like favoriting or adding it to the cart (or buying it!), they should reward that behavior.
Once they have an idea of how likely someone is to buy YOUR product, they compare you to the other relevant products to help decide your “final placement” on the search results page.
Because your listing quality score is impacted heavily by anything that influences purchase behavior, Etsy has specifically called out shipping price as a ranking factor.
They know that listings that include free shipping can have a big impact on the conversion rate.
This means listings that ship for free and shops that offer a free shipping guarantee get priority placement (at least in the United States).
Additionally, items that don’t involve shipping, such as digital downloads would also qualify for this bump.
Beyond just rewarding free shipping, Etsy has specifically stated that shipping price is a factor.
Although you may be tempted to price your item low (with a high shipping price to make up the difference) to get more clicks from the search results to your listing, this is likely to hurt your search placement.
I can almost hear you screaming ” but Chris, if Etsy wants to see traffic and sales to figure out where to put my listing and I have a new listing, how will I ever rank?”
Thankfully, Etsy has already thought of this.
You may have heard Scott and I refer to what we call the “Etsy boost”.
This is something that happens whenever you launch a new listing on Etsy.
Essentially, Etsy gives you a small temporary boost in search results to try and understand how buyers will interact with your listing and give you a chance at earning a high “quality score”.
This same type of boost is applied if a listing is renewed.
There’s no official time limit on this boost, but it typically lasts a few days depending on how often people are looking for that item
Don’t renew or duplicate your listing simply to take advantage of the Etsy boost. You are better off having a highly converting listing that ranks consistently over time, than you are relying on the Etsy boost.
Customer and Market Experience Score AKA Shop Score:
In addition to your relevancy and listing quality score, Etsy also uses what they refer to as the customer and market experience score (What we call the “shop score”).
This gives them another way of understanding how likely someone is to interact with your product and make a purchase.
Having good customer service, good reviews on all of your products, completely filling out your store, including all of the policies and the amount section, can all positively impact this factor.
On the other hand, bad customer experiences, low rankings, or intellectual property problems being reported on your store can all have a negative impact on this ranking factor.
Although the factors that go into calculating your shop score correlate closely with the things that result in you earning a star seller badge, having the star seller badge in and of itself does not help boost this score.
The shop score factor is one of the reasons you will often see more established shops ranking faster, even on highly competitive products than your shops.
Shopper Behavior (Context-Specific Ranking):
Once all of the generic data about your listing has been scored and ranked by Etsy’s search algorithm, they take one last main factor into consideration, the purchase behavior of shoppers.
For shoppers with an Etsy purchase (or browsing history), Etsy may rank your product differently based on the previous behavior of each person running the search.
It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t account for this factor in your listing creation, but it is something they use to make sure the end-user has the best experience.
One last factor, Etsy will consider in their search algorithm In some cases are translations.
When you initially create your Etsy account, you choose your account language and will typically create all of your listings in that language as well.
Additionally, Etsy will automatically translate your listings if the person searching on Etsy has a different language selected for their account than your listing is written in.
However, Etsy’s algorithm prefers listings with manual translations because they are typically of higher quality.
Although this isn’t a concern for most Etsy sellers, If you live in an area that speaks multiple languages (like Canada or Europe) or you are selling a product that is likely to be purchased by people speaking different languages, you may want to consider manually translating your listing.
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How To Create A Search-Optimized Etsy Listing
Now that you have a better understanding of how Etsy search works and how to optimize for Etsy’s search engine, let’s dive into creating an optimized listing for a new product you plan to launch in your shop.
Before we jump into the actual listing creation, We need to understand a little bit about the competitive environment.
Although there are a variety of tools, such as e-rank and EverBee, which claim to show you how many people are typing different keywords into Etsy. Search, these tools only provide very rough estimates.
Although these are a decent starting place for understanding the potential keywords, our customers may be typing in, there’s a better way of understanding which keywords lead to sales.
At this point, you should have a basic understanding of some of the different ways people could describe your product.
