How do I improve my Etsy SEO

4 ways to get better SEO and more traffic

Andre Rickerby is Digital Marketing Manager for Etsy and was previously responsible for SEO at ASOS.

We use Google, Yahoo or Bing to find a variety of places, things and information and usually don't worry about how this information gets to the first place in the search results. Or why the pages we wanted to find are not there.

The art of getting found in search engine results is good business. Depending on the type of page, most of the traffic to websites usually comes from organic search queries - the art of mastering this is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization is a big word, but don't let that put you off. When you start to deal with the matter, you will certainly feel overwhelmed at first. But SEO is actually “just” a simple sequence of steps that can make a huge difference in generating (free) traffic.

Are you ready to go Here are four simple steps to increase your chances of being found high up in search engine results:

1. Remember: Content is King!

Search engines love unique content - they use it to determine what a website is about and to match it with the corresponding search query. As an Etsy seller, there are several main components that you should focus on:

  • Use unique and meaningful product titles. Think of keywords that shoppers would use to search for your products and include them in your product title. If you have a lot of similar products, each product title should be different. For example, if you have two black jute bags with very similar designs, don't just call them “black jute bags”. Instead, add details like "black jute bag with blue diamond" and "black jute bag with red print". Name the articles clearly and use common words. Don't use extremely long product titles - 80 characters (6-10 words) should be your guideline. If you're not sure what people are looking for, Google's Keyword Tool can help.
  • Work on your descriptions. Use less obvious terms to describe your articles and add to your product titles.
  • Fill your Shop profile out. The shop profile gives the search engine all information about your shop.

 

2. Get link crazy!

Since search engines use links to determine the order and weighting of search results, links have always been one of the most important elements of SEO. There is no rule that says exactly how many links are needed, as each link has a different value. For example, a link from CNN to your Etsy shop might be worth as much as 10 (or 100) small blog links. But all the links (small or large) will help you. Here are some simple tips to get traffic to your shop from links on external sites:

  • Do you have a blog Don't be shy and market yourself - don't overdo it, but be sure to link your Etsy shop and items where you can.
  • Are your articles featured on external websites outside of Etsy? If the blog doesn't have a link to your article, contact the editor and ask for a link. They may say no, but it doesn't hurt to ask!
  • Link article pages to each other in your Etsy shop. Internal links help transfer link authority from one page to the next and thus show search engines that the pages are related or belong to a group.
  • Maintain your network. If you know of sites or blogs that seek content and blog posts from guest bloggers, then try to get your content on those sites.
  • Don’t: Never buy a link and never use spam techniques like third party forum posts or directory listings - search engines can tell!

 

3. Use social media

Social networks aren't just about being social and sociable. It's also a great way to showcase your articles. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ give search engines the information that people are talking about your Etsy shop or your articles. Yahoo and Bing in particular use information from social networks as ranking signals; Therefore, if you use one of the channels listed above, then use that for self-marketing! The other benefit is that others will potentially link you. Here you can find out more about how you can use social media to promote your shop.

 

4. Be patient and don't make yourself crazy

It can take time for your SEO to bear fruit, so be patient. Plus, you're not the only Etsy seller tinkering with their SEO, either. It is therefore possible that your pages will slowly move up in the ranking and get more traffic. It will go up and down. Even if search engines prefer new content, that doesn't mean you should tinker with your articles and your shop every day. Try to keep your pages constant to a reasonable extent (e.g. only make changes when they are really necessary). Also try to use pages several times: when your item is sold and you can renew the item again, simply use the old item page again.

And very important: don't make yourself crazy about Google's PageRank rating! This is a relatively old method of evaluating pages and is now much too generalizing to be really meaningful in today's SEO. PageRank is often misunderstood and is no longer necessarily correct.

Want to learn more about SEO? Here are a few recommended sources outside of Etsy for you:

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Etsy Seller Guide

This post is an updated version of a post from 2009: Google PageRank tips for your Etsy shop.

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Do you have a tip or two about how to be found on Etsy? Let us know what you know in the comments.

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