Etsy SEO – Tips & Best Practices

If you’ve been thinking of opening up an Etsy shop for a while, but you don’t know how the platform’s rankings work, what keywords you should use, or even what name to use for your shop, you’ve come to the right place. 

In today’s article, we’re looking at several Etsy SEO tips that every seller should know. 

SEO for Etsy

So what is Etsy SEO in the first place? If you haven’t worked with such marketplaces in the past, you probably don’t know that the same broad SEO rules apply to them, too, not just to regular websites.

For example, there’s a thing called Amazon SEO, which Amazon sellers use to stand out from the crowd and get more customers to try their products. 

The same goes for Etsy, and they actually have a whole set of things that they take into consideration to have their algorithm organize the results on any page that comes from a query. 

Based on the info we found in this sense, it seems that Etsy SEO almost always involves the following ranking factors:

  • Relevancy
  • Recency
  • Shipping price
  • Customer score 
  • Listing quality score
  • Languages (and translations)
  • Individual shopper habits (which you obviously can’t control as much as the rest)

Another thing that some Etsy sellers might not be aware of is that like Google and other search engines, the marketplace regularly updates its algorithm. Granted, the changes almost never ruin someone’s shop as Google’s algo modifications can do for websites. 

There was a recent Etsy algorithm change in 2021, for example, which made it possible for potential customers to come across related items or shops even if they didn’t use the primary keywords depicting their original query. 

This means that Etsy is getting to be a better experience for the user — it used to be that shop owners would have to use the same keyword in their title, tags, and even image names, but now synonyms are allowed, too. 

And don’t forget — most marketplace users these days want to get results like these. They don’t want to have to look for synonyms themselves, they want to have specific products suggested to them based on a main word. 

But without further ado, let’s move on to several Etsy SEO tricks that can help you make all the difference on the platform! 

Make sure your shop’s in the best possible shape

While it might seem like this doesn’t necessarily relate to actual Etsy SEO, it is one of the best steps you can take for improved visibility. 

You aren’t going to need a lot of Etsy SEO help if your store has the right About section, the correct privacy policy, plenty of payment options, and also, a pretty good, user-friendly return policy. 

The whole point is that you want to make your customers’ journey and experience in terms of buying products from your shop as stress-free as possible. 

The number of reviews your shop gets also has a say when it comes to how you rank on the search pages. But it’s not just a ranking factor — some studies suggest that more than 90% of all Internet users read customer reviews before deciding to buy a specific product or service. So you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you offer poor customer service as your reviews aren’t going to get you more and more sales. 

Keywords

Did you know that there are actually Etsy SEO tools (some of which are free) that can help you in your keyword research? 

Some can tell you the exact search volume of specific search terms (like SEMrush or Ahrefs would, for example) and others can even suggest trends that you can use to tell how they’ve performed in the past and maybe how they will perform in the future. 

Longtail keywords work best, especially in the beginning, but once your shop begins to acquire enough reviews and you begin getting more sales, you might want to replace some of your tags with shorter-tail, more competitive search terms as you will be able to target them, too. 

Finding the best keywords for Etsy shops can take some time and you’re probably going to test out several different ones before gaining enough traction. 

The most important piece of advice we have for you is that you have to think like a buyer. What if you were to look for the product you manufacture? What words would you use? Just try to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think of what they’d search for. 

In terms of what tools you can use for the task, there are plenty of Etsy tag generators out there and we’re going to put together a separate article about them. But here are several examples:

  • Keyword Scout
  • Keysearch.co
  • eRank
  • Etsy Keyword Tool Dominator
  • Google Keyword Tool (just because it’s free and it can give you some ideas, but it is not Etsy-specific in any way)

Furthermore, you get a number of 13 tags at your disposal, so you don’t have to just stick to your two to four main keywords. Get a bit creative, use synonyms, and think of what your prospective buyers might search for, too! 

Do not repeat the same keywords, though, as algorithms don’t really like that — and neither does Etsy’s algo. Don’t use both the plural and the singular form of the search term. Also, avoid using the same keywords for several different product listings as not all of them are going to get on the search pages. 

Categories

You can put your products in categories and Etsy apparently loves well-organized shops. If you sell handbags, wallets, and necklaces, just group your products into several different categories and obviously, use different keywords.

You can use search terms for these sections, too, and while they do have to essentially match the ones that you already rank for (or want to rank for), they also have to be descriptive enough and avoid being repetitive. 

What about your shop name?

Having a brand name is great and all, but you should correlate that term with what you actually do. Since we gave a leather product-related example earlier on, we’ll continue in the same vein. 