If you don’t, feel free to use some of the keyword estimates you find in Etsy SEO tools to build your initial list or start by typing in a main keyword related to your market and product, such as “fishing t-shirt”, into the Etsy search bar and see what comes up in the “auto-suggest” drop-down under the search bar.
The auto-suggest feature will then populate a variety of commonly associated keywords (based on actual user data that Etsy has) and show you a few ideas you may want to consider for use in your title, tags, or even product description.
Once you have a few keywords or phrases your customers may use to describe your product, we can begin the competitive research process.
Start by taking the first keyword on your list and dropping it into the Etsy search bar.
For example, if we were selling a t-shirt featuring a design that would appeal to the fishing niche, we would go to the Etsy search bar and type in “fishing t-shirt”.
Next, you’ll want to use a sales estimate tool like Everbee to find the most popular selling products.
Remember, we want to see which products SELL the most. Even if a keyword has lots of people typing it in, if it’s not leading to sales…it’s not helpful for us, we need to focus on the keywords that lead to sales!
To find the top-selling products, you’ll want to create an Everbee account (the free version is fine to start with) and then install their extension into your browser.
Once you have that setup, you can simply click the “product analytics” button in the extension, whenever you search the keyword and the Everbee overlay will show you the sales data for all of the products in the results.
From here, you’ll want to sort the results by “Monthly Revenue”.
This allows us to see the top-selling products related to the keyword we used in order of sales volume, which is an excellent way to shortcut our research process and make sure we are finding the products that sell the most (even IF we didn’t type in the “most used keyword” to start with).
What you are looking for here is any keywords or phrases that you are seeing consistently across the selling products.
For example, In my search for “Fishing T-shirt,” the titles for the top 5 products are as follows:
- Fathers Day Fishing T shirt, Humor Angling Shirt, Punny Gag Meme Fisherman Loose Fit Tee, Joke Fishing Gifts, Dont Be A Dumb Bass
- Mens Fishing Shirt, Funny Fishing Shirt, PRINTED ON BACK , Fisherman Gifts, Present For Fisherman, Read This, Fishing Too Close, Funny Shirt
- Fishing Shirt, Fish Things I Do In My Spare Time, Fishing Gifts, Fisherman Gifts, Dream About Fishing, Bass Fishing T-Shirt, Dad Gifts
- Custom Fisher Shirt, Fishing Family Shirt, Men Fishing T shirt, Fisherman Gifts, Fishing Tee
- American Flag Bass Fishing Shirt, Bass Fishing T-Shirt, American Flag Bass Fishing Birthday Gift, Adult And Youth Sizes
Although all 5 titles are VERY different in terms of their structure and many of the keywords they are using, we can see a few key similarities.
When we drill in, we can see that even though our search was for “fishing t-shirt” we don’t see that phrase being used by every high-ranking product title, but the phrase “fishing shirt” IS included.
Additionally, when a title does include “t-shirt” they are also including “shirt” on its own.
This lets us know that Etsy understands that a t-shirt and a shirt are likely the same things in the eyes of a customer, meaning we can save a few characters (out of the 140 that Etsy allows for the title), by dropping the” t-” and just making sure to include the words “fishing” and “shirt” somewhere in our title.
Additionally, we see the phrase “fisherman gifts” and “fishing gift” showing up in several of the titles.
This gives us another set of keywords (“fisherman” and “gift”) that we should include in our title if we want to have the chance to rank alongside the top-ranked listings.
From here, we are going to repeat this process by looking at the tags for each of the top-selling products (which you can see by clicking on any of the results and then scrolling down slightly to the tag section) and noting any of the tags we see more than one time.
Lastly, you’ll want to open each of the listings and take a quick inventory of the types of things you are seeing used in the listing images.
Although images do not have a direct impact on whether your listing is relevant to a keyword your potential buyers are typing in they do have a big impact on conversion rate (the number of people who buy your product vs the number of people who come to your listing), which IS a big part of the “Etsy Rank” part of your SEO and knowing what kinds of images your top competitors are using can help us short-cut our way to sales.
