Started an Etsy shop full of passion but not getting enough traffic and sales? Try to buy some ads for your product but the ad cost is high and ends up not being very profitable. Why not focus on your Etsy SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and boost the ranking of your listings to show at the top of the search result?
Etsy is an eCommerce marketplace featuring different products listed on the marketplace. With so many products listed on the platform, how do they determine which product to be shown on the first page or the first row? And why these products are there on the first page?
Also, what if your product is listed on the first page vs your product on the 10th page? Which will provide more traffic to your product page.
This is all determined by Etsy’s SEO algorithm which will consider a few parameters to rank a product.
Today, we will be sharing how the Etsy SEO algorithm works and how you should optimize your product listing to rank better.
Why Etsy search engine optimization (SEO)
Etsy is a huge marketplace that works continuously to grow the platform and brings in more customers. In fact, in 2022 Q4, there were over 96.3 million active buyers with an incredible 17% growth from the previous year.
There is a huge group of potential buyers that you can tap into on Etsy rather than building the customer group from scratch on your own. And Etsy keeps growing its platform to work better to attract more visitors. And your role as a seller is to leverage the traffic brought in by Etsy and convert them into sales.
This means you need to get yourself in front of their eyeball when they are searching for the product that you are selling. This is where Etsy SEO (search engine optimization) is important to help to rank your product higher.
What is Etsy SEO?
Etsy SEO is the process of optimizing your Etsy shop and listings in order for Etsy to be able to rank them higher in the search results. When your product is able to rank for popular keywords, this means you will get lots of visibility and eyeball on your product. Which in return, higher the chance to get sales for your product.
The SEO strategy will involve using relevant keywords, titles, tags, and descriptions in your product listings for it to rank for the keywords that customers are likely to search for.
Some effective Etsy SEO techniques include researching relevant keywords, incorporating them into your product titles and descriptions, using high-quality images, and providing detailed product information that accurately describes your products.
How does SEO for Etsy sellers work?
When a buyer runs a search, Etsy’s search algorithm will do two things to determine which product the potential customers will see.
1. Query matching
In this process, Etsy will first try to match the keywords searched with the listings available. And then, will show up the product based on the following parameters:
These are the first few factors that Etsy will look for when they filter through the listings. These do not include any photos or videos but it’s crucial to determine whether is it the best match.
After query matching, Etsy ranks all the matched listings based on each buyer’s likelihood to purchase the items. It considers the demographic, and relevance of the listing, as well as various other factors to rank the product.
In order for your product to rank high on Etsy, you need to optimize your product listings with the target keywords in every part. This includes your titles, tags and product descriptions. This is the first step, but you need to also use quality photos and videos to get attention.
Below are some factors that Etsy considers when ranking your product listings.
Relevance of the listing.
Your product title, tags and description should be as detailed as possible to reflect what people will type in the search bar. Etsy will look into a listing’s title, tags, categories, and attributes to figure out whether it matches the potential buyer’s search.
The better you match their search terms, the higher the chance for ranking. For example, instead of a term like “coffee mug”, people may search for a “black 12oz coffee mug with dog paw”. And if your product title or tags matches this best, your listing will have a higher chance to rank.
Quality of the listing
Etsy will look at a few different data to determine the listing’s quality store. The data Etsy will consider includes clicks, views, favourites and purchases. These data will show whether the listing will have a higher potential to get purchased or not. The higher the quality score the higher the item may appear in search results.
Age of the listing
In order to support new products and listings, newer listings will get a temporary boost in their ranking. The boost may last for hours or days, depending on its performance and product search volume. This is to ensure new listings will have equal treatment as old listings and also for Etsy to learn and understand how your new listings perform to determine how they should rate your listing quality score.
Customer and market experience
As a marketplace, Etsy wants to make sure of the best customer experience so that people will keep visiting and buying. For this, Etsy will check on your customer satisfaction rate in terms of your customer service, communications rate and your shop content. That includes a store’s About page, policies, ratings, and reviews.
Etsy cares a lot about shopping. And a pro tip here, Etsy favours free shipping in the listing’s ranking.
This is because the shipping cost is one big consideration for buyers when they make a buying decision. And according to Etsy, shoppers will be more likely to buy an item if it’s free shipping.
This is human behaviour. They can pay thousands for an item but are not willing to pay the $4.99 shipping cost. They just think that the shipping cost should be waived as they already make such a huge purchase.
So, with a lower shipping cost or even free shipping, will be more likely to get a higher ranking on Etsy.
Etsy shop location
Now, this is an unfair advantage due to the shop’s location. If your shop is based in the EU, Australia or Canada, the location will be part of the ranking factor.
The local shops will have an advantage because buyers will expect faster service with a nearer seller. The same goes for Etsy, they will label a local seller higher.
Language and translations
If you are serving international customers, adding custom translations to your listings will definitely help.
While you can do it automatically with Etsy translation for the listings, it may not be the best solution. This is because, with a manual translation, your content will be more natural.
