If you’ve ever hopped on the Etsy forums, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a thread or two (or two million…) that asks the inevitable “Why aren’t I getting any views on Etsy?”
And for good reason-- getting found on Etsy is the #1 reason for selling on Etsy in the first place! You absolutely shouldn’t have to drive all of your own traffic-- you’re paying a $.20/product premium for Etsy to take over part of the work of driving traffic to your shop.
(If you’re doing 100% of the work of driving traffic to your shop, then you would be much better served off on Shopify or Squarespace-- websites where you’ll ultimately have an insane amount of control of your items.)
But if you’re looking for ways to automate your marketing and get your product in front of the right people-- and quickly-- then getting your SEO ducks in a row with Etsy is ABSOLUTELY worth it because it’s the type of marketing strategy that makes you money in your sleep.
If you were to take any of the top 100 sellers on Etsy right now and ask them if SEO was worth it, I guarantee you without a shadow of a doubt that they would say YES, absolutely. SEO is a MAJOR part of their marketing strategy.
But maybe you've tried to work on your SEO and it still hasn't increased your views.
So without futher ado, let me share 4 of the TOP reasons you’re failing at Etsy SEO + give you solutions to fix them!
1 | You’re selecting your keywords at random
Hands down, this is the #1 problem I see from people when they hire me to overhaul their Etsy shops.
If you are asking your bff’s or even other sellers in the Etsy forums for keyword ideas, YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES.
So stop it :)
While you may get some really helpful suggestions from them, this should be the tip of the iceberg for your SEO research. Like your crappy first draft SEO keywords. Like step 0.5. Yes, they’ll get you started, but you’re going to need to research and refine and trial and error your way through them to come up with a super-optimized set.
If you’d like to save yourself the hassle of daily trial and error, I’d like to introduce you to your new BFF’s: I like to call them “Google Keyword Planner” and “Marmalead” and they are going to seriously change your Etsy game. I use both of them in tandem to create SEO-amazing listings that get me thousands of views/day and result in consistent, daily sales (which is an ah-mazing feeling of relief, let me tell you, because it hasn’t always been that way!).
Use together, these two tools can tell you EXACTLY what keywords to use, what ones to avoid, and help you come up with a targeted SEO strategy that knocks your competition out of the water.
So stop asking everyone and their dog for keyword advice-- and implement a keyword research strategy that you can go back to again and again.
2 | You’re targeting too large an audience
If you’ve done any kind of SEO keyword research, you’ve probably heard that broad words (think one-word keywords like “dress” or “necklace” or “soap”) are absolutely lousy at driving traffic unless you are a super-crazy-big-deal.
Because those single keywords? You are literally (literally!) competing against hundreds of thousands of others out there trying to rank for those same exact keywords.
Here’s a quick example of what I am talking about. I’ve taken the keyword “necklace” and put it into Google Keyword Planner.
Holy cow-- that’s some stiff competition! Yes, those average monthly searches are some awesome numbers and would be incredible to rank for, but can I let you in on a little secret?!
Customers who are searching for such broad keywords aren’t in the “buying” stage yet-- they’re still browsing and not quite committed to making a purchase. Maybe they know that they would like to buy a necklace, but they aren’t quite sure what style, so by searching for such a broad keyword, they’re merely looking for inspiration and ideas to narrow down on later.
Your goal here is to make sales, so those super generic, yet high-volume, keywords? Not worth your time.
In order to get found on Etsy, your keywords need to be 2-3 keyword phrases.
Not one-word keywords, and not six-word keyword phrases, but an average of 2-3 keywords in a phrase is ideal. Here are some great examples:
gold beaded necklace
typography art print
scarf knitting pattern
women’s graphic t-shirt
Keep in mind, however, that while it’s harmful to be too broad with your keywords, people tend to forget to mention that being too specific can be just as bad.
Which brings me to...
3 | You’re targeting TOO specific of an audience
So maybe you’ve got the opposite problem-- you’ve been told a bajilion times to be more specific with your keywords and now the SEO for your items is uber-specific and technical and driving 0 traffic.
