Etsy SEO: 3 Easy Steps to Boost Traffic (2023)
SEO is one of the most overlooked strategies among online sellers. Put the time and effort into Etsy SEO and it can drastically increase how many shoppers see your listings.
You’re not guaranteed sales, even if you implement the best Etsy SEO tactics, but SEO will put eyes on your listings (your photos, descriptions, prices, brand, etc. are what will help sell your products).
There are 3 easy steps to master Etsy SEO:
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND ETSY SEO GUIDELINES
STEP 2: KEYWORD RESEARCH
STEP 3: IMPLEMENT ETSY SEO TIPS
Unfortunately, SEO is never quick to implement; it takes time to get it right and to see results and requires constant tweaking for improvement, but I’m going to make sure it’s not hard to understand.
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND ETSY SEO GUIDELINES
Etsy shares some of their best SEO practices, right on their website. But the thing to remember is, Etsy will give you guidelines, but they’re not going to give away their secret recipe for using SEO to rank in top spots. If they did that, people would just try to cheat the system.
Not to mention, SEO is like a moving target; what gets a listing in a top spot is also dependent on the shopper, which is never constant and their actions are out of your control.
When it comes to SEO, on Etsy or Google, the best strategy is always to think about the user experience.
The goal of the search engine is to satisfy the user, not the business.
Etsy wants its shoppers to find products they’re actually interested in, not just ones from shops that have been on Etsy the longest or that have the most sales.
When Etsy browsers find what they want and buy, Etsy wins.
That’s what Etsy cares about; making a customer out of each shopper. They care less about which seller gets that sale; it’s all money to them.
Pleasing the shopper = pleasing Etsy = ranking higher in Etsy results.
WHAT IS ETSY SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the technique of optimizing your shop and its listings so they appear in top results when someone searches a keyword or keyword phrase related to your listing/shop.
Google is a search engine, so most people associate SEO with Google. However, a search engine basically refers to a program that searches a database to find keywords that match the keywords a user has entered into the search bar.
Etsy also has its own search engine, which is where Etsy SEO comes in.
When you use their search bar or click on a keyword in their menu (e.g. jewelry), it will pull listings that include the keyword.
The beautiful thing about paying attention to SEO on Etsy and implementing best practices is that it also helps your listings get found when someone searches on Google.
For example, let’s say I’m searching for a “Did you call first? doormat” on Google. Because Etsy is such a popular website that Google trusts, they appear organically on the first page of Google (as well as in the paid results under the Ad sections).
An individual Etsy listing may not appear in organic search results in Google (sometimes they do if the search is specific enough and there aren’t several results on Etsy for it), but is likely to appear in Etsy’s search results, which are linked to from Google
For example, when I search “did you call first doormat” on Google, a result for Etsy appears (2 actually). When you click one of those links, it brings you to a page on Etsy, showing results for all the “Did you call first?” doormats listed on their site.
If you can make your way into the top results of Etsy for keywords that are commonly searched on Google, it’s *almost as good as getting your website onto the first page of Google.
(*Almost, meaning, you’re still competing with hundreds, maybe thousands of Etsy sellers once a user clicks through to Etsy. Whereas, if your very own website appears on the first page of Google, your products won’t be competing with any other business’s once a shopper clicks through to your site.)
As mentioned, Etsy SEO isn’t a magic bullet for sales.
For one thing, there are likely hundreds, maybe even thousands of other Etsy sellers competing to rank for the same keywords you are (I share a tip in STEP 2 for finding less competitive keywords), and who are likely putting just as much effort into Etsy SEO as you are. SEO also won’t make you the sale. It will help get you in front of shoppers, but it requires a whole other set of skills to ensure those shoppers turn into buyers.
With that said, if people don’t see your listings, they can’t buy, so SEO is incredibly important.
IMPORTANT ETSY SEO COMPONENTS
There are 2 aspects to Etsy search engine optimization that are important to understand:
- Searched Terms
You must get both right to get traffic because of SEO, so let’s take a detailed look at each.
1 – SEARCHED TERMS
The first step to mastering Etsy SEO is for your listings to be a match with searches. If no one searches for the keywords you use in your listing’s title, description, tags, etc. your listings don’t have the opportunity to appear in any search queries.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
You first must know what your customers are searching for and the exact keywords they’re using, then use those same keywords.
