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You can rank on the front page of Etsy for free, and it isn't as complicated as most people make it! Keywords are simply search terms that potential customers use to find your products. How do you know which keywords to use in your Etsy listings? How do you rank higher on Etsy? I'll help with that! Keep reading!
How to rank higher on Etsy
No matter what the “gurus” say when giving out Etsy SEO tips, ranking on the front page of Etsy does NOT require paid tools, nor does it even require advanced understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Transparency: I do not currently promote any paid SEO tools.
I do, however, sell Etsy keyword cheat sheets. You can rank on the front page of Etsy without either of these things, but time is money and cheat sheets can save you loads of time, that's why I created them!
You've figured out what to sell on Etsy. Now what? Now, it's time to dig into keywords so you can rank on the front page and get even more sales than ever before.
What are keywords?
Like I said above, keywords are words people use to find your products! 🙂 I use keywords on my blog all the time.
For example, if you search “Etsy SEO” you will find LOTS of blog posts, right? Because of that, I didn't target that keyword. However, “how to rank on the front page of Etsy” is still a popular search but less people write about it. This means, in time, I will rank well for it.
“Ranking” for keywords just means you're showing up in search when people look for those phrases. If you're ranking on the front page of Etsy, you're going to get MUCH more exposure than if you're on the second, third, or fourth page.
If you find you're consistently missing the front page of Etsy, it's time to update your keywords.
When to update keywords
If you have a listing that is performing well, leave it alone! Work on listings that aren't performing as well, or performing at all. The easiest fix is going to be taking those listings that are doing “okay” and make them do great. But messing with best-selling listings can give you negative results!
I don't say that to scare you off, and make you not want to update your shop… I'm just saying, work on the listings that need a bump up, not the ones that are already doing well.
Use main keywords first
Placement matters. Whichever keyword phrase is the BEST, you want to use that one first in your title and also in the first line of your listing description (if possible).
Deciding which keyword is best can take some practice, but if you notice another seller who is selling what you are and they're outperforming your shop, chances are their keywords are on point. You can use their titles as inspiration to create your own.
Warning: do not copy titles word for word! While competitors will be using similar keywords, there's no reason for your titles to be identical. In fact, you want to stand out – not be the same – so using identical titles would defeat the purpose.
Your “main” keyword may be broader, to start. That's okay.
You may hear the phrase “longtail keywords”. This means you're using a keyword phrase instead of just one word.
A keyword may be “mystery box”. A longtail keyword could be “metaphysical mystery box”.
Longtail keywords are more descriptive, but they'll get less searches than broad, shorter keywords.
I include both in my listing descriptions so I'm appealing to a broader audience, while grabbing that smaller, “niche” audience above all my competition.
When I was learning about keywords and SEO, I thought about it like this:
If you say you have a “game system” for sale, maybe 100 people would be interested. But they wouldn't know which game system it is, wouldn't know the price range, and wouldn't even know if they want to buy it until after you answer a bunch of questions for them, right?
If you said you have a “vintage Atari game system” for sale, maybe only 30 people would be interested, but those are BUYERS. They've got money in hand, and they're ready to grab it if it's the right price, and presented in the right way.
Same thing with “video games” for sale. Personally, I'm a video game snob and though I love to play them, there are probably only about 10 games I'd get excited over and have cash in hand ready to buy. For this reason, I wouldn't click on a listing that said “video games”. I would, however, click on one that said “Tony Hawk video games”.
You're going to sell more products by attracting the right audience with those specific (longtail) phrases (keywords).
Now, video games aren't really sold on Etsy, but this is how I learned SEO so hopefully it will translate for you. 😉
Where should I put my Etsy keywords?
This is probably the #1 question I get asked: do I put my keywords in the title, tags, or description? The answer: YES! Put your keyword phrases in all three places, as organically as possible!
What this means is creating titles and descriptions that make sense.
Example of a best-selling Etsy titles
Here are a few titles I grabbed from items that are currently best-sellers on the front page of Etsy search.
TITLE: Personalized Leather Bookmarks | Free Monogram | Unique Bookmark | Full Grain Leather | Family Gift Ideas | Personalized Leather Bookmark
Why this works: This title works because it uses several keyword phrases that people are searching every day! While there aren't a ton of personalized leather bookmarks on Etsy, this one is a best seller because their SEO is on point, they have great reviews, and they have perfected their photos.
