Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simply the optimization of your content in terms of quality and quantity to maximize your business’s visibility on search engines.
While there are elements of SEO that apply across all platforms and search engines, there are also those that vary considerably depending on the function or origin of that platform. For example, SEO is going to look different on Instagram than on Google results. This is due to the focus that Instagram’s algorithm has on connecting someone with results based on their previous searches and purchases.
Etsy’s SEO is unique in part because its algorithm may look different from other apps like Instagram and Facebook, which are owned and operated by the same conglomerate. While it may not be a social media giant, Etsy is definitely a major player in online sales, reporting 81.90 million active buyers in their 4th Quarter of 2020, which was a 79% increase year-over-year from 41.73 million.
Image Source: Market Place Pulse
Etsy’s popularity has been steadily increasing since its launch, and with more and more businesses moving online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can certainly expect that trend to continue.
If your business hasn’t crafted an Etsy SEO strategy yet, better to start late than never! Etsy has a detailed guide that walks you through the following crucial elements of optimizing your shop and listings:
- Learning how Etsy search works
- Finding and using keywords
- Adding relevant attributes
- Maximizing conversions
- Improving customer service
- Understanding search traffic & analytics
- Optimizing your shop
- Perfecting titles and tags
It also tells you explicitly what its ranking factors in search are:
- Relevancy: When tags, titles, categories, and attributes match a user’s search term, listings have a better likelihood of appearing higher in the search results.
- Listing quality score: This essentially means how well a listing converts to a sale (the higher your conversation rate, the better). The number of people that view your listing and make a purchase increases that listing’s quality score and position in search results.
- Recency: When a new listing is created, Etsy temporarily boosts it in the search results to help determine the listing’s quality score.
- Customer and market experience score: This score is based on customer reviews, the completeness of your shop’s informational sections, as well as negative feedback.
- Shipping price: Etsy boosts the search position of shops that offer free shipping because shipping price influences a consumer’s decision to buy.
- Translations and language: Having all of your titles, tags, and listings in the language you selected when you created your Etsy account.
- Shop location: In the EU, Australia, and Canada, local items are slightly favored in search results.
- Shoppers’ habits: Etsy customizes its search results for buyers based on their previous searches and purchases.
Now that you have all of this information, what do you do with it and where do you start? We’ve got you covered with some quick tips you can use to work with Etsy’s SEO to help your customers find you:
Add Quality Images to Your Listings
According to a survey done by Etsy, shoppers rate the quality of images as the highest influencer in deciding to make a purchase. By appealing to what Etsy values in its ranking system, you can boost your SEO scores and make your shop more appealing at the same time by upgrading your listing photos.
Choose a Competitive Price
Etsy shoppers mark the cost of the item as the second-highest influencer on whether or not they buy. It’s worth saying, though, that your product is worth what it’s worth—don’t sell yourself short! Think critically about the cost of your materials, expenses, and labor, and do some research into similar products to decide on a fair but competitive price.
Also, consider building the cost of shipping into the product and using this as a selling point. Research shows that the majority of people prefer not to pay for shipping rather than having their purchase delivered quickly—so factor the cost of shipping into your listing price and write it off as an added convenience in your description.
Offer Free Shipping
Not only is the shipping cost one of the major factors customers consider in making a purchase, but it’s also a ranking factor for Etsy’s search results. Consider offering free shipping, even temporarily or during promotional events or holidays to boost your SEO rankings.
Another option is to create promotions that are incentivized by shipping for free. For example, offering free shipping if a customer buys more than two items or makes a purchase over a certain dollar amount.
The importance of having an abundance of positive reviews for SEO is nothing new. But how do you actually accomplish this? It’s against Etsy’s user policy to offer free products in exchange for reviews, but sellers often have luck by including surprise gifts, personalized notes, and coupons when they send out an item and ask nicely for feedback. Making a personal connection with your customer base through social media posts and live streams can also make them want to connect with you in return by giving you positive feedback.
