What Really Drives Etsy SEO? 5 Areas To Focus On

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 11/01/22 •  9 min read

If you have spent any amount of time in the Etsy world, you've probably seen just about everyone talking about optimizing their listings for SEO.

I wanted to take a few minutes to explain the five things every person should be doing to truly optimize all of their listings for the Etsy search algorithm.

What Etsy SEO Is.

SEO is generally used to refer to several different things related to optimizing a specific piece of content for search engines.

The thing that most people seem to miss, is that the goals of different search engines can be different.

For example, Google's goal with its search engine is to help you answer questions.

To optimize a piece of content for Google's algorithm, they use thousands of different factors To understand whether or not your content is the best answer to the searcher's question.

In the case of an e-commerce marketplace, like Amazon or Etsy, their search engines are designed to take people to the correct product (The one they will eventually buy).

With that goal in mind, we need to remember that to truly optimize our Etsy listings for search, we need to be focused on the things that drive what Etsy actually wants, sales.

We must remember that this is the goal for Etsy as we work our way through the search engine optimization process.

With that out of the way, let's dive into the five most significant areas you should be paying attention to optimize your listings for Etsy's search engine.

Creating Searchable and Readable Titles

The very first thing you should be focused on when it comes to Etsy SEO is creating a searchable and readable title for your listing.

There's very little debate in the Etsy world that having your main keyword or keywords in your title is one of the biggest factors that can help you rank in the organic search results.

However, one of the most common mistakes that I see is people stuffing as many different variations of their main keyword into the title as possible.

Although this may satisfy Etsy's search robot, it's not likely to satisfy the user side of the equation, because they will have no idea what the product is.

For example, If we were selling a hunting T-shirt, many” SEO experts” would tell you that the best title for something like that would be something like “hunting t-shirt shirt camisa top shooting gun woods deer v-neck”.

Even though technically gives Etsy all of the different keywords related to your T-shirt, it's not likely to lead to as many clicks If Etsy decides to show it in an organic search result, which means it's not optimized for search.

A better title for that product would clearly describe what the product is in a human-readable way while also including many of the top keywords.

For example, we could title that listing “hunting v-neck t-shirt with a whitetail deer in the woods” and likely rank much better than the keyword stuff title.

Focus on including three or four of the highest searched keywords that would lead someone to buy your product and then write your title in a human-readable way.

Doing this will not only give Etsy all of the understanding that they need, but it will also give humans the ability to understand what you are selling, making them more likely to click and buy.

Using Attractive Images

With the title out of the way, the second area you need to focus on to optimize your Etsy listing is your images.

Although all of the images you use in your listing are important, the main or featured image is probably the single most important decision you can make in terms of your overall optimization.

In addition to the title(and only the first few words of the title on mobile), The main image is one of the few things someone will actually see when your listing appears in Etsy's organic search results. 

With this in mind, it's important to remember that your main image should not only clearly showcase the exact product that your customer is going to receive, but should also try to demonstrate some of the features of that product.

For example, if we are selling scented candles, we should be including a very clear image of the candle alongside something that clearly represents the scent.

Before you choose your main image, consider running a pole to your friends and family on your favorite social media network, to see which option they prefer.

If you have a few extra dollars to spend, you may want to take a look at an image testing tool like the product image service available from picfu.

Although it does cost a bit of money, it will get you results in just a few minutes from people who are actually in your customer group and aren't worried about offending you like your friends or family like me.

Remember, the more people we can get to click on our listings when Etsy gives us a chance in their search results, the more likely we are to continue to get that chance.

Well-Written and Complete Description

The third place to look to improve your Etsy listing's search engine optimization is in the product description.

Most descriptions on Etsy fall into one of two categories.

Either the description contains only one or two very brief sentences quickly describing the product or it's stuffed full of keywords, gibberish, and gobbledygook.

Writing only a quick sentencer too does not give either Etsy or someone looking to buy your product, the information they need and should be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, including as many keywords as possible in the description isn't the correct approach, even if it does give Etsy lots of ways of trying to fit your product into their search algorithm.

Although a good product description should include a handful of keywords written in a human-readable way, we need to be sure to also include all of the important product details.

For example, I see listings every day that forget to include the materials Their product are made from, the exact sizes and dimensions, a more complete description of the design or saying of the product, and use of care instructions.

If you're not including all of the nitty-gritty details of your product in the description, you should be.

Not only is this the correct thing to do from a common sense perspective, but it will also give Etsy all of the information. It needs to rank you for all of the weird ways people might use to find your product in the search.

Additionally, it gives us the benefit of clearly explaining exactly what someone is going to get when they purchase, meaning it will help us to increase conversions, which will make Etsy very happy to send us even more traffic.

Correct Tags

Although some people will tell you that tags inside of your Etsy listing don't do anything, others will tell you that they're the only thing that matters.

The truth likely lies somewhere in between those two responses.

Although I would not spend nearly as much time on the tag section of my Etsy listings, it's still important to fill them out.

This is the section of your listing where you can feel free to go buck wild and list off every way you can. Think of how someone may describe your product.

If we return to the hunting T-shirt example we talked about in the title section of this article, this is the section where you can feel free to list all of the different variations of the words to describe what a t-shirt is.

The Etsy SEO Flywheel 

The last and perhaps most important thing to focus on is to improve your Etsy listings. Search engine optimization is what we call the Etsy flywheel.

If you have given your listing a good title, a good photo, a good description, and a good set of tags, you're still missing the key ingredient.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the goal of Etsy's search engine is to take potential buyers to the products they will eventually buy.

Having the best and most well-written listing in the world doesn't do anything unless that listing generates sales when Etsy gives you the chance to be clicked on.

In fact, you're often likely to see some of the top-ranked listings for any term you type in on Etsy. Do not have the exact combination of words that you typed in in their title.

Why is this?

It's because those listings are already getting traffic and sales and therefore Etsy knows if they drive additional traffic to those listings, that they are likely to generate even more traffic and sales.

I see lots of sellers using the “If you build it, they will come” approach and although that may work in some of the least competitive niches, we need to drive as much of our traffic to our Etsy listing as we can.

If you have even a few dollars to spend on Etsy's advertising platform, it's well worth the investment to drive your initial traffic and sales to that listing.

Additionally, you may want to check out the entire article we've written on how we drive traffic and sales to our Etsy listings.

A Quick Recap

Although you could likely spend years studying and researching all of the ins and outs of search engine optimization and how it affects your taxi listings, it boils down to:

If you and just a few minutes on each of these sections, your listings will start to generate their own organic traffic and sales faster than you ever thought possible.

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!