If you are anything like me you have been indoctrinated with getting your Etsy SEO right or no one will find your products and you won’t make any sales.
If your Etsy shop has a drop in sales, do you immediately start tweaking your title and tags to try and help the Etsy SEO Gods?
What if I was to tell you that Etsy SEO is only one tool in your arsenal you can use to help customers find your shop and products.
If you only concentrate on ONE thing to grow your business, then you are not building a resilient business. Focussing on one traffic sources makes you so reliant on it that even the slightest change may impact your business in a big way.
Relying only on Etsy SEO is one of those things.
Why are my products not being found even though I have good Etsy SEO?
Have you ever wondered why your listings are languishing on page 17 of the search results? Even when your listings have similar titles and tags to your competitors.
Well, it is simply this: your competitors have managed to get their products seen by more people and as a result have made more sales. It does not mean their SEO is better than yours. Nor does it mean that their product is better than yours. They have done enough to be included in the search, and Etsy has ranked them higher because of their Etsy quality score.
Presumably, you are on Etsy because you want to take advantage of those lovely warm customers already on Etsy, just waiting to find your products. All they need to do is enter the right search term, and they will see you. So yes, having good Etsy SEO is vital for you to be INCLUDED in the search results. But that is the only thing you can control. As far as the search results go other factors also come into play. These include how popular your product is.
If you want to know more about what makes the Etsy search engine tick check out this post to help you get your Etsy SEO on track.
Moving on from Etsy SEO
Etsy wants to make money, they don’t care which Etsy shop gets the sale as long as one of them does. So their primary concern is to put what appears to be products that sell in front of the customer. This means choosing the ‘most popular’ products to display higher.
So instead of concentrating on Etsy SEO, once you have done the basics, the next thing you need to do is get your product seen by as many people as possible. The bottom line is that the more people that see your work and purchase it, the better Etsy perceives your product. As a result, you move up the search ranking.
It does not matter how the customer finds your product, just as long as they like what they see and make a purchase.
Your goal now has to be to market your products to a broader audience and direct them back to your specific listing, thus avoiding Etsy SEO.
Knowing this opens up a greater possibility for you to grow your business and make it robust to weather any storm.
How do you get your listings seen
Have you noticed that Etsy provides you with the information at your fingertips on what you can do to improve your shop?
When you look at your Stats page, below the Visits, Orders, Revenue graphs, there is a section for ‘How shoppers found you’. This is also known as your traffic sources in Google Analytics.
The information is telling you that Etsy wants you to diversify your traffic. They are even telling you how many customers Etsy found for you and how many you found for yourself.
Your aim should be to make sure you have a spread of different sources bringing in traffic to your shop.
To grow your business, you need to get onboard the marketing train and start creating your own traffic.
What are the different traffic sources?
For Etsy internal traffic sources, you have the following options identified on the stats page:
- Etsy app & other Etsy pages – This includes all the visits you get from the Etsy App and other pages on etsy.com. Including editor’s picks, the home page, and favourites.
- Etsy search – This is using your Etsy SEO and includes all the visits you get from Etsy search.
- Etsy marketing & SEO – This is the visits you get from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
Any traffic you bring in yourself is classed as external traffic sources. This is the area that you have control over, and your effort should equate to your results. Etsy categorises the external traffic sources as follows:
- Social Media – This includes all your visits from Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media channels. If it is a known social media channel, Etsy can usually identify the source and give you figures for how many visits you got from each channel.
- Advertising – This only includes the visits you get from Etsy Ads. It excludes Ad visits if they came from the Etsy app. Because Etsy Ads are optional, Etsy classes this as an external traffic source, i.e. traffic you brought in yourself. However, this is still dependent on the Etsy SEO that you have set up, so Etsy still has a bit of control.
- Direct & other traffic – This is a catch-all for everything that is not covered by the previous two external sources. It covers any route into your shop from blogs and any other website that sent traffic to your shop. This will also include links you include in any newsletters you might send.
Make a note of your traffic source stats before you start marketing. Then keep a record of how they change as you make targeted marketing campaigns. If you see the numbers increasing, you know that your efforts are paying off.
Marketing inside Etsy
In case you didn’t realise Etsy it, Etsy search isn’t the only place to be found on Etsy.
There are other places in Etsy that customers can find your listings based on their preferences. Some of these are the Home page, Ads, Categories, Market Pages, ‘More like this’, Favourites, Teams, Editors Picks, etc.
It is good to remember that there are things you can do to make people find your listings without having to worry about Etsy SEO.
Favourites & Follows
You can easily promote to all the people who have favourited or followed your shop or listings. The Notification button in the menu bar tells them if a listing or shop they have favourited or followed has an update, sale or new item added. So trying to think of ways to encourage potential customers to favourite or follow your shop can be highly beneficial.
Here are some ways you can promote your shop to people who have favourited your shop or listings:
- When you post a picture on Etsy Updates, it will show up in the Notification button of each person who favourites or follows your shop. To post a shop update you need to use the Sell on Etsy app (it doesn’t work on the desktop). Then go to More->Marketing->Social Media. You can post photos of your workspace, your creation process or using your product. In reality, you could post anything you can think of that may be useful for your customer to know.
- If you put items on sale in your shop, they also appear in the notification section.
- If you add new items, they also appear in the notification bar.
The Notification section is a gentle nudge from Etsy to people who have already shown an interest in your products. This reminds them that your shop still exists. Hopefully, it intrigues them to encourage them to buy from you.
Warning: The favouriting games in the Etsy forums is not recommended and can actually be harmful to your Etsy quality score.
To help with your shop quality score you want people to stay on your listings and shop as for as long as you can.
By adding links in your product descriptions you can encourage your potential customers to linger longer. Use the links to promote your other related products or sections of your shop.
This also helps your Etsy quality score.
Whilst the Etsy forums can be a scary place, why not post a non-contentious question or answer an easy question? When you do this, your shop and profile are linked and whoever wants to can then link directly to your shop.
Most people are a bit nosey and will go and take a look at your shop. This is an easy way to ‘promote’ your shop, and you never know one of your listings might catch someone’s eye.
Coupons, Sales, Promotions
Who doesn’t like a good deal?
Creating sales and coupon codes is a great way to encourage customers that visit your shop to purchase something.
By running a sale, in addition to the obvious benefit that the customer gets, there are two additional benefits you get from Etsy.
- You appear in the results when someone chooses the ‘On Sale’ filter in the search screen. This immediately reduces your competition in the search results.
- Etsy provides prompts to the customer to indicate when the sale is ending. This again is a gentle nudge to the customer to tell them to hurry before it’s too late.
Before you start offering sales and coupons, make sure you are still making a profit after the discount. You can work out what your profit is from this post.
Finally, within Etsy, you can advertise to shoppers using Etsy Ads.
This option is the only option that will cost you money to improve your chances of being discovered.
You set up your daily budget and Etsy then uses your titles and tags to determine where to place your Ad listing in the search. This is in addition to where your listing would naturally sit in the search results. You only pay when someone clicks on your advertised listing.
The algorithm used for Ads is different from the Etsy search. So whilst your titles and tags are used, Etsy can sometimes include you for some random keywords.
I would advise you to keep on top of the keywords you are being found for in Ads to make sure they are relevant. If they are not, and you are spending money for clicks that are not appropriate, adjust your titles and tags accordingly. If this is not possible then remove that listing from Ads so that you don’t waste too much unnecessary money.
Marketing outside Etsy
Love it or hate it, Social media is one of the top FREE platforms you have available to you to promote your products.
One of my favourites is Pinterest.
Pinterest has the added advantage of being a search engine in its own right. Everything you ‘pin’ there can still be found, months, if not years, later. Unlike other social media platforms where your post can be lost after just a few hours.
You can generate a lot of traffic from marketing on Pinterest. And Pinterest users are more likely to make purchases straight from the Pinterest platform.
By simply being consistent and having great pins that relate to your target audience, you can tap into a huge market of people who are ready to buy from you.
All you need to do is develop a pinning strategy that works for you and your business.
There are so many other social media platforms out there that you could use, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, to name a few. All you need to do is figure out where your perfect customer hangs out and then try and create a social stream that will attract your customer.
Email marketing should be a vital component of your marketing and business promotion.
Setting up your email list might seem complicated and technically challenging. But it doesn’t need to be, especially in the early days.
There is so much value in having your own email list. You should always try and set this up sooner rather than later, even if you initially don’t do anything with it.
Remember, followers on social media, and customers on Etsy are all subject to the idiosyncrasies that the platform wants to subject you to. And they can move the goalposts overnight!
If you have a mailing list, then you have those warm customers ready and waiting for you, without having to jump through the hoops of another platform.
You know the old saying ‘two heads are better than one’, well in marketing two businesses are better than one. This is why collaborations work so well.
Just think of it this way. If your fellow collaborator has 500 followers and they promote your product. 500 extra people will see your product, who otherwise would not. Plus, as their audience like and trust them, a recommendation from them is worth more than anything you could achieve with paid advertising.
These are just some ideas you can use to upscale your marketing game. Pick some and have fun seeing what imaginative ways you can adopt to promote your business.
All I will say is don’t get stuck in the Etsy SEO minefield for too long. Take control of your own business. Create a marketing strategy and start promoting your business as soon as you can.