We all love Etsy for the potential audience it offers, but in reality, there could be the biggest audience ever, but if you are not being seen, then it is all irrelevant. This month I am going to help you get your SEO game on to help get you seen in Etsy searches.
The rollout last year of Etsy’s new algorithm started personalising the customer’s search results. I want to make sure you find keywords and set up your title and tags to make the most of the new changes.
Whilst these suggestions are no guarantee, they are certainly not going to hurt if you already have a poorly performing listing.
Please don’t forget that SEO is only one of the tools in your business armoury. Suppose your photos or descriptions are not up to scratch. In that case, no amount of SEO tweaking will stop you from being overlooked by your potential customers. BUT boy, if you can get it right then, it can only boost all your excellent work on your listings.
Before we start, I’m just going to put it out there that the only areas that have any impact on your SEO are your Titles and Tags. Yes, the sections and attributes play a part, but you can only select from the pre-configured options Etsy offers you. So please populate these correctly but once done there is nothing you else you can do. But making full and good use of the Title and Tags is where you need to focus your efforts.
Notes before you start:
- Right now, Etsy is emphasising personalised search results, which are applied to the top 1000 most relevant results.
- You want to be included in the top 1000 most relevant listings. This involves trying to find searches with less than 1000 results! These are likely to be long-tail keywords, e.g. yellow short-sleeved t-shirt, and not short tail keywords, e.g. t-shirt. You’ll still be included in less specific searches if you start with good short tail keywords, but by targeting specific long-tail keywords that are handed to the customers by search engines, you’ll get that traffic too.
- Write the potential keywords down as you meander around looking for them because you’ll go down a rabbit hole and forget what the good ones are.
- The Etsy search engine does not care whether the words make sense in the order they are written, all it is doing is looking for words that match what the customer has entered. Yes, it has a preference for exact word order match, but if there are less than 1000 results with exact matches, it will also display listings that have the words anywhere in the title and tags, and in whatever order. You should aim to give the Etsy search engine a big bag of different words for it to work its magic on.
- If you don’t include a word in your titles or tags, you will not be included in the search results. For example, if the customer searches for a ‘long yellow t-shirt’, and you only have the word ‘t-shirt’ in your title or tags, you have ‘yellow’ in the attributes but ‘long’ doesn’t appear anywhere. That listing will not be included in the search results.
Action 1: Gather your keywords for your SEO.
Your SEO is aimed directly at the search engine. It should say exactly what the item is but also strive toward telling Etsy WHO it’s for.
In this step, start thinking about all of the ways you could describe your product. Also, think about how alternate customer bases would describe it.
Try to think of at least 3 types of customers who could be buying your product, or 3 kinds of things it could be used for. This all helps with the contextualisation and personalisation.
Places you can look for keywords are:
- Etsy Search bar
- Competitors’ listing titles and tags
- Pinterest trends
- Pinterest search bar
- Pinterest suggested searches on the results page.
- Google search bar
- Amazon and eBay search bar suggestions
Make a list of all the keywords that you want to investigate further.
Action 2: Research your keywords.
There are many SEO tools available to help you find keywords, both paid and free. We will use the free ones for this step, but Erank, Marmalead and KeywordsEverywhere are great tools to help you figure out the search numbers you need to look for.
Using the free Google Ads Keyword Planner tool start entering some of the keyword options that you had discovered from step 1.
This will show you the results of the number of times that a specific keyword has been searched for on Google per month. Google will show more searches than Etsy will for the same search keywords, but if something gets many searches on Google, it’s probably good in other places.
The Google Ads Keyword Planner tool will also offer many other suggestions and variations for you to look at. You may find that just swapping some of the words around will give you a better long-tail keyword than your original combination.
Using the results you have found, give preference to keywords that have a higher search volume.
Here is an example. I’m looking for good keywords for selling brownies.
Most of the suggested terms in my example all have pretty similar search numbers. Still, it gives some ideas I hadn’t thought of that might have lower Etsy competition.