This is where it’s important not to get unique or clever with your product names; stick with what your customers are familiar with and searching.
It’s also not enough to use a keyword or keyword phrase in just one place. Here’s why…
Think of your Etsy shop as a person who really wants someone to know they’re the perfect match for them.
Let’s say I want people who like soccer to know that I also like soccer and that we’d be a great match for each other.
I wouldn’t just mention one time, in the middle of an unrelated story, that I like soccer. I would put that fact front and center in as many ways as possible. I might lead with that in conversations, spend my free time playing soccer, go to soccer games, wear soccer jerseys, etc.
The same idea applies if I want to rank for a keyword on Etsy.
If I really want Etsy to know I offer funny sisal doormats and that my funny sisal doormats are the perfect match for people searching for funny sisal doormats, I’ll use that keyword phrase and those keywords in as many places as possible, such as:
- My product’s title, description, and tags
- My Etsy shop title
- My About section
- My shop’s sections
- The category/subcategories I choose
- The attributes I select
This is easy to do when you know your target market and build a business and brand that appeals to them.
It’s very hard to do when you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re targeting and are trying to please everyone.
If my shop is full of everything from doormats and door wreaths, to jewelry and soaps, it would be hard to let Etsy know that my shop is THE shop for anything. I’d be confusing them and who I’m trying to appeal to.
But if I’m a business that focuses on selling doormats, it’s easy to use that keyword in multiple places and strengthen my message to Etsy; I’m THE doormat shop, or THE funny doormat shop, or THE dog doormat shop; whichever niche I focus on are the keywords I’d want to repeat the most.
PRODUCTS ARE A MATCH
Of course, your products must actually be a match to the keywords you use.
For example, I wouldn’t call my plain sisal doormat a “funny sisal doormat” simply because I know it’s a popular search term. People who search “funny sisal doormat” are actually looking for a sisal doormat with a funny phrase; they’re very unlikely to be interested in a plain doormat.
Although I may “trick” Etsy into putting my listing in the results when someone searches “funny doormat” it won’t help my sales.
It may increase my views, but it will lower my conversion rate (the number of people who see my listing and buy), and conversion rate is important to Etsy, as I’ll explain in this article.
2 – RANKING
Etsy’s not just going to put your listing at the top of search results because it has the same title as the phrase a shopper is searching; that would be too easy. There are other hoops you must jump through.
Etsy wants to ensure the products they show to shoppers are the best of the best, and the best for each shopper. And there’s more to being the best than simply using the right keywords.
Etsy won’t share their secret sauce when it comes to ranking, and they use a variety of factors to determine which products are a better match for shoppers. Below is what they do share (source).
Etsy users are essentially voting, through their actions, on which Etsy listings and shops are most useful. This means the following components are important to Etsy SEO and play a factor in whether or not your listing appears in top results:
- REVIEWS – the more positive reviews buyers give a shop, the more confidence Etsy has in it and that they’re going to leave their users satisfied.
- DISPUTES – If you have disputes opened against your shop (which is sometimes out of your control and unwarranted), it can hurt your Etsy ranking.
- SALES – sales mean shoppers found what they were looking for and they equate to money in Etsy’s pocket. Sales prove to Etsy you should be ranked in the top spots because they’re proof you can help Etsy make money.
- CONVERSION RATES – meaning: how many people who see your listing in the search results click on it? How many people who visit your shop end up buying from you? These are conversion rates, and if you have low conversion rates, it means shoppers are seeing your products but they’re not interested in buying. Etsy views: clicks, favorites, and purchases as important and the more your listings have, the better Etsy ranks them.
- LOCATION – Etsy has listened to buyers from certain countries expressing they want to support sellers from within their country. So for shoppers from those countries, Etsy will prioritize showing products from sellers within the same country. Out of your control, but a factor to consider.
- SHOPPER INTENT – just as Google tracks your recent searches and then uses that information to make search suggestions and improve search results for you, Etsy is now doing the same. This means that a user’s past activity on Etsy will determine the search results they’re shown. For example, if I’ve spent lots of time looking at cat-related products on Etsy and have purchased cat-themed products in the past, and I search for “kitchen tea towels”, Etsy may prioritize kitchen tea towels that have a cat-theme to them, since they know I like cats. Also out of your control, but you can consider the more popular “themes” people shop by and try to create products that fit within them.
