When it comes to Etsy SEO, there’s a whole lot of hype and hoopla that gets thrown around. So how well can you separate Etsy SEO facts from Etsy SEO myths? Find out in this myth-busters-inspired episode of The Jam!
Today we’re going to be talking about eight common Etsy SEO myths and whether they’re fact or crap! We hope you find these helpful and that they speed you along to finding even more Etsy shop success!
01. Etsy SEO Myths: The order of your tags matters.
Nope! The order of your Etsy tags doesn’t matter.
You can basically move your tags to any spot you want. It doesn’t have any bearing on your search results whatsoever! Etsy looks at whether something exists in your tag, but it doesn’t really care if it’s the first tag or the last tag.
However, the order of words within each tag DOES matter, which easily confuses Etsy sellers.
When we say the order of your tags doesn’t matter, we mean the order of each individual tag itself as a whole doesn’t matter. But the words within a particular tag do matter. You can’t skip words or change the word order and expect that tag to still be an exact match for what’s going on in your title.
Let’s say you’ve got “silver starfish necklace” as a keyword in your title. Then, let’s say you go down and you make a tag that’s “silver necklace”. This will not be a match, because the words within the tag aren’t matching up with what’s going on in the title.
And remember, if you’re breaking up keywords across a couple different tags, it does need to match what’s going on in that keyword you’re looking to target.
02. Etsy SEO Myths: The order of the keywords in the title matters.
This is actually true, but not for the reasons that most people think. A lot of sellers think that the order of their keywords matters for Etsy SEO purposes.
This actually isn’t the case anymore.
The reason why Etsy (and therefore Marmalead) wants you to put your best and most descriptive keywords right at the front of your title is that there are so many shoppers that visit Etsy from a mobile platform. These shoppers are only seeing a small portion of your title on their mobile devices.
So it’s really important (psychologically) for buyers to see keywords that match up with their search. So, it IS best that you put your most descriptive, most representative keyword right at the front of the title.
This affects experience, not SEO
Now again, this is not going to help you in terms of SEO or search placements on Etsy. But it does help in terms of the experience your customer will have and making sense of the listing right off the bat.
Remember, about 60% of shoppers visit Etsy from a mobile platform.
Bonus Tip: While tag order doesn’t help your Etsy SEO, it actually does matter for Google SEO. We don’t talk a lot about Google SEO and we’re definitely not Google SEO experts, but we do know that working in a couple of those most descriptive keywords right in front of the title does matter for your Etsy listing rank in Google search.
Using Marmalead to check your listings on mobile
If you’re curious about what your listing title looks like on a mobile device, you can see that in Marmalead on your listing detail pages.
You just pull up one of your listings and scroll down. We’ll show you exactly what your title looks like in mobile search results and then on the mobile listing page. Etsy also (on some devices) truncates your title on your actual listing page too, they don’t actually show the whole thing on a mobile device.
If 60% and growing of customers are visiting Etsy from a mobile device, knowing what your title looks like to that percentage of customers is a big deal.
03. Etsy SEO Myths (Now Confirmed): My listing descriptions are part of Etsy SEO.
Updated May 2022: This is no longer a myth! 😁
While it used to be a simple myth that your listing descriptions are part of Etsy SEO, as of May 2022, this myth is now confirmed to be true! That’s because Etsy recently announced that search now considers keywords and phrases within your listing descriptions when ranking your listings.
In other words, the keywords you use across your listing titles, tags, categories, and attributes are all essential when it comes to matching your listings to the right buyers. And now, the keywords you use in your descriptions are just as important.
Even though your descriptions haven’t always been a part of Etsy SEO, we’ve always recommended you apply SEO best practices when writing them. That’s because search engines (like Google) have always used your descriptions to help rank your listing pages in search results.
Now that descriptions are a part of Etsy SEO, incorporating your best-performing keywords is more important than ever.
When it comes to Etsy SEO in your descriptions, Etsy recommends that you aim to incorporate relevant keywords in the first few sentences. By using relevant keywords and phrasing matches in your Etsy listing descriptions, you’re proving to the Etsy algorithm that your listing is relevant to similar shopper searches.
Etsy also recommends that you avoid copying your title verbatim or simply listing your top keywords. Instead, you want to craft a sentence or two that casually incorporates a few of your top keywords in a way that sounds human and written in your brand’s voice.
Again, the goal of your description is to connect with your customer and clearly communicate what your brand is and what you’re selling.
04. Etsy SEO Myths: Repeating keywords will hurt me.
No, repeating your Etsy keywords is not going to hurt you.
Unless you are actively keyword stuffing a whole bunch of keyword garbage into your listing. That will hurt you.
If you have a listing titled “starfish necklace beach necklace” and use both “starfish necklace” and “beach necklace” as tags, the fact that you used necklace twice will not hurt your listing. Etsy doesn’t mind this at all and will look at things in context. Etsy is looking at “beach necklace” as one kind of thing and “starfish necklace” as one kind of thing.
It’s really important to remember that you’re going to need to continue tweaking your keywords over time with this SEO strategy.
You might find that those keywords (even though you’re targeting necklace twice) are both really working for you. You also may find that you want a little bit more diversity and that one or the other may be working better.
This is where you’d have the opportunity to tweak things and optimize them a little bit more to get you in front of an active audience. At the end of the day, you just want to make sure that you’re getting movement from the keywords that you’ve applied to your listing.
