At the beginning of April myself (Rock Cake) and my husband (Lomokev) gave a little talk at The Old Market in Hove about SEO and maximising the use of SEO in your Etsy shop. For those of you who were there thank you for coming along and for those who were not, not to worry I’ll be posting the things that we talked on this blog in two parts (this is part one!). This month also happens to be SEO month at Etsy HQ so it ties in nicely with that. It is always hard to take everything in at a live talk so I hope that these blog posts help…
Most of you reading this will have an Etsy shop and a basic understanding that Etsy is a tool for artists, designers, makers and suppliers to sell their products globally and directly to the consumer with no middle man, meaning that both you and the customer get a fair deal. It’s an opportunity to create a sustainable business that you are in control of. As with everything in life you only get out what you put in, I believe that there are not short cuts to a successful Etsy shop but a good understanding of how Etsy works means that you will be more efficient with your time and therefore have a more successful shop.
Before working on getting more traffic to your Etsy shop you need to have good, strong and original products, well made work that you are proud of, work that you have confidence in. These products need to be consistent throughout your shop so that you store makes sense as a whole both to the consumer and to search engines.
When opening up your Etsy shop you need to fill out your “Shop Title” you have 55 characters in which to describe and sum up your products. This information is used by search engines when giving relevance to your shop.
You need to fill out your “Shop Announcement” the first 160 characters are used by search engines so this is a good place to get keyword happy, again using words which describe the products that you sell as a whole. It is also the information that folks will see in google if your shop comes up in a search.
Use your “Shop Sections” each one of these is a landing page, so an extra page that google can use to direct traffic to your products.
Now you can turn your focus to your product listings. I’ve come up with a little cake analogy that’s perfect for crafters, as we all know crafters love cake. If you want to make the perfect cake your need to add the perfect ingredients, it’s just the same for your Etsy listings, you’ve got to get the ingredients just right for it to be a good cake. Imagine that your products are the butter, they are the cream, they need to be high quality, rich and beautiful. Your photographs are the sugar, they need to be super sweet, they are the candy that draws the shopper in. Your SEO is the eggs they bind the whole thing together and your description is the flour, this needs to be light and fluffy, it’s your chance to tell as story and capture the customers imagination. Miss any of these things out and a beautiful sweet and fluffy cake is not what you’ve got!
So we are focusing on SEO and it’s time to get keyword happy and to brainstorm keywords. Your keywords need to be words that describe your products, they need to be relevant, not too vague and words which are commonly used. I am going to use my Bird King Ring as a case study example. You can use single words such a “jewellery” “ring” or “bird” but everybody is using these so you need to use mini-phrases or “long tail keywords” as they are officially named. By using long tail keywords you are going to get more specific tailored traffic to your shop and you’ve got exactly what they are looking for ie “bird ring” “silver bird ring”. By joining up your keywords search engines with give these words more weight and relevance if searched for together, your tags can be up to 20 characters.
A mistake that I come across on Etsy is where people use names that they have made up to describe their products, before I knew any better I used to use “Birdking” as a tag and title for the ring, nobody is ever going to search for this unless they already know of my product, it is a wasted tag and keyword opportunity.
Brainstorming keywords is not something that you have to do alone and if you hit the proverbial keyword wall these ideas can help you…
Ask family and friends, it’s a simple one, just show your products to people and ask what words they would use to describe them.
Search for similar products to your own and look at the keywords that the high ranking products are using, you will find the tags at the bottom of each product listing.
Look at the Etsy search autofill (see the image below) these are the current most commonly searched for items and keywords that are being used, they may be relevant to your products.
Keep an eye on what’s trending, Etsy sends out a monthly trending email which is well worth subscribing to.
You can always bring a product to an Etsy meet and ask your fellow members to do a little brainstorming for you, it’s always fun to do!
Another useful tip is that if your shop is full of similar products, say for example you make lots of bags, you need to brainstorm as many different keywords that you can for each one. For example you sell a large bag in lots of different colours, you could list this bag as a hobo bag, tote bag, beach bag, hand bag etc, ultimately it is the same product listed in different ways, this is casting a wider SEO net to maximise the traffic that can arrive at your products.
When filling out your listing you need to use your keywords in the title, the beginning of your description and as your tags.
For your product title the first 66 characters are used as the page title and the first 80 are used by search engines to find your product. This needs to read well both for people and for the search engines.
The first 140 characters of the description need to also contain the keywords, for my listings i tend to echo the title but with a little more depth and detail, it’s where I summarise the product which allows me to get the keywords in nicely.
It is then time to add your tags, there are 13 of them so use them all, each one is an opportunity to promote your items, don’t forget to use the long tail keywords here. Don’t worry about the tags being case sensitive, they are not, so Ring and ring is the same tag.
Within your product descriptions it is also a nice idea to add internal links, if you make the item in a different colour or size or make items which match link to them here, it keeps customers in your shop, adds to your page views and hopefully turns into orders…
My final words of advice are to read everything through, double check it all, particularly for spelling mistakes. If you feel that alot of your listings need to be worked on don’t freak yourself out trying to get them all done at once, tackle them one by one so that it doesn’t turn into something you dread or hate to do.
So that’s your lot for now, I hope it’s helped! The next post about the talk will go into more details about external links and how to read your stats and in turn improve your shop – Yay!