Once you have a full list of keywords and image ideas from your top competitors, we can move on to creating our own optimized listings.
Creating a Title Optimized For Etsy Search
Although it’s “generally” true that where a keyword appears in your listing, Etsy does give more weight to the first few words of the listing title.
This makes sense for a few reasons.
First, it encourages sellers to clearly state what their product is AND it helps users more quickly identify the products they are interested in, which leads to more clicks and can boost the “Etsy Rank” portion of your overall SEO score.
Now that we understand this, we can easily craft our title by including the “main keyword” we found by looking at our top-selling competitors (“fishing shirt” in the case of our example) and then filling in the rest of the title in a way that includes our supporting keywords and gives our potential customers as much information as possible.
Keep in mind that your title is limited to 140 total characters and that it may not contain more than 3 words with all capital letters.
Creating a Product Description Optimized For Etsy Search
After we’ve created our optimized title, we can move on to creating our product description.
The ideal product description does two things.
It includes a variety of relevant keywords that our buyers are looking for and it also gives them all of the additional information they need to know about the product, to make their purchase decision.
Your product description should address the five following areas, whenever they are relevant:
- What is The Product?
- Who is It For?
- How Is It Used?
- What’s It Made Of/What Are The Details Of The Product?
- How Should People Care For It?
The key here is to write your product description in a human-readable way.
You don’t need to worry about squeezing specific keywords into your product description and if you are covering each of the 5 areas listed above, you’ll naturally be including a ton of relevant keywords anyway.
If we return to the example of our “fishing t-shirt” an optimized product description would look a bit like this.
What is the Product?
If you love showing off your love of fishing, this fun shirt featuring a fisherman casting His line off of a boat is going to be your new favorite tee.
Who Is it for?
Whether you’re looking for you or the perfect Father’s Day or Christmas gift for your favorite fisherman, this t-shirt is going to be well-loved.
How is it Used?
Although this section isn’t super relevant, since we’re talking about a t-shirt, we may include a few lines in our product description such as:
“It’s perfect for lounging around the house, a sunny day on the lake, or just showing off your love of fishing while you run some boring errands”.
What Are The Details Of The Product and What’s It Made Of?
This super-soft shirt is available in 5 Different Colors Including:
- Sport Grey
- Natural (Tan)
With the exception of Sport Grey (which is 90% Cotton and 10% Polyester), it’s made of 100% pre-shrunk ringspun cotton to give you the perfect true-to-size fit and make it comfortable enough to wear all day (or for a few days in a row!).It’s also available in a variety of sizes to fit virtually every body including:
How Should People Care For it?
To get the longest life out of your new favorite shirt:
- Do not bleach
- Tumble dry: low heat; Iron, steam, or dry: low heat
- Do not dry clean
- Machine wash: warm (max 40C or 105F).
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve written out each of the sections, simply copy and paste them into the product description portion of your new Etsy listing and then return to your research to start filling in the other areas.
Adding Tags Optimized For Etsy Search
Etsy gives us the ability to use up to 13 tags on each listing we create.
Since you’ve already created your perfect title, we are going to use any of the keywords or phrases we have left over from our initial competitive research to fill out this section.
Each of the 13 tags can contain up to 20 characters and can’t contain any punctuation or symbols, but can contain spaces.
Take the additional keywords you found in your research and fill in as many of the 13 tags as possible.
If you find yourself with a few spaces left over, feel free to fill in the remaining spaces with any other relevant keywords you can think of.
Optimizing Your Images For Etsy Search
Although images themselves are not a ranking factor, they do influence whether or not someone will click (and eventually buy) your listing when it shows up in the search results.
Ideally, someone who comes to your listing will be able to “fully experience” your product by viewing your images.
This means you’ll want to show case a wide variety of angles and use different shots of the product to fill the image slots in your listing.
Essentially, you should be trying to replicate the experience someone would have if they walked into a store and were able to physically hold your product.
When you are creating your listing, start by analyzing the types of images/videos used by your 5 top-selling competitors and try to match the style (and what they are showing off about the product) as closely as possible.
