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Sarah Waggoner

What is Etsy SEO and Why Does it Even Matter?

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If you’re an Etsy seller trying to get more sales on the platform, you’ve probably heard the term “Etsy SEO” in the forums and seller Facebook groups. But what even is SEO, and why does it matter for your Etsy shop? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a process of optimizing your listings so they appear higher in searches that are being done by Etsy buyers.

Why does it matter? Well, if you want to increase your sales and grow your business, you need to be seen by as many people as possible. That’s easy to do when you’re getting found organically by Etsy’s 90 million buyers. So let’s explore the basics of Etsy SEO, how it works, and some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Understanding the Etsy search algorithm

To optimize your Etsy shop, it’s important to understand how the Etsy search algorithm works. Like any search engine, Etsy uses a complex algorithm to determine which listings should appear at the top of the search results.

The Etsy search algorithm takes into account a variety of factors, including how relevant your listing is to the search time the buyer used, your listing quality score, how recently the listing was published, and more. Your listing quality score includes your listing conversion rate, review history, etc. Learn more about that here.

To take advantage of the search algorithm, you want to make sure that you have a keyword research process that’s simple and efficient, formatting your listings correctly, and that you’re optimizing your shop as a whole.

Keyword research for Etsy SEO

One of the most important aspects of Etsy SEO is keyword research. Keyword research involves identifying the words and phrases that Etsy buyers are using to search for products like yours. By targeting the right keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing at the top of the search results when someone searches for those keywords because Etsy will see you as relevant for that search.

It’s important to research both the demand for a keyword and the competition. The demand is how many buyers are searching monthly for a particular phrase. The competition is how many other Etsy shops are also targeting those same keywords. Then you’ll want to assess the ratio of competition to demand, factor in how easily your shop can rank for keywords (new shops without a listing quality score will have a harder time ranking for keyword phrases), and pick a few keyword phrases to target.

Listing optimization

Optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO involves more than just throwing random keywords into your titles. You also need to optimize your product titles, descriptions, and tags to make them as compelling and informative as possible.

Use the keywords that you found from your research in both your tags and titles. You get 13 tags and need to use all of them in each of your listings.

Your product descriptions should be detailed and informative, but only the first sentence or two is factored into your SEO in the Etsy algorithm.

Etsy shop optimization for SEO

In addition to optimizing your individual listings, it’s also important to optimize your entire Etsy shop for SEO. Etsy wants you to fill out your shop policies and branding graphics to help your buyers get to know, like, and trust you.

Common Etsy SEO mistakes to avoid

I’ve audited SEO for hundreds of Etsy sellers since 2019 and often see the same mistakes over and over again. So next let me share the top SEO mistakes that most Etsy sellers are making

Using single word tags

Buyers don’t search with single words, so your tags shouldn’t be single words either. Think about how you search for products on Etsy or Amazon. Let’s say you’re shopping for a birthstone necklace to wear that has your kids names on it. You’re not going to type “birthstone” into the search bar and then scroll through millions of listings to find exactly what you want. Instead, you’re going to type something like “personalized birthstone necklace for mom” into the search bar because you know the results will be super niched towards what you want.

Changing everything too often

Etsy can take up to 90 days to start testing you for the search terms you want to rank for. So if you’re changing your SEO every week, you aren’t giving your SEO strategy enough time to work.

Changing everything all at once

Because SEO changes can take a few months to start working, if you change all of your listings all at the same time, it’s possible for you to tank your Etsy traffic to zero. Make sure to make changes slowly to avoid any negative effects.

Making your titles difficult to ready

Buyers need to be able to easily tell what your product is if they start reading the title. So making your titles easy to ready and using phrases that clearly describe your product are both important.

Etsy SEO is an essential part of growing your business due to the millions and millions of buyers that are coming to the platform to shop every year. By optimizing your shop for the search algorithm, you can increase your visibility, attract more traffic, and make more sales.

If you’re ready for a strategy that you feel super confident in, join me and hundreds of other sellers in The Seller Collective. This membership includes for Etsy strategy, coaching, workshops, and more. Learn more about my framework and the program here.


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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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