When starting an Etsy shop, there are so many things to think about. It’s unlikely you have given any thought to SEO, here are ten Etsy shop improvements you can complete today. Most new sellers struggle to get traffic into their shop – myself included. But as long as you know what you can improve and put in a little extra effort than your nearest competition – you should see things develop over a short period.
Update your shop announcement using your Etsy shop keywords.
The first few lines of your shop announcement should contain all the keywords you want your shop to be known for.
So mine should contain the words, digital, Clipart, Papers. Until Feb 2017 I hadn’t updated my shop announcement for over a year. Advising everyone and anyone who comes to the shop that I’m not there, not listening and not even alive maybe. Your shop’s announcement does count towards your SEO. There is some argument that you should not update your announcement too often as it can take four weeks or more for it to take effect for SEO.
If your shop announcement is no longer relevant it needs updating right now. Add some keywords to your first few lines which relate to the items you are selling. You can also add a link to sign up for your email list, promote your social media handles. Some shops showcase their best sellers here and sales dates or coupon codes. Put in the links to my other shops here also.
If you have more than one Etsy shop – you must declare this to your buyers so they can easily see you have another store on ETsy.
You can do this in your shop announcement or your descriptions. As long as you declare it.
Even if you have more than one shop selling the same items, i.e. two shops selling invites, one digital and one printed and shipped. Etsy doesn’t mind as long as you are not listing the same items in two shops.
You can list the same item twice in 1 shop though. I’ve never done this, but it is ok to do so as long as they are not a complete repeat of each other.
List new items in your Etsy shop regularly.
Adding new items for sale will help your Etsy shop stay active in search and add another layer of SEO to your shop front. If you can, try to add a new item every week. You could try batching your new listings and only posting them for sale at regular intervals.
After the first initial two sales, I went off to drink coffee for eight months. I know I’m not the only person out there guilty of this. But it tells Etsy that you are not willing to invest any time in your shop. Result = no traffic or sales.
Use different titles for each Etsy listing for sale.
Adding new items is excellent, but if the title of each one begins with the same words, you are competing with yourself.
Take each item and target one keyword for it. Don’t begin each title with Digital Paper, try to be more targeted, such as Floral Digital paper, Spotty Digital paper.
Etsy aims to have only one item from each shop on individual search pages; therefore, you want to be on page 1 for each target keyword, not seven pages for the same keyword.
For example, I have three items of Blue Digital paper; I could have given each one a focused Keyword such as Sky Blue Paper, Navy blue paper, Stars blue digital paper.
Below is an image of what my shop currently shows as tags, notice how some have the same words at the beginning of the description, these need amending to something more targeted and individual.
Use Etsy listing categories correctly.
When I first started selling on Etsy, I placed all my items for sale in the shop category Paper. If I were listing them today, I’d list them as Craft Supplies and Tools, Scrapbooking supplies, Scrapbooking clip art or premade papers.
Make sure that you list your items in the correct category in Etsy and there is no reason you can’t use 2 or 3 different ones and experiment.
When Etsy updated their categories, I then put them on Canvas surfaces. So that wasn’t correct either.
Keep an eye on your categories and make sure you haven’t missed an update.
Here you can view the current Categories on Etsy for you to see where you should be.
Watch for spelling mistakes.
Ok – so no major issues with this. But let’s say you wanted to buy a chocolate cake and someone can’t spell chocolate, the buyer might think, well, if they can’t even spell correctly, is their product good, is it even chocolate.?
There are folks out there who will not buy from your shop if you haven’t taken the time to spell correctly.
You can combat this by creating your listing details in google docs, which helps with spelling and standard errors. I got caught out quite a bit by the dreaded ‘copy and paste’ and copied my spelling errors to the next listing.
I’ve now invested in Grammarly, which helps enormously with the details which can be easily overlooked when you have listed your 15th item that day.
List each item as a new item.
When posting a new item for sale, add it as a new item for sale. Ensure you don’t overuse one keyword or have the same titles copied over.
