The question, “if an item gets a lot of views and hearts and doesn’t sell it will lose relevancy in Etsy search?” has been asked many times in many ways.
The answer? It depends.
There’s a lot of noise in the how does Etsy search work space. Maybe you’ve heard of click parties aka clickathons. In case you haven’t, they’re based on the false belief that random views and favorites on your listings will increase your search ranking. Clickathons are a waste of time for so many reasons they deserve their own post.
On the other hand we have the shops that are very worried about getting non-buyer clicks and favorites for fear that it will sink their search ranking.
This topic is entirely about how Etsy’s search handles listings.
Search and Non-Search Traffic
Etsy distinguishes between views that come from search and ones that don’t. They get really granular, but for our purposes they either come from search or they don’t.
Views that don’t come from search are just whatever. We all get random visitors to our sites so it’s expected that the quality of view will differ.
Search results however are prime real estate. We’ve all seen it and Etsy has stated they incorporate performance (sometimes called listing quality) in search ranking. They take the listings that do a great job of being relevant (Etsy SEO), and they give them a shot at great rankings. If the listings perform well, they stay up there. If they don’t, they give other listings a chance. Etsy wants to present shoppers with listings they’re likely to purchase. The best way to predict that is whether others searched for this and ended up purchasing.
When does it matter?
So back to the original question. Does it hurt listings to favorite them and not buy?
It doesn’t matter when the view comes from outside of Etsy’s search.
It does matter when the view comes from within Etsy’s search.
If many people find your listing in search, view it, favorite it, and NOT buy it. Eventually, yeah it will hurt the listing. It establishes a track record of shoppers passing up that listing despite finding it in a relevant search. Etsy wants to display listings with the greatest chance of selling. The key there is that the traffic is coming from search.
I certainly wouldn’t ask a group of people to search “xyz keyword”, find your listings, and favorite them just for fun. The result would be totally not fun.
I wouldn’t worry about casually liking something. I would continue to promote your shop everywhere that gets you in front of shoppers. Business cards, packaging inserts customers can give to friends, and online communities where your customers want to hear from you to name a few.
The best thing that can happen to your shop is to consistently get found in search and close the sale. You make money, Etsy makes money, shopper is happy, win win win.
This post is about products that stand out in a crowd of similar products, and I couldn’t think of a better real life example than the wine section of the grocery store.
First a little background. I like red wine. The end… just kidding. The truth is we appreciate red wine, and also not enough to actually learn anything about it. That second part is very important. Many of your customers will appreciate what you sell, and also not know exactly what they’re looking at. I say this because product experts can look at something and either A) know all the key players in the industry to everything is recognizable or B) they know what they’re looking at and can spot subtle queues of quality (or in this case they can make sense of a wine label).
So what ridiculous method of selection would barbarians like us employ ?
Ready for it?
2) Interesting labels.
Like I said, I’m far from a wine expert. Want to know if it’s red or white? I’ve got your answer. Beyond that, I’m clueless. So this means pricey wine is out of the question. It also means that I can’t spot a bargain either. For me that means cheap wine = bad time. So I look at the middle shelf. As I’ve said before so many times, price is part of your product.
Once I have my selection area squared off the fun begins. I’m looking for interesting labels. Remember, I can’t understand what gibberish they’re pitching on the labels so this is the best I can do.
Here they are again, the seven bottles I collected just for this post.
By wine bottle standards, these stand out on the shelf and for different reasons I chose each of them. I’ll explain one by one. Let me also make the blanket statement that all of these did actually taste good. This system may have it’s flaws, but we’re happy with the results.
How often do you see a blackboard with interesting science formulas on a wine label? It’s a first for me. The name sealed the deal, Educated Guess. I’m a big fan of making and testing guesses. I had to drink this wine. Most of the neighboring labels were boring fonts on off white labels. This one stood out with white writing on a black background AND orange name. It’s that simple, and they wouldn’t have won my business if they hadn’t grabbed my attention first.
Off white label? Check. Basic font? Check. That tree though… and wait, look closely, there’s something in the tree looking at you. There’s something intriguing and calming about this tree. Even as I write this, I can’t stop looking at it.
The silver label is a bit different. It’s somewhat shiny and stands out from the bottom that’s darker filled with wine (I could have photographed prior to consumption. whoops. 20/20 hindsight). Check out that negative space though. The horse head is left aligned with the text. I can’t help noticing this label. Then comes the name. Dark Horse. Wikipedia defines this as, “A dark horse is a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed.”. Ever feel that way? Me too. Again, had to drink this wine.
