The art of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for an Etsy seller is a complex one. So let’s start at the beginning and explain a bit about SEO means, in the context of your Etsy Store.
This post is Part 1 of my Etsy SEO Tips Series.
- Part 1 – How to Create a SEO Keyword List
- Part 2 – Where to put SEO Keywords in your Etsy Shop
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Etsy means setting up your shop in such a way that your potential customers can find you easily using the search bar on Google and other popular search engines as well as the Etsy search function. The first thing you need to do when considering the SEO of your shop is to think like a customer. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What words would they use to search for your items? Try to come up with 3 words that describe the items in your shop. Just 3, to get you started.
For example, which is better to describe my mice? “Handmade funny animals” or “felt mouse ornaments”? Both sets of words describe my items, but the second one is much more specific and more likely to be the type of search term a potential customer would use when looking for my mice. Someone searching for “handmade funny animals” may not want mice, or they might want a puppet or a stuffed toy. But they are not likely to be a big mouse ornament fan. But someone using “felt mouse ornaments” as a search term is highly likely to enjoy my shop, be a mouse collector or buying a gift for someone who is. If you are stuck for ideas on what 3 words to use to start with then you can check out your Etsy shop stats for ideas.
To find you shop stats: log in to Etsy, hover over “your shop” at the top right of the page and click “your stats”. On the next page select a time frame “all time” or “this year” are good choices. Then scroll down to find the box for keywords.
As you can see from my results, there are several versions of my shop name in there. These are my past customers or fans searching specifically to find my shop – which is great – but not relevant when trying to pick your first 3 keywords. Other results such as “harry potter” or “lord of the rings” are specific to certain listings in my shop, but not all of them. You are looking for 3 keywords that describes what you do, and if possible most of what you sell in your shop. For my shop the words mouse, felt and ornament come up again and again. So these are my first 3 keywords.
Once you have found your first 3 keywords, write them down. We’ll come back to them in a moment.
Next up you need to build up other relevant keywords about your items. But remember – think about them from your customer’s perspective! As a potter, the specific type of clay or glaze you are using may be very important to you, but will your potential customers care as much? Less likely. So although it’s important to include these words with your SEO, they should not be your top priority right now.
Building your relevant keywords
- Look through your Etsy Stats for other common describing words people are using to find your shop. Can you think of other similar words you aren’t already using?
- Run a search on Etsy for similar items to yours. Take a look at the sellers who are making them, at their shop titles, listing titles and tags for inspiration.
- While looking at other sellers who sell similar items to you, think hard about what makes your shop different? What is unique about your product?
- Who is your product for? women, men, baby, children, boy, girl, adult, pets, dog, cat?
- What is the style? is it classic, romantic, funny, humorous, cute, steampunk, country?
- Where will your item be used? Is it designed for the kitchen, living room, outdoors, bedroom?
- Is your item location specific? For example does it feature a Dutch landscape? Or is it so large you’ll only ship within your own country? On these occasions including location names in your SEO is very useful to buyers.
- Is it handmade, vintage or supply?
- Add “Etsy” and your own shop name to your list too. If your shop name is several words like The House of Mouse, remember to add it joined together too thehouseofmouse and houseofmouse are used when people are looking specifically for my shop.
- If you have Google Analytics set up for your Etsy shop you can also look at keyword results from this to gather more ideas.
By now you should have a list of at least 20 keywords that are relevant to your shop and listings. Now for some more in-depth research. Head on over to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and click on “search for new keyword and ad group ideas”
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a tool for advertisers to build campaigns and pay Google to display their web pages/advertisements to users when they search for certain key words. But it is a very useful free SEO keyword tool in it’s own right, and that is all I am using it for in this tutorial. But be aware when you are using it that it is designed as part of the process of building a Google Ad.
To get yourself started with this tool just put in your top 3 keywords into the “your product or service” box. You can add your shop url and find your product category as well if you like, but I don’t usually bother with that for a simple keyword search.
Under “targeting” choose the locations you want to sell to. As my shop is only in English, I chose locations where English is spoken: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand etc. The keyword suggestions and results you will get from this will only be pulled from the countries you select here. So be careful about your selections. When you are happy with your settings click “get ideas”.
You’ll then be taken to a page that looks like this:
The graph for my first set of keywords shows that the frequency that “felt mouse ornament” is searched increases massively in the run up to Christmas. With the peak being in December. This fits with what I know about the busy times in my shop! Underneath the graph Google AdWords has given me a list of suggested groups of keywords relevant to my original search term “felt mouse ornament” Each of the groups (in the blue text) is a category of keywords. To see the whole list of keywords in that group just click on the blue text. Some of the categories and results won’t be relevant to your product, but you can use this list to find a really great set of keywords that you can use.
So lets go ahead and take a look at one of these categories by clicking on it: Felt Ornaments
You can see that the keywords in this group show you the average monthly searches for each within the parameters that you set (ie counties, languages etc). as well as the competition level for each keyword. So you can see here that the keyword “felt ornaments” has an average of 1,300 searches per month, which is great. The competition level is based on the number of other advertisers using this keyword in their Google AdWords campaigns. It’s worth paying attention to the competition level as it’s a good indication of competition outside of Google too. The best strategy is to make sure you have a good mix of high, medium and low competition keywords in your list. If you only choose high competition keywords then you’ll be competing all the time to be seen, but too many low competition keywords and you’re not using terms that your buyers are using often. When making your list of keywords also note down the searches per month and competition level of each one so you can make sure you mix these up later. I like to keep my list on an excel sheet so it’s easy to find later! You may want to make separate columns for keywords relevant to specific sections of your etsy shop, or even specific items.
When you have been through the categories and picked out keywords that are relevant to your shop you can then change the keywords in the “your product or service” bar at the top of the Google AdWords Keyword Finder tool. Try mixing up the keywords here for new categories and keyword suggestions. Try throwing in keywords like “etsy” and see what comes out. Take a look at the list of words you put together before we went to the Google AdWords tool, mix them up and see what the tool suggests. Soon you should have a nice long list of keywords, as well as a good idea which ones are popular vs which ones are niche. A mix of both is good.
This concludes part 1 of my Etsy SEO Tips posts. I hope it was helpful. Did I miss something important, or do you have a question? Feel free to comment here, I’d love to hear from you. Check out Part 2 – Where to put SEO Keywords in your Etsy Shop
I am Anna, the artist behind these joyful artisan felt mice. My Granny was a mouse maker, and just like her I am on a mission to let more joy into your life. I want my creations to speak to your soul, light you up and inspire you with pure delight.
Because I believe that the things that make you happy are what make your life so unique.
If you would like to learn more about me, please click "My Story" link at the top of the page.
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