The real benefit
In this specific example, the real benefit would be if a buyer is searching for “beach necklace.” By having that term in your title like this, you’re going to be a stronger match than other products that don’t have that.
So if someone else listed this same thing, as “starfish necklace beach” and didn’t have “beach necklace” because they figured they already have necklace for starfish, they might still match for that “beach necklace” term because those words are in there, but because you have them together, it will make you a stronger match.
What it doesn’t help you with is if someone is searching for “necklace.” Etsy isn’t going to see that you have necklace in there twice. As long as the word is found they don’t care if it’s eight times or once, it’s the same credit for having the word there.
05. Etsy SEO Myths: Etsy doesn’t care if my shop policies are filled out.
Well, this is a HUGE false!
If Etsy is giving you room to fill something out, please, please do it. Etsy is using pretty much every piece of information you offer them to help match you up with the right shoppers for your shop and products.
As Etsy leans more and more into AI-based technologies, this is going to become even more important. So fill out your policies, fill out your About section, and fill out your materials section.
If there’s a section to fill out, do it.
Also, your policies protect you as a seller! They help you communicate with your customer what they can and cannot expect from you. You don’t want to set your customer up to have unrealistic expectations and you definitely don’t want to leave room for assumptions from the buyer.
Etsy even has templates in place that you can use for these to make it easy for you. It’s just one more way for Etsy and your customer to know that you’re a serious seller.
You also don’t want to spend your time answering questions about policies that you could have just put under your shop policies. But the biggest thing is that shoppers will expect to see shop policies because so many other shops have them and they might not even write you to ask that question they have in the first place. They’ll just go somewhere else where it’s stated and they already know.
06. Etsy SEO Myths: The Etsy search bar shows the most popular searched keywords.
True-ish. They show you searches that are being done more than other searches.
For example, if you type in a letter like P, Etsy will autocomplete and show you the most popular searches that have been done that start with P. But, what’s the time frame on these searches. What exactly are we looking at here?
Is this the most popular search in the last five minutes?
Most popular search in the last day? Month?
What time period are you really looking at?
And the shorter that time period gets, the less helpful those are going to be to you as a seller when you’re swapping out keywords — unless you enjoy doing your SEO multiple times a day. Which most sellers probably don’t.
The bottom line is, that it really isn’t enough information to build an Etsy SEO strategy. Either way, even if we’re encouraging you to use this as a way to generate keyword ideas, you then want to take those keywords back to a set of tools, like Marmalead, so you can learn the information and data.
Ultimately, this will help you create a solid SEO strategy based off of more information than just knowing that the keyword is popular-ish at a given time. You want the full picture and not just part of the picture. The Etsy search bar isn’t going to show you the competition on a keyword, the engagement, or a number of other things.
You will just simply know that it has been searched before and that’s about it.
07. Etsy SEO Myths: If I add more photos, it will improve my Etsy SEO.
Etsy does encourage you to have ten photos, but they are not going to penalize you if you don’t have all ten. Etsy recognizes there are some products out there where it would be pretty hard to take ten photos. Maybe you sell downloadable birthday invitations. It will probably be kinda tough to get ten unique photos for a product like this.
But you certainly want to make sure you’re giving your shoppers as much information as possible, and your photos are a great way to do that.
If you have a necklace, you want to show a potential buyer where that’s going to fall on their neck or what it will look like in different lighting. Be sure to show what the back of the piece of jewelry looks like and what it looks like from the side. So for someone selling something like this, getting ten photos to ensure your customer doesn’t have any questions will be a bit easier.
You can really build a story with photos and intrigue your customer into purchasing your product by being creative with photos. But no, it does not improve or hurt your SEO.
08. Etsy SEO Myths: Etsy SEO is the same as Google or Amazon SEO.
Stop it. Noooo. No it’s not! We don’t know that we can say that anymore emphatically.
Why would it be the same? Each of them are completely different algorithms and you’re going to optimize in different ways for each platform.
Also, the goals of each platform are completely different. Google’s goal is to sift through a ton of information and find the most relevant information for you. Etsy’s goal is to find the most relevant products for you. These are 100% different things that they’re trying to accomplish, so obviously they want to have different algorithms to accomplish those two things. They’ll look completely different and they should.
Also, Etsy is a niche marketplace whereas Amazon is based on having everything. Amazon does have handmade products now, but more than anything it’s about commodity on Amazon. This isn’t to say that information from these different platforms is useless in terms of building an SEO strategy, obviously, it’s not. Several times in this episode alone we’ve mentioned optimizing for Google.
So yes, we know that information from these platforms is helpful and will help you find trends! We’ve found that trends on Pinterest can be predictive of what will be popular on Etsy, so it’s not that the information is useless to you in terms of building an Etsy SEO strategy. You just have to be mindful of the fact that the algorithms are completely different.
What you also need to remember is that 80% of engagement on Etsy starts with a search from the Etsy platform. So you want to make SURE that you’re optimized for Etsy search because that’s a huge number to just be missing out on if you’re only optimizing for Google.
We hope you found these Etsy SEO myths to be helpful to you and your shop! Were there any myths that you thought were true? Are you excited to learn a myth that you never knew before? If so, drop us a comment and let us know below!
Happy selling, everyone!
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