TITLE: Mystery Witchy Box
Why this works: There's not much competition when it comes to my mystery witchy boxes. Because they were IMMEDIATELY a hit, I didn't mess with the title or tags at all after they started selling. If for some reason they stopped selling as well, I'd add in other keywords.
This title works because it's simple, straight forward, and the exact keyword phrase many people search every day to find my item.
Don't overcomplicate it! What will people be searching to find your items? If you couldn't show a photo to your potential customers, how would you describe your item?
Answer your buyer's questions… before they ask them.
When writing blog posts, I try to answer my reader's questions – before they ask them! That is because when are online, we don't really get the chance to go back and forth with potential customers. Why? Because attention spans are SHORT!
If someone else is answering your customer's questions and you aren't, guess what? They're no longer your customer… they went somewhere else!
Think about it like this… you walk onto a car lot. You look around and there are several cars you are interested in, but they don't have prices. And there's no salesperson to be found! What are you going to do?
Some people may walk inside the showroom and try to get a salesperson.
Some may start looking up prices online to see if these types of cars are ones they can afford. If they aren't, they walk away. If they are, they may try to find a salesperson.
As for me, if I walk onto a car lot – or into any store – and don't see prices? I'm gone. I'm not hunting someone down to give them my money, and your customers shouldn't have to, either!
Answering their questions ahead of time is an important part of SEO. Without even realizing it, you'll be SEOing your listings because you're answering questions about the product and delivering value to your potential customers.
To begin answering your potential customers' questions, start by describing your item as if they can't see it. Of course your photos will be amazing (because they are just as important as SEO), but pretend they cannot see them.
It's like one of those silly interview questions when they say, “sell me this pen”.
How can you sell me the product if I can't see it? Start there!
Including attributes of your product can help expand your reach:
- size (US and metric)
- events/occasions it's good for (birthdays, anniversaries, etc)
- holidays it could be associated with for gifts
- personalization, if offered (“personalized gift” is THE #1 search term on Etsy)
Read more about how to include attributes in your Etsy listings over on Etsy.com.
Examples of questions to answer in your listings:
What are you selling? If someone accidentally discovers your listing somehow, or is sent there by a friend, they may not know exactly what you're selling. Get them interested! Grab their attention with the VERY first line of your description.
What is it for? How can your customer use this item? Is it a greeting card that can also be used as a parachute? Okay, that's a bit ridiculous, but think about the different ways your customer can use the item!
What size is it? What color is it? This comes back to attributes (above). Describe your product so someone who can't see it can picture it.
How do I take care of it? I make care cards for sellers who make mugs, vinyl decals, etc. Including care instructions in your listing, as well as sending the customer a care card when they buy, is helpful. Here's a tutorial on how to make your own care cards.
Pro tip: Keep it simple. Don't use fancy jargon. If you do, you are going to miss out on a lot of sales. Don't assume your potential customer knows anything about the product or how to use it.
Evoke emotion: This isn't a question to answer so much as a reason to get someone to buy your product. Why should they buy it? How can it help them?
With my mystery witchy boxes, I make sure to include in my listing that I intuitively choose each item for the individual customer I'm serving at the time. I say:
I'll come up with something amazing that your witchy heart will love! 💕
This shows my customers I care about them, and ensures they're connected to me on an emotional level before they hit that buy button.
Bad SEO advice
I've seen tons of bad SEO advice given in Etsy groups. Please, please, do not take advice from random Etsy sellers without doing your own due diligence first! If you use this bad advice, your shop tanks, and then you've gotta work twice as hard to dig out of that hole!
Simple SEO Solutions
If you've read this far, you've got what it takes to tackle Etsy SEO head on, I'm SURE of it! This post is about 2,000 words long. The dedication it takes to get through a post that length is pretty crazy, right? So, let's throw that same energy into tackling SEO and ranking your shop on the front page of Etsy!
Need extra SEO help?
I'll be writing a blog post about how to scope out your Etsy competition, soon. Be sure to sign up for my email list or my daily hustle texts (both are FREE!) to be notified FIRST when the posts are up. 🙂
If you don't see your keyword topics in my shop, send me an email ([email protected]) and I'll add them ASAP.
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