Experienced Etsy sellers are mad! They have been selling on Etsy for a long time and many of them are saying that their sales are down and that they are just doing what they have been for years with worse results….sigh.
It is a fair gripe for sure, it seems like if you have been around a long time, you should be able to have some benefits or at least not be pushed down in favor of new shops (one of the rumors going around).
That said, one of the biggest problems is the increased competition from new shops, products and even countries that can now sell who couldn’t years ago.
So today I am going to help an experienced Etsy seller take a new look at her Etsy SEO and see if I can make some suggestions that might help get some of her sales back!
Case Study… Livia Hood & Her Shop LivAndCompanyShop
Livia’s Reach Out For Help
I belong to an Etsy group on Facebook, Etsy Sellers Only, and a gal there put out this plea today…
Need major help. Etsy has been my main source of income for 4 years. My shop was a 6 figure a year shop that has spiraled downhill drastically despite setting the highest amount for promoted listing ads & Google Ads, adding more listings, having a 5 star feedback rating, & responding to all of my conversations in a timely manner. I have an A on most of my listings on Etsy Rank & I’m completely stunned. This is seriously my last resort to post this as I’ve always been able to figure out how to jumpstart my shop when it’s performing less than my standards, but nothing is working. I’m looking for experienced Etsy Sellers advice please! What is going on with Etsy??
She has been busting her butt, not just sitting around boo-hooing so I asked her if I could write a post to help and she said YES!
1. Too Many of The Same Words
So here is the listing that I am going to review for Livia. It has great pictures and has been a best seller for her so now we just need to get it back in action!
Here is a breakdown of her words in phrases. We can see that there are many repeats here…
[One Year Old Girl] – [Birthday Outfit] – [Personalized Girl] – [First] – [Birthday Outfit] – [1st Birthday] [Shirt] – [Pink] – [1st Birthday Girl] – [Outfit] – [© Liv & Co.™]
Okay so let’s break down how many keywords Livia is actually targeting with this listing…
- One Year Old Girl
- Birthday Outfit
- Personalized Girl
- 1st Birthday
If we take out all the duplicate ways she said the same things, she really has very few keywords she is targeting and if we get them all together that leaves A LOT of room for more keywords! YAY!
2. Research, Research, Research
Since these are going to be some Livia’s main keywords I would do a wee bit of research to make sure we have them in the right order of importance to search… like every other search engine, Etsy search reads from left to right!
So let’s check and see how some of these phrases rank for search volume! I like to use Marmalead because I can pull keywords fast and compare them side by side (#promo)
Based on the handy-dandy color chart I see why many Etsy sellers pick to use “one year old” as their main keyword because it has high engagement and moderate competition, BUT if you look below that there are lower average views and lower average favs a week. But for now let’s go with that and say that “One Year Old” is going to be first keyword for this listing.
So we have “One Year Old Girl Birthday Outfit” to start with! YAY!
Doing the dropdown search in Etsy we see that indeed, “one year old girl birthday outfit” is the first suggested search…
But being a business woman, I am seriously interested in the fact that the “1st birthday” average pricing is so much higher than either of the other two…
Nothing to explain it in search, but damn, I am for sure going to try to get ranked for that one next! So now we have …
“One Year Old Girl Birthday Outfit, 1st Birthday Gift, Pink Personalized First Birthday Shirt”
Including the Liv & Co. TM bits that leaves us with 35 more characters to work with because we eliminated all the duplicates!
a few years ago Etsy gave weight to having the same keyword phrase in there multiple times but that is not the case anymore, those are just wasted characters
3. Silos of Search
This is what Livia said about her products…
I mean, let’s think about it, I make baby clothes. So what are people searching for? They are searching for “baby boy clothes”, “baby girl clothes”, “newborn girl outfit”, “baby shower gift for a girl”, “newborn coming home outfit”, “baby hospital outfit”, “baby shirt”, “funny baby clothing”, etc. Then you have the phrases where Etsy will automatically start adding words for you when you’re searching, so you put some of those in, like, “baby clothes girl”, “newborn gift girl”.
First off, she has a lot more diversity in those words than she had in this listing and second, it is SO FREAKING HARD to find our own keywords.
So the next thing I did was look at her promoted listings and those keywords matched what she is already trying to rank for because her category is competitive. Sometimes I can find cool outliers in there because I sell niche or vintage items.
An old Google SEO term is “silos of keywords” meaning that all of her words are right in that one channel of words… 1st birthday outfit…. now that we have the base keywords that match her product, we need to open up other silos so she can rank for more diverse words!
Features Versus Benefits
Features of the product list exactly what they are… it is factually correct that this product is a 1st birthday outfit and we have covered that in the first part of her title. Now we want to get freaky and see what other kinds of keywords we might be able to find!
Livia will want to think about who her customers are! Do just mom’s buy these or do they sell to aunties and grandmas (most etsy shoppers are women so we are going to focus there).
With features and benefits she wants to think about “so that…”
Her shopper wants to buy a beautiful birthday outfit “so that”…
- her sister thinks she is the best gift giver ever
- she has the cutest baby pictures
- her baby looks awesome at daycare
- she can take cool instagram photos (just me?)
Livia will be much better at this game because she knows her customers but I think we could safely add…
Gifts For Niece… this just in, I spoke with Livia and she says NOT grandmas so we got a few spaces back!
Here is data that she has because she is an experienced seller:
My target audience is between 24 – 35 years old. Not to say that there aren’t others, but across all my social media stats and analytics, that age range is the range of people following me and interested in my products.
Adjectives and Nouns
Although Livia did have pink she didn’t have any of the kinds of things that people might search for like “heart, gold, bow, socks, headband”
In the benefits part I also found “cool, cute, best” and I could add “sparkly, modern, feminine, pretty”.
Final Title & Tags
So here is the final title I came up with for this listing…
One Year Old Girl Birthday Outfit, 1st Birthday Gift Niece Sister, Pink Gold Personalized First Birthday Shirt Heart Socks Bow © Liv & Co.™
and possible tags… I want the first ones that are the real item to be exact search phrases, the rest I just want to get as many keywords in there so she has a CHANCE to get found in search!
Because Etsy ONLY uses tags and titles as keywords, Livia would be invisible if she doesn’t put some of those other keywords in there too.
Holy smokes we are cruising here and have WAY more than we could ever use in one listings… which leads me to…
4. Mix of Listings
I added 12+ new keywords that Livia could rank for on just this one listing, dinking around for about an hour while writing this post! Imagine if she did this for multiple listings in her store, targeting different top level keywords each time. So a listing with each of these keywords as the main (first) keyword…
- One Year Old Birthday Outfit
- 1st Birthday Outfit Baby Girl
- Pink and Gold Baby Girl Birthday
- Personalized Birthday Girl Outfit
I think you get the picture! She could add or subtract included pieces to get to different price points and so they are not duplicate listings. She could SEO the pink one for “One Year Old” and the blue one for “1st Birthday”. There are a million different ways to get different listings to rank for different keywords because let’s face it…
Yes, we want to get them to our listing, but then once they are in our store they will be clicking around and finding something that they are dying to have or favorite at the least!
Etsy SEO is simply to get them into your store, once they are there things like great pictures, cool outfits and interesting descriptions will get them to buy!