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How to Get More Buyers to Your Etsy Shop With SEO

Hello there! 

Do you want to know how to get more buyers to your Etsy shop? Then this post is for you because today I want to talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it relates to your Etsy shop. 

Let's face it, you can work your tail off getting your Etsy shop opened and looking pretty, you can ensure that you have {shop policies}, {shipping policies}, {shop sections}, {a rockin' About page}, and a {pimped out profile page}. All of those things are important but not worth a whole lot if you can't get customers to your shop to see them!  

The quote "If you build it they will come" from the movie Field of Dreams is just NOT true in the online business world! You have to take people by the virtual hand and lead them to your shop... show them where it is!

So how do you do that? I'm going to show how with SEO! 

What is SEO?

SEO means you optimize your shop and listings to improve the visibility in search engine results such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You may be wondering, "Why would I want to do that? Doesn't Etsy handle that for me?" The answer is no... well they do a tiny bit but the rest is up to you.

SEO for Etsy
Source: Friday Funnies
SEO deals with “organic” (or unpaid) search results. This means when someone goes to their favorite search engine and does a search for the kind of thing you sell, your shop is listed among the first couple of pages of results without you having to pay for it through paid advertising.

There are still a lot of people who have not heard of Etsy... I know, crazy right?!! And many people (even those who have heard of Etsy) still go to their favorite search engine like Google to search for what they want to buy. This is where SEO is important for you and your shop.

When someone searches with a search engine you want your shop to be as close to the top of the results as it can be to bring more traffic to your Etsy shop. Most people will not go much farther than the second page of results from a Google search; they either find what they were looking for within those first couple of pages or they refine their search for better results. (More on the habits and quirks of online shoppers is coming soon!)

What parts of Etsy do search engines look at? 

The search engines look at specific parts of your Etsy shop to determine if what you have in YOUR shop is what the potential buyer is looking for with their search.

They look at these parts:

  1. Shop Title
  2. Shop Announcement
  3. Shop Sections
  4. Item Title and Description
  5. Tags
Let's go over each of these starting at the top!

Shop Title – Your shop title is the text right below your banner. To edit your shop title click on "Your Shop" in the top, right hand corner > Shop Settings > Info & Appearance.

Your shop title is the first line of your shop that Google looks at, it should tell Google what your shop is about. It is also your "headline" on Google, the first line that people will see when your shop comes up in a Google search.

Do NOT repeat your shop name here, this is valuable SEO real estate and you do not want to waste it. Instead include a few keywords that describe what you sell. My shop title says "Vintage Cottage Home Decor-Farmhouse Rustic Industrial" which is a good representation of what kinds of items I sell in my shop.

When I did a Google search for "Vintage Cottage on Etsy" my shop was the very first result! See how a portion of my shop title "
Vintage Cottage Home Decor-Farmhouse "is the big bold title in the picture below? 

Why is it only a portion of my title and not the whole title you ask? Because search engines will only show about 66 characters. Since Etsy automatically includes your username as part of the page title they have rules for how much of your title they will use.

Now take a look at the text under the green link in the example below.

This text will be your shop announcement which brings us to item number 2...

Shop Announcement – Your shop announcement is right below the title on your shop anatomy print out and it serves two very important purposes. First, It tells Google what your shop is all about and second, it tells your potential buyers what your shop is about.

Think of your shop title as the newspaper heading for your shop story and the announcement as the beginning of the story. Place the same keyword phrase from your shop title in the announcement. Google is kind of like a small child, you have to repeat yourself several different times in order for it to understand!

You can edit your announcement on the same page where you edited the title. As you are editing you can see how it will look in Google search results right below the announcement. Pay attention to that as you are creating your announcement.

Notice how I included the same keywords from my title in my announcement? And see the Google preview below (in blue)? Google uses the first 160 characters of your announcement.


A few important tips and notes about Google and SEO.

1. Once you have your shop title and announcement in place and to your liking try not to change them very often. Google looks at your shop page typically only about once a month and if you change the information often it confuses poor Google. (to see when your page was last read see item number 2 below).

Some people use the announcement area to advertise sales but a better place to do that is either by changing your banner (you can have sale banners, seasonal banners, etc. Google pays no attention to your banner) and/or announce sales on your social media accounts.

Here is an example to illustrate:

Let's say you are having a Christmas sale in your shop the two weeks before Christmas... you change your shop announcement to "announce" that sale... because it just makes sense to make an announcement in your shop announcement section right?! Wrong... 

