How to sell things on Etsy? 

This has been one of the most perennial questions asked by novices who want to test the dependability of selling handcrafted products on Etsy. However, while the act of selling, that is, listing products for an initial fee of $0.20 per listing for four months seems manageable, it is the act of converting views into sales that entails more hard work. Initially, you must learn first how to drive traffic to your Etsy shop and take the journey from there, but where do we begin?

More than ten years after Etsy was launched, this online handmade haven shows no signs of dwindling success as sellers and buyers continue to shake the traditional retail industry. Statistics remains strong with more than 16 million sellers and 25 million buyers as of May 2016. The unequivocal assurance from long-time sellers who express continued bestselling techniques on Etsy platform has attracted a rising number of products from continuously increasing number of sellers on the site. In fact as of May 2016, there are over 35 million products listed on Etsy, which brings us to another sellers’ lament…

How to drive traffic to your Etsy shop?

Learning how to drive traffic to your Etsy shop may be challenging at times as it depends on your target market. If you are selling jewelry, brace yourself! Increasing your products’ visibility requires twice or sometimes thrice the effort. Etsy is over-saturated with jewelry shops. As of this writing, there are over eight million jewelry items listed on the site. Depending on your category, every seller’s goal is to land on the first page of a search. After all, no matter how impeccably handcrafted your products are, these won’t get sold unless you learn the art of building an organic Etsy shop traffic.

To fill you in, I have gathered five steps to deciphering the perplexing world of Etsy SEO and other digital marketing techniques that will help build your Etsy traffic.

1: Treat Etsy like Google – It’s keyword driven

Etsy works like Google. Every result shown for every search query is ranked based on the keywords used within the content – in this case, these are the keywords used by the sellers within their product listing page.

For example, if you type in the keywords “sterling silver necklace” in the Etsy search box, this search query will quickly generate more than 400,000 results. Skipping the first row of product listings which is dedicated for promoted items, you will notice how all the items in the succeeding rows carry the keywords you used in their titles. Now, that’s the first pattern!

2: Conduct extensive keyword research

As a seller, there are numerous tools such as the Google Keyword Planner and Marmalead that you can use to validate the strength of your keywords.
For example, Google Keyword Planner reveals that there were more than 12,000 average monthly searches using the keyword term “sterling silver necklace.”

Optimizing Keywords using Google Adwords

Now you can assume that these searches will also manifest within the Etsy platform, right? Probably. But this is where Marmalead comes in. Marmalead is an application that utilises Etsy API which means it may help you learn how to drive traffic to your Etsy shop. It is one of the most helpful Etsy SEO search tools. Its free version tells sellers how a specific keyword is performing within Etsy.

For example, typing in the keyword term “sterling silver necklace” in the Marmalead search bar will reveal the number of shops competing for the said keyword (free version limits the number of analysed shops to 100 only), including its average and total views. Additionally, if you are running out of ideas, Marmalead also presents a cloud tag that you can use depending on its relevancy to your products.

Search results of ‘Sterling Silver’ on Marmalead

Another tool that you can use is the Etsy Gadget which is an application that enables you to locate the page your product listing falls on and its specific position, while also facilitating optimised tags of your items. As shown below, Etsy Gadget provides you with the best tags relevant to your items.

For example, using the keyword term “sterling silver necklace”, Etsy Gadget recommends the following:
Example of Etsy Gadget for ‘Sterling Silver’

Further, positioning your keywords appropriately matters! According to Etsy, keywords positioned at the beginning of the title ranked higher while keywords that appear in the title and tags have high relevancy.

Other factors that affect your visibility through Etsy search include the quality of your photos and recency. Ensure that your photos convey what your words cannot and avoid these common mistakes in jewelry photography. Additionally, you can also resort to a DIY lightbox for photography for more sale-boosting images.

Please bear in mind that DIY can sometimes be tricky, especially if the products you are selling involves jewelry, which is one of the most challenging items to photograph. This is because the products are often small, there are too many details that need focus, and are also reflective. Despite this, most sellers do it themselves since it does not involve any cost other than the camera supplies and photography kit they need. Others, on the other hand, seek jewelry photo editing service from professional photo editors like PicUp Media as it is time-saving while it also provides you with stellar results at affordable packages. Nevertheless, this depends on your cost-benefit analysis.

3: How to drive traffic to your Etsy shop using social media? Be strategic! 

How can we use social media?

Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are the three hottest social media sites that could dramatically increase your organic traffic. These sites also require a strategic use of tags.

For examples, while posting twice a day on Instagram seems to produce the best results in terms of likes and following, strategic use of hashtags could also seal the success. Each post enables a maximum of 30 hashtags. Maximising this out invites higher interactions. Moreover, ensure that you direct your users on what to do next by adding a call to action to every post (e.g. click link in bio…)

Example post on Instagram

 

Twitter is also another social media sites that increases following with every engagement with the users. The power of quality hashtags on twitter cannot be underestimated as it exposes your products to new users outside the Etsy platform. Furthermore, you can also join Twitter games facilitated by other Etsy teams that use hashtags such as #etsians and #etsysocial. These games often require reciprocity.

4: Learn how to drive traffic to your Etsy shop by blogging.

Write your way to the front page!

Setting up a page dedicated to your products is one of the most common ways to drive traffic to your store as Google reinforces your effort by bringing in users to your blog site and exposing them to your Etsy store. When you lace words together to highlight the beauty of your craft, do not forget to link your shop to your post. If you happen to pique their curiosity, there is a bigger potential that they will click through it and visit your store.

Subsequently, expand your reach by guest blogging and be read by thousands of readers. Handmadeology is one of the popular blogs that accept guest posts from other Etsy sellers.

5: Tweak and repeat!

Consistency is the key!

One common statement I often read via the Etsy forums is this, “I have done everything that Etsy sellers’ handbook has told me to and have applied all the SEO techniques I have been advised to follow, but my traffic remains low.” The truth is – success does not happen overnight. Often, it requires a trial-and-error process, analysis, and re-application of the techniques that work while eliminating or improving the ones that did not.

It is advisable to tweak the keywords for some of your products every now and then and monitor how it performs. To make it manageable, you can begin improving the pages or listings that can be considered low-performers. To view this, you can go to your ‘shop stats’ and scroll down to the “Most Active – Pages viewed” as shown in the example below taken from the Etsy shop Sirocca DiamondThe listing or page with the lowest numbers of views is a good candidate for tweaking.

 

Most active listings – Sirocca Diamond Example

There are plenty of strategies that Etsy sellers can adopt in order to increase their visibility. In fact, the options are endless. It all boils down to how much work, time, and effort you are willing to put in to achieve the results you desire.

How to drive traffic to your Etsy shop? What strategies have previously worked for you? Feel free to share and comment below!