Common Etsy SEO Mistakes To Avoid On Your Listing
Before we move on, I wanted to quickly address some of the most common SEO mistakes I see people make during the listing creation process.
Ignoring The Product Description
Although the product description section does not appear to have as much weight in terms of keyword relevancy as your title and tags do, It doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Etsy does indeed look at your product description when they are trying to figure out how relevant your listing is for a user search, but more importantly, it’s a huge conversion booster.
If a customer is trying to choose between two different products, and you don’t give them all of the information they need to make their purchase decision, chances are you lose out on that sale.
Not only does that mean you lose money directly out of your pocket, but it also has a long-term impact on how likely it is to show your product to buyers when they are searching in the future.
Take the time to fully describe your product and completely fill out the product description.
There’s a common myth in the Etsy world that you need to repeat keywords multiple times to rank well for them.
Some variations of this misconception include repeating the same keyword multiple times in your title or including it in your title, tags, and description.
If this happens naturally, which can be especially common when you’re writing a complete product description, it’s okay…but there’s no reason to forcefully include the same keyword multiple times and it won’t help you rank.
Not only would having a title like ” fishing shirt, fishing shirt, fishing shirt” be a weird experience for customers, but it’s a waste of space you could use for other keywords.
The general rule of thumb is if your keyword is included in your title or tags, there’s no reason you need to include it anywhere else.
Setting a High Shipping Price and Low Product Price
Another common and outright harmful myth about creating an optimized listing is that you should set a low product price and make up the difference by setting a higher shipping price.
Although on its face, this myth may seem to make a bit of sense, people may be more likely to click on a lower-priced product that they see in the search results, and doing this can be downright harmful.
Not only is shipping price (specifically offering free shipping) a direct ranking factor spelled out by Etsy itself, this approach can have a massive impact on your conversion rate.
Even if your listing is shown in the search results and you tempt someone into clicking on it with your low price, they are likely to be upset when they realize their total cost of the product is going to be five times higher when they go to add it to their cart.
As we’ve mentioned a few times, your conversion rate compared to your competitors is a big portion of the “Etsy rank” portion of your total SEO score.
Shooting yourself in the foot. Bye by upsetting customers and lowering your conversion rate is not a great way to start a new listing.
Not Filling Out Product Attributes and Other Details
In addition to your title, tags, and product description, Etsy offers a variety of other product attributes and product details that you can fill out in the listing creation screen.
These often include things like:
- Primary and Secondary Colors
- Occasion or Holiday (Only if It is Designed For The Holiday or Occasion, E.g. You would select Christmas If your shirt has a fish wearing a Santa Hat)
If any of these additional attributes or product details are relevant to your product, take 10 seconds to fill them out.
Not only does it lead to a better customer experience, but anything we can do to give customers as much detail about the product as possible is a good thing, but Etsy also treats the additional fields like additional tags.
This means each of these fields is an additional place where we can give Etsy more relevant information about the keywords we should rank for and should be taken advantage of if we are serious about creating a truly optimized listing.
How To Improve Your Listing SEO And Rank Better In Etsy Search
Understanding how to create a good listing with publicly available data is one thing, but How do you improve a listing that’s already been on Etsy for a while and has (hopefully) led to a few sales, but isn’t performing as well as you’d like?
Although the foundation of this process is very similar and should start with using the same competitive research process we discussed above [link to competitive research section], since we have more data to work with, the process is a bit different and breaks down into two main areas.
What Happens When Someone Gets To Your Listing
To optimize an existing listing, the first thing we need to take a look at is what happens when someone comes to our listing.
As we talked about when we discussed all of the different factors that go into how Etsy ranks your listings, a huge portion of where you end up in the search results is related to your listing quality score.
This score is essentially Etsy’s way of calculating How likely someone is to purchase your product when they come to your listing.
Although Etsy doesn’t give us access to our listing quality score, we can see how we stack up against our competition by using a tool like Everbee.
