How To Rank High In Etsy Search?
I often see blog posts and videos with bold claims around 'SEO secrets' and how to 'trick Etsy's algorithm', and as much as I think it is important to know all those helpful tags and tweaks you can do to your listing, I see far too many Etsy sellers get lost and frustrated with this.
Ranking on top has much more to it than optimising your listing to the most trendy key words and tags. Of course it helps, and I will give you some tips for that as well in this blog post, but there are so many other factors too. If you get lost in key word search, you will lose energy and time to concentrate on other aspects of your shop that might be equally (if not more) important.
So let's see what will help you to get ranked high when a buyer searches for a type of product you are selling.
HELP THE BUYER, AND ETSY'S SEARCH ENGINE WILL LOVE YOU!
Etsy wants their buyers to have the best possible buying experience. If you can help providing this, you will be pushed ahead in the ranking. What does this mean? It means your shop is in order, to start with. You have filled in all the blanks in your shop profile, you have all the terms & conditions and other policies in place, you have photos of you, your shop story etc. uploaded. Also you have nice, organised sections in your shop, so that is easy for the buyer (and Etsy's algorithm) to decide what kind of items you are offering. So putting your shop in order is a starter.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER (BRAINSTORMING)
This might sound obvious but it's not that easy to do well. My own journey is a good example. I have had MANY occasions when I thought a product of mine would be a great seller because I loved it and my family loved it. And guess what, I have not sold a single one of it. Fortunately, it has happened the other way round too and some of my best selling items have been suggested by my customers. Knowing your customers' desires, pains and emotions are a huge advantage and it will lead you to the exact titles, descriptions and key words that they will search for.
The best way to think out of the box (or out of your own head) is to do a brainstorming exercise with some friends or a helpful Facebook group. Just ask them how would they search for your item if they were buying something similar on-line. Make a shortlist of those tags and try them out.
If you'd like some inspiration about what tags to try or see how certain key words and terms perform in the internet space, you can use one of these tools:
E-Rank (Etsy's free key word tool)
Soolve (free keyword generator)
Google Keyword Planner (you need to sign up and give payment details, but it's free)
Maramalead. To use this, you have to pay.
Etsy's search bar. Just start to type in your terms as if you were a buyer and see what it offers for you.
Competitors. See what top ranking competitors use. Just click on their listing (make sure it is not promoted) and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Here you can see their tags. But remember, it might be different reasons why they rank high. Not only their tags!
LIST REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY
This is the cheapest publicity you can get. Etsy will prioritise your new listings because it will want to know how buyers react. They want to offer new things to the shoppers. Etsy loves new content! So, listing new items from time to time will give you a chance to stay in front of your customers. If you don't want to have too many items up in your shop (but why wouldn't you?) then you can delist an item and list another one instead (maybe with a different photo) - to keep your shop active.
HAVE MANY PRODUCTS IN YOUR SHOP
This is a no-brainer and still I see shops with only a handful of items in their shop. It's okay when you start out but you should aim to - at least - populate your shop front as soon as possible. Would you trust a real brick-and-mortar shop if they only had 3 items on their shelves? Not to mention the chances of getting found. With each listing you are adding 13 new tags, a couple of new titles and descriptive words to your shop and even if that particular item will not be popular, it will still drive traffic towards your best selling items.
USE MIXED TAGS
Okay, so here we are with the tags. I will not get into the 'science' of tag creation too deep. There are hundreds of other articles up there about it. The most important one that I find is to use very descriptive tags that your buyer would search for with regards to your specific item AND use a bit broader tags. Tags that relate to categories that might not be exactly matching your item but the buyer browsing for that category, might also be interested in your product. Example: if your item is a birthday cake topper, you could also put 'birthday card' or 'party decoration' among your tags. It will broaden up your potential buyer base.
AVOID THE TYPICAL TAG MISTAKES
Not using long tail terms. (So using 'dog' and 'jacket' and 'blue' instead of 'blue dog jakcet'.)
Repeating the tags that have been used in the title, the first line of description or in the attributes (category name, colour etc. that they have used already when creating the listing).
Spelling mistakes. (It will kill your tag)
Using the same tag for the different spelling versions. For example putting both 'personalised' and 'personalized' or 'jewelry' and 'jewellery' as tags. No need to do that, Etsy will recognise both spellings as long as they are correct. I used to do this until I learned I was wasting my tags!
Not using all 13 tags.
Using copyrighted/trademarked words for tags, such as 'Disney' or Harry Potter'.
DON'T TOUCH THE LISTINGS THAT ARE PERFORMING WELL!
Just be happy they perform well and experiment on other listings instead!
HAVE GREAT PHOTOS OR CHANGE THEM
If you are sure you have done everything you could around your shop and listing and it still doesn't perform well, try changing your photo. Sometimes a fresh look can do wonders.
ENCOURAGE GOOD REVIEWS
Good reviews will help you rank higher, so make sure to provide a great buying experience to your customer to encourage five star reviews, but don't spam your buyers! That's against the privacy regulations. If ever you get a bad review, respond to it politely. The buyer might even remove the review if they realise how sorry you are or that something was beyond your control (e.g. postage).
So, these are the most important things that you can do to rank higher. As you see, this is not all about tags, and there are probably a lot of other things too. As I will remember them or find out about new ones, I will post my updates in the comments. If you have any ideas, please comment below.
For more helpful tips and discussions join our Facebook Group 'Etsy For Absolute Beginners'.
If you're a newbie on Etsy or your shop is struggling, download my free CHECKLIST about what to do before you open your Etsy shop!