7 Key Takeaways from the 2017 Etsy Search Updates

Etsy has just released an article which details plans for the 2017 Etsy search updates. Last year they acquired Blackbird Technologies – a machine learning company. The purchase caused a bit of a stir in the Etsy community and spawned countless questions and even more conjecture. But now we finally have some details about Etsy’s plans. Here are 7 key takeaways from the announcement:

1. Etsy and its sellers are a team

Right off the bat, Etsy makes a point of reminding sellers that when they are successful, Etsy is successful. Etsy knows that search updates and algorithm updates can cause stress for sellers and they want to help minimize that by reminding sellers that Etsy’s success depends on seller success. Etsy says:

"When you're successful, we're successful."

2. Watch for search bar updates

Etsy breaks their 2017 search focus areas into two groups: helping buyers find the right items and building better tools for sellers.  The first way they plan to help shoppers is by “getting them started with the right search terms.”  This is almost certainly a reference to their search bar suggestions which they’ve been providing shoppers for quite a while. As shoppers type in the search bar, Etsy provides suggestions from a pool of other recent search terms. In order to help shoppers get started, they will undoubtedly be providing more personalized search term suggestions right within the search bar to help each shopper begin with the best possible search term for them. Etsy says:

"getting them started with the right search terms"

3. Changes to the search results page

The next thing Etsy plans to do for buyers is to help them “navigate their results in meaningful ways.” This could partially be referring to new filter options for shoppers which Etsy covers later in the article. But this likely includes other changes as well. There are vast possibilities but this could include things like quick product views on the search results page to pull key listing information further forward. This could also include features like “suggested listings” based on the search term and personalized browsing history. Etsy says:

"navigate their results in meaningful ways"

4. More specific ways to describe listings

As part of their list of updates for sellers, Etsy announced that they will be providing new ways for sellers to “convey specific information” about listings. This will likely be tied to some of the upcoming search filter updates. This will allow sellers to fill in information which helps to differentiate their listings from others. Etsy says:

"convey specific information about your items"

5. New search filters

Etsy announces new search filters in 2017. Currently, shoppers can filter by category, location, handmade/vintage, price, color, and ordering options. New ways to filter results could include things like seller rating, downloadable/handmade/vintage, size, and item quantity. Some sellers are even hoping for the ability to filter by items with coupon codes or those which are on sale. Etsy says:

"new ways for buyers to filter and explore their search results"

6. Don’t freak out

Again, Etsy is sensitive to the apprehension that surrounds any updates to the flow that helps customers find products. They remind sellers that they’ll keep them up to date as changes are made and will be sure to provide actions that sellers can take to make sure their shops are in the best possible standing. Etsy says:

"We'll continue to update you when we make any permanent changes to search"

7. Did I mention Etsy and sellers are a team?

Just as they opened the article, Etsy closes it with a reminder how important their relationship with sellers is. The last thing they want to do is completely turn the system upside down that is working for so many sellers. Changes will be slow and careful and deliberate. Keep an eye out for updates, make the necessary changes to your shops and everything will be fine. Etsy says:

 So what does this mean for the future of Etsy Search and Etsy SEO?

As Etsy begins to take advantage of the specialties of Blackbird Technologies, they’re looking to deliver a more personalized and intuitive search experience for shoppers. So what does this mean for SEO strategies? The core components that affect rank aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Etsy will still draw from listings’ tiles, tags, and recency. The majority of the changes are around HOW shoppers will get to those results pages and how they will navigate them. There will be other factors that Etsy introduces which will affect rank but the core algorithm is unlikely to drastically change. What does this mean for you as a seller? Sit tight and keep doing what you know works until Etsy announces changes. There is no need to jump the gun and start guessing how to update your listings for changes that may or may not happen.

What does this mean for Marmalead?

Marmalead’s algorithms measure engagement with search terms. Etsy is changing how they help shoppers find the right search term. So measuring which keywords they arrive at and which keywords enjoy the best engagement is still just as important as it used to be. In fact, with the crippling of Google’s Keyword Planner and Etsy’s planned changes to the search bar suggestions, Marmalead is becoming even more valuable to sellers as the best Etsy SEO solution available.

For the latest interpretations of Etsy SEO and search updates, subscribe to the Marmalead Blog.

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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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