Etsy Search Updates – January 2016

Prepare for another batch of Etsy search updates! It seems like just yesterday we heard from the Etsy search team that they were placing a higher priority on listings located in the same country or region as the shopper. After doing this, they discovered that overall it helped more people make more purchases. This was the first step in delivering more personalized search results to shoppers. The next step would be to personalize each shoppers’ experience even further. And that’s exactly what they’ve just done.

Now before you throw your hands up with Etsy sellers everywhere and start getting nervous about your products’ abilities to rank in a shopper’s search results, take a step back and remember something: Google and Bing have already been personalizing their search results for YEARS. The tools, methods and strategies that people use to successfully rank on Google are still very much relevant to Google SEO – in spite of personalized search results. The same will be true for these Etsy search updates.

There will STILL be a lot of commonality on Etsy. Everyone will see MANY of the same generic listings but there will be some listings which appear because of where someone is, what they have searched for in the past, and which listings they’ve engaged with. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the factors Etsy will be using and how you can use the latest Etsy search updates to your advantage.

Shopper’s Location

Someone in the US searching for “football earrings” will get results about American Football. Someone in the UK will get results for what American’s call soccer (and the rest of the world calls football – you weirdos 😉 ). If your listings aren’t deemed relevant to a particular country, then you have less of a chance of showing up for those countries. If you feel like you should still be relevant, then you should work on your international SEO. While you may not be able to move your shop around the world, keyword suggestions can help you find alternate descriptions for things like soccer and football.

Personal History

What has the shopper searched for in the past? What listings have they clicked from their search results? What listings have they added to a list or favorited? Unlike country personalization, there’s no easy way to try to make your listings more relevant. Instead, this places more weight on the first impression that your listings make – and the brand loyalty you build with your customers. Whenever a shopper clicks on your listing in their search results, you want to make sure you’re delivering a fantastic experience so they’ll either come back later, add your listing to a list, or favorite it. You can do this through excellent product photography and through great thorough descriptions of your listings. If your branding is consistent across multiple listings, as shoppers search, they will recognize your products and return to your other listings despite them potentially being lower in the results list. This behavior will strengthen your position for that shopper and for other shoppers like them.

What’s the next logical step for Etsy?

Social Connections

What do shoppers share with others? What do they tweet about or email or text to their friends? Mapping out these networks provides another way to boost a shop’s listings within search results for shoppers and friends of that shopper. How do other sites do this? They use what developers call “query string parameters” which is a fancy way of saying “information in the URL.” When you click an article posted on Facebook, chances are the link will contain special information which will allow the site to track where you found the article. Adding these types of tracking codes to listing URLs would allow Etsy to see if you shared a link with a friend. Is this definitely Etsy’s next move? Not necessarily. But it’s a logical next step in personalizing search experiences even further so don’t be surprised to see it in the next few rounds of Etsy search updates. Anticipate this and make your listings share-worthy!

How will this affect the keyword research you do in Marmalead? Well, the short answer is, it won’t. Remember how Etsy said there will still be a lot of commonality in search results? Only a handful of listings will get bumped up based on a shopper’s personal information. You will still want to use Marmalead to measure the overall shopper engagement with different keywords to understand the best tag/title combinations to target. You will still want to use Marmalead to understand the size of the market you will be competing with for each keyword. You will still want to use Marmalead to understand the price spread of each keyword and learn where you should be pricing your products to be competitive.

Summary of Etsy Search Updates

These new changes to Etsy’s search algorithm put more weight on the quality of the listings you’re putting in front of shoppers. This is something Etsy has stressed in the past – just like when they said they’d give priority ranking to shops who had filled out their policies. (Speaking of which, you DID fill out all your policies, right? Right??) At the end of the day, Etsy’s goal is to sell more products to more shoppers. They’re constantly testing to see what works best. Any changes they make are aimed at getting more shoppers in the door and getting more of those shoppers to spend more dollars. They’re trying to put more quality listings in front of shoppers. So let the changes work FOR you and make sure your listings are the best quality they can be! You’ll find yourself doing better than ever!

Still feeling nervous about the Etsy search updates?