Remove the keywords from your original list that don’t have a good number of searches, but add in any new ones you hadn’t thought of that look promising.
Hopefully, you will have reduced your long-tail keyword possibilities to a shorter list at the end of this stage. Alongside each of your potentials on this list make a note of the Google search numbers.
Action 3: Check your keywords are good for Etsy.
For each of your keywords in your list do a google search.
You are doing a reality check to see if the results match your type of product. People use Google to search for many different kinds of things, and you don’t want to fall foul of using keywords that are not commonly used for buying your product.
At the same time, keep your eye out for an Etsy market page. You are looking for a link structured like the following:
Etsy market pages are pages that Etsy presents to Google using pre-defined search terms. You can identify them by www.etsy.com>market>……
The word after the ‘market’ is the search term Etsy is using for their market page. I searched for ‘postal brownies’ in the above example, and the search term Etsy uses is ‘postal brownies’. No surprise there!
I searched for ‘letterbox brownies’ in the example below, but the Etsy market place is for ‘Brownies’.
Whilst ‘letterbox brownies’ may still be an excellent long-tail keyword on Google, if someone selects the Etsy link, the search done on Etsy is ‘brownies’. Therefore, you need to be targeting ‘brownies’ as your keyword on Etsy. It doesn’t matter that the search in Google was ‘letterbox brownies’ Etsy is only going to show results that match the term it is looking for. I know in this example ‘brownies’ is within the original search term, so it doesn’t make much difference. Still, it can often be a different word Etsy uses or at least a keyword with a different word order. You need to make sure you use the keyword Etsy uses, matching the word order exactly.
Action 4: Check the Etsy search result numbers.
Once you are happy that a keyword has many searches on Google. And there is a corresponding Etsy market page on the first page of the Google search results. Click on the Etsy link to see how many search results are returned in Etsy.
In this instance there are over 11K results returned for the search of ‘Brownies’. In my opinion, this is too large an amount to even bother trying to compete in. Remember, you need to be in the top 1000 to be considered to be included in the first pages on Etsy, so you have a very slim chance of being found for this keyword.
However, if I use the ‘postal brownies’ term, there are only 1134 in the returned results.
Also, if we look for the number of listings with an exact term match (by adding “” around the search term in Etsy), there are only 767 exact matches. This is a very promising keyword with low competition on Etsy and good search numbers on Google.
At the end of your research, you aim to have 2 or 3 long-tail keywords that have good search numbers on Google and where there is also an Etsy market page for that keyword on the first Google results page. You also need to make sure the keyword that Etsy uses for the market pages returns around 1000 or fewer results, OR the exact keyword match returns less than 1000. The keyword you place in your titles and tags is the Etsy’s keyword and not the Google keyword, although they could match.
Action 5: Fill out your title and tags for optimum SEO.
Once you have your 2 or 3 long-tail keywords, you can start filling out your title and tags. This is the SEO juice in Etsy.
For the title, you have 140 characters to use, so make sure you use as many characters as possible. Use all of your keywords in the title and try and make a readable sentence to the customer.
Also, add these keywords to the tags. If the keywords are longer than 20 characters just span them into the next tag, making sure that the tags are side by side so that the word order is retained.
For any remaining characters you have left in the title and tags, add some of the words you have identified in your research that might be relevant. You are trying to give the words to Etsy for them to make up the matches. As you saw in the above results, over 1000 results were returned for “postal brownies”, but only 767 where “postal brownies” was an exact match. This means that Etsy found nearly 300 listings with the word brownies and postal in their title OR tags but not in the correct word order.
Etsy SEO gives a preference to exact word order, but when the results are low, it will hunt around for the words in your title and tags and ignore the word order. So you want to help Etsy by adding in as many words as you can think of.
If you got this far then well done ? ?.
If you want more help on your SEO or other Etsy topics, please join our Facebook group, Bloom on Etsy Support Group, to get help and support on all of the monthly challenges I do.