Increasing sales and visits on your Etsy shop, beyond the obvious
Are you still googling “Etsy hacks” or “etsy search tips”? Me too, and I hope I can keep this blog post updated as I go and find out more about how to increase visits and sales on Etsy, by providing you with more of a plan than just a checklist, hopefully question the tips out there and make you question what you do.
The truth is, after having done most of the things suggested by various posts, my sales have NOT actually increased, compared to what they used to be, but I am getting a few more favourites compared to before I started my SEO revolution less than a month ago. I’m going to give it at least couple of months and report back. It is January and a lot of people are broke after the Christmas rush – so, first lesson: sort out your Etsy shop way before Christmas 🙂
So what have I done beyond what’s been written and rewritten in various blog posts? (And if you have not read any, here’s a small list “Five Etsy Hacks Everyone Should Know” and “How To Sell More On Etsy“).
Engaging with your Etsy shop visitors
I’ve followed any user who has added one of my products to their favourites – that on at least 2 occasions has lead to a purchase! The two might not be directly related, but I guess it’s worth sharing. It sends a message to Etsy users that you are actively trying to engage and that you care about their interests with your visitors without being of course intrusive.
And if you are looking for some more inspiration, take note of other items they have also added to their favourites.
Question your keywords
I’ve made sure my items are on page 3 or higher for search terms I think users will use to get to my store (although I always aim to be on page 1). This is where I think there’s still some sort of huge black whole. What’s the guarantee that a visitor will use the exact keyword you think they will use while browsing? Most of us, let’s be honest, when shopping online are browsing for ideas and might not search using very specific keywords. It’s very hard to predict what keywords your potential customers might use and there are no published analytics by Etsy about them.
For now I don’t have an exact answer to this, so I will cover possibly the obvious for some, but mix it up with a bit of my own input, let me know your thoughts 🙂
This is where you will have to mix the following “recipes” and watch the results for 2-3 months I would say:
- Sign up for Google AdWords Keywords Planner, click on “Get search volume data and trends” and insert the keywords you think the user would use (I’ve restricted the results to the country I aim to sell in). You will get an Average Monthly Searches value. If this is below 500 (at least) then it might not be a good idea to use it as the only keyword or even your main keyword.
The next step is to go back one page and now select “Search for new words”. Here insert the keyword you have just been reading the trends about and add your etsy shop URL. You will get a list of words under “Keywords ideas”. Sort them by Avg. monthly searches (in descending order) and see how other words compare to the one you have been using.
If you, like me, are selling necklaces, “geometric necklaces” might not get you very far, and a related “necklace” keyword, even if most popular, is too generic for you, but “statement necklace” might be the good compromise in between.
So pick a few keywords and prioritise the one that has enough average monthly searches without being too generic and put that first, followed by you first original choice (which might be a bit more descriptive but not too niche) and stick them in your product title (the first 2,3 words are crucial), your tags and the first paragraph of your listing. Now sit back and watch 🙂
- Set up a feedback group – this will be something you might be able to use for a lot of things you need advice for. I have set up one on Facebook and I ask my friends if they were to look for a necklace, what search words would they use? What words do they think of when they see my necklaces? Asking as many people as possible might give you a bit of an insight (but not a final one) into other people’s searches
- Follow the rabbit – that you have a better idea of a keyword visitors might use, make a search with that word on Etsy and start analysing your competitors’ listings. What do they have that you might be missing? Look at the title, tags and first paragraph.
- Look at your analytics – in Etsy you can view your shop analytics – what search words brought more users to your shop? Keep on reassessing those every month or so, has anything changed?
Search from a browser you are not logged into
As a web developer I know how websites can provide you with a more customised view of a certain page if you are logged in or not. So when doing your searches to see how your listings are ranking, do it from a new browser you are not using or in incognito window.
Install Opera, a browser not as famous but as good as Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Don’t ever log in in Etsy on this one and only keep it to give you an objective view of your store.
Always in stock
I realised I was doing a big mistake just after Christmas: I was keeping my Etsy stock completely up to date, marking items I no longer had in stock as such, even items which, given a few extra days from receiving an order, I could have actually made as I had the raw materials.
So I exhumed products I had Out of stock and added a note at the top of my listing description
<> PLEASE NOTE: This necklace is made to order, so shipping time will be longer than usual- I aim to ship within 7 days of cleared payment, but I will notify you of any change. <>
I’ve seen this on competitor’s pages and I realised it was a very good idea. Of course be realistic about when you’d be able to ship your item.
Based on Google SEO criteria, I am assuming that to Etsy it matters how many people visit your listings and add them to favourites. So if a page is simply not there, it won’t get visited! And it won’t increase its ranking or your shop’s ranking.
This is actually how Etsy describe the concept of how listings improve their ranking (Found in “How to get found in search“)
In an effort to show items that buyers are likely to purchase, Etsy’s search algorithm also considers how well individual items tend to do in search (referred to as “listing quality”). If a buyer clicks, favorites, or purchases an item after they’ve seen it in search results, that action contributes to the listing’s quality score.
Your personal feedback group
As I have mentioned before, your feedback group can be used in many ways. A few, beyond asking about keywords I am using are:
- What do you think of my products’ photos compared to these of my competitors?
- What do you think of my products’ photo on this particular search page? Does it stand out enough?
- Are the photos clear? What am I missing?
Photos are very important I think. It’s not as easy to be objective when it comes to something we love so much and we are very proud of, like our products, so it’s important to ask others, of all ages and all taste what they think.
Ask your customers for feedback and insights
I’ve also asked a bit of a feedback to previous buyers. How did they find my store? Did they find everything they were looking for easily? What would they change?
On one of their articles, Etsy states that using different titles for similar products (rather than exactly the same title for all of them) might help. I have not tested this and I am feeling a bit unsure but I might try it out on one or two products..
I have two “to do” for me, which I will report back on here soon:
Join a team
They have a few groups here, sign up to a few and start reading through threads, I’ll report back on anything interesting, beyond the obvious
You can sign up for Shop critique, but before receiving a critique, you should first critique other people’s stores.
I will be back with more (hopefully) useful tips.