In this post about SEO for Etsy Sellers, I will show you how I went from Page #9 ranked #376 to Page #1 ranked #39!
While it can seem like ranking high for a specific keyword is magic, there is actually a system you can use to help determine the best keywords that you should target to show up in Etsy searches.
This is based on sound SEO practices that I have used to rank well in Google for over 15 years! The cool thing is that it is not a “trick” to fool Etsy, but is just using data to see which keywords are most advantageous for you use to choose!
Etsy Is A Database
The first thing that you have to know is that Etsy is a database. A computer program based on data. And the way that they they can tell what is in that database is the words that we use to fill out our listing forms!
There are three places that your words matter, in your Listing Title, in your Tags and in your Materials. That is it! It is pretty common knowledge that the words in the description are not used to help with search rankings although they are important to get people to buy (but that is a post for another day!)
There is an old saying in the tech world, “garbage in, garbage out”, which means that your data is only as good as the information you put into it.
After all the hard work you put into your product, it can seem like just another chore to have to load your listing, BUT this is the part that can make or break your sales!
Half Science, Half Knowing What The Heck You Are Doing!
If you want to be good at SEO for Etsy, you have to practice. The first couple of times you do it will seem like running through mud, but after a while it will start to come naturally and you will just have to do a quick search to see what words you should use!
For this article (and my business) I am using a tool called Marmalead to do the research. While there is a paid version, I am going to start with all the bits you can use the free version for (which will probably be enough to get you started!)
Related Post: How To Find Keywords To Target In Etsy
Picking A Keyword To Test
You probably have an idea of what you made and what it is called, so start with a basic idea! For example lets use one my favorite things to search for on Etsy for this first example… dog beds!
Step One… go to Marmalead and sign up for their service, Dabbler is FREE (yes, this a promotion link, I am super excited to tell you about this service because I use it daily!)
Step Two… do a search for your keyword, in this case we are using “dog beds” (without the quotation marks).
As you do this more you will learn some things about how people search for products…for example I chose “dog beds” instead of “dog bed” to target for my research. Now, Etsy returns the same number of listings for each of those terms so they know that they refer to the same thing, BUT there is a difference in the order that they show the listings.
As you can see, the first six are the same, but the next ones are all mashed up! Three are the same, just in different order and three are brand new.
The reason to choose the plural is that is how humans search. Going back to the Google Adwords planner to test this, here are the search volumes for each of the two words..
As you can see, there are over twice as many searches for dog beds as dog bed! I would much rather spend my time doing research where there is twice as much traffic.
Note: I would probably use dog bed in my listing description and make sure that I had it in my tags! Do the research for computers and the work for people!
Okay, what does this tell us?
Total Results or Competing Products. Well first off, it shows that there are 11,746 competing products. Dang that is a lot of competition! In this case I would do the research for dog beds so I knew my baseline and then also do research for “cute dog beds” or “big dog beds”.
Shops Competing. Hmm that is not too bad, only 65 shops competing. That said, there are only 19 shops competing for “big dog beds” (with the quotations marks to show ONLY the ones that say big dog beds in that word order).
Total Views. That is how many times people looked at listings for this keyword. This is important to know because if the views are very low, you could be competing for a word with little interest. For example, frog beds has only 12,367 views per month (about 4 percent of the dog beds views) and they are mostly baby blankets, not beds for dogs.
Average Views Per Week. I was SO glad to find this stat in Marmalead. I was wondering how many views people were getting compared to me and I couldn’t find that easily anywhere else! So overall an average number of views for this item is 67.1. You can use this to compare to how your shop is doing!
Average Favorites Per Week. Also good to know! If you have an item that is showing up in views but not getting favorites, you probably need to take different pictures, change your pricing or write a better description. A low average favorites compared to everyone else means there is something else wrong.
NOTE! Good SEO can fix your visibility problem, it cannot make people buy if you don’t have good sales verbiage or pictures in your listing!
Minimum, Maximum and Average Price. This has no effect on SEO, other than how it could effect the number of favorites you get.
YAY! Now you know what is happening overall in Etsy. This is great data to have, but now we are going to dig deep and see what our competition is doing!
This one is super cool and gets all your potential keywords into one place!
Write down the top 10 tags used as an average. Now, some of those may not apply to your product, but it is good to have them there to when you are trying to do your own listing categories.
Now we are down to the exact items that you are competing against to get better rankings. This is where you can find some great data to see what they are doing and then start to pick out some other keywords and tags you can use in your listing.
I am super careful to make sure that I am comparing my actual product to their product. For example, if my listing is art made from a book and these are all books with art in them, I would probably change my keyword (more about this in my case study below!)
It doesn’t pay to rank well for something that is really not like the others. It will just frustrate shoppers and decrease your views to favorites numbers.
Listing Title. On the chart in Marmalead they show you the shortened version of the title that shows up in mobile searches. But you want to click through to see the entire title so you can start to pick out keywords you might want to use in your listing.
The title for this #1 listing is Folded Book Art-Gift for love ones-Regalo di nozze-Paper Anniversary-wedding decor-gift wrapped-made to order (Regalo di nozze is Wedding Gift in Italian). Well they have A LOT gift phrases in their listing so I would definitely make note of that.
