I wrote last week about what SEO means in a very broad and basic sense. Today I’ll be giving you some specific Etsy SEO tips and telling you what is working on Etsy in 2016
Etsy SEO tips for 2016
If you’re at all unsure what the term SEO means then please take a look at my article here and read that before coming back.
The first thing you need to be aware of while looking to improve your Etsy SEO is that there are two aspects to look at.
- You want to have good SEO in order to come higher in the rankings of Etsy search
- You want to have good SEO that will allow you to be seen when people search in Google or other search engines
Now these are two completely different things, and when I talk about Etsy SEO I generally mean one or both of these aspects. Some things you can do will affect your Etsy search rank and some things will help you be seen on Google.
What determines your Etsy rankings?
Etsy’s search algorithm takes in to account lots of things. Although Etsy does give us an idea of what they look for in articles like this one, it must be stressed that things change quickly and to try to keep on top of it all.
What you can change and tweak easily are as follows:
Some things are slightly more out of your control (but you can still do something about some of them):
Let’s take a look at them in turn:
Your title should give the viewer an indication of what your listing is about. In SEO terms, the first three words of the listing are given much more weight than words at the end of your title. Therefore you should always aim to have a ‘searchable phrase’ in that position.
You get a lot of space in your title so plenty of room to add keywords in to describe your item. I like to separate my keywords by using commas rather than just adding in words. If possible I like to keep it flowing naturally for Google SEO as they don’t like just having keywords stuffed in.
You get 13 tags available to you. This is where you want to put in keywords related to your item. If you repeat a keyword that is in your title that will tell the Etsy algorithm that it’s important – so I always suggest making sure your 3 word searchable phrase at the beginning of your title is in your tag. Anything that is repeated in both titles and tags gets more weight.
Tags work better as phrases rather than single words and you’ll be able to fit so much more in that way too.
Etsy is in the business of keeping their customers happy and one way of doing that is by making sure that their sellers have good policies in place so that customers have a good experience. If you have no policies then customers may naturally shy away from buying, but also Etsy will not be as favourable to you in search.
Etsy have boiler plate policies you can use now so you just adjust them to what suits your business. They introduced them in April 2016 and have said that those that use these policies will get a slight bump in search results than those who write their own.
Having an about page gives customers more knowledge about you and makes them more comfortable. This is part of the customer and marketplace experience and like policies, having something here should help.
Listings that are more recent are often featured higher in results. This may be why when looking it seems that items with not very well thought out titles and tags are higher than you. Every time your item sells it may get this little boost, but for other items that aren’t shifting a possibility is to renew the listing (obviously costing a fee) every so often.
This means that if your item comes up for a certain search term and is clicked on a lot then it will be given more ‘listing quality’. It’s a way for Etsy to give the best items in search – they want their results to be good enough that customers click through rather than feel it was a wasted search.
Having enticing and quality pictures that show clearly the item is a good way to help out this aspect.
Having good reviews helps not only once a customer gets to your items, but it helps in search too. Having bad reviews or cases open against you isn’t going to help your placement in search as the algorithm detects this.
Where you’re located also is a factor – some countries are shown items from their own locations ahead of others. Not much you can do about that one!
There are likely other factors at play, Etsy is always changing things and as always it’s not an exact science!
Making your Etsy listings Google SEO friendly
So now you know what to do to help get your listings ranking better on the Etsy search results, next is to give them the edge for other search engines like Google
Your shop title is used when Google pulls through your shop to their search listings. When you’re editing your shop it will give you an idea of how this looks. This is a great place to put keywords that you are wanting to be known for rather than a cutesy tagline.
The shop announcement also used to be used by google in their search results but a change by Etsy recently means this is no longer the case. I still think it’s a good idea to add a couple of keywords in here for what you want to be known by though.
You can have up to 15 shop sections in your shop which can not only make it easier for customers to navigate, especially if you have lots of items, but it’s also a factor in SEO. I’d recommend putting in nice descriptive keywords in your shop sections!
Your description is the biggest area to add your keywords to help make it seen in search engines. The first 160 characters is the most important as it will be what will be brought in to the search result page so if you can get a keyword or two in that bit that’s great.
Most importantly for descriptions is to keep them natural. For all the keyword phrases and tags you have, try and incorporate them in to sentences that describe your product.
Don’t over stuff your descriptions with unnatural words just to get them in – Google doesn’t like this at all. Much better to be natural!
If you have a blog or website, then linking to your listings can help. Google likes pages they think are popular so having them linked to indicates this!
Other Etsy SEO tricks
Always try to have unique titles and tags. It can be hard, especially if you have very similar listings, but the more unique you are the less you’ll be competing against yourself in the search results and the wider audience you’ll be able to reach.
When uploading images try to name your photo files with your keywords – this might help for Google.
Etsy SEO Service
I do offer help with Etsy shops and creating listings – if you want to have a look at what I offer, click here!
Next week I’ll be writing about SEO for your own websites and how to improve there.