For many newcomers to the world of online selling, Etsy SEO stands as one of the most daunting concepts to grasp. The ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization, coupled with the unique quirks of Etsy’s platform, can often leave new sellers feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. It’s not just about having a fantastic product; it’s about ensuring that product finds its way in front of the right eyes. The good news is, with a clear understanding of fundamental SEO terms and how they apply to Etsy, this initially intimidating task becomes much more manageable. This guide aims to demystify these essential terms, shedding light on their meanings and applications.
Table of Contents
Etsy SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, refers to the strategies and techniques used to increase a listing’s visibility in the Etsy search results. It is all about optimizing your store and product listings to appear at higher positions when potential buyers search for relevant products. The goal is to attract organic, or non-paid, traffic, ensuring that your products reach a broader audience, which can potentially lead to increased sales.
Keyword and keyphrase
Keywords and keyphrases are the foundation of SEO. They represent the words or sets of words that users type into the Etsy search bar when looking for products. Identifying the right keywords and keyphrases for your products is crucial. It means understanding the language and terms potential buyers use to search for items similar to what you offer. A keyword typically consists of a single word, like “necklace”, and a keyphrase might be a combination of words, such as “handmade silver necklace”. Nevertheless, the term “keyword” is often used interchangeably to refer to both single words and multiple-word phrases in the SEO world.
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that potential buyers might type into the Etsy search box. Instead of broad terms like “earrings,” a long-tail keyword could be “handmade turquoise dangle earrings.” While these specific phrases might have lower search volumes compared to more generic terms, they often bring in more targeted and quality traffic. Why? Because someone using such a detailed search is typically closer to a purchase decision, having a clear idea of what they want.
The “search volume” refers to the number of times a particular keyword has been searched for within a specific time frame (usually the last month). In essence, it gives you a snapshot of the demand or popularity of that term. Understanding search volume can help you estimate the potential traffic a keyword might bring to your listing. However, remember that high search volume might mean more potential visibility, but it often comes with increased competition. Conversely, a keyword with a lower search volume might have less competition and could lead to highly targeted traffic.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is a metric that represents the percentage of people who, after seeing your listing in search results or ads, decide to click on it. It’s calculated by dividing the number of clicks your listing receives by the number of times it’s shown (impressions). For instance, if your product appears 100 times in search results and gets clicked on 5 times, your CTR is 5%. A high CTR can indicate that your listing title, tags, main image, and price resonate well with potential buyers. Conversely, a low CTR might suggest a need to tweak and optimize these elements.
The conversion rate on Etsy represents the percentage of visitors who buy a listing after viewing it. It’s calculated by dividing the number of successful transactions by the total number of visitors. For example, if 10 people viewed an Etsy listing and 2 of them made a purchase, the conversion rate would be 20%. A higher conversion rate often indicates that a listing is effectively optimized for its target audience, making it a valuable metric for sellers to monitor and improve upon for greater success on the platform.
Keyword search score
Metrics such as search volume, CTR, and conversion rate are essential for evaluating keyword quality, but can seem overwhelming. To simplify this, Koalanda created the Search Score, which consolidates these elements into a singular, comprehensive number. Its values range from 0 to 100, with higher values denoting better keyword quality. It is calculated by analyzing the behavior of real Etsy users.
Competition refers to the number of other listings trying to rank in Etsy for a particular keyword. Think of it as the crowdedness of a specific keyword market. High competition means many sellers are looking for visibility with that term, which might make it harder for your product to rank higher. On the other hand, a keyword with low competition might offer you a clearer path to the top of the search results. Understanding and assessing competition is crucial because it helps you determine where to invest your efforts and how to position your products for the best visibility and success on Etsy.
Etsy Search Algorithm
The Etsy Search Algorithm determines the order and visibility of listings when someone searches on Etsy. This is the process that decides whether your listings will appear on the first page, tenth page, or not appear at all in the search results. The algorithm considers search ranking factors like your listing’s title, tags, description, and shop reviews. By understanding its basics, you can optimize your listings to appear more frequently, attracting more buyers and boosting sales.
Search ranking factors
Search ranking factors are the specific elements and criteria that Etsy’s algorithm uses to determine the order in which listings appear in search results. These factors encompass a wide range of elements: from the relevance of keywords in a listing’s title, tags, and description, to the quality of product images, pricing, and even the shop’s overall reputation and reviews. Additionally, user engagement, like click-through rates and conversion rates, also play an important role.