In the beginning, I copied and pasted my listing titles from one item to another because they were so similar. Alarmingly I thought this was ok because the more listings I had which sounded alike, the more Etsy would love me.
All I achieved by doing this was to have the same title for four listings and compete with myself over titles and tags. Another point to make here is that when you do list a new item, you can copy the old item in the listings page, then swap out the images and descriptions, helping with SEO as well.
So if you have five listings in your shop (you should have more of course) but one of those items receives ten times more views than any other listing – copy this item and change out the pictures and details. Always remember to treat it as a new listing. Don’t cut corners by using the same keywords in the same place.
For each item, you do need to have an idea of how you are going to list it.
I keep a sheet of paper for each of my listings which I can easily see when it was first listed and what keywords I was targeting, as well as what I named it in Etsy and gave it the number you can use within your listings so you can find it again. Its called the SKU. So I can quickly see what number the listing relates to. I also keep a list of the keywords I want to target and how many times I have used them in the shop.
If you would like a copy of it – [download id=”664″]
Target SEO within each listing description
When writing your item descriptions, the first paragraph is the most vital for SEO. You are telling the buyer how this will benefit them or solve a problem. Put on your sales hat and add in a few shop keywords and also the long keywords you wish to target for that item, as this is potentially the only paragraph a buyer will read, so make it count.
I had taken all the advice I had read and managed to get over 100 listings ready to be posted for sale. I was on fire. But in my haste, I forgot to read the paragraph about SEO, and it does matter if you copy one listing over to the next listing because Google looks at this repetitiveness. Not great.
Even though you have many listings of basically the same thing – do try to vary how you write your copy in the items descriptions. Vary the wording a little and reconstruct the same first paragraph so you can benefit from a bit of google juice.
Also, I failed to link to other listings inside my item descriptions, and when I did, I put in the long link instead of a short link which makes it look a bit well, – messy. Some people prefer to link to several items at the bottom of their listing, this keeps the buyer hanging about in your shop, and they are more likely to stumble upon a listing and then purchase it. Especially if you have hinted at a saving.
You can link to other listings by recommending them i.e. click here to find similar items you might like or click here to see the item in different colours.
You can link to your categories also this way.
If you are going to link to other relevant listings, please do so using a link shortener such as bitly
Etsy has now made this easier to do, and it’s not necessary to copy the whole URL just the item number.
Utilise your shop sections
The shop sections are those you name yourself and categorise your listings for the buyer to find them easily. These form part of your shops SEO and can be found with the search term.
I had one called Digital (doh) and one called clip art. Lots of thought went into that.
Some shops place their items into categories based on search terms, some do it via colours, or even what the items are used for. Trial and error and you probably need to spend time figuring this out in your shop.
Fill out your About Page correctly.
Your about page should give the buyer a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Not that you have ten cats and came in late every Friday. It should tell the buyer in a professional way why you are here and include some helpful info on how you started and what your mission statement is.
Include keywords in the title of your about page too.
Do not copy
Copying someones hard work is not only unfair, but it’s also bad for SEO. You need to build your SEO bricks and make your shop better than the next, even if you are selling very similar items.
I didn’t copy anyone’s listings, but I did and still do have listings which are more than a nod to someone else’s listing either in description or tags. It wasn’t done deliberately, but there are only a few ways to show three feathers together. I’ve never had anyone tell me off or approach me, so I don’t think they closely resemble anyone. Please be mindful when doing your research on Etsy and be unique. Of course, if you use the search function to look for tags, it’s likely you will have the same tags as someone selling the same or similar item.
Which leads me to the next point
Don’t keep selling the same thing.
Moving along with the times and trends will gradually build your shop from the ground up. There will be items with no longer are on trend or sell, but don’t get hung up on the same item over and over.
I had some items which were mainly the same and believe me, after spending days making them, only one ever sold with any great regularity. It is much better to build upon your best sellers rather than thinking everyone wants that strange shade of pink and must have it 38 times more. If you have a particular item which does well, then build on it. The item may have done well because it’s genuinely what buyers want right now and it’s your job to give them more of the same.