The actions you take can also have an impact on how Etsy ranks your listings and shop.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE – it’s important to create a good experience for buyers; answer their messages and fulfill orders in a timely manner, mark orders as “shipped” when they are actually shipped so your customers stay in the know. And do everything you can to try to meet or exceed customers’ expectations.
- SHOP COMPLETION – Etsy gives sellers several fields to fill in, and the fields they offer are ones they consider to be important. But more specifically, they’re ranking your shop on having a completed About section and shop policies, as well as using their shop policy template.
- RECENCY – Etsy wants to show shoppers fresh results, so they take “recency” into account (i.e. when your listing is posted). A new listing will get a short boost in visibility, but don’t spend too much time or money on this. There are millions of other Etsy sellers, so trying to keep your listing at the top by making it “new” is a challenge you’ll never be able to win.
- INFRINGEMENT – You may receive a notification of intellectual property infringement if you’ve copied another business’s copyrighted or trademarked material. For example, if I’ve created products using Disney fabrics, characters, or distinctive character features (e.g. Minnie Mouse ears with a red polka dot bow), I may get an infringement notice, which counts as a mark against the quality of my Etsy shop. A bit more on infringement and other important laws to follow as a handmade business can be found here: 3 BIGGEST LEGAL MISTAKES CRAFTERS MAKE.
- BACKLINKS – when other websites link to your Etsy listings or shop, it tells Etsy you’re offering something valuable that people are interested in. Some backlinks are created organically (e.g. a blogger covers a niche your product falls under and links to your product because they genuinely love it), but you can also go out there and generate your own backlinks (I’ll explain in step 3).
- FREE SHIPPING – Etsy knows that shipping fees deter a lot of sales. The more sales made on Etsy, the more money Etsy makes, which is why they prioritize listings with free shipping.
- LANGUAGE – the language you use for your listings should also match the language you chose when you signed up to sell on Etsy. So if I’m adding tags for a red doormat, using both “red” and “rouge” won’t be beneficial in helping me show up in more searches; Etsy wants me to use English.
STEP 2: KEYWORD RESEARCH
Now that you understand how Etsy SEO works, you need to understand your shoppers. You must know which keywords they’re searching, so you can use them in your listings and Etsy shop.
Keyword research is also frequently overlooked by Etsy sellers, but it’s the closest thing to guaranteeing a product will sell before making it.
If you want a successful business that sells products, you can’t just make what you feel like making, you must make what people want to buy.
It sounds pretty obvious but most handmade business owners are building their business off of feelings, personal inspiration, and hope.
It’s great to feel good, inspired, and hopeful about your business, but that will fade quickly if you keep pouring time and money into it and your work is going unappreciated.
Instead, build your business around facts.
I know it’s not as fun and it requires more work, but you’ll thank me in the end when you have plenty of sales to show for your keyword research.
Here’s a simple guide to follow:
KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET
The most important step you can take for your business is choosing the right target market.
If you go after a market that’s too broad or competitive (e.g. a jewelry business targeting women), you won’t stand a chance of your products even being seen.
As you get more specific with your market, you lower your competition and give your business a chance to stand out.
The key to getting specific is choosing a target market based on a factor that allows you to find your customers. And one that your target market actually factors in when shopping.
For example, let’s say I create jewelry and I want to target women. I now realize I must get more specific, so I narrow down my target market to women in their 30’s.
Knowing that my customers are in their 30’s may help me with my branding and the types of products I create, but it doesn’t help me find my customers. Here’s why…
What would be one place I’m guaranteed to find women in their 30’s so I could market and sell my jewelry to them?
I may be able to find groups of women, but it would be hit or miss as to whether there are any 30-year-old women in that group or that they’d be interested in my jewelry. Women don’t congregate based on being 30 years old.
People also aren’t on Etsy searching “jewelry for 30-year-old women”. Although their age factors into their purchases (they’re not likely to buy plastic jewelry made for teens), it’s not THE driving factor.
Now let’s say I use a factor such as “yoga”, and I target women who practice yoga.
I now know specific places I’m guaranteed to find women who are interested in yoga, and if I create yoga-themed jewelry, those women are more likely to buy my products.
I could find them reading yoga blogs and magazines, in yoga groups on Facebook, following yoga accounts on Instagram and searching yoga hashtags. I can find them at yoga studios and yoga-focused events.