Tags. Next I would scroll down and make a note of their tags. They are using Folded book art, paper anniversary (good one!), 1st anniversary gift, wedding gift, book art (again, from the title), for book lovers, for readers, Meiorigami (shop name), valentine gift, gift for husband, gift for newly wed, gift for new couple, dating anniversary
Feedback. Now note the number of feedbacks the shop has. If all of the listings in Etsy for this word have thousands and you have only a handful, it will be hard to compete early on.
Favorited by. You can also see how many favorites the shop has. Note this.
Now click through to the shop itself!
Number of sales. Check and see how many sales they have had.
Number of admirers. Also the number of admirers.
Now head back to Marmalead
Note the following things about that particular listing:
Views per week. This is great to compare to the number of views that you have! That way you can start to see how your product is progressing.
Favorites per week. Again, great to compare with yours.
Percentage of favorites. This one is telling! If the item has a super low views to favorites, it probably is not a good listing OR it doesn’t match what the search is actually for. A high percentage would make me think that it is an AWESOME product with maybe a higher price tag that they have to budget for.
Top Three Competing Listings
I do this research for the top three products that most closely match my product. By looking at what the top products that are your competition are doing, you can start to see patterns that will let you do your SEO more effectively!
I made myself a handy dandy worksheet to use for this and thought, why not make it available to all my Etsy peeps!
This worksheet is perfect for tracking all of the data that you are collecting on your competitive keywords in one place.
PS… I asked the boys over at Marmalead if it was okay and they said YES!
So as I was trying to get a handle on my SEO for Etsy, I really couldn’t find a great way to get all the data together easily. I was thinking that I would have to start making spreadsheets and charts to see everything all together.
And then I found the Marmalead and I was THRILLED! For free they had most of the data that I wanted all in one place!
Now, I do pay the extra little bit for the upgrade because then I can see my listings and data, but if you are just getting started the Dabbler for free will do you just fine!
Affiliate disclosure. I do receive a compensation if you purchase Marmalead through my link but you will never pay more for using it and I would super appreciate it if you could sign up through me! It is because of representing great products like this that I can keep doing review and tutorial posts!
Case Study – How I went from #376 to #39 Overnight
Okay, I promised you a case study and here it is! I am a super new Etsy user but an old dog SEO person. I started doing SEO in 1999 and so I have seen all the changes and updates that Google has gone through and frankly, true SEO hasn’t changed that much over the years.
Functionally what you have to do is have a great product, then find the keywords that people are using to search for that product and then include them in what you are presenting. Etsy SEO isn’t really all that different from Google, just there are Tags instead of keywords.
So I have a product called the Business Calendar Kit. It has a cute little graphic and is actually really a functional calendar system, but I wasn’t really showing up in Etsy search the way that I wanted to. Here is what I had in my original listing.
Title : Business Calendar Kit, Get All 3 Printable Planner Pages, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, ARC, Binder, 8.5X11, Goal & Time Management System Inserts
Category : Paper & Party Supplies > Paper > Calendars & Planners, Books, Movies & Music > Books > Calendars & Planners
Tags : calendar, printable planner, planner pages, ARC, binder, planner kit, system, business, goal setting, weekly, monthly, daily, best
Materials : None
I actually mostly made that up in my head when I was writing the listing so I thought it was pretty good! It hit all the factually correct points of what it was and had some keywordy stuff in there (boy was I off base!)
I did a search in Marmalead for business calendar and checked my own listing and my words I was using. #4 on Page #1. (you have to have the upgrade to do your own listings)
Dang…I really needed to make some changes so I redid my listing using the same process I discussed above and went from #4 to #1 overnight! Whoo whoo!
Updated Business Calendar Kit
Title : Business Calendar Kit, Get All 3 Printable Planner Pages, Daily, Weekly, Monthly | Business Planner, Small Business Organizer 8.5X11, PDF
Category : Paper & Party Supplies > Paper > Calendars & Planners, Books, Movies & Music > Books > Calendars & Planners
Tags : business calendar, business planner, printable planner, small business, printable calendar, ARC, planner pages, business, goal setting, weekly, monthly, daily, business calendars
Materials : PDF, Instant Download, Digital
But what if…
Not bad, but what if I found another word that would be even better? I went ahead and did another search to see what Business Planner looked like and the numbers were super! Higher views and lots of activity. I didn’t do a screen capture because I thought this was a dud, but I did write down my numbers for the term business planner…
Page #9, #396 in Etsy, Views/Wk 43.6, Favs/Wk 2.2, Fav% 5.0.
BUT my product didn’t really match. All the other business planners seemed to have lots of pages and be really comprehensive and mine, while awesome is not really that.
So I thought, I will put it once in my title and once in my tags, but make sure they really knew it was a calendar are not a planner!
As you can see I also changed my category and some other tags and waited for the next morning. I ALMOST didn’t even check business planner because I thought it was dud for me!
Holy cow! The next morning (a Sunday) when I got up I had made page one for Business Planner…are you freaking kidding me? SO COOL!
A Little Bit Of An Etsy SEO Nerd
Okay, I admit, I am an SEO nerd, but had I not had the ease of using Marmalead for the bulk of this project I would never have done the work. If you are all the way down here, I thought you might be a little nerdy too and want to see my worksheet that I used to do the Business Planner research.
It really is when you start to see all the data all in one place that trends start to emerge and you get to figuring out what will work best for your listing! Get this worksheet here >> https://www.etsy.com/listing/248221667