Besides if you make 38 items all the same, by the time you come to list them, the trend will have passed anyway.
Avoid using non-words
Using trend words in your item descriptions may be acceptable for a short while, but try to avoid them if possible as they don’t help later on.
I’ve only ever done this once, and it sounds terrible. If your local language uses words that your 13 years old thinks is cool, that’s fine – but please do not use them in your shop. Because what is trendy today will be gone tomorrow and who wants to amend 300 listings with a U in the correct place.
Your item title should not appear in your description.
The purpose of your title is to help the buyer understand what they are buying in a brief sentence. The description should persuade the buyer to purchase it by going into more detail about the item.
I thought it was ok to copy my item title straight into the first three lines of my description. I’d read somewhere that it was good for SEO to repeat the same words in my description as those in my title. Ok so this is half true, you should have your keywords somewhere in your description, but maybe only have three keywords in your description nicely sprinkled in a natural way throughout a few lines at the top, not 60 times.
As of today I probably have 400 listings which are guilty of this. I have been in amended a few, but gosh this is hard work. Some mistakes cost you more time in the future. Even though SEO is changing all the time on Etsy – you can avoid catastrophic errors in the first instance.
Link to other items in your shop
Within your description, link to other relevant items in your shop. Often I leave this until the last paragraph, but the buyer has to read all the way down to see these, so maybe midway would be better.
It will keep your buyer in your shop for longer, and they will see more of your beautiful items – thus leading to more sales hopefully.
Use all ten pictures.
By filling in all ten picture images for each listing, you are giving the buyer the best visual idea before they even go on to read your description. Ensure your item looks it’s best here.
Why I thought it was ok to use one photo of my item is beyond my explanation. But there you go. Use all of your picture slots. If you are struggling to for ideas, you can use them to do any of the following instead
What else can I use in my Preview pictures?
- Promotion code
- Close-up of the same picture
- Sign up for emails advert
- Similar listing side by side – e.g., four images of matching items
- Photo of how you made it
- Pinnable image for Pinterest
- Links to social media
- Further information about the product in use
- Photo from a previous customer using the item – please get permission from the buyer first.
- Great review of the item
If this can seem like hard work, try batching. Spend a week ensuring your photos are the best they can be.
React to the Etsy market – I carried on making chevrons.
Ok, so yes, there was a trend where chevrons appeared everywhere, and I wanted to be part of that too. I did make chevrons, but while I was perfecting my product the market moved on to minimalistic and black and white an then I kept wondering why my chevrons where not selling. Like a chicken with my head down on the computer, whilst everyone else in the office had moved onto the next new thing, and I was left behind.
We don’t like chevrons because of this. They are a bit annoying now.
Make the most of each listing.
Listing your items for sale on Etsy is a great way to sell a product. But each one is a shop window to your product, so ensure you have done everything on each listing to maximise it’s effectiveness to the buyer. Use all the pictures, and optimise your descriptions to say precisely what the item is about and how it will improve their lives, n
This tool wasn’t around when I started. But it has helped me immensely since I have started using it. Before this, I just stalked lots of shops and tried to emulate what they were doing.
Don’t put your shop on vacation.
Big fat huge no-no.
No one wants to lose potential sales by actually leaving their shop unattended, so conveniently you can put your shop in holiday mode.
However, it affects your SEO score, and a non-active shop is not great. Etsy doesn’t know you will only be away for three nights visiting your Granny or have charted a boat to go on a product finding tour in Hawaii.
They drop your shops SEO, and it will take a while or maybe longer to get back up to speed. Alternatively, extend your delivery times, or put a notice in the shop, and message to buyers. This way you haven’t thrown off your SEO, and everyone knows you are coming back to attend them.
So – there you have it. Just a few ways which you can easily improve your Etsy shop today. Why not make a note to try and put 1 or 2 on your