How to Improve Your Etsy SEO

Standing out among hundreds of sellers on Etsy depends on your offerings, but getting there requires a bit of SEO effort.

The pandemic led to a drastic increase in the total number of active sellers on Etsy. By Q4 2021, there were 5.30M active sellers, the highest in the platform’s history. With the influx of sellers over the last two years, it has become harder to maintain shop visibility.

In this article, we’ll go over how Etsy SEO works, along with tips on improving it for your online shop.

Let’s get right into it.

How Does Etsy SEO Work for Sellers?

Similar to how Google Search works, Etsy’s search algorithm has a few factors that it takes into account to provide relevant results to users.

While these parameters are keyword-bound, they work in two phases:

  1. Query matching
  2. Ranking

These two things work together to provide users with relevant results. Let’s look at each of them individually.

Query Matching

When a user initiates a search, Etsy starts the query matching process where it matches listings that are most relevant to the search query.

This is done by examining these factors of each listing:

  • Title
  • Categories
  • Attributes
  • Descriptions
  • Tags

The algorithm starts by matching listings with a direct match to the search query. That’s followed by semantic keywords, and so on.

It’s best to be as thorough with your listings as you can. For example, you should use all 13 tags, categorize and niche down, and include as many relevant attributes as possible.


After the query matching process, Etsy search determines each listing’s rank through the aggregation of eight score features.

These features determine the likelihood of a buyer purchasing the item in each listing. The features include:

  • Listing age – Recent listings get an automatic boost in rankings. However, the boost quickly dissipates in a few hours or days, based on the product type.
  • Listing quality – Etsy has a listing quality score that’s determined by the total number of impressions versus conversions. Higher conversion rates improve the listing quality score, thus improving rankings.
  • Listing relevance – The listing relevance is based on how closely the search query matches the titles, attributes, tags, and categories. A better match indicates a higher ranking.
  • CSR – Context-specific rankings are determined by the buyer’s typical browsing behavior. That includes the buyer’s purchase, click, and search history. This helps provide personalized search results to buyers.
  • Shipping costs – Many shoppers back out of buying products if the shipping cost is high. Therefore, Etsy includes this cost as a ranking factor. Lower shipping costs get better rankings, with free shipping getting the best.
  • Customer and market experience – Every seller receives this score based on customer reviews, feedback, and how detailed their about section is. That’s why it’s better to encourage feedback and reviews.
  • Language and translation – International sellers who make an effort to provide manual translations rank higher. Etsy does have an automatic translation system, but since manual translations are more reliable, accurate, and natural, Etsy favors them.
  • Shop location – If your shop is based in the EU, Canada, or Australia, location will matter. Local shops will always have an advantage. However, searches from other countries don’t take this into account.

Lastly, the shopper’s habits allow Etsy to tailor listings according to their preferences.

8 Tips for Improving Your Etsy SEO

Growing your online shop requires efforts from all ends, including content marketing, email marketing, and SEO.

In fact, the digital growth of your products and listings is reliant on SEO. Good SEO will always lead to more impressions, conversions, and eventually growth.

Based on the ranking factors mentioned above, you can use the following tips to improve your Etsy SEO.

1. Commit to Thorough Etsy Keyword Research

Similar to how Google relies on keywords, Etsy search also uses keywords for ranking. That’s why it’s crucial to mention certain relevant keywords in your listing titles, categories, tags, and attributes.

Even in hardcore sales methodologies, you’ll notice that there are certain keywords that tend to make an impact on the prospect.

In Etsy’s case, the closer you are to a user’s search queries, the more likely you’ll show up in the search results. However, an exact match will always hit the spot and make an impact.

That’s why it’s crucial to do in-depth keyword research so you can choose your keywords carefully.

Take a look at your product’s unique features and create long tail keywords out of them.

If you already have Etsy listings, check out Etsy analytics to learn what keywords do better with your listings. Furthermore, compare each of those keywords with their tags to determine the best-performing combinations.

A much simpler alternative is to go to the Etsy search bar and search for your product.

Let’s say you sell pens. When you type in “pens,” you’ll notice a list of common search queries. However, you should opt for long tail keywords.

That’s why you should add a preposition (like for, with, or by) to get some long tail keywords. It would also help gather keywords more specific to your listings and products.

2. Choose Your Shop Name to Represent What You Sell

Unless you have a successful brand that’s well-known, your shop name should be a clear indicator of what you sell.

Since your Etsy page title will be based on your shop name, you need to choose a name that’s direct. In fact, it can also act as a keyword for you.

However, at the same time, you shouldn’t have an extremely generic name either. That can further saturate you in the search results.

