About two years ago, I started an Etsy Shop for my video game art side gig. In that time, I've learned a lot about what I love and hate about being a handmade artist on Etsy.
One of the parts of this journey I have loved the most is Etsy SEO.
Yup! Spreadsheets, research, keywords, tags, titles, experiments, target ranking words and strategies are all pieces of the Etsy SEO puzzle. Before we get too far into the specifics, it's important to know the big picture: "What is it? Why should we care?"
What is it?
First of all, SEO = Search Engine Optimization.
"Search Engine? Optimization?"
A "search engine" is a system like Google. It lets you search for things. The "optimization" part describes the process of making your content friendly to search engines so that people can find you. I like to think of it as a game of "Where's Waldo?"
Think of SEO like a game of "Where's Waldo?"
Your product or thing is Waldo, and everything around him is the internet. Your customer is the one looking for Waldo. Poorly executed SEO is like keeping him in his normal striped red/white shirt and hat. Properly executed SEO is like giving him a fluorescent shirt that emits a light strong enough to create a beam that can be seen from almost anywhere on earth! Don't worry, it doesn't hurt him.
Ok, so then what's a search engine?
Google, Yahoo, Etsy, and Bing make search engines. They are different! They have different ways to organize and display search results.
The goal of a search engine is to take what you enter into a search bar and scour the web for stuff that is relevant to your search. This is one of Etsy's primary objectives. They want you to be able to find exactly what you're looking for as quickly as possible!
In order to do this, search engines use algorithms (a complex set of rules, computations, and programs that determine which content gets shown.) Since each search engine is different, that means each algorithm is different. Learning Etsy's algorithm is really important in understanding how to use it to your advantage.
Why Should We Care?
1. People will actually find you!
Shop visibility is one of the biggest reasons to care about Etsy SEO. As you know, when you use a search engine like Google, the results of your search get spread out across several pages. It's the same on Etsy. Your goal is to get your product within the first couple of pages of search, and as close to the top of the page as possible. It's no secret that shoppers will rarely navigate past the first pages of search results. This is why shop visibility is so important!
2. Good Etsy SEO works while you sleep!
Etsy SEO is an automated way for people to find your stuff. Once your Etsy SEO T's are crossed and I's are dotted, people will just find you. Anything we can do to free up time for product development, watching Netflix, and spending time with other humans (if that's your thing) is worth the effort!
3. You'll learn stuff about your product and market!
A huge part of Etsy SEO is knowing what words people use to find your product. When you figure out what words your audience uses to describe your products, you will feel more connected to your work and customers.
4. You'll Make More Money!
You can make a shop without investing time into Etsy SEO. You'll still get some sales, but you'll get way more if you work on your Etsy SEO! Think about it: if more people can find your product, you'll have more chances to sell them on your product. Basic maths! More visibility = More Money!
Need some help with tags and keywords? Let's chat!
While I love the science behind Etsy SEO, I know not everyone does. Many of us are trying to balance several parts of running an Etsy shop. Tags and keywords on Etsy can be a big time commitment and if you're in need of some help implementing them into your listings, shoot me a message and let's get the ball rolling!