Similar to the way that we used it during our initial competitive research, if you go to Etsy, search, and type in the main keyword you are ranking for, you can use their product analytics feature to get access to a few different key metrics related to your listing quality score.
Although the obvious thing to compare is overall sales data, and you should look at that as well, there are a few other key metrics you may want to keep in mind to see how well your listing is performing.
One indicator that Etsy may use to figure out your listing quality score is based on the people who have gone to your listing (after all, they can’t buy it if they don’t see it).
We can get a good idea of how we stack up against our competition by starting with a look at their monthly traffic and how it compares to ours.
Unfortunately, Everbee doesn’t (currently) give us a monthly traffic breakdown, but they do give us all the data we need to do a little bit of math (it’s VERY easy math, I promise).
If you take a look at your top-selling competitors, you will see two columns.
The first you’ll need to take a look at is the “listing age” column.
This column gives you how old the listing is in months.
A few columns to the right of that, you will see the views column.
This column is a rough approximation of the total number of views the listing has had since its creation.
By dividing the total number of views by the age of the listing in months (views/age), We can understand how many monthly views the listing is generating.
This gives us a great way of comparing the traffic between and among listings.
It’s also a great way to find out how you stack up and understand if you have chosen the right keywords for your listing.
Another next metric to use is the favorites ratio. Again, simply take a look at the total number of views that your competitor’s listing has and divide by the number of ” favorites”.
This gives us a good indication of how well-liked the product is by people who visit the listing.
The last piece of data you’ll want to keep in mind as you’re going through this process is the conversion rate.
By scrolling to the right inside of the EverBee data, you will see a column that is titled “conversion rate”.
By dividing the total number of sales by the total number of views, everybody’s quickly able to calculate the likelihood of any visitor to that listing purchasing that particular product. Product.
Like with the other metrics, If your conversion rate is higher than your competitors, you’re in good shape and will likely see more traffic in sales in the future.
However, if your conversion rate is lower than your competitors, you likely will not get as many opportunities to be seen inside of Etsy search and need to work on a few things inside of your listing.
How To Boost Your Sales For Traffic Already Coming To Your Listing
Now that we have an idea of how we stack up against our competitors in terms of our listing quality, there are a few things that we can tweak.
Start by taking a look at your images and product description.
Go back through the competitive research process we discussed during the listing creation phase, and make sure that your listing description and photo match closely with your highly converting competitors.
Additionally, you’ll want to take a look at your pricing and shipping.
If your product is priced substantially higher (either the listed price or the total price of the product and the shipping cost), see if you have room in your budget to drop the price or lower your shipping price and raise the retail price of the product to account for the difference.
I would also consider running a sale for a few days (typically three to five) to see if that boosts our conversion rate.
Remember, you’re getting a similar number of visits but fewer sales than your competitors, there is something stopping people from buying your product and our job is to figure out if it’s the price or something missing from the listing.
Getting More People To Your Listing
If your listing converts when you get buyers to it and you’re converting it at a similar rate to your competitors, your goal should be to get more people to your listing.
Essentially, we need to return to the keyword research phase as if we were creating a new listing.
However, since we have a bit more data than we would with a new listing the process looks a bit different.
Are You Optimized For The Keywords That Drive Traffic
Our first job is to understand whether or not our listing is optimized for the keywords that are driving traffic.
With an existing listing, Etsy gives us two options to understand which keywords are driving traffic to our listing. If you are running Etsy ads (you should be), they give us an in-depth look at how many people have clicked from specific keywords and purchased.
Additionally, there is a keyword report available inside of your marketing dashboard, that shows you how often people are clicking interior listings from the organic search results.
By taking a look at this data and seeing which keywords are leading to sales, we can quickly return to the Etsy search function, drop these keywords in and see where we rank.
If we’re ranking in top two to three spots, there’s not a lot that we would want to change.
However, if you see a high-converting keyword where you rank lower, you may want to consider adding that keyword to your title or tags.
If the keywords are already in your title or tags and you’re converting better than your competitors, it’s only a matter of time before you see more traffic (and sales) coming in.