Here’s a good example of choosing a name that tells what your shop is about while including branding.

Another thing you should keep in mind is the length of the shop name. Etsy allows up to 55 characters. However, it’s also good to be mindful of character limits on social media platforms – Twitter has a 15-character limit.

Choosing a short name will allow you to use it on every single site without having to change it.

3. Use Better Quality Photos

According to Etsy’s guides, 90% of buyers consider the quality of images to be an important factor in their purchasing decisions.


While the photos will not have a direct impact on Etsy SEO, they will have a major indirect impact. Higher quality images are bound to improve conversions, and that will impact your Etsy SEO.

Therefore, take a moment to improve or auto enhance your product photos before putting them up.

4. Use Relevant and Detailed Keywords in Your Listing Titles

Similar to how photos are important, your product title also plays a vital role in making users click on your listing.

You might have noticed that a lot of Etsy products have long titles that explain what the product is. That helps, as Etsy encourages the use of strategically placed keywords that keep the buyer in mind, not the search engine.

Think about how your typical buyer will search for your product. Niche down as much as you can and come up with the list of keywords that would best match your product.

Then, use those keywords to compose a title of up to 140 characters (maximum title length allowed). However, the smaller your final title, the better. That’s because you want the complete title to show up in every place.

Keep the same things in mind when writing your product description. Don’t dive into semantics in this case. Instead, try to describe your product directly and concisely.

On another note, don’t try to use the same keywords for similar products. Etsy will always diversify search results, so if two of your products have the same keywords, only one will show up.

That’s why it’s best to use separate keywords for each product. For that, you can make use of long tail keywords.

5. Categorize Your Products Efficiently

Think of Etsy categories as tags – the more specific your product category is, the better you perform in search.

If you categorize your products according to specific subcategories, you’ll have a smaller competitor pool. This will give you more visibility, and you’ll have a higher chance to rank than your competitors who haven’t categorized their products to the last subcategory.

6. Use All 13 Product Tags and Optimize Them

You can use up to 13 tags on a product listing. The more tags you add for your listing, the more searches it will appear in.

These tags are also keywords and can be long tail phrases. Each tag has a 20-character limit, and using it entirely will always be better.

For example, if you’re still selling pens that people may give to others as a gift, a good tag would be “pen father’s day gift.”

If you’re having a hard time with tags, take a look at what your competitors are doing. Then, use the tags most relevant to your product.

7. Add the Right Attributes

Attributes also help your listings rank for the right terms. Some attributes you should optimize include:

  • Color
  • Material
  • Size
  • Unique features
  • Purpose of the product
  • Manufacturing details
  • Customization options

The attributes should be enough to explain what your product is.

8. Update All Your Listings Regularly

Renewing your Etsy listings will always provide a small but noticeable boost in rankings.

Furthermore, regularly updating listings allows you to update everything according to current search trends.

It’s also best to renew your listings when you know there’s going to be a lot of consumer activity. For example, renew your listings before holidays and major sales.

Bonus Etsy SEO Tips

While the tips above will significantly help your Etsy SEO, you can further improve your rankings with the following tips:

  • Get backlinks – Getting backlinks to your listings from other sites will always give you a ranking boost. You can do that by building a blog, becoming more active on social media platforms, and performing outreach.
  • Expand your social media presence – Be present on other social platforms, and use the same keywords you use on Etsy. For example, use the same keywords you use for Etsy for your Instagram SEO. That will help your rankings on both platforms.
  • Add policies – Include clear policies in your Etsy shop to give buyers a sense of what to expect. It also enhances trust among buyers and increases your customer and market experience score.
  • Offer better shipping prices – Try to offer competitive shipping prices because buyers prefer listings with lower fees. You can incorporate shipping costs in your product price, then offer free shipping to attract buyers.
  • Improve the customer experience – Optimize your customer experience by making sure your about section is complete. Make an effort to improve the payment, privacy, shipping, and returns sections too. Lastly, try to develop personalized customer service messages.
  • Run ads – You can run paid Etsy ads to expand your reach. This will help you stay on top of the search results. After a while, you can return to organic listings.
  • Encourage customers to return – Creating incentives that encourage customer loyalty will help increase recurring customers. You can send personalized thank you cards, mini gifts, discount coupons, and custom offers.

Always experiment and continue to adjust your strategies based on your shop statistics.

Final Thoughts

If you have an established Etsy store, you should begin to renew listings and optimize product images. Then, use the rest of the tips above to make a checklist and see what needs to be improved.

Try to make use of all the tips and develop a system to make sure you regularly check your listings.

Lastly, use a checklist to make sure you’re doing everything right when adding new products and listings.

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