Etsy SEO Strategy: Optimize Your Store in 5 Simple Steps
Now that you know how the Etsy search algorithm works and rank your listings, let’s see how you can implement the optimization strategy on your listings to get a higher rank.
1. Keyword Research for Etsy
To start your SEO strategy, you need to know what keyword you want to rank in order for you to optimize your content to it. You definitely don’t want to rank top for keywords that people are not searching for. To do this, you should start by acting like a buyer and researching what people will search for.
Act as a buyer
Think as a buyer, when you want to search for something on a marketplace, how will you be searching? Are you going for a broad search term or you are going for a specific search term so that you can get the best match for the product you are interested in?
Understanding your customer’s behaviour will give you an insight into how to write your title and description. With the right tools, you can spy on what keywords that people are searching for and then list down the keyword term that you want to target and rank for.
Using SEO Tools to Find High-Quality Keywords
What I mean for a high-quality keyword here is, ideally, the keyword should have high search volume and low competition. These keywords are easy to rank with less competition while having enough search volume to get healthy sales volume for your business.
Etsy Keyword Tools are very useful to get an idea of what and how people are searching on Etsy. And at the same time, what keywords that you can focus on?
Keyword research can take time without the right to. With eRank, you can instantly access the data for different search terms and spy on what people are interested in. There’s the Bulk Keyword Tool which looks up search volumes for Etsy and Google, 20 words at a time.
With this, you can get the latest data on what you can rank for. And at the same time, pick the right or related keywords for your niche.
Not only that, if you are looking for a product idea, you can use the Trending on Etsy feature to get the most searched keywords on Etsy.
Not to forget, you can start using it for free, and upgrade to the Pro version for $9.99 per month if required.
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool by Google. It has all the search data that people are searching for on Google. If you would like to have a keyword idea or rank your product listing on Google, you definitely want to use this. This tool provides the search volume and competition info for specific keywords entered into Google, allowing you to gain insights into what people are typing into the search engine.
Analyze Your Etsy Store Data
What’s better than looking at how your store is performing and which product is doing better? Etsy’s reporting tool will give a detailed insight into how people find your listings.
With this, you can see how they see your listings and which keywords they search to get to your listings. This is included in your Etsy Shop Manager. And you definitely should read and understand the data to grow your shop.
Etsy’s search box
Another way you can get some keyword inspiration is to go through the Etsy search bar. You can use that as a guide to starting, but should not follow that only as it doesn’t reflect the latest trend and also not the overall popularity of the keyword.
2. Optimize Your Product Listing
We have discussed the importance of the 4 elements of SEO. Title, tags, categories and attributes. Not only that, but by now you should have your target keyword list ready if you follow our steps above.
Now, it’s time to incorporate those keywords into your listing so that when someone searched for the keyword, Etsy will be able to scan through your listings and show your product first.
ON Etsy, there is a word limitation of 140 characters for your title. But the search engine algorithm will put more weight on the first few words. So, when writing your Etsy title, focus on the first few words first.
Don’t repeat words in the title and avoid keyword stuffing. Your title has to make sense and still contain all the crucial keywords.
Etsy doesn’t allow titles to contain more than 3 words in all caps. Some special characters like the percentage symbol (%) and ampersand (&) can only be used once, and the dollar sign ($) and caret (^) aren’t allowed at all. So, think carefully about which three words are best suited to describe your product.
As far as Etsy tags are concerned, they have two roles. To help Etsy buyers find similar products to the one they are looking for and to help Etsy’s algorithm with the query matching process.
Etsy lets you add up to 13 tags for each listing. So you better make good use of all of it. Your tags can cover a wide range of terms so you can get ranked for more keywords.
Not only that, Etsy allows up to 20 characters for each tag and it can contain multiple words. This means you should use multi-word tags to get a more precise keyword tag.
Another pro-tip. You should focus more on long-tail keywords than standard keywords. This is because people will search for specific terms for what they want. And also, long tail keywords tend to be easier to rank with lesser competition than a generic term as not many people will focus on ranking it.
Attributes are the additional details you use to describe your products. They’re displayed on the left side of the search results page for costumes to filter what they want to view.
You can include as many attributes as possible in your listings and use that to broaden the match potential of your listing.
Start with your category and then narrow it down to the sub-category so it will be easier for Etsy to show your products in the different related categories.
To ease product searching, Etsy groups different products in each category so it will be easier for us to search based on the category they want. And if you are able to group your product listings in the right category, it will help people to view your product.
3. Optimise your Product Listing
Starting with Title, Tags, Attributes and Categories are good. However, there are other elements in your product listings that play important roles in your SEO ranking as well.
This includes your product description, images, videos and reviews. Your product listings need to be interesting so people will stay longer to check out your product listings.
Your product listings should be professionally written and the images or videos should be attractive for your potential buyers to buy from you.
You want to increase your conversation rate to give an impression to Etsy that your product is in high demand. This will in turn increase the listing’s quality score and increase your SEO rankings.
With the right SEO strategy implemented, you can increase your product visibility and chances to get more sales. To optimize your Etsy listings, you should include photos and videos for all your listings and spend some time writing compelling headlines and descriptions for your product listings.
