Friday, February 21, 2014

Etsy Science and SEO: Building Successful Shop Listing

As I mentioned in part one of Etsy Science and SEO , keywords and key phrases are an essential part of the SEO process for Google and Etsy searches. So today I'm going to do my best to help you build a successful shop listing.


This is something I have struggled with for a long time. And to tell you the truth, until I started to dig into it further for this training, I didn't completely understand it. I'm hoping to help you get past the fundamentals of this and get you to the point where it starts to sink in and make sense.

Let's start by playing the role of a consumer who is looking to buy a car. You sit down at your computer and type some words in the Google search box to help you with your shopping. Think about this. Would you simply type in "CAR"? Probably not. You'd probably be more specific with a Year and Model and Color. New or Used. You might type in "Used Car" or "Blue 2010 Honda Accord".

Now translate this into keywords. The words CAR or USED CAR have a lot of competition because the terms are so broad and getting to the top of those search lists would be extremely tough. And really, because those terms are so vague, I don't think that getting high ranking for those keywords would be as valuable as something more specific. When people are shopping for a car, they would likely use more specific words and phrases to describe exactly what they hope to find.

With Etsy it is the same way. Perhaps there are some people who are going to type in one word and hope to find something. But realistically, they usually have something more specific in mind and type in phrases rather than single words.

So let's translate this over to your Etsy shop. Consider one of your shop items and identify the MAIN keyword for it. Then add 1-3 of the other keywords that you identified in the exercise "stepping into your customer's shoes" from my previous post. By doing this you are narrowing your competition and helping your customers find you!

Using the example above, the main keyword may not be "car". It may need to be "Honda". That narrows the choices right there! Adding 1-3 words around that to describe the car more clearly will narrow the competition even more.

With your keyword phrase ready.....let's start building!


In everything I've read so far, I think the jury is out as to whether you should keep your Listing Title short and to the point or if you should use as many of the 140 characters as you can. I have started experimenting with this to see if it really makes any difference. No matter how many words you decide to use in your Title, it is definitely important to put your focus on the FIRST 3-4 words. They are the FOUNDATION of your listing and where you want your keyword phrase to be!!


Google loves repetition so it is important to scatter your foundation keywords from your Title into the first 2 lines of your item description. It is tempting to just repeat the title at that beginning of the paragraph but it is not recommended. Avoid stuffing the words into the two lines just to get them there. Google prefers that you write something that helps the customer understand your item. This will take some time but it's definitely worth it!!

Here is an example of a Listing Title:

Black Personalized Wedding Clutch, Bridesmaid Gift, Black and White Wedding, Made to Order

And the first couple of lines in the Listing Description:

With black and white trending as popular wedding colors for 2014, this simple personalized clutch is the perfect bridesmaid gift. 

Even though the 13 item tags on you Etsy shop listing are not used by Google it is still important to place your keywords there as well. Each tag is limited in length so you can't stuff all 3 or 4 words together. Google doesn't like word stuffing and neither does Etsy. It is likely that you will have to break up your foundation keyword phrase into one or two word tags. That's okay. They will still work.


Shortly after you add a new listing or adjust an existing listing using these tips, you will likely see your item appear on one of the first 3 pages of the search results. I appreciate that with Etsy we don't have to wait long to see if our work has paid off.

However, the process takes much longer with Google and there are many other factors that help you increase your rankings there. These factors are outside of what happens on Etsy and I'll cover that in another Etsy Science session.

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