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No Etsy Sales?
Here is the Reason Why:
(Hint: It's Not Your Photos)
Many new Etsy users set up their shops and wait patiently for their first sale. Then they wait some more. And some more. You’ve had your shop setup for weeks and you still have no Etsy sales or even traffic to your page. In this post, we explain to you why that is.
If you are just beginning to get involved with Etsy, you have probably noticed one big issue. It is not as easy to get customers to your shop as it might seem at first. In fact, if you are not familiar with online marketing, the chances are good that it will be a long time before you see any business whatsoever.
This is incredibly frustrating for a beginner. As if it wasn’t already hard enough to make your crafts, take excellent photos of them, and then write compelling listings, you now have to navigate the sharky waters of online marketing. On top of that, there is the overwhelming fact that there are thousands of supposed “tools” out there that offer to help you. Some of those tools are free and others are outrageously expensive. A number of these tools are legitimately useful, but many are not.
Before you plop your money down on an outside tool, let us show you what Etsy already offers its sellers and how you can get the maximum use out of these features.
First, What Is Keyword Research & Why You Have No Etsy Sales:
If you are a newcomer, the idea of keyword research can be confusing at best and bizarre at its worst. The basic idea is that people generally search for items in similar ways. When we search for something online, we use common speech patterns. We can use our knowledge of those speech patterns to get more traffic to our pages. This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
These speech patterns can mimic natural speech, such as “Where is the nearest gas station?” Or our searches can be a sort of fragmented command, like “Find nearby gas station.” Generally, our searches fall into one of these two categories, though there are certainly hybrid ones that fall in between these two. For example, you might type “Gas station that is closest to my office.”
Keyword Research on Etsy:
Now that you understand the types of searches a person can make, it is time to understand what keyword research is. Basically, keyword research is an attempt to figure out the exact phrases people are looking for in order to optimize your website, Etsy shop, etc. for that exact phrase.
Let’s take a look at what this might be like for an Etsy shop owner. If you have a site that sells blue quilts for baby boys, you might be tempted to title your listing “Adorable Blue Quilt for Baby Boys.”
This is an extremely common mistake that newbies make. Can you see why?
Take a second and imagine why someone might want to buy your quilt. Usually, the blanket will either be for their own new baby or for a baby shower gift. Since most of us will go to more baby showers in our lives than the number of kids we will have, we can assume that the larger number of people will be looking on Etsy for baby shower gifts. Let’s try to reach those people.
Here is where we can use the best tool that Etsy offers. That tool is the Etsy search bar. You may have noticed that the Etsy search bar starts giving us search suggestions as soon as we begin typing. Etsy wants to be helpful and facilitate our purchases, so they give us suggestions on what to look for. Its a win-win.
These suggested searches are based on real data from the Etsy search database. This is what millions of Etsy buyers are looking for everyday. But more important than that, this is how they are looking for it.
Now, back to our quilt example. If we type baby shower into the search bar, we know we are getting somewhere because a bunch of options show up. However, we can’t just title our product “Baby Shower.” First, we can’t name it that because it doesn’t accurately describe what our product is. Second, people looking for the term “baby shower” could be looking for hundreds of other items, like decorations, games, planners, etc. We also want to reach customers who are looking for baby blankets.
We need to be more specific. If we know they are looking for a baby shower gift and you product is for a boy, we could just call it “Baby Shower Gift Boy,” right? Nope. But you are on the right track.
If you type that search into Etsy, a lot of other types of gifts might come up as well. We have to be more precise. But we do still want to include the word “boy,” since baby items are often gender specific. You can also tell it is a very important word to include because we are still getting search suggestions when we type in “Baby Shower Boy.”
Here is a good time to mention that people searching for products on Etsy do not usually use search patterns that imitate natural human speech. They are not asking Etsy, “What is a good baby shower gift for a boy?” However, they might certainly do that on Google. More on how to rank your Etsy searches on Google in another post.
If you include these exact words in your listing title, your odds of getting customers have greatly improved. But there is more to do. You want to reach people who are looking for baby shower gift ideas but also people looking for baby quilts or blankets. Therefore, you need to add those words too.
As you can see, this title will bring up 3,030 results. That is an excellent start but still quite a few results for customers to go through before they get to yours. At this point, you want to be as specific as possible. Does it have animals on it? Trucks? What could someone who didn’t know your title type in to quickly find your blanket?
Most of the time, people will not be so specific when looking for an item on Etsy. But by including all of these keywords, you can get your listing in front of someone who is looking for any combination of these keywords.
Use as many keywords as it makes sense to. Don’t worry about putting off your customers. They are paying far more attention to your image and your product description. (BTW – Your product description is not included in Etsy’s search database, so you do not have to optimize it.)
What Does this All Mean?
As you learn more about marketing your Etsy shop, you will hear a lot about how keyword research is both a science and an art. This is true. With some practice, you will develop a 6th sense about which keywords are more common and profitable, and which keywords are not.
In the meantime, you can use a free keyword tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to understand how often people search for particular words and phrases. Though this information is specifically about Google, you can assume that most of it is also true for Etsy. More than anything, keyword research is a study in human nature.
Note – to use Keyword Planner, you have to sign up for an Adwords account. But you do not have to spend any money on your campaign. (And you really shouldn’t until you have a better understanding of how SEO works.)
There is still a lot more to be learned about Etsy, especially about how to use tags. We will cover that in another post. Until then, take a look at your Etsy listings and SLOWLY start to change the listing titles. Try to resist the urge to change all of your listings at once.
Focus on getting more traffic to 1-2 listings until you have figured out how your particular customers are searching. What works for baby quilts might not work for planner accessories, for example. But the process of finding out what works is the same.