These are all places that I can market my business and/or sell my products.
My customer is also more likely to use the keyword “yoga”, or yoga-related terms, in searches.
On Etsy, they may search for:
- Gift for yoga teacher
- Lotus flower ring
- Inhale exhale bracelet
- Throat chakra necklace
That one little shift in how I choose a target market makes all the difference when it comes to knowing useful information about my potential customers, and information that helps me uncover keywords.
I’ll teach you how to make this impactful shift and find a profitable target market in HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS.
Can you build a successful business without knowing this one important factor about your target market? Absolutely. But that path to success will be harder, longer, and require more effort than if you uncover that defining factor.
KNOW SEARCH INTENT
Once you know who you want to target, you need to understand their search intent.
What drives their shopping and purchasing?
What do they care about the most when it comes to the products you’re selling?
What’s the most important factor?
A product will have a variety of features and options, but you must know which ones your target market cares about the most, so you can highlight those keywords.
There may be multiple factors and they may change depending on the segment of your target market. But knowing the different search intents behind shopping excursions can help you sort your listings and use the right keywords for each one to rank for a variety of searches.
For example, if I make doormats, each doormat may have a different search intent behind it.
- TREND – my “did you call first?” doormat is following a trend and people interested in that item are looking for that exact trending doormat phrase. Because the phrase “did you call first” is trending, those are the keywords I want to use. That mat may also be rectangular, large, sisal, etc. but those elements are the driving factor behind their shopping/buying, the phrase is.
- PURPOSE – I may notice that the majority of people who buy my customizable doormats are doing so as a housewarming gift and have them customized with monogramming. “Housewarming gift” (purpose) is the intent behind the search, and “monogram” (style) is a popular option, so those would be the keywords I focus on for that listing(s).
- OCCASION – leading up to holidays and events, the occasion is what drives purchasing. For Halloween, I would focus on the keywords “Halloween doormat” for my Halloween-themed products.
Search intent will vary depending on your target market, the segments of your target market, time of year, trends, what they plan to use your product for, etc.
But if you know your target market, it will be fairly easy to get in their heads and determine what they care about the most when shopping for your product and which keywords they’ll favor in searches.
Never guess, always research. Find proof that people are actually searching for the keywords you’re targeting.
You can use paid tools to help with your keyword research, such as Marmalead, or if you’re really invested in keyword research Ahrefs (expensive but worth it, especially if you’re in the process of building your own website).
But you can also do some strategic searching to help you find popular keyword phrases for free.
Here are a few of my favorite ways:
It’s important to clear your cache or log out of your account when conducting research. Remember how I mentioned Google and Etsy track past behavior and alter results based on it? This will impact what you’re shown in search bars and show keywords that are popular with you, rather than ones that are popular in general.
As you type a keyword or keyword phrase into a search bar (on Google, Etsy, Pinterest, etc.), you’ll start to see keyword suggestions below the search bar. These tend to be the search terms that are searched more frequently.
Sometimes you can also place your cursor between keywords in a search bar, to discover different phrases.
For example, let’s say I’m planning a Christmas doormat collection. I may type “Christmas doormat” into the Google search bar. I could then place my cursor between Christmas and doormat, add a space, and see what type of suggestions come up.
Or, you may use letters to trigger the suggestions, starting with “a” and working your way through the alphabet.
For example, I would enter “doormat” into the Google search bar, add a space before doormat (so I’m not spelling “adoormat”, “bdoormat”, etc.), put my cursor at the start of the search bar, and enter “a” to see what type of suggestions appear, then “b”, etc.
On Google, once you’ve searched a term, you can scroll to the bottom of the first page and see a section titled “Searches related to ________”. This section may offer other popular keywords related to your product.
You can use Google Trends to search keywords related to your products. Enter the name of your product, then look at the “related queries” section. You can also play with the search settings and change the location, time frame, etc.
You can sort “related queries” results by “Rising” or by “Top” to see terms that have the biggest increase (rising) or that are the most popular (top).
Look at big websites that carry products similar to yours, read the customer reviews, and look for keywords reviewers use frequently.
A simple comment about a product feature can point out what’s important to your target market.
For example, if several reviewers comment on the size of a product, give a lower rating because they thought it would be bigger, and state they “really wanted an oversized ____” that tells you “oversized” is a keyword your target market uses and a feature they deem important and may be entering into search bars.