Another important thing would be to get more reviews from your customers. This is a very important testimonial and proof that you can show to your potential customers and Etsy showing that your product is good.
Optimizing Etsy listings increases visibility, which leads to more sales. To optimize your Etsy listings, check that you’ve included photos and videos for all your products. Spend time on all your written content (such as titles and descriptions) and keep asking for reviews from shoppers.
Use high-quality Photos
In every listing, Etsy lets you add up to 10 photos. It may seem to be a lot at the beginning. But if you have more variations or show different angles, 10 photos are not too much. And you definitely need to focus on using high-quality and attractive photos.
You can show your products from different angles and also how the product is being used so people can imagine themselves using it as well. The more your potential customer can relate to the product, the more they will buy it.
Use High-resolution Videos
Another way to make your listings appealing is to use videos for your listings. People are used to viewing more videos nowadays and a moving video will show the product better than an image.
If your listing is visually appealing, it’s more likely that a customer will buy your product and spend more time checking out your listing.
Overall, video content also improves the customer experience and tells the search engines that your listing is relevant and valuable to potential buyers.
Video is a way to show how your product will look and work, And let people see how it works.
Write Clear and Informative Descriptions
Although some say that Etsy’s SEO algorithm doesn’t include product descriptions in their ranking considerations. However, a good product description is definitely required to increase your conversion rate. And this, in turn, increases your Etsy ranking as well.
There is no word count limit for your product description, so you can include a lot of information in your product descriptions. But of course, you should arrange your product description so that the more important part will be on top.
This typically would be how your product will benefit them and why they should buy your product. And then followed by some of the how-to-use it or some features that they will like. Then followed by how they can buy it.
In your product description, you should use short paragraphs with bullets and bold/italics on keywords so that it’s easier for people to scan through your content. Most people don’t have the focus to read everything, so it’s good to give them the option to scan through the key points fast.
And your description should end with a call to action or link that direct people to your shop’s main page. This will give them chances to browse through more of your products if they are interested.
Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are the most important to have on every product sales page. This is the real feedback that your past customers give after they buy or use your product. This is crucial as those past customers’ reviews will be seen as a trustable source rather than listening to how you explain how good the product is and why they should buy it.
On Etsy, it will automatically send reminders for the customers to leave feedback about your products. And as a seller, you can encourage them by offering some incentive for those who write feedback for you. It can be a 20% discount for the next purchase if they write a review for you. Your offer needs to be good so that they will want to take action and write a good review.
However, you should do it carefully as Etsy does not allow offering incentives for reviews as it will be biased then if there is an incentive.
And if you get a negative review, be open and get in touch with the customer to see what goes wrong and resolve it. It’s normal that you get good and bad reviews sometimes. Just make sure that you resolve it and increase your customer satisfaction. If you did it right, they might even be your recurring customers.
Complete Your Store Information
Other than the product sales page, you should always include more information about your Etsy shop so that when people want more information about your business they can get it. This includes some terms and policies of your store to avoid any disputes or unnecessary refunds.
About Us Section
An about us section is how you let your customer understand the background of your business and why they should buy from you.
It is important to craft a compelling About Us section to show off your brand personality and build a reputation with your customers.
You can write a background story that your potential customers can relate to. Ensuring that your team is professional and is able to serve them well.
Terms & Conditions
This is one of the very important sections in every eCommerce store to avoid customer dissatisfaction. An eCommerce is different from traditional business as your customers don’t get to see the physical product and bring home with them instantly.
This is why you need to let them know when they can expect to receive the product they bought and also your return policy. This is to ensure that any disputes or product quality issues, can be resolved on time. You will need to handle their issues anyway, so why not be transparent and list them down to them in advance?
This can help to manage their expectations and increase customer satisfaction.
4. Offer Free Shipping
As much as possible you should reduce your shipping cost, and ideally offer free shipping. We know that Etsy takes this into consideration in the SEO ranking and customers will definitely love free shipping. So why don’t just offer it free?
Anyway, you are going to include the shipping cost in the product cost and show it as free shipping. Or you can have free shipping if purchase over XX amount deal to encourage people to buy more.
Don’t be afraid to offer free shipping as you are not going to lose anything. People are still paying the same amount, but just paying it in another way. But the psychology behind is different. Both Etsy and the buyers will be very happy to get free shipping.
How long does it take for Etsy SEO to rank?
Well, it depends. For new listings, you will get a temporary priority ranking for the first few days to boost your sales and let Etsy get some data on your product’s popularity. And if your product performs well during that period, chances are you will get some advantage in Etsy SEO ranking. However, normally it takes about four to six weeks to get a new product listing to rank.
There is no definite time or formula for when your listing will rank. There are many factors that will determine it. This includes how your competitors rank their products.
Final Thoughts – Etsy SEO Strategy There is definitely possible to rank your product listings on the right keywords on Etsy search. However, you will need to constantly be tweaking and testing different parameters to get the right combinations for it to rank.
Apart from that, you need to know what people are looking for and respond to it in order to rank on Etsy SEO better.