  • Take several deep breaths (or have a couple of glasses of wine)
  • Keep making sure you’re targeting the right keywords
  • Make sure you’re using those keywords in your tags and title
  • Keep an eye on your pricing vs your competition
  • Fill out all your shop policies
  • Improve your product photos
  • Write fantastic shop descriptions that answer shoppers’ questions before they even ask
  • Deliver an unforgettable customer experience to keep them coming back time and time again

Etsy SEO – Marmalead vs Google Keyword Planner

Marmalead outperforms Google Keyword Planner for Etsy SEO

Etsy SEO can be confusing. Many Etsy sellers have turned to tools like Google’s Keyword Planner for help in finding which search terms shoppers engage with.

Over the past 6 months, we have been running a study to collect actual search terms from actual Etsy shoppers. This is an important first step in developing Marmalead and vetting it against other Etsy and non Etsy SEO tools on the internet. Here are the 50 most popular search terms we’ve collected over the past 6 months:

Etsy SEO: Top 50 Shopper Searches

  • gift for her
  • christmas gift
  • coral bracelet
  • handmade doily
  • necklace
  • jewelry
  • wall art
  • nursery decor
  • statement necklace
  • earrings
  • iphone 6 case
  • bracelet
  • home decor
  • infinity scarf
  • dangle earrings
  • gift
  • printable art
  • bridesmaid gift
  • nursery art
  • digital paper
  • boho necklace
  • soap
  • personalized baby blanket
  • scarf
  • baby blanket
  • christmas
  • gifts for her
  • wedding invitation
  • beaded bracelet
  • planner stickers
  • initial necklace
  • wedding gift
  • inspirational quote
  • handmade soap
  • art print
  • wedding invitations
  • headband
  • stud earrings
  • gemstone necklace
  • baby shower gift
  • bohemian jewelry
  • bar necklace
  • printable
  • christmas ornament
  • boho headband
  • coffee mug
  • lip balm
  • boho bracelet
  • boho jewelry
  • christmas cards

Armed with these keywords, let’s dive into a comparison of Google Keyword Planner and Marmalead in order to see which tool performs better in predicting shopper engagement to achieve the strongest Etsy SEO.

Google Keyword Planner

The first thing we did was dump these keywords into Google Keyword Planner to see what the global Google Search volume looks like:

Search Phrase Google Avg Monthly Searches
gift for her 5,400
christmas gift 18,100
coral bracelet 880
handmade doily 30
necklace 135,000
jewelry 368,000
wall art 165,000
nursery decor 9,900
statement necklace 14,800
earrings 201,000
iphone 6 case 301,000
bracelet 135,000
home decor 135,000
infinity scarf 40,500
dangle earrings 4,400
gift 165,000
printable art 1,300
bridesmaid gift 2,900
nursery art 2,400
digital paper 5,400
boho necklace 1,600
soap 246,000
personalized baby blanket 2,400
scarf 110,000
baby blanket 14,800
christmas 1,220,000
gifts for her 90,500
wedding invitation 90,500
beaded bracelet 1,900
planner stickers 9,900
initial necklace 22,200
wedding gift 18,100
inspirational quote 27,100
handmade soap 9,900
art print 5,400
wedding invitations 368,000
headband 90,500
stud earrings 18,100
gemstone necklace 1,000
baby shower gift 4,400
bohemian jewelry 4,400
bar necklace 9,900
printable 12,100
christmas ornament 6,600
boho headband 590
coffee mug 22,200
lip balm 74,000
boho bracelet 320
boho jewelry 5,400
christmas cards 165,000

It’s important to note that Google uses search volume to indicate engagement in keyword searches. While they may seem like an omnipotent Big Brother sort of character at times, Google doesn’t have a window into every site that is served up in their search results. For this reason, search volume is the deepest reliable way for Google to determine engagement.

Etsy Search Data

Etsy, however, shares view and favorite information with us.  This gives us a much better picture of buyer engagement (and helps Marmalead give you a leg up in Etsy SEO!).