Okay, this one will be really really short. The label has cake on it! Do I have to explain what’s going on in my head when shown a photo of cake? I didn’t think so. Wait, are you still reading or have you already left to get yourself some cake too?
This one feels the fanciest of the flock. I think it’s the duck. It has a majestic look to it. It’s maybe a little smug too. I didn’t notice it the first time around. That duck doesn’t even care I’m here. The name is large and all caps, DECOY. The font below is cursive (fancy) and there’s a lot of white space on that label. Overall it says very little. I must know more, and so I did.
You may be thinking what I was when I first saw this. What are these people thinking with a label talking about crime and a grungy old picture as the label!?! Well it worked. I had to know what this was about.
It’s an interesting story…
“Nineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction British rogues guilty of a least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by “transportation” began in 1783 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.
As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick.
This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.”
After this bottle taught me so much and I spent a few moments of thought holding it, I would have felt silly not buying it. Another victory for the brave wine label.
Arguably this one stands out the most. It looks like they literally shrunk down a rodeo poster and slapped it on a bottle. Red letters, huge yellow sun with black rider and horse over top. Need I read anymore? Nope. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the two red wines you’ll see me with. The other is Merlot by the way. If this is the show they have for me on the outside, I can’t wait to try what’s inside.
Every one of these bottles grabbed my attention in some way. Maybe I like bold marketing. Things that stand out and break convention. Some of these may not be ones you’d personally choose. That’s okay because you can’t appeal to everyone.
I imagine these wineries realize shoppers like me are intimidated by the wine aisle. We don’t know what we’re looking for, not a clue in fact. We’re looking for a beacon of hope, something to save us from the awkwardness that comes from feeling horribly uninformed. These rebels looked at the crowd and chose to be remarkably different. They lit their torch and guided me out of the unknown and into something I could feel good about. The label is cool.
Why This Matters to You
If you sell a product purchased as a gift, chances are they’re not comfortable with choosing a product the way an end user would be.
If you sell to someone that’s new to your category, they may not be comfortable with where to start.
If you sell to someone that’s been around a long time, they may want to see a fresh perspective.
In every case, bold moves that grab attention are winning moves. Attention is at a premium, and fitting in is like hiding out.
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Entrepreneur has the Marm-Meter. It’s the next level in our quest to help you get found on Etsy. It’s a right-brain friendly green, yellow, and red system of measuring three important criteria of keywords.
Those criteria are Engagement, Competition, and Category Page.
Game changer? We’ll let you be the judge of that 😉
Entrepreneur plan can limit the listings analyzed to the top 42 (1st page of results), 100 (3 pages), or 500 (12 pages of results). The benefit here is to see what’s working at different levels of relevancy. For example, I would choose 42 if I want to drill into what is working specifically for being on the first page. I would choose 500 if I want to cast a wide net and analyze a large set of listings for that search.
Dabbler plan only has the option of 42 listings.
Entrepreneur plan can filter on Shop, Material, and Category of the listings. Shop filtering allows you to filter out all results except for your shop’s listings, filter out your shops listings, or see both your shop and others. You would filter out your shop to analyze listings without yours skewing the numbers. You would filter out other shops to see analysis of only your listings (including an easy way to check your listings’ ranking).
Dabbler cannot filter at all.
Entrepreneur plan benefits from keyword suggestions from Bing search engine. When you perform a search in Marmalead, you’ll see a column to the right full of search suggestions from Bing. These are keywords being actively searched by potential buyers around the world. This is a great source of inspiration.
Dabbler plan does not have this benefit.
Listings and Tag Rank
Entrepreneur plan has the powerful benefit of seeing the Etsy search ranking and page for each listing, and the average ranking of each tag used. This is essential for fully optimizing your listings to rank on top. This is also the fastest way to check up on the relevancy of your listings.
Dabbler plan does not have this benefit.
Entrepreneur plan has the Keyword Comparison tool that compares up to four keywords side-by-side. You won’t have to remember key metrics for each search run individually, you can compare them at the same time. I recommend using this comparison to identify a handful of keywords that you’ll drill down on using the full search screen.
Dabbler plan does not have this benefit.
Entrepreneur plan has the Keyword Tracking tool that tracks keyword performance over time. For example, track “Silver Starfish Necklace” to watch its key metrics and make sure you’re staying ahead of the trend whether it’s becoming more or less viable of a market for you. Keyword Tracking allows you to see a rolling year of trending.
Dabbler plan does not have this benefit.