Now let's say that Google just looked at your shop a couple of days before you changed your announcement... search results then in Google will NOT include that new announcement... by the time Google reads your page again the sale is over (because they only look at your page about once a month) and now search results in Google say something about a Christmas sale and it's almost a month after Christmas! What? Shoppers will be confused!

2. You can see when Google last read your page by following these steps:
  • Go to a Google search and type in your shop name plus the word Etsy like so: LittleVintageCottage Etsy.
  • You should see your shop right toward the top of the results page:

  • Now click on the little down arrow next to the link for your shop and click on "Cached".
  • You will now see a screen shot of what your shop looked like the last time Google looked at your page. Along the top you will see the date and time it was last looked at.
  • If you click on "Text-only version" in the top right corner you will see all the keywords that Google looked at. Scroll down a bit… all the highlighted words are those keywords that Google used to match up your shop with your search.
Shop Sections – As I mentioned in the post {Adding Sections to Your Shop}, your shop sections are also searched by Google. They need to be relevant to your shop and items and should also be keywords that people might search on when looking for items like those you sell.

Each shop section you create (you can have ten sections) has its own landing page. In other words someone performing a search on "vintage kitchen" on Google may be directed to that page of my shop. To see each of your sections as a page just click on the section on the left sidebar of your shop's public view.

To edit your shop sections click on "Your Shop" in the top, right-hand corner > Listings > Listing Manager > on the left sidebar you will see "Sections".

I talked a little bit about this in the post about adding sections but I'll say it again here.

You can choose to name your sections however you like but keep in mind that your shop sections are one of the items that Google searches so make them relevant, something that people will likely search on (i.e. Vintage Kitchen, Silver Earrings, etc.) 

Avoid artsy or creative section names that don't describe what a person might find in that section.

You may have seen some shops with spaced out sections like this: 

V I N T A G E  K I T C H E N

S I L V E R  E A R R I N G S

While that might look kind of cool, Google has no idea what that means. It treats each letter as a separate word when it's written like that; a potential buyer searching on Google for "Vintage Kitchen" will not see your shop in the search results or you will be buried pages and pages down. 

Moving on...

Item Titles and Descriptions – This is the next portion of your shop Google will look at. Your item titles and descriptions both should contain the keywords relevant to that item. Remember, Google is like a small child, it needs to hear the same thing over and over to understand!

Here is an example for some Pyrex bowls.

Pyrex Nesting Bowls - PatinaPatina on Etsy
Item title: Vintage Pyrex Wheat Pattern Nesting Bowls

Item description: Set of three vintage Pyrex wheat pattern nesting bowls in orange. These nesting bowls measure 8”, 6”, and 4” in diameter and have the popular Pyrex wheat pattern printed on both sides of each bowl.

So you can see I have used a title that contains the keywords Pyrex, wheat pattern, and nesting bowls and I’ve repeated those keywords several times in the description. You will also use these same keywords in your tags which we will cover next so that is yet another time that Google will see those keywords. So now you have repeated yourself three times for Google!

A word of caution, do NOT try to just jam pack every keyword you can think of into the title. It's called keyword stuffing and Google will recognize that you are trying to trick the system and people will be turned off because it’s just not natural looking, in fact it’s rather confusing. Write your descriptions as if you were explaining it in person.

I’ll get into your product description a little more later.

Tags – Google also looks at your tags, they should be your keywords again along with any other relevant keywords you can think of. Don’t use too many single keywords, instead try to use keyword phrases, also called long tail keywords. You only have 20 characters for each tag.

Using the Pyrex bowl example above, I would use these keywords/keyword phrases:
  • Vintage Pyrex bowls
  • Pyrex wheat pattern
  • Pyrex nesting bowls
  • orange Pyrex bowls
  • harvest orange
  • orange kitchen bowls
  • Pyrex mixing bowls
For help finding more tags try using Etsy’s search bar and type in the beginning of your product name (i.e. Pyrex), the list that comes up are search terms that real people are using to find items like yours so definitely use some of those if they apply.

This cracks me up but it's such a great example too!

Source: Friday Funnies

More SEO help - For more help with SEO there are lots of SEO-specific teams on Etsy. To find a team scroll all the way to the bottom of most any Etsy page and you’ll see “Teams” under the heading “Join the Community”. Click on Teams and then search for SEO.

Well what do you think? Did you find this helpful?

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