Organic search results
Organic search results on Etsy refers to the listings results that appear when buyers search for products, without sellers paying for ads. These results are determined by Etsy’s algorithm, which shows listings based on its search ranking factors. The ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your placement in the Etsy organic search results.
Listing Quality Score
Etsy’s search algorithm ranks items based on their likelihood of being purchased, factoring in an item’s performance in search results, termed as “listing quality”. Actions like clicks, favorites, or purchases after a buyer views an item in the search elevate its quality score.
Etsy listing tags are keywords or phrases that sellers add to their product listings to help describe and categorize their items. These tags play a crucial role in Etsy’s search algorithm, helping to connect potential buyers with relevant products. By adding accurate and descriptive tags, sellers increase the chances of their listings appearing in search results when buyers search for specific terms. Each listing on Etsy can have up to 13 tags, giving sellers the opportunity to include a range of keywords that best represent their product and reach a wider audience.
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of overloading an Etsy listing with an excessive number of repetitive keywords in hopes of boosting its visibility in search results. Sellers might cram their product titles, descriptions, or tags with multiple terms, often making the listing challenging to read or understand. While the intention is to cast a wider net for potential buyers, Etsy’s algorithm is adept at recognizing such tactics. Overstuffing can lead to a decrease in the listing’s ranking and may deter buyers due to its inauthentic presentation. For optimal results on Etsy, you should prioritize clarity and relevance, using keywords in a natural and meaningful way.
Keyword mix & match
The “mix & match” method is a crucial part of Etsy’s search algorithm that allows it to match buyer searches to relevant listings more broadly and yet accurately. When a buyer types a keyphrase in the search bar, Etsy tries to match the different words from this phrase to your listing title and one or more of its tags. It isn’t necessary for this keyphrase to be present in the exact order in your listing. For example, if a buyer searches for “silver necklace” and your listing has tags “silver jewelry” and “elegant necklace”, then Etsy will consider your listing relevant to the search and might display it in the results.
Search results personalization
Search results personalization on Etsy is a feature where the platform tailors search results to individual users based on their browsing history, past purchases, favorites, and search behaviors. For instance, a buyer who often searches for handmade jewelry might see more jewelry-related listings in subsequent searches, even if their new query is more generic. For you as a seller, understanding this personalization means recognizing that different buyers might see different listings even with the same search terms.
Etsy Keyword research
Etsy keyword research is the process of searching for, analyzing, and selecting the right keywords and keyphrases to use in your listing titles, tags, and descriptions. The process involves searching for relevant keywords that accurately describe your listings and have high search volume with low competition.
Keyword research can be a lengthy and technical process. Tools like Koalanda’s Etsy Keyword Tool can speed up this process by providing keyword suggestions with accurate metrics, allowing you to make informed decisions based on real data.
Etsy SEO tools
Etsy offers basic tools for managing your shop. However, to truly optimize and streamline operations, third-party solutions like Koalanda can be invaluable. As an Etsy SEO tool, Koalanda enriches your toolkit with capabilities beyond Etsy’s basic offerings. Features such as advanced keyword research, SEO issue reports, listing backups, and keyword trends are just a few of the comprehensive functionalities that can help you run your shop with increased efficiency and success.
Etsy Ads are a marketing tool provided by Etsy to sellers seeking immediate visibility on the platform. While organic SEO involves optimizing listings using specific keywords, high-quality images, and relevant descriptions to naturally improve their position in search results over time, Etsy Ads offer a direct path to prime spots by paying for them. This ensures products are quickly showcased to potential buyers.
Etsy’s Offsite Ads program complements a seller’s organic SEO efforts by promoting their listings on major external platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram. While sellers optimize their products on Etsy using SEO tactics to rank higher in internal search results, Offsite Ads ensure these products also gain traction externally. This dual approach – leveraging both organic SEO and strategic advertising -increases visibility and potential sales. Notably, the cost of Offsite Ads is tied directly to results: sellers pay only when an external ad click leads to a sale.
Mastering SEO may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of dedication to understanding its foundational elements, it becomes more approachable. This guide offers a solid introduction to kickstart your journey. As you delve deeper into maximizing your Etsy results, consider progressing to our comprehensive guide on increasing your Etsy sales for a more in-depth exploration of SEO strategies.