LuxuryLeatherCreation might seem like not such a creative brand, but the point is that it gets the point across pretty clearly. Include some other details such as ‘LuxuryLeatherCreation is a shop that sells handmade leather accessories’, or something similar. 

Product photos

While in this case, you can’t change the image names or alt tags as you can for your own website (which by the way, wouldn’t be a bad idea if you can also market it separately to Etsy), having high-quality photos of your products can definitely make the difference. 

On Etsy, photos are even more important than they might be on other platforms, especially if you sell visually appealing gadgets or accessories. In fact, Etsy says that photos are the deciding factor for making a purchase in the marketplace — so you want them to be the best possible quality to get more sales, more reviews, and better rankings.  

Product listing updates

Remember, at the beginning of this article, we mentioned that relevancy was one of the ranking factors that Etsy uses to separate the wheat from the chaff. Well, renewed listings are excellent for that, so you can either update your product listings on a regular basis, or put new ones every two to three weeks in your shop. 

According to some marketers, it doesn’t hurt to update your listings at specific times, such as during the holidays or before certain events — especially since these keywords are already likely to have a lot of competition. 

Do a bit of research about what the right time for updating your product listing might be. Apparently, in the United States, the best times to do this would have to be between 9.30pm and 11:30 pm Eastern time. 

In terms of frequency, updating your listings once every couple of weeks is the right way of going about things — especially since this is the time span that you should typically take for creating new products, particularly if you’re in the handmade niche.  

Free shipping

When it comes to Etsy marketing and SEO, there’s no better way of going about things other than by offering free shipping to your customers. Etsy shops tend to charge quite a bit for shipping, but those that offer it for free or for a discount are usually ranked better. 

A lot of Etsy sellers use this trick to make their shop more successful – they make their products a bit pricier, but offer free shipping instead. You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference this can make. 

Before pricing something, look at what your competitors are doing. How much do their products cost? Ask yourself this question and try to understand what a fair price would be (so that you can still gain some profit) and make it slightly lower than that of your competitors. 

Link building

Optimizing your Etsy shop is excellent and there’s no denying that, but the truth is that acquiring links to it is also a good method of getting it to rank better within the platform. 

You can use the typical SEO tips that we have talked about in many of our other posts to acquire links. Since Etsy is a separate marketplace, the best place to use for backlink building would be your official website or blog. 

Then you can use your presence on social media networks to gather links and increase the traffic that you generate to your Etsy shop. 

It never hurts to reach out to other sellers who might also have websites, create guest posts, or even use indirect link exchange. You can also get several Instagram users (be they influencers or not) to showcase your products in their posts. 

Lots of brands now use influencers to market their products or services so why shouldn’t you? You can offer them a product for free and maybe even give them a discount if they’re interested in buying from you. 

Use paid ads

Running Etsy ads can definitely make a difference in your rankings. If you didn’t know, there’s this rumor according to which all platforms, including the search engines available out there, automatically improve the rankings of those that have advertised with them in the past. 

While this might not necessarily be true for Etsy, the fact is that paid ads are extremely useful when it comes to getting you new and repeat customers and also acquiring reviews — which as we have mentioned before, are a ranking factor in themselves. 

Depending on the type of products you sell, you can also use other social media networks for ads — if it’s a rather visually appealing one, you can use Pinterest ads or Instagram ads, and they tend to make quite a bit of a difference. 

Etsy analytics

If you’ve been selling on the platform for a while, you probably know that it comes with a native reporting tool. These insights can offer you some clues as to how your potential customers discover you. Moreover, the analytics are quite good when it comes to the search terms that people use to stumble upon your shop, your number of pageviews, and also your traffic sources. 

Etsy analytics can be found by going into your Shop manager (in your dashboard) and clicking on the Stats button available there. 

Image source: Etsy.com

Etsy SEO service

If you do not have the time to apply all of these SEO tips yourself, you can get a professional to do it. On websites such as Fiverr, People Per Hour, or even Upwork and other large freelance platforms, you can find SEOs that specialize in Etsy. 

The prices do vary a lot depending on a number of factors such as the specific service being offered or the number of positive reviews that freelancer has garnered in the past. 

In general, the minimum you can expect to pay for Etsy SEO is $10 but this will usually get you just optimized titles and tags — without too much of anything else. Some SEOs even offer services such as giving you feedback on what you’ve done before (kind of like consultancy) and they can tell you what more you need to do to see improvements in your rankings. 

Final thoughts

In the end, all of these Etsy SEO tips tend to work variably from one seller to the next. They can be extremely valuable for folks creating successful products but if you’re in a category that might not get as much exposure, you might have to test several different things. 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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