Entrepreneur plan has the trending tags page, which displays the most popular tags from Etsy’s Trending Items. As potential buyers see the Trending Items, they’ll naturally search for more like them. Make sure your listings have a chance to be found too.
Dabbler plan does not have this benefit.
Above all it’s a serious tool for serious sellers. While there are many more reasons to choose the Entrepreneur plan, I hope that this provides more clarity. If you haven’t yet, I suggest you Upgrade and see what Entrepreneur can do for your business.
Yes, we’ve talked about it a lot. We mention it in differentgroups, in blogs, in our emails, and even in our webinars! What is this buckets strategy all about and how do you use it?
Think of keywords as markets. Every search is really a market. I like to take it a step further and think of markets as buckets. It has a specific set of listings that return and the shopper is somewhere in the Customer Journey.
It goes like this: Keywords are buckets. Listings go in these buckets. Ideally, you would want to be found in the first 5 pages; so you fill each of these buckets with 5 of your listings.
Why 5 pages? Well, you could go 10, 25, or 30 pages but at this point, you are only competing with yourself. A lot of shoppers never go past 5 pages, so anything more than that would only be a waste. I would refocus and put the remainder of my listings in a different bucket instead.
Pretend that I sell different kinds of starfish jewelry.
It’s going to take an awful lot of time and effort if I were to come up with a unique set of keywords for every listing I own. For Etsy sellers that sell hundreds of different items, this just isn’t feasible.
This is the type of scenario where the buckets strategy comes in handy.
I’m going to make several buckets for my listings.
Gold Starfish Ring
My first listing is a starfish bracelet.
It fits under the Starfish Bracelet bucket, but it’s also a Starfish Jewelry and a Silver Starfish so you can put them in there as well. It’s not a Gold Starfish or a Starfish Ring so save those buckets for later.
How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish bracelet] [starfish bangle] [silver starfish] [starfish jewelry] … [bridesmaid gift] [gift for her]
Note how I put my strongest keywords in the front for stronger relevancy in search.
Second one is a starfish ring.
It’s obviously not a Silver Starfish though, but it’s a Starfish Jewelry, a Gold Starfish, and a Starfish Ring. Those are the buckets where they would fit.
How do you title/tag this listing? [gold starfish ring] [starfish ring] [gold star ring] [starfish jewelry] [sea star ring] … [gold jewelry] [beach ring]
Note that I tend to put only 3 of my best targeted keywords per listing (3 buckets/listing). Since you have to have the keyword in your title, after 3 is probably too weak to rank well. This is no reason not to use up all 13 of your tags though.
Third one is a starfish necklace.
Same rules like last time. It does NOT fit under Gold Starfish, Gold Starfish Ring, Starfish Earring, Starfish Ring, and Starfish Bracelet. But it can fit under Starfish Necklace, Starfish Jewelry, and Silver Starfish.
How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish necklace] [starfish pendant] [silver starfish] [sea star necklace] [silver sea star] [starfish jewelry] [starfish charm] [seaside pendant] [sterling silver] [silver pendant] [sea star charm] [sea life jewelry] [sea star jewelry]
Note: Take a look at that example. Sometimes you have more than 3 targeted keywords for a listing. It’s a waste not to use them but it’s also a waste stuffing them in a single listing. One cool hack Richie discovered is to make a copy of your listing and put in your other best keywords to rank on a different market.
This ‘new’ listing is made specifically to spread out and target more keywords. Yes, you are allowed to do this as long as you have enough quantity to sell.
When I say ‘targeted keywords’ or ‘best keywords’; these are the strongest words that:
a. Best fits your listing; and
b. Keywords you’re trying to rank on.
Essentially, I have covered 3 of my listings just by cleverly putting them in buckets. You can continue to do this with more keywords, starting from broad ones to super specific – that way you cover each stage of the customer journey.
It’s okay to repeat the same keyword (starfish in this case) multiple times in your listing. Not only you are reinforcing your relevancy in search, but you’re also covering multiple ways people might use to find your item.
Now let’s pick up where I said “you would want to be found in the first 5 pages”. If you do it right, and you filled each of your buckets with 5 of your listings (and assuming that you rank well in that keyword), you might see something like this:
One listing for every flip of the page for 5 pages! It’s like having 5xmore chance of landing a sale! That right there is the power of the Buckets Strategy.
Over to you:
I’d love to keep the conversation flowing in the comments. What do you think of this strategy? Do you have your own techniques you are willing to share? Or maybe you’ve already seen improvements since you’ve used the system? Let us know! If you know someone who you think would benefit from this article, share it with them!