No matter the product, price, or location of your Etsy business, Etsy sellers are always on the hunt for the next big thing that can make their product sell. But, between daily shipping commitments, an affinity for beautiful product photos, and managing customer reviews, selling your products on Etsy is no easy task. So, to help climb this feat of being a boss on Etsy, there’s nothing better than an SEO for Etsy guide to get your Etsy shop back into tip-top shape.
SEO (search engine optimization) can be a little overwhelming to start. Fear not, though: Here’s a whole guide of how to tweak your Etsy shop to navigate the not-so-scary world of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is learning how to think like your customers. Once you understand your customers, you can drive traffic from search results on search engines like Google or Etsy.
A few words you’ll need to know that are unique to Etsy SEO:
- Keywords: These are words or phrases your shoppers would use to describe your business. Think like your customers: What do they use to describe your business? Keywords are used in your Tags and Categories on Etsy.
- Tags: Tags are words or short phrases that reflect your item. Etsy matches tags with shoppers’ searches to relevant results.
- Backlinks: A backlink (also called Inbound Link) is a hyperlink that links from a Web page, back to your Web page. These are important for determining your popularity of a Website.
Step 1: Keyword and Tag Research
Tools for Keyword and Tag Research
1. Google Adwords gives you insight into Google ad purchases, but it’s interesting to see the research related to your industry.
For example, if I’m searching for “brass necklace,” according to Google 1,000 people a month on average are searching for “brass necklace” in Google search.
If you’re using a low competition keyword, you have a better chance of showing up higher in the results.
2. Etsy Search bar is very useful to research what buyers are searching for on Etsy. Type in a keyword in the search bar to see a list of results in a list.
Here’s an example of Etsy Search in action:
Now, let’s perform an Etsy search within your shop to see what Etsy is showing users.
This is super important to understand how Etsy is showing your shop to users.
Unfortunately, my two other favorite tools by Tools4Etsy is under construction. The WALL-E and Tag Wars tools are super easy-to-use.
Step 2: Your Etsy Shop
Shop Title & Shop Announcement
- These first three words in your Shop Title and Shop Announcement are the most important and offer the most relevancy.
- The first three words in your Shop Title should also be in your tags.
- The Shop Title serves as your shop’s H1 tag (header tag)
- The Shop Title and Shop Announcement should sound natural when spoken.
The Shop Announcement also describes your shop to the search engines.
It’s essential to completely fill out your Shop Announcement section and put links to your other Etsy shops for transparency (it’s an Etsy rule).
These are the different categories within your Etsy shop. You should title these your keywords because they help Etsy AND Google determine your relevancy within their search engines.
Take a look at Ryan Berkley Illustrations:
Bonus Keyword Locations
1.Personal profile on Etsy
2. Etsy shop ‘About’ page
3. Etsy shop policies under the ‘Welcome’ area
Step 3: Your Etsy Listings
Etsy Listing Title
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself obsessed with keywords, but I’m not going to turn my back on them either, especially for our Etsy listing title. Here’s why:
- The title of your listing becomes the alt text. The alt text is what search engines will read whenever they are scanning your Etsy listing.
- This title gets repeated five times so make sure always to use all five photos.
- Again, the first three words are crucial similar to your Shop Title and Shop Announcement.
Check out rkitekt‘s Etsy shop:
- What is it?
- How did you make it?
- What is it made out of?
- Who is it for?
- What color is it?
- How much does it weigh?
- Does it have a scent?
- What’s the vibe? Southwest? Boho?
- How do they use it?
- How does it make them feel?
Etsy Listing Description
Again, the very beginning of the description (first 160 characters) is the most important because this is what is being pulled into the Google search results. But, you still want to use expressive, descriptive words that match the search habits of your dream customers. And, in turn, this helps your customers make the decision to buy your work.
Check out Vice & Velvet:
Vice & Velvet does an excellent job at internal linking within the listing description as well.
Adding internal links gives you more activity on your Shop, which in turn, makes you seem more relevant to the Etsy search engine.
These play a little role within your SEO. The more specific you can get, the better user interaction you’ll have with your customers.
Check out Laura Fisk’s Etsy Shop and her Plush Gnome Pillow:
Categories & Tags
The categories are the options Etsy gives you to give within these buckets. Here’s a full list of Etsy categories.
These show up at the bottom of your listing. Etsy gives you the option to load 13 tags; I would suggest you use them all.
Don’t use generic tags. Here’s an awesome example from Emily McDowell Studio on Etsy. She expanded “tote” into “canvas tote” and “oversized tote.”
I would also add your name, your company name, and your location to your tags.
Step 4: Social Media
You can’t rely on just your Etsy shop to drive your sales. You need to get inbound links from outside sources. It’s important to find where your community engages.
Check out Handmade Sam*Made:
Each social media channel has their pros and cons, so it’s important to determine what works best for you. I will say that Pinterest is most likely going to be the biggest ROI for your Etsy shop. Instagram is great, but there no clickable URLs unless updating your profile bio. What do you think will drive more traffic to your website?
Step 5: Blogging
You want to use your blog as a resource for people you’re trying to connect with.
My personal favorite platforms: WordPress and Squarespace.
Check out Native Bear’s blog on Squarespace.
When you’re writing your blog, make sure you’re backlinking to your Etsy shop. You can also feature other sellers on your blog. Linking to other bloggers or sellers is a great way to show the love and support each other. Plus, it adds authority to your Etsy shop.
Lastly, you need to make sure you’re working on it consistently. I keep myself organized with an editorial calendar. It’s worth your time, effort, and money. If you need to hire someone on Upwork, Fiveer, (or me!) do it.
You can also add a newsletter for your blogs like Carolina Grain Co. did here:
Step 6: Diversify your online presence
Part of SEO is generating new, high-quality links to your website or Etsy shop. If you want to drive traffic to your Etsy shop, start engaging in influencer marketing or guest blogging.
You can also list your products on other marketplaces. Here are some to note:
Step 7: Graduate from your Etsy shop
When you’re ready to grow beyond your Etsy shop, it’s time to take the next step to creating your e-commerce online shop. Your shop can be hosted on an e-commerce domain, or you can connect your hosting (e.g. BlueHost) to their platform.
Here’s a list of platforms:
Take a look at the Paper Cub Co.’s gorgeous Shopify website and tell you can’t do this too!
So, we just learned a lot on how to optimize your Etsy shop for SEO. SEO is really about bringing things together in a way that your customer would search for. It takes time, but it’s totally worth your investment.