SEO, to some a complete mystery of the internet age but, if understood and implemented well, it can help you to climb up those listings, ensure you get found more easily and regularly and, critically, can put your products firmly in front of customers’ eyes…and we all know that can’t be a bad thing!
So…how about that SEO stuff, huh? Yup, I’m sure at some point we’ve all had a head-scratching moment trying to understand what makes the world of internet searches work. Just me then? Okay. Fine!
SEO explained! Kind of.
What does SEO stand for? Why, Search Engine Optimisation of course. Yes! Ten points to Gryffindor! Google is a search engine. Yahoo is a search engine. And Etsy has its own search capabilities. It’s all about making sure your tags are relevant and both human- and machine-readable. Etsy will take those tags that you apply to your product – yes, make sure you use every last one of them! – and will match those with the searches being performed by those thousands of lovely potential customers who are looking around on etsy.com each and every day. If your tags (and titles) contain words and phrases that most closely match the shoppers’ search terms then, hey presto, your product is more likely to be at the top of those glorious results. What you’ll end up with is that golden opportunity; eyeballs looking at your stuff!
Research is the key to finding great tags. Ask friends, ask family, ask random people on the street. Show them your product and ask them to describe what they see. Use this as your base. Record your findings and implement them.
Gettin’ it now? The upshot is that you’d be mad not to take this stuff seriously. And you’d be mad to ignore it. Yes, it can be slightly technical and not everybody’s cup of tea but if you take your business seriously and you want to make some coin from your shop, I think you should, at the very least, pay attention to the following tips.
The Etsy Manchester leaders have all sat down (there was wine on the table!) and we’ve come up with some fabulous SEO tips for your consideration that, if researched properly, can help your items more favourably in Etsy’s (and other search engines) rankings.
- Think like a buyer.
Step outside of the creator mindset for a little while and think about what your customer would be searching for to find your items. What words would they use?
- Review your stats.
Go to Your Shop » Stats, choose a time frame such as Last 30 Days and scroll down to ‘Top keywords’. These are the key terms people are using to find your items, add these to your titles and tags to get more views!
- Do your Research.
Start typing your keyword/s into the Etsy search and Etsy will show you a list of the most searched for terms which use your keyword. Use any that are relevant in your title and tags.
- Ask family and friends
Give a group of family and friends an item of yours to look at and ask them to describe it and tell you what they would search for if they were looking for this item. For a bonus tip, don’t forget that age and gender differences can really affect what terms people search for! The youth of today will often come up with a word you never thought of!
- Research the competition.
Type your key terms into the Etsy search and choose a selection of the top items to look at. Try to spot patterns of words that are used in their titles and scroll down to the bottom of the listing to see what tags are being used to get ideas for your shop.
- Remember to use key terms.
Use “Coral Blue Necklace” instead of just “Necklace”.
- Forget duplicates
Try to use all of the available characters and don’t worry about variations in UK/US spellings. Etsy automatically shows items that use both variances of a spelling e.g. when searching for “jewellery”, items with both “jewellery” and “jewelry” will appear in the search. However, if your item is named something else in US English, be sure to include both keywords to reach a wider audience e.g. “Handkerchief” and “Pocket Square”.
- Mirror, Mirror!
Mirror your title key terms in your tags. Whatever key terms you use in your title should be replicated in your tags. If a key term is too long to fit as a tag, break it down into smaller tags. E.g. “Funny Anniversary Card” can be tagged as “Funny Anniversary”, “Anniversary Card” and “Funny Card”.
- Keepin’ it real
Don’t add tags that are not relevant, you’re only fooling yourself! Don’t try to appear higher in the search for terms that are not relevant to your item. If a customer is searching for something specific and your item doesn’t match what they’re looking for, it’ll stand out, but not in a good way.
Don’t forget to tag your shop name and, if you’ve got a spare tag to go, add the #EtsyMCR tag so that we can find you and get yourself onto our regular treasuries.
This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list but it’s a good, solid start. Go through your listing and slowly make the changes.
Think like your target audience. Always keep asking yourself “Is this tag relevant to my product?” and “What is a customer expecting to see?”
You may have the expectation that your stats will uplift. You may not observe an up-turn in your stats for a few weeks as, well, the internet is chock-full of data and this stuff simply takes time to filter through. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not propelled to a level of rockstar seller. Be patient. And until that happens there’s always more products to be made, more kick-ass product photographs to be taken and product descriptions to be spruced up. An Etsy seller’s work is never done, am I right?!
In need of more help? You can check out the Etsy Seller Handbook, specifically their Getting Found section.