Work with Etsy. If they have a keyword listed under a category, subcategory, or attribute option, it’s a pretty good indication that Etsy shoppers are looking for those specifics when shopping items.
For example, an attribute under Home & Living -> Rugs is “Rug type”. Etsy offers the option “door mat”, so even if I’ve always called the mat I put at my front door, an “entry mat”, I would want to go with Etsy’s suggestion, and call it a door mat.
Another attribute is “Home style”. Although I may love to call the style of my rugs “boho” I would want to stick with Etsy’s term “Bohemian”, since they offer the option “Bohemian & eclectic” under the attribute “Home style”.
STEP 3: IMPLEMENT ETSY SEO TIPS
Now that you know the best practices for Etsy SEO and popular keywords you’d like to rank for, you can start implementing those keywords on Etsy, following proper SEO guidelines.
The following are tips when it comes to choosing and implementing keywords.
KEEP KEYWORDS SIMPLE
Don’t get cute or clever with the words you use; go with what shoppers are familiar with and searching for, and ones that are more familiar to Etsy. If you’ve properly researched keywords, this will be easy.
I may feel compelled to rename my “did you call first” doormat because many other Etsy sellers are calling their doormats the exact same thing, but that would be a mistake. I would keep those keywords front and center, and find other ways to make my listing stand out.
I need those keywords to get my product seen.
SPREAD KEYWORDS OUT
It’s important to use keywords and keyword phrases you want to rank for, in more places than one, such as:
- Shop title
- *Categories / subcategories
*You don’t have control over the keywords used in these areas, but it’s important to choose categories and attributes based on them being a closer match to the keywords you want to rank for and that more accurately describe your product, rather than choose the categories or attributes you believe are more commonly searched.
USE EXACT PHRASES
Listings using exact keywords a shopper is searching will rank higher than listings that use part of a keyword phrase. So again, it’s important not to get cute with your product names.
If I name my “did you call first” doormat, “funny cat doormat” because it has a painted cat asking the question, Etsy is less likely to show it in the results for the popular search phrase: “did you call first doormat”. Only one keyword (doormat) matches the search phrase, whereas, if I call it a “Did you call first doormat”, my product title is an exact match to the popular search phrase.
PUT IMPORTANT KEYWORDS FIRST
Etsy also wants to see the most important keywords used at the beginning of a title, description, etc. They consider words at the beginning more important than words at the end. This technique also ensures shoppers actually see the keywords they’re searching for.
For example, if I name my doormat “red rectangular sisal rug | funny | did you call first” I’ve put my most important keywords (the ones I know shoppers are searching and ones I want to rank for) at the end of my title.
DON’T OVERUSE A KEYWORD
Etsy will typically only show one or two listings from a shop in the search results (if they’re short on results, they may show more than a couple of listings from one shop).
So if you use the same keyword in all of your listings, it doesn’t mean you’ll get more listings to appear in the search results, you’ll simply be competing with yourself for those top spots.
Instead, choose your best products to match a search term; the ones that are most popular or have the best conversion rate. If you have several other items that are also relevant to the same search term, think of different keywords your target market might use for that product.
For example, let’s say I make “Did you call first?” doormats in a variety of colors and styles. I would name my bestselling ones “Did you call first doormat” in hopes that they’ll show up in searches and will turn more shoppers into buyers.
I would research other popular search terms for doormats and may call my next three most popular “did you call first” doormats, “funny coir doormat” to rank for a different search term and reach a different set of shoppers.
TRY LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
Long-tail keywords refer to longer, more specific search phrases.
If you think about when you use the search bar, it’s usually to find something specific. If you’re not sure what you want and are browsing, you’re more likely to use the categories and subcategories (e.g. “Jewelry & Accessories -> All Jewelry”), which use broad keywords.
Using long-tail keywords to describe your products means more keywords to potentially rank for, and your listings are also more likely to be a match to shoppers’ searches, especially when they’re closer to being ready to buy (you can’t guess at this though; you must research long-tail keywords people are actually searching. Stringing together a b
For example, if I’m browsing for a new necklace but I’m not sure what I want yet, I may search categories or search a broad term such as “pendant necklace”.