Are You Optimized For The Things That Will Lead People To Click On The Listing
Once you understand where you rank compared to your competitors for high-traffic keywords, you need to consider if you are optimized for the things that lead to people clicking on your listing when they see it in search results.
You’ll want to take a deeper look at things like your title, the first photo on your listing, whether or not you are using video in your listing, if you are price competitive, and your shipping price situation.
Additionally, you want to understand if your competitors are star sellers or are running promotions.
All of these things influence whether someone will click on your listing or not, and by analyzing each of these factors, you can quickly understand why your competitors are getting more clicks than you from the same search results.
Although you never want to copy directly from your competitors, you’ll want to closely match as many of these factors as possible.
Debunking Common Etsy SEO Myths
Before you go, I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about some of the most common myths I see when it comes to Etsy SEO.
If you’ve been in the Etsy world for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard at least one of these myths and perhaps even created a listing or two in your shop based on this advice.
Although most of these will not outright kill your chances at ranking for the most relevant keywords, these common misconceptions will often leave wasted space and opportunity.
You Need To Include Plurals and Misspellings
One of the most common myths I see in the Etsy world is that it’s not possible to rank for a keyword unless it’s explicitly included in your listing.
The most common form of this myth comes about when we are talking about plural versions or misspelled versions of keywords that would be otherwise included in your listing.
For example, if you are selling a pair of shoes and only include the word shoe in your listing, this myth claims that you will never rank for shoes.
Not only does Etsy have a thorough understanding of common misspellings of words, for example, “sheo” instead of “shoe”, but they also take into account plural and singular forms of words even when the spelling changes dramatically between the plural and singular form of the word.
This means, there’s no reason you would need to include all of the different plurals or misspellings inside of your listings in order to rank for them.
In fact, We actually saw this at work earlier in this article.
If you remember, one of the top-ranking products for “fishing t-shirt” did not have the phrase t-shirt anywhere in the title.
If this rumor about plurals and misspellings was true, this top-selling product would NEVER be able to rank.
Tags Don’t Matter
This is one of the most harmful myths I’ve seen.
Not only have we directly confirmed that this is false by including tags that were not otherwise included anywhere else in our listing and then seeing our listing appear in Etsy search results virtually immediately, but Etsy themselves specifically asks that sellers fill in their tags, so they can better understand the product.
The tags on your Etsy listing play directly into whether or not your listing can be matched during the query matching phase of Etsy’s SEO algorithm AND they play a role in how relevant your listing is to what the user searched for, meaning they play a role in exactly where you end up in the search results.
You Need To Limit Tags To 1 or 2 Words
Another common myth in the Etsy SEO world is that you need to limit tags to one word or two words maximum.
Although it is true that you have a total character limit per tag of 20 characters, if you have a three (or more) word phrase that fits within that character limit, there’s no particular reason you can’t use it in your tags.
The most important thing to remember with your tanks is that you should be using any and all relevant keywords and you haven’t used other places in your listings.
You Have To Wait 60-90 Days To Edit an Etsy Listing
The last myth I want to address is the common misconception that you need to wait a minimum of two to three months before you edit your Etsy listing.
Although there are a bunch of different factors that go into when and how you should edit your listing, including your overall traffic and sales level, there’s no reason you would need to wait this amount of time in order to edit a listing.
While it is true that many listings can take two to three months in order to rank for some of their keywords, if you have a listing that is getting consistent traffic and sales, there’s no reason you cannot edit it sooner. Sooner.
Keep in mind, however, that anytime you edit your listing, especially if you make changes to the title or tags, you may see a drop in traffic due to Etsy. Etsy is trying to figure out how to place you in the search results based on their new understanding of your listing.
Despite the fact that SEO sounds like an extremely technical process and can seem very confusing when you’re first getting started, it’s actually a fairly simple process.
At the end of the day, what Etsy is looking for is to give its customers the product they are most likely to buy when they search for something.
If we can take that knowledge and use that as the basis for our listing and combine it with a few of the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll become a master of organic traffic on Etsy in no time.
Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what’s working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
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