Here are our same 50 keyword phrases matched up with the average number of views and favorites per week for each relevant listing returned by Etsy:

Search Phrase Etsy Results Etsy Views/Wk Etsy Favs/Wk
gift for her 728,614 759 84.4
christmas gift 1,228,215 599.5 70.3
coral bracelet 22,465 7.9 1.3
handmade doily 32,439 10.3 7.9
necklace 3,500,180 656 72.9
jewelry 10,528,747 407 53.4
wall art 1,617,250 252.5 32.1
nursery decor 480,707 184.1 28.8
statement necklace 208,792 152.3 21.6
earrings 2,243,580 280.2 49.4
iphone 6 case 145,035 616.8 70.8
bracelet 145,035 828.8 71.7
home decor 3,995,076 273.2 43.3
infinity scarf 142,372 204 36
dangle earrings 932,827 90.2 17.8
gift 6,774,105 750.2 80.4
printable art 453,875 105.6 18.7
bridesmaid gift 461,135 442.2 48.2
nursery art 405,168 101.2 13.9
digital paper 432,600 69.1 11.5
boho necklace 191,950 85.2 17.1
soap 234,877 201.1 23.6
personalized baby blanket 19,525 115.2 10.6
scarf 611,613 566.6 66
baby blanket 184,882 149.1 14.7
christmas 2,652,756 1701.4 95.5
gifts for her 728,485 771 87.8
wedding invitation 266,893 204.8 13.3
beaded bracelet 694,711 87.6 11.1
planner stickers 119,147 286.9 29.2
initial necklace 118,724 288.1 24
wedding gift 1,262,178 346.9 33.2
inspirational quote 150,271 116.1 14
handmade soap 201,438 86.3 12.7
art print 2,311,877 176.3 22.7
wedding invitations 266,888 212.4 16
headband 627,734 437.6 32.8
stud earrings 286,374 226.1 43.9
gemstone necklace 278,100 73.4 10
baby shower gift 486,509 87.6 10.1
bohemian jewelry 281,894 97.8 20.9
bar necklace 46,681 445.9 29.2
printable 1,100,848 272.7 26.1
christmas ornament 449,083 203.4 25.6
boho headband 32,894 50.6 8
coffee mug 121,436 488.6 64.6
lip balm 31,554 76.1 9.7
boho bracelet 139,117 40.6 13.5
boho jewelry 505,365 102 22.3
christmas cards 222,410 340.9 29.9

Let’s look at an example. One of the top 50 search phrases is “coral bracelet.” In fact, we found that Etsy shoppers used it a total of 126 times in our study. BUT looking at the view and favorite information from Etsy, we can see that very few shoppers actually engage with listings found in this search (7.9 views per week and 1.3 favorites per week on average).

So which is better?

When we match up the shopper engagement data provided by Google’s Keyword Planner to Etsy’s view information, we get this:

Etsy SEO: Google Keyword Planner does not match Etsy views

If Google Keyword Planner were a good predictor of which searches enjoy the most buyer engagement on Etsy, these two graphs would closely overlap. It’s easy to see in this chart that the keywords flagged by Google Keyword Planner as being more popular are NOT the same ones that shoppers are actually engaging with on Etsy. Now let’s compare the same Etsy views with how we measure shopper engagement within Marmalead:

Etsy SEO: Marmalead strongly matches Etsy views

Perhaps unsurprisingly (since we’re getting our data straight from Etsy), Marmalead is spot on for seeing which keyword searches have the highest engagement from shoppers – and will allow you to reap the best Etsy SEO for your listings.

Perhaps Google Keyword Planner is a better predictor of which searches will have more favorites on Etsy? Let’s look:

Etsy SEO: Google Keyword Planner does not match Etsy favoritesAgain, it’s easy to see there really isn’t a strong correlation here between which searches Google thinks have strong engagement and which actually demonstrate engagement on Etsy. Here’s the Marmalead data for the same set of searches:

Etsy SEO: Marmalead strongly matches Etsy favorites

Looking at these charts should make it clear to see that using Etsy’s own data to determine engagement is MUCH more reliable than using Google’s data.

Want to learn more about Etsy SEO and why Google’s numbers are so different from Etsy’s? Tara Jacobsen, a 14-year SEO veteran put together a fantastic guest post which is riddled with great information!

Etsy SEO can be confusing. Many Etsy sellers have turned to tools like Google’s Keyword Planner for help in finding which search terms shoppers engage with.

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