Don’t Count On Google For Etsy Sales

If you operate a business online, you need to know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For the average Etsy seller, an advanced degree isn’t required. A working knowledge is.


With a basic understanding of SEO, you can make your products available through a search engine to someone who is looking for them.

Just don’t get too excited when your items show up in a Google search. For most Etsy sellers, search is a small part of the puzzle.

I ran across a forum thread on the Etsy Forums today. The thread is hot with hundreds of sellers responding to a call to deactivate your shop pages and then reactivate them, thus supposedly instigating a Google “crawl” of your whole shop.

One of the “triggers” for a search engine robot to crawl your shop is new activity, so I suppose it could make sense for the tactic to instigate some action. But the pages and pages of excitement the idea generated is a bit over-the-top because it isn’t going to equal sales for most people.

Search Rank Doesn’t Equal Sales

Our “The Lavender Road” shop on Etsy ranks right behind Martha Stewart on the front page of Google for “Lavender Sachet” and “Lavender Sachets”. That’s great and all since the shop does, in fact, sell beautiful handmade lavender-filled sachets.

But being on the front page for that term only brings in about four or five visitors a day on average, and those visitors rarely buy. When we don’t promote the shop in other ways, we don’t get many sales.

Now, if there happens to be a worldwide explosion in the popularity of lavender sachets things might change, but for now we have to do more to get sales.

If we decided to try and push for some sales this week, we would do these things:

  1. Make a plan to list new items and re-list old items, a few at a time, periodically over the next few days. We would try our best to time the listings to peak hours, though it is a bit of a guessing game.
  2. Provide a more aggressive free shipping incentive. Buyers love free shipping.
  3. Promote a new item using Facebook, Twitter, and our blogs.
  4. Contact a few frequent repeat customers via email announcing the shipping special.
  5. Increase our advertising presence online (various methods).

We won’t be doing these things because we’re not pushing this week, but that’s the short formula for you if you are pushing this week!

seoWhen it comes to getting sales on Etsy, know SEO, use SEO, secretly hope for Google to send thousands of visitors to your shop, but don’t count on it! There are plenty of ways to build those sales and search is only a part of it!

For that basic knowledge of SEO, a good place to start is a short list of the top five things you can do to improve your Etsy Shop SEO. I put that list on the Everything Etsy Facebook Page a little while ago. If you’ve not joined us on Facebook yet, please do!


  1. says

    Thanks for all the helpful tips and advice! I’ve also noticed an increase in sales when I make sure I list or relist a couple of items every day, and I experiement with different times of day. This sometimes means that I have duplicate items in my shop, but at only 20 cents per listing fee, spending a couple of dollars a week on new listings is worth it when I sell some art prints at $25 each.

    Have you tried and/or do you recommend one of those ‘Etsy Success Kit’ information listings? I’ve been curious for a while if the information in those kits was worth the purchase price.
    .-= Erin Rippy´s last blog ..Eco eggs for eco kids =-.

  2. says

    I just found your blog, thanks for doing all of this.
    I agree with you, I think a common misconception amongst Etsians is that views equal sales or that all views are equal. I had a listing on Trunkt for several years and got literally 1000s of views a month but I doubt that even one of them ever led to a sale. The people looking at Trunkt were not buyers, mostly all were sellers and bloggers and such. Getting views from people who are interested in buying is a different thing from getting views.
    .-= New Hampshire Gardener´s last blog ..Its Still Raining =-.

  3. says

    I was wondering how to accomplish your last point which is to “increase our advertising presence online.” Do you recommend using Google adwords to increase traffic to a etsy store. I’m assuming that people who click on an ad are more likely to buy>


  1. […] We hear so many reports of people in various forums and blogs writing things that are contrary to common business sense. They write about Etsy hogging Google traffic for itself rather than letting it go to shops. They talk about changes in Etsy site structure causing search traffic to fall through the floor. (We’ve posted in the past: Don’t Count on Google for Etsy Sales) […]

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