Optimizing an Etsy Store

Last week we provided you with a primer on Etsy SEO [Increasing your Etsy store traffic and sales] and why makers and craftspeople around the globe are drawn to this e-commerce platform for selling their wares. Like many, I went through the motions of “if you build it, they will come,” and some of the differences between SEO for Google and SEO for Etsy. This week we’ll take you down a deeper path, breaking down the individual tactics I employed on my Etsy store (PGwoodgoods) and the outcome.

After frustrations of flat sales and armed with a lot of researched knowledge, I set out in late March 2015 to take action and made the following changes.

  • Added more variety & quantity to my listings, going from around 20, to 40 listings. Greatly increasing my footprint within Etsy.
  • Improved my photography and really focused on the detail in the lead image (such an immeasurably important element of this game) to help draw the user in.
  • Researched and added what I determined to be the best meta keywords possible, ensuring a minimum of 13 per listing.
  • Increased the length of my product titles, ensuring the primary focus phrase resided toward the front.
  • Honed in my product descriptions, including my primary keyword phrase could be found ‘above the fold.’
  • Created unique title variations of similar product listings to prevent duplicate title issues.

Take a look at what happened to my pageviews after my March changes:

Etsy SEO Improvements

What  did these SEO changes translate into for my store?
Take a look at the quantity of orders I had come in after my March changes:

SEO changes for etsy

When all these materials started jiving, good things began happening. The magic of the Etsy search algorithm began to take hold and a few specific listings gained popularity in a pretty popular segment. This improved my relevance and in return spread the relevance to my other listings, increasing the relevance throughout my entire Etsy store.

Etsy Paid Listing Strategies

I activated my internal paid listings around the same time as my other changes in March of 2015. Albeit my initial daily adspend was a low $1.50/day, it did generate positive returns. One misconception here is that just because my daily spend was limited does not mean it will spend $45/mo. This is still very much dependent on the relevancy of your products, search terms and product type popularity.

Etsy Paid Listing Results

Here’s what I have learned: In the nearly 2 years I have been running paid listings in Etsy, keeping with a $1.50/day spend, I have been able to gross just over $1,237.00 in sales – just for turning it on.

Total Esty Paid Listing Investment: $507.36 (over two years)

Total Gross Sales from Ads: $1,237.00 or a 143% return on investment.

What’s more important here is that Etsy does not discriminate (that I have found) against paid or non-paid interactions. Meaning I boosted my revenue generated, thus increasing my relevancy as an Etsy store operator.

Advanced Google Shopping Add On Results

Full disclosure, I’m not even a month into the advanced Google Shopping add on. I started with a similar theory, setting my daily spend to $2 a day. I was getting nowhere near my daily spend. Upon further investigation and consoling with fellow colleagues at BlackTruck, it was discovered that since these are distributed in the Google Network, I needed to now think about this as a traditional PPC or shopping campaign.

Recently I have increased my maximum daily spend to $10/day. Since I activated the change a month ago and increased the bid spend strategy, I have started to see exponential growth.

Etsy Paid Listings

I’m trying to spend money, and I can’t. My highest daily spend was $2.10 in the middle of the second month of testing. However, I’ve almost doubled my investment already. Again, all I had to do was activate it. What I have deduced from this is that while the Advanced Google Shopping ads are a nice edition to the Etsy paid listings, you’re also getting distributed amongst a large number of products in traditional Google Shopping campaigns. To that end, I can see where Google is providing their native Shopping campaigns with preference over those being fed in via Etsy.  

While there are plenty of free tools out there to help you with your keyword research and SEO on Etsy, some are better than others. Would it be weird if I told you to Google it?

Secondly, like any good SEO will tell you about any platform, Etsy SEO requires consistent upkeep and research just the same. Keyword phrase popularity changes almost as quickly as a store or product’s relevance does. Much like Google, Etsy too makes frequent changes to their algorithm.

My advice is to keep your listing volume steady. Many in the Etsy selling world I have found in my own research say that the sweet spot is between 40 and 60 listings. Your inventory also needs to remain updated and renewed at regular intervals. And for heaven’s sake, make sure your most popular and most relevant listing didn’t ‘sell out’ when you didn’t update the inventory online. If you’re a fellow maker like I am, don’t sit around and wait for things to happen. Try some of my suggestions, take action and improve your Etsy store.