Have you ever tried to make everyone happy at the same time? The kids and the husband; the boss and the customer; the shoe collection and the bank balance!
Etsy Shop SEO is just like that, except that it’s actually possible and not all that hard to do.
Please the Robot and the Human
SEO is all about pleasing the “bots” that search engines send out to crawl and index the Internet. These are completely emotionless strings of computer code. Nothing more than a program and no more human than my toaster. What goes in, is what comes out, just not always exactly the way you want it.
Key considerations in pleasing bots:
Title Text – the first few words of your item/listing title are key to good results in SEO – they should clearly describe your item and match potential (or target) search terms very closely (or exactly).
Item Description – From a bot perspective, this is where you answer the “are you sure that’s what you’re selling?” question. The title says what you’re selling and the item description reinforces that you didn’t get confused when writing the title. It also gives you a chance to target a few more keywords.
Image Information – For now, Etsy changes the name of your pictures to a computer generated number, but you should get into the habit of naming your image files with SEO in mind. If you use your pictures on blogs, in forums, or dozens of other places online, the image name is indexed by search engines and should describe the item.
Inbound Links and Anchor Text – When you really want to get serious about building your listings up in terms of SEO, you need to focus on getting links pointing to those listings that reinforce the nature of the item and indicate that it is (or might be) popular.
For a good introduction, see our Basic Etsy Shop SEO Video (click here)
It’s smart business to please the bots, because they have the power to send lots of people to your shop. Read that again… lots of people to your shop.
People do the buying so it’s really not a good idea to forget them when doing your listings. Believe it or not, it’s really not that tough to please the people, without confusing the bots.
Here are a six simple tips:
Use words that invoke emotions in your titles – Words like love, excitement, happy, luxurious, refreshing… you get the idea.
Don’t shy away from catchy names for your items – Good SEO doesn’t mean you can’t put your own personality in your item titles. Your title is the first impression to a buyer, show some originality!
Be descriptive and use more than one keyword phrase in your title, but keep it easy to scan (read super-quickly).
Consider Including Your Shop Name – If you have room after including keywords, emotions, and personality, consider including your shop name at the end. The more it’s out there, the more recognizable it will become over time and the stronger your brand will be.
If you offer free shipping, put it in the title. People search for this and even if they didn’t, it will get you more clicks to your shop because they want to see what else you’ll ship to them for free.
BEST KEYWORDS FIRST – The key to all of this is to include the most relevant keywords first, then work backwards, but include as much as you can. There is no penalty for a long title.
The bottom line is to remember that you have two “customers” to please when you’re writing your item title and descriptions. The bots, which are only interested in keywords and non-emotional stuff, and people who care about things like feelings and free shipping!
The easiest way to remember this is to write your title in the same order you envision the sale really happening. Make the bots happy first and they will send people. Then be a people pleaser!