Etsy is an online store built specifically for unique items. Most of the products sold on the site include handicrafts or antiques (at least 20 years old) and craft supplies. With over 1.7 million active sellers and 28.6 million active buyers, Etsy boasts of a large customer base. So, it is a unique platform for those who are just starting their online business or want to expand their customer base. Opening an Etsy store or business can be a tedious process, but keep in mind that if you invest enough time and effort in optimizing your online selling environment, you will ensure its effective performance and stable income.
How Etsy Search Works
In order to optimize your Etsy business universe properly, you need to know how the platform works and how users can find you among thousands of other sellers. The site’s search algorithm works in 2 stages:
- First, it finds products that match the phrase entered in the search bar;
- Listings that match the phrase are then ranked based on a variety of factors.
In addition, Context Specific Ranking (CSR) is also used when processing user requests and finding the best matches. That is, the history of customer behavior is taken into account, and a “forecast” is made about what is more likely to be bought this time. At the same time, the administration notes that paid subscriptions Etsy Plus and Etsy Premium do not affect the position of the goods in any way.
The Relevance of User Request
The following parameters are taken into account when the system “decides” whether the product matches the entered phrase:
The more closely the title, tags, categories, and attributes match the buyer’s request, the higher the product will be.
Ranking Factor #1 – Title
As practice shows, it is better to write product titles that are short and understandable for customers. It should be clear at first glance what exactly the store is selling. Etsy also notes that the location of the phrase in the title does not affect the position of the product in the search for this phrase.
Ranking Factor #2 – Tags
To make Etsy tags perform better, it is recommended to stick to the below:
- Add all 13 tags;
- It is better to write tags from several words than using one-word combination;
- Re-write tags for products that are viewed not often;
- Use varied phrases;
- Use synonyms;
- Target more specific phrases.
NO-do Etsy things:
- Do NOT repeat tags. Instead of having two identical tags, it is better to use different words.
- Do NOT repeat categories and attributes. Instead of duplicating the tag in a category field, write a different work there. The most searched words, phrases, and combinations will perform better.
- Do NOT use typos. You shouldn’t count on the fact that the Yetsy’s search will automatically correct them.
- Do NOT write tags in different languages. Etsy automatically translates them into the buyer’s language, and for other languages, it is better to add additional languages in the store.
Ranking Factor #3 – Categories
Categories work as additional tags on Etsy. Try to choose the category and subcategories as specific as possible. Consider this feature as an extra Etsy SEO opportunity to promote your store and expand its display availability.
Ranking Factor #4 – Attributes
It is important to fill in as many relevant attributes in your listing as possible even if they are not 100% suitable for you. For Etsy, these elements function as additional tags that help users to narrow their search and make it more accurate.
Listing Quality Rating
Depending on what actions the buyer takes after viewing the product (add it to favorites or performs a purchase), the rating of the item changes. The higher the rating of a product is, the higher positions in search results it occupies.
Shop Off Period
If you go on vacation or take a couple of days off, Etsy stops collecting data about customer interest in your products. Accordingly, the shop item rating remains unchanged, whereas the ratings of competing products continue to grow. As a result, the positions of your products downsize.
New Arrivals/New Items
New products receive a small temporary increase in search positions from Etsy. This is necessary in order to assess how many buyers will like this listing and determine its rating. This “jump” in position can last for hours or days depending on how often people search for similar products.
In addition, the Etsy search takes into account the quality of the store itself. Positive customer reviews have a significant effect on search positions of the online selling point. Besides that, using Etsy’s shop policies template can give you an additional boost. On the contrary, intellectual property violations and warnings on the Etsy forums can reduce the positions of your online shop.
Cost of Delivery
The introduction of the cost of the delivery factor is the main innovation. From now and on, the shipping cost affects the position of the shop in the search. The lower the price is, the higher the product positions are. Listings with lower shipping prices are more likely to rank higher in search. This innovation is the result of customer surveys on Etsy. If the delivery price is even slightly higher than people expect, then the probability of purchasing the product becomes 50% less.
The description of the product does not affect its position in the search since the Etsy search does not scan descriptions for search ranking purposes. However, the platform administration notes that the first 160-500 characters of the description are especially important for external search engines like Google.
The number of product photos does not directly affect its position in the search results page. But the more they are, the greater the chance that the buyer will stay on the product page, carefully check the item, and decide to buy it. As the site administration writers in their recommendation guide, the number of photos you upload doesn’t directly impact your item’s search placement, but using all 10 listing photos may increase your conversion rate.
It is important to understand that any implementation and optimization is a continuous process. If you think that you will boost your sales once all product titles are optimized, then you are wrong. Every detail matters in this business. Optimization is a process that does not have a framework; it is akin to constantly caring for the content of your store and for each specific listing. Building an optimization strategy cannot be instantaneous in any business. So, be patient, track your results, and analyze constantly.