Another way you can address this is by responding personally to the reviews you do receive, even the negative ones. Having a negative review with an authentic response that non-defensively addresses and possibly corrects the problem can be more powerful and real to sellers than just having a ton of positive reviews.
When a new listing is made, Etsy temporarily boosts the listing in its search results to help determine its quality score. Take advantage of this by updating and refreshing your listings. However, keep in mind that this is a very temporary boost, so it might be something worth doing only during peak shopping hours, holidays, and promotions.
This also incentivizes you to keep editing and optimizing your listings to ensure they’re current and up to a high quality.
It’s crucial to ensure that your tags, titles, categories, and attributes utilize relevant and specific keywords. For example, naming your business after the service or product you provide will increase your SEO.
Because SeoTuners has “SEO” in the name, and as the first word, it would have a high relevance score on Etsy. Alternatively, if we called ourselves “Weilert and Durso”, we may not score as well. However, there are situations when naming your shop after yourself can be more advantageous, especially if you think this is how your potential customers will most likely be searching to find you.
Etsy awards each shop a customer and market experience score based on customer reviews and the completeness of your shop’s “about” section. Score some easy SEO points by filling out everything fully on your shop’s page.
You also maximize your potential visibility by filling out as many tags, categories, and attributes as you can. You can add as many as 13 tags to each listing, and it’s recommended that you add all of them!
In order to come up with 13 tags that are relevant but varied, consider synonyms, different regional expressions, and long-tail keyword variations. If a keyword is already included in attributes, you don’t need to duplicate it as a tag. You also can skip plurals, misspellings, or multiple languages—Etsy handles all of this automatically, and you can actually be penalized in your search rankings for this.
Optimizing with Keywords
As always, an exact phrase match is going to give a higher search ranking than if the search terms are matched individually. This means that if you have used the keyword “SEO targeting” and that’s what your customer searched, it’s going to be more likely that your page will show up for them than if you simply had the words “SEO” and “targeting” separately somewhere within your listings.
Similarly, long-tail keyword matches boost your ranking the most. These are key phrases that contain three or more words strung together, for example, “SEO Ventura County” as opposed to just “SEO”. These are more likely to be strong matches because there’s going to be less competition and the people searching for that long-tail keyword have more specifications in mind, making them more likely to purchase something if you happen to match.
Additionally, the more that keywords show up throughout your page—including titles and tags for listings—the more your relevance score will be increased. However, this doesn’t mean that you should simply duplicate the same keywords as tags on the same listing, which won’t actually have any benefit. Using the same primary keyword for multiple listings also isn’t helpful, because you’ll end up competing against yourself in searches.
Frontloading your keywords also increases your chances of ranking higher. For example, if you know “SEO” is one of your best ranking keywords, you’re going to want to place it towards the beginning of your listing titles. Instead of titling a listing as “Get the Best SEO for Your Business” you might title it “SEO to Grow Your Business”. This applies to your item listings too—try to get those keywords into the listing as early as possible.
Finding Creative, Fitting, and Organic Long Tailed Key Words
The more specific and yet organically occurring keywords you can stumble upon, the better optimized you’ll be for SEO. When trying to come up with keywords for your business, try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience and think about what they might be searching for that would lead to your product and likely a purchase.
For example, Etsy users might use search terms related to occasions like “wedding gifts”, “white elephant”, or “first birthday”. Also consider what aesthetic, style, or lifestyle your product might appeal to, such as “minimalist”, “rustic”, or “antique”. You should also think about any problems your product might solve and the words a potential buyer might use to express this need, for example including words like “organizer”, “holder”, or “cover”.
Finally, consider using an SEO tool to research what keywords are most searched for such as Google Keyword Planner. There are also quite a few out there specifically for Etsy, including Marmalead, Keyword Scout, eRank, and Etsy Keyword Tool Dominator. Etsy even has its own analytics you can consult in your store dashboard.
Do you need assistance optimizing your Etsy store and moving up in the search rankings? Get in contact with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs.