How To Increase Your Conversion Rate and Sell More On Etsy

By Chris Shaffer •  Updated: 09/03/23 •  3 min read

One of the most frustrating parts of being an Etsy seller is that it can feel like you’re stuck on a hampster wheel of doing one of two things when you’re trying to earn more with the platform.

Either you’re constantly trying to launch more products and get more lines in the water OR you’re obsessing over the keywords in your title, tags, and product description to try and squeeze just a few more organic visits out of your listing thanks to Etsy SEO.

I know it MIGHT sound too good to be true (it’s not, I promise), but what if I told you there was a way to sell more in your shop WITHOUT having to launch more products or even drive more traffic?

Sounds a bit crazy right?

It’s not.

What I’m talking about here is a fairly simple process called “Conversion Rate Optimization” and although it’s ignored by most Etsy sellers, it’s probably the single most important thing you can do (beyond launching a great product to begin with!), to increase your sales on the platform.

What Does Conversion Rate Even Mean?

So, before we dive fully into the “meat and potatoes” of how to optimize your conversion rate (and sell more!), We should probably get a better understanding of what a conversion rate is.

At its most basic, a “conversion rate” is the percentage of people that took a desired action (e.g. purchased a product).

In the case of Etsy, when you hear people (like us) talking about “conversion rates”, we are typically referring to the number of people who purchased your product divided by the number of people who viewed your listing at any given time.

For example, if last month you had 100 views on one of your Etsy products and made 3 sales, your listing would have a conversion rate of 3% (3/100=3%).

How Do You Calculate a Conversion Rate On Etsy?

As mentioned above, calculating your conversion rate is a fairly simple process and only requires knowing how many views and sales your listing has gotten.

Once you have those two numbers, calculating your conversion rate can be done quickly by dividing the number of people who viewed your listing by the number of people who purchased the product.

If you don’t have a calculator handy, feel free to use our Etsy Conversion Rate Calulator Here:

Etsy Conversion Rate Calculator

Etsy Conversion Rate Calculator

Why Does Your Conversion Rate Matter On Etsy?

Alright, so now that you have a better understanding of what a conversion rate is and how to calculate it, you're probably wondering why it even matters.

In my opinion, this is the single most important piece of information that most ET sellers miss when it comes to understanding how Etsy’s SEO algorithm actually works.

You see, although most sellers spend a huge amount of time, energy, and effort trying to find the perfect combination of keywords for their titles, tags, and descriptions, the Etsy algorithm really only cares about two things.

Traffic and sales.

Yes, the algorithm is substantially more complex than this and if you want a deeper dive on exactly how it works, you can find that here.

However, Etsy's goal with every search performed on their site is to show the product or products that the customers searching on Etsy will end up buying.

This means that if Etsy shows our listing, someone visits our listing, and ends up buying we are giving Etsy algorithm precisely what it wants

This is where knowing and optimizing your conversion rate comes in handy.

Since our conversion rate is essentially the likelihood that anyone who visits our product listing will turn into a customer, it's an easy way to understand if we are giving Etsy what it needs to send us more traffic.

The beauty of understanding and optimizing your conversion rate inside of Etsy is that not only will you get more sales from the existing traffic at the ascending to your products, but since you are giving Etsy what it wants (sales), You will notice your listings ranking higher and getting more traffic the more you optimize your conversion rate.

This is all without having to find the perfect keyword to put in your titles, descriptions, or tags and trying to play the "Etsy SEO game" that so many etsy sellers find themselves caught up in.

What’s A Good Conversion Rate On Etsy?

Now that we have a better understanding of why conversion rates matter and what they are, you might be wondering what a “good” conversion rate is on Etsy and how you compare.

Generally speaking, you will find that an “average” conversion rate on Etsy falls around 3% with better listings converting in the 5-8% range.

This means, if you’re doing better than the 3% average, that you’re doing pretty well, and if you’re getting close to double digits, that you’re in the top percentile of listings.

That being said, since every product category has different ranges, even if you’re on the lower end of those averages, you might not be doing poorly.

At the end of the day, what matters is how well you are performing vs. your direct competition.

Getting A Better Idea Of How Your Conversion Rate Compares On Etsy

So if the average conversion rate varies from product category to product category and what Etsy cares about is how well we are performing vs. our competition, it makes sense that to get the clearest picture possible, we would need to understand what our competitor’s conversion rates are as well, right?


Although Etsy doesn’t give us direct access to the data we would need to make these calculations, we can very easily get all of the data we need thanks to tools like our friends over at Everbee.

All you need to head over to Etsy search for any keyword that your product ranks for and run their “product analytics” tool.

If you scroll to the right inside of the overlay, you will find a column labeled “Conversion Rate”, which will contain a conversion rate for each of the listings that were loaded into the search.

Our job now is simple, We need to compare our conversion rate and compare it to the other top-selling listings.

If we are converting at a higher rate than all of our competitors, our job is “done” (although there is ALWAYS room for improvement).

On the other hand, if our conversion rate is LOWER than some or all of our competitors, we need to dive into the “optimization process” detailed below and fix the underlying issue.

Reasons Your Conversion Rate Might Be Low

Seeing that your conversion rate is low is one thing, but figuring out why it’s low (and more importantly how to fix it) is where your time, energy, and effort should be focused.

Although there are a wide variety of reasons why your particular listing might be underperforming the competition, there are three main buckets that make up the vast majority of conversion rate problems.

Let's take a few minutes to dive into each of them to help you diagnose where your problem is and how to fix it.

Inappropriate Traffic:

One of the most common problems causing a low conversion rate on Etsy is what we like to call" inappropriate traffic ".

What we mean by this is fairly simple, you have a variety of traffic from different keywords coming to your listing ( paid, organic, or both) and your product isn't exactly what they were looking for when they started their Etsy search.

One of the easiest ways to understand how this might happen is by using an example of how a single keyword that we might think is relevant could lead to this issue.

Let’s imagine for a moment that we were creating a listing for a new pair of leather pants.

We would want to include the word “leather pants” in our title or description right?


But, did you know that the word pants means two VERY different things to English speakers in different parts of the world?

In the U.S. the word is typically used to refer to something like blue jeans (something you would wear as a top layer to keep your legs warm.

However, when you look at the U.K. you will often see the word “pants” being used to refer to “underwear” like boxers or briefs.

If we think about this from a customer perspective, we can see how confused someone might be when they click on your listing and don’t see the type of “leather pants” they might be expecting.

Another example might be if we are selling an insulated mug. Although many people might use “mug” and “thermos” or “tumbler” as synonyms, there are many others who don’t.

A ceramic mug, an insulated tumbler, a double-walled teacup, or even a giant insulated “sports jug” could all be what someone means when they type in “insulated cup” and since Etsy can’t read their minds (yet!) your customers will likely see a variety of these different options when they run a search.

If they end up clicking on your listing but your version of an “insulated mug” doesn’t end up matching what they expected, they’ll bounce!

With these examples in mind, let’s take a quick dive into how you can know if this might be what’s holding back your conversion rate and how to fix it.

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

The easiest way to know if this is the reason your conversion rate is low is by taking a quick look at your traffic reports.

By taking a look at the keywords that are driving traffic to your listing from ads and also taking a look at the newly available organic keywords data (available inside of your marketing tab).

You should be able to get a good idea of the types of keywords People are not only using to come to your listing but also the ones that lead to conversions.

What you're looking for in either of these reports is listing views that are generated by keywords that don't quite fit exactly what you're selling.

For example, if we were selling digital backgrounds for photographers, and we saw the keyword "digital camera" show up as one of the keywords driving traffic to our listing, we would likely want to remove that since people who are searching for digital camera are more likely to be looking for something to take pictures, rather than a digital photography background.

If you find that one or more of these types of keywords is driving a good chunk of track to your listing, this is something you'll want to address.

How To Fix It

Now that you have a better idea of how to identify where your inappropriate traffic might be coming from, let's talk quickly about how to fix it.

The answer here depends on where your traffic is coming from, etsy ads or organic search traffic.

Etsy Ads

The easiest way to correct this problem is if your traffic is coming from etsy ads.

Since you already should have your keyword report pulled up from the analysis stage of this process, let's start there

To remove a keyword that's driving inappropriate traffic from Etsy ads, all you should have to do is toggle it off inside of your ads dashboard

Simply scroll through the report and turn off any keywords that are either not relevant to the type of product that you are selling or are relevant but could be confusing and are driving lots of traffic with very few sales.

By simply toddling off the keyword, your ad will stop showing for that keyword or its variations and your conversion rate will increase, because you're being shown to more relevant traffic.

Since it typically will show listings for a wider array of keywords if they're running into the ads, If you're not regularly trimming keywords out of your ad campaigns, this is even more likely to be the cause of a low conversion rate.

Organic Etsy Traffic 

If you find that the traffic is coming from an Etsy search, we have a little bit more work to do.

The first thing you'll want to do is create a list of all of the organic keywords that are driving the irrelevant traffic to your listing

Next, you'll need to open up the listing in the back end of your Etsy shop and look at your title, tags, descriptions, and even the alt text on your photos, to see if you're using any of the keywords from your list in those places.

If you are, simply remove those keywords from your listing and either replace them with a keyword that might be more relevant or just take this as an opportunity to rewrite your title and description in a more readable way.

If you don't find any of the keywords from your list in your title, descriptions, tags, or alt text, unfortunately, there's not a ton you can do, because Etsy thinks you are relevant for those keywords.

Thankfully even if this is the case, it's essentially just a matter of time before Etsy stops showing us for those keywords and the inappropriate organic traffic stops coming to our listing.

Not Meeting Customer Expectations

If most of all of your traffic is relevant to the keywords, your potential customers are typing in and you're still struggling with a conversion rate problem. Your product may still not meet your potential customer's expectations once they get here listing.

For example, you and I may both be selling 16 oz insulated travel mugs.

If mine is made of all stainless steel and yours has a plastic lid or interior, We would both be relevant for an "insulated travel mug" but if a customer lands on your listing and prefers one without plastic, they will return to Etsy's search results and end up purchasing from me instead.

It's easy to understand how someone who simply types in an " insulated travel mug" might not be able to tell If your product is right for them until they dive into the listing details.

How To Fix It

To fix this problem, you'll typically want to look at one of two main areas.

The first and the easiest place to address this issue is in your product title. 

If we return to the example of the 16 oz insulated mug, We could easily rewrite the title to avoid this issue to begin with.

For example, if we were to rewrite the title of your listing to say " 16 oz. Insulated mug with plastic lid" It becomes very obvious exactly what your product is and makes it easier for the customer to know whether or not your listing is really what they are looking for.

A second place that's useful to check. If you think this may be you are problem is your main product photo.

If we aren't clearly illustrating the product and potentially including things like a quick line of text talking about the plastic or dishwasher-safe lid, we could be missing the boat

Additionally, if you're not taking advantage of the video feature inside of Etsy, this is a place where it can make a huge difference

Since Etsy customers can't pick up or see the product in real life before they purchase, using videos allows us to give them an in-depth experience with the product and see it from all angles

Additionally, Etsy has recently started auto-playing these videos inside of the search results in place of your main product image.

Utilizing the video feature not only reduces the number of people who don't have their expectations met when they come to your listing, but it helps boost conversion rates of all of your listing traffic by giving them more of an experience with the product.

Not Giving Customers The Information They Need To Convert

I've seen so many listings that list out the technical details of a product but don't clearly explain why that matters to anybody.

If you aren't detailing what the product is made of and how that matters to your customers, you're likely not giving them all of the information that they need.

How To Fix It

Just like solving the last problem, the solution to this problem comes in two different places

Rewrite Product Descriptions

The first and most obvious place where we can give people more information about the product is in the product description

Check out your product description and make sure not only are you clearly explaining what the product is and what it's made of, but perhaps more importantly why it matters to the customer.

The average customer might not know that the specific type of fabric your t-shirt is made from is exactly what they're looking for if you use the industry term or the weight of the fabric.

They would however understand something to the effect of " made from a blend of cotton and synthetic for the softest T-shirt possible, even after 100 washes".

For a customer who simply looking for a cool design on a soft t-shirt (most people) and not a fashion or fabric expert, this is the type of benefit-driven copy that can massively increase the conversion rate.

Take a look at your description and focus on rewriting it in a more benefit-driven way.

Product Images

The second place you'll want to look to correct this issue is in your product images

Sadly, many Etsy sellers Simply post a few mockups of their product and don't think any more of it.

Take an extra few minutes to include a little bit of text on your images to explain essential details or come up with a way to show off some of the benefits of your product by using the product images. 

If we return to our friend the insulated tumbler, We may want to include a photo showing the thickness of the insulation, how well it fits into a car cup holder, or even shoot a quick product video to show off how simple it is to clean.

Including a few product markups can be friendly, but anytime we can include a little bit of extra information rather than one more "lifestyle photo" We will help make sure our customers have all of the information they need to make their decision.

A Quick Recap

Although it's one of the most overlooked pieces of information related to your Etsy shop, knowing what your conversion rate is and how to increase it is one of the most important tools in our toolbox as Etsy sellers.

Having a low conversion rate doesn't mean that we have a bad product or that we just need to "SEO harder".

Instead, it means we need to take a quick step back and figure out why we aren't doing as well with our current traffic level as we should be.

By taking a quick look at your keyword reports and critically analyzing your listing the same way a customer, you'll be able to quickly identify where your potential problem is and fix it?

Chris Shaffer

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.