Etsy rank and why it’s been so frustrating!
Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at ranking on Etsy. “Where do I rank?” Why am I not ranking on the first or second pages?” and “Why doesn’t Marmalead tell me where I rank or what page number I’m on anymore?” These are just a few of the questions we’ve been fielding recently, and we get it! Etsy rank is a frustrating topic for Marmalead users. So what’s going on?! Well…in order for Etsy to be a cutting-edge sales platform that doesn’t fall behind the times, they’ve got to Evolve…and evolve is just another word for change. We know, we know…no one likes change! But ultimately, if your shops aren’t making money…neither is Etsy! So remember this as you navigate Etsy’s most recent changes.
So what changed?!
Let’s talk about how Etsy has changed with regard to rank. Etsy didn’t just change rank, in fact, they effectively killed it. That’s right…Etsy rank is dead! And with such a huge shift in focus, Marmalead also switched gears to ensure our tools kept pace with the changes to Etsy Search. If you missed our recent blog posts because you’ve been caught up in all the excitement, then make sure to read The Best Etsy Keyword Tool For Finding The Best Keywords and Etsy SEO With Real Shopper Keywords to learn about Marmalead’s most recent updates.
RIP Etsy Rank
It’s not an understatement when we say that Etsy rank is in fact, dead. You can no longer rely on your listing appearing on page #1 or #2 or #5 on Etsy. Why you might ask? Well for starters, Etsy acquired Black Bird Technologies in order to use their AI (natural language processing, image recognition, and analytics) expertise to deliver better, more targeted results to individual shoppers.
What did this mean for sellers? All of a sudden, everyone everywhere started seeing different results in search. We started fielding hundreds of questions from sellers asking why their rank in Marmalead didn’t match their rank on Etsy! And why Joe in North Carolina was getting different results from Sally in Michigan who did the search twice and got a different result at 10 a.m. than she did at 4 p.m.
Here’s an example
Let me try to make it more clear: I (Jade) can do a search for lavender soap. Lisa can do a search for lavender soap. Gordon (who for the sake of this example we’ll say is on a pretend vacation in Italy) can do a search for lavender soap, and none of us are seeing the same results! So, the lavender soap listing I find that’s absolutely perfect…let’s say I decide to send it over to Lisa and Gordon.
Lisa’s having a hard time finding the exact listing I’m talking about and I tell her to look on page 2 because it’s right there on the right-hand side. She DOES end up finding the listing I’m talking about BUT it’s NOT on page 2, it’s on page 7. What the heck?! Meanwhile, Gordon thinks he’s found it, but for him, the listing is on page 1. Different results, for different buyers on different devices all over the world.
It’s no longer about rank and page #.
So, what does all of this mean for you as an Etsy seller? With Etsy’s stated shift towards CSR (Context Specific Results), it’s not possible to give you an accurate ranking or page number any longer. CSR means that Etsy is looking at each shopper’s customer profile and presenting listings to them based on that profile, their location, time of day, and hundreds of other factors. So, just like with our earlier example, you might be ranking for a word with Gordon but you might not be with Lisa.
Etsy has your success at heart!
Etsy has been using CSR as a way to bring better customers to Etsy shop owners. In the past, we saw that ranking for a word didn’t necessarily lead to sales. It was an indicator, but that’s about it. You could be on the first page, or the second or third pages, but that didn’t guarantee sales. Since sales are the ultimate barometer of success, Etsy is working to bring shoppers who are primed for your product to your doorstep, and they’re using CSR to make that happen!
So what do I do now?
As an Etsy seller, you need to adapt to these changes. And so did Marmalead. The only way (and we do mean the ONLY way) to tell if your keyword is working is to check your Etsy shop stats to see if you’re being found for that word. You’ve likely noticed Marmalead took the rank and page # columns out of the Matching Items table. This is because Etsy’s machine learning (CSR and personalized search) is floating rank around from device to device and person to person way too much for it to be an accurate indicator of a listing’s potential success. Marmalead can no longer (neither can anyone else) honestly tell you what your “rank” is on Etsy. We don’t want to beat a dead horse or anything…but seriously folks…Etsy rank is dead.
But did you really have to remove rank and page # data?
We removed rank and page number data because if we continued to offer it, at best we’d give you a false sense of security that your listing is on page one and at worst we’d be giving you anxiety that it isn’t. All the while Etsy is showing each shopper an entirely different position. As I mentioned earlier, the way to know if a keyword is working is to check for it showing up in your shop stats. If it is, then you’re successfully showing up for it.
What you should do exactly, and where does Marmalead fit in?
The good news is that CSR doesn’t change much about how you use Marmalead. Head over to your Etsy shop stats and find the keywords that are actually bringing you views and visits. If you don’t have stats built up yet, use Marmalead to dig into some keyword research and start applying words that have search, engagement, and competition ranges you can work with. If you’re picking good keywords and applying them correctly, you should see your Marmalead keywords popping in your stats! Remember, it doesn’t matter which position you’re in at a given moment in time, it matters if Etsy is actually showing your listing to shoppers. And not just any shoppers, but shoppers that are targeting what you have to offer. Etsy doesn’t want to send you any old shoppers, they want to send the right shoppers straight to your doorstep. Why? Because the right shoppers will make purchases, and sales are the ultimate goal for Etsy and you!
Summary…it’s repetitive because it’s important!
Again, the goal remains that you’re looking for keywords that are a great fit and bring in sales. As I said above, sales are the ultimate goal and the only true barometer of success.
Instead of relying on rank, you’ll need to check the performance of your keywords via your shop stats. The sooner you see that Etsy rank is a thing of the past, the sooner you’ll be directing that energy back into researching and applying great keywords that will ultimately bring you sales!
The death of rank is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a very important piece. At the end of the day, Etsy’s ultimate goal is for your shop to be as successful as possible because your success is Etsy’s success!
If you’d like even more insight into what Etsy’s doing, hop over to Richie’s post on the Etsy Q4 Video with 2018 Outlook. His section on “Search Enhancements” will give even more insight to you as a seller:)
Happy selling, everyone!