If I’ve seen my favorite celebrity wearing a necklace I love and am on the hunt for one, I’m likely to buy if I find the right one. I’ll also search something more specific than “pendant necklace”. I’ll search a long-tail keyword such as “gold crescent moon necklace”.
IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
It should be pretty easy to implement great customer service by simply delivering what you promise, treating shoppers and customers how you would want to be treated, and clearly communicating with them every step of the way.
INCREASE CONVERSION RATES
There are a lot of ways to increase conversion rates, but here are a few tips to increase the chances of someone clicking, favoriting, or buying when they see your listing.
OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT
When you’ve chosen a good target market, it becomes easier to offer something unique because you’re not trying to appeal to everyone, you’re trying to appeal to a very specific type of shopper.
Let’s say I’m targeting yogis with my line of doormats. I would still offer a “did you call first” doormat and title it as such, but I may add “I may be in the middle of Savasana” after “Did you call first?”.
Someone who practices yoga may not be specifically searching for a “yoga did you call first doormat”; they’re more likely looking for the popular “did you call first” doormat. But when they see my yoga version of the “did you call first” doormat, they’ll be more drawn to it among the hundreds of other options.
HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS will help you with choosing that profitable target market.
USE GREAT PHOTOS
Your photos must look professional; clear, high-quality, well-lit, uncluttered, etc. Not only does this help Etsy’s search engine recognize that the photo matches the keyword (yes, it does know the difference between a photo of a doormat versus a photo of a doorbell), but great photos also catch a shopper’s eye and builds trust.
Shoppers are generally paying more for the handmade products they find on Etsy than they would if they purchased something similar from a big box store. For that reason, your photos must tell them they’re getting a high-quality product that’s worth the price.
When someone takes a beautiful baby blanket and wraps it around a cheap plastic doll and photographs it in poor lighting, just to get a picture and get it up on Etsy, it doesn’t exactly scream “high quality”. All those hours spent making the baby blanket are wasted because their photo of it doesn’t allow them to charge the price it’s worth. It’s the same blanket regardless of how it’s photographed, but perception is everything.
Put effort into every detail.
If you’re not sure how to photograph your items, turn to the well-known brands in your industry, targeting a similar target market as you and gather inspiration.
For example, if I sold baby blankets, I may visit Potter Barn Kids and mimic how they photograph their baby blankets.
You’ll also find lots of photography tips here.
WRITE GREAT DESCRIPTIONS
If someone clicks on your listing, it’s because they want to know more about it.
If I list a doormat and use the description field to write: “Rectangular sisal doormat with the phrase “Did you call first?”, it doesn’t provide any new information from what the shopper already gathered from the photo.
Put effort into your Etsy product descriptions and get the shopper excited about your product, and imagining it in their life. Here’s an article with product description templates, samples, and examples.
Using keywords, categories, or attributes simply because they’re popular, won’t help your case on Etsy. It may get your listing more views, but people won’t convert (i.e. click the listing, favorite it, or buy) because it’s not what they’re searching for.
Try to stick within the price range Etsy shoppers will see from your competitors. If your prices are higher (or lower), there must be a good reason for it (and one that consumers care about) and you must clearly communicate that reason.
For example, I could add the keyword “luxury” or “quality” to my listing title so shoppers understand that my product is higher-end than my competitors, and therefore, higher-priced. However, when it comes to outdoor mats, “luxury” may not be a feature consumers care to pay more for; I may be better off using regular quality mats and lowering my prices to stay competitive.
When your Etsy buyers leave a review, be sure to take any feedback they have into consideration for future products.
For example, if you get a few 4-star reviews and they’re docking a point because the item is more of a teal blue than a seafoam blue, as portrayed in photos, consider changing your photo editing to be more realistic, or choosing a seafoam blue material for future products.
OFFER FREE SHIPPING (or reasonable shipping prices)
Free shipping isn’t really free; it’s hiding shipping costs in the product’s price.
If raising your product’s prices to include shipping fees is going to put your prices way above your competitors’ or price you out of the market, you may be:
- spending too much money on supplies (and your competitors have found cheaper suppliers than you)
- spending too much time on production (and your competitors have found a way to make their products quicker)
- not properly communicating why your prices are higher and targeting the right market for those higher prices
- spending money on price-raising features that consumers don’t care about/won’t pay extra for
For example, if I spend an extra hour making my doormats because I make sure my painted lines are perfect, but consumers don’t care about that level of perfection when it comes to something people are going to step on, they won’t be willing to spend an extra $20 on my mat.