YOU NEED TO USE KEYWORDS THAT SHOPPERS ACTUALLY SEARCH FOR.
(Can you tell I feel really strongly about this?! ha ha!)
I know you are an expert in your field--and that is super awesome! But just because you know all of the professional lingo out there to describe work in your field, it doesn’t mean that your audience does (and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t search for it!).
Think about it: If you were looking to purchase a necklace for yourself, you’d probably search on Google or Pinterest for something like “beaded necklace,” “sterling silver necklace,” or “gold layered necklace.”
You WOULDN’T be searching for terms like “AB Crystal 4mm bicone necklace” (and yes, I just pretended like I knew jewlery lingo right there...I sincerely apologize if I butchered it!!) because first off, it’s ridiculously lengthy to write, but second off, most of us don’t have a clue what “AB Crystal 4mm bicone necklace” even means.
We just want a nice beaded silver necklace, so guess what we’ll probably type in the search engine?
“Beaded silver necklace.”
So make sure that your keywords aren’t too broad that it’s impossible to rank for them, but also keep them from being too specific that your audience can’t find you. If you’re clueless as to what your audience actually searches for, do some research on Google Keyword Finder or Marmalead and figure it out!
4 | You’re getting views-- but no sales
One of my absolute favorite things about running this Morgannield.com biz is interacting with each of you and hearing about your struggles + triumphs on Etsy.
One thing I hear over and over, however, is that a lot of people on Etsy can get the views-- but they can’t convert those views into sales.
If you’re getting a few hundred views/day with no sales, there are two things that could be going on:
1- Your product copy is not doing it’s job (aka selling your product); or
2- You’re getting views from the WRONG customers.
While I’ll save tackling #1 for another day, we’re absolutely going to talk about #2 today: Getting views from the WRONG customers.
To start off, repeat after me: Your SEO needs to describe your items 150%.
It can be tempting (trust me, I know!) to use those high-traffic trending keywords to describe your products (think “gifts for her,” “bridesmaid gifts,” etc. that get hundreds of thousands of views every day) because they drive so much traffic and wouldn’t it be awesome if they drove just some of that traffic to you?
Well yes, if you were just in it for vanity numbers, then yes, using those keywords probably will bring you more traffic.
But it’s all the wrong kind of traffic. You may eventually make a sale here or there, but if those super-popular keywords don’t describe your item 110%, then you are just wasting valuable keyword real estate!
Make sure that your keywords are consistent with what a buyer would search for if they were trying to find your exact product. Don’t just copy + paste from other listings (although you can learn more about a time-saving tool called the “bucket strategy” here) if the information doesn’t apply to both. I promise you, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Tackle the SEO of each listing individually with your target customer in mind and while your views may go down, your conversions (sales) will go up.
5 | You think that SEO is “outdated” with all the social media out there, so it’s on your perpetual “to-do” list and has been since 2012.
I’ve shared this before, but I’ll share it again: SEO is the ONLY “marketing strategy” I used to grow LittleHighbury from $0 - $50K in its first 6 months.
SEO is honestly the BEST marketing strategy out there because it’s one of the only ones that WORKS FOR YOU (and I’ll argue that yes, Pinterest works for you as well, but it only works if you have good SEO ;). Honestly, I’ve been able to set-it-and-forget-it with my shop once I got my SEO ducks in a row because SEO works for me on autopilot.
Basically, that means that while I’m busy working on creating exciting new product or planning brilliant collaborations, I don’t have to worry about what I’m doing to drive sales-- because my SEO is doing it for me.
It’s honestly the best “magic trick” in the book and it’s allowed me to grow my business to INSANE highs without losing my mind.
So if starting/fixing/glancing at your SEO has been on your to-do list for a while, now’s the time to tackle it-- I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds, and it is the ultimate marketing strategy for your Etsy shop, because once you’ve figured it out, you’re going to be amazed at just how much it can do for you!