Your prices must make sense to consumers and leave you with a profit. THE SUCCESS PLANNER will help you make sense of your business’s costs and profits if you’re not sure where to start.
Before you go changing your prices to accommodate free shipping, take a look at listings under your category/subcategory to see what competitors are doing and determine if you really need to offer free shipping.
Etsy won’t be able to reward top spots to furniture sellers who offer free shipping if there’s no one offering it.
However, it will be important to offer reasonable shipping fees so your conversion rates don’t suffer. When a shopper goes to checkout, they don’t want to see shipping fees almost as much as, or higher than, the price of the product.
In this situation, it would make sense to absorb part of the shipping fees into product prices, so shipping fees seem lower.
The more websites there are linking to your Etsy shop, the better chance you have of Etsy ranking your shop/listings higher.
But these can’t just be links from anywhere; they should be from high-quality, relevant websites. Meaning, if I get a blogger to link back to my Etsy shop that’s full of doormats, but that blog is spammy or one that focuses on video games, that backlink will be considered low-quality.
If I get a home décor blogger to feature my shop in an article, and their website ranks well in Google, has lots of quality backlinks, gets good traffic, etc. the link to my Etsy shop is coming from a high-quality website with content relevant to my products.
Ways to increase the backlinks to your Etsy shop are:
- Great content – if you’re the first to hop on a trend, or you have a unique product, or you have a great brand, etc. people will naturally want to link to you, which is the easiest way to get backlinks.
- Guest posts – if you become known as an expert in your industry (e.g. I’m viewed as an expert because my shop is always on top of doormat trends) you may be able to write articles for bloggers, which they’ll post on their website. You’ll get a bio profile at the end of the article, which you can use to link back to your Etsy shop.
- Freebies – you can reach out to well-known bloggers in your niche with high-quality websites, and offer to send them one of your products for free, in hopes they’ll review it on their blog.
- Press releases – you can send press releases to online magazines/newspapers/news outlets pitching a story about your business or one of its products. A press release must actually be newsworthy and have an interesting angle. “I made a new doormat” will not get me featured. But sending a press release about how my new doormat is made from recycled flip flops and they’ve saved thousands of flip flops from the landfill, is a more interesting story they might write about and publish. They would include a link back to your Etsy shop so their readers know where to buy the product they mention.
- Start a blog – it will take time for your blog to become established and considered a quality resource, but it can be a great way to build your brand, attract traffic, share more about your business and products, and add backlinks to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.
- Social media accounts – when you start a social media account and add your Etsy shop link to your profile, you create a backlink. It’s not the most valuable backlink, but it counts.
I hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of Etsy SEO.
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!
I enjoy your articles and look forward to reading each one. I have a question about an issue you raised in the introductory email about SEO. Where can I find the number of monthly Etsy searches and the numeric difficulty levels?
Thank you so much for reading! The tool that I use is Ahrefs, however it provides statistics for Google search volume and difficulty to rank on Google. I still find that information is related to and is useful for Etsy.
If you want more in-depth stats for Etsy specifically, check out Marmalead.
I hope that helps!
Bless you Erin, you have done it again. Your information is priceless.
Thanks so much for reading Anne! So glad you found it helpful 🙂
Thanks, Erin for your info. I recently started a blog on Weebly. I have a subdomain for now. However, my biggest challenge at the moment is seo. On my homepage I’m not sure if my keywords should be my etsy products or based on the blog or both. Thanks
Hi Natalie, thanks for reading! The homepage is a bit different when it comes to SEO because a homepage is more about giving visitors an overview of what they’ll find on your site, rather than focusing on one keyword. You want it to be SEO friendly, but the SEO rules are a little looser for a home page. This is a good article if you want to dive into the subject a little more: https://neilpatel.com/blog/seo-friendly-homepage/
I hope that helps!
Erin – I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this article! Well-written and incredibly in-depth on a subject I have had difficulty finding quality information on. I had never heard the term SEO until a month ago, but I’ve spent the past 3 weeks setting up an Etsy shop and ravenously consuming whatever content I can find on the subject, which has been both super fun and really frustrating (as I’m sure you can imagine). Thanks so much for the great information – I will for sure be reading more of your stuff!!