There is a lot of misleading information about SEO on the web. That’s because SEO has rapidly evolved in the last 10 years, along with the main search engines’ algorithms.Spammers have always used SEO to lure people into their website, to gain page hits and earn from the advertising in it. Google is constantly trying to lower the ranking of potentially spamming websites, because the negative experience is reflected on the quality of the Google algorithm.
The result is Google continuously improving their algorithm to avoid bad content and bad websites. So, don’t waste your time on borderline SEO techniques, because soon Google will void their effectiveness.
What is SEO? How does it work for Etsy sellers?
SEO is an acronym of Search Engine Optimisation. That means, helping a search engine understand what a webpage is about. The core activity that Etsy sellers need to focus on is making sure Google understands what kind of product they are selling, what their characteristics are, along with materials, style and category.This way, when people search specific terms on Google, it knows that you are the perfect result for this user. The consequence is that Google will show you higher in the result list. If you’re going to apply SEO techniques correctly, more people are going to find your products, and more people will arrive to your Etsy shop to buy.
What are the limits?
Using SEO correctly will make more people discover your shop and increase your sales, but don’t expect it to be the only way you’re going to do marketing. It’s something that you need to do, because if done right, it does not require much time and is quite effective. I see it as knowledge that you have to have, that comes in handy when you’re presenting and describing your products online. But, you should not rely on it too much, as hardcore SEO best practices change continually, so something that is effective today, could no longer be effective within a year.
What do you need?
You don’t need any tools and you don’t even need much time, but to do well with the core SEO techniques, there is something that is really important. You need to be different and original. If you’re plain bread, it’s hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd. This is because there are already too many people selling plain bread. You need to have something unique or original. It could be your style, materials, textures, etc. Let’s understand why, with an example about t-shirts.
If you sell many kinds of t-shirts in your shop, when people search for “funny Star Wars t-shirt” on Google, it’s very likely that another store that sells just Star Wars t-shirts will appear before you in the results list. That’s because, that store is specialised in this specific topic and Google understood it. Google understands that company specialises in “Star Wars t-shirts” because this keywords appeared frequently in their pages and because other websites that talk about Star Wars are linking to them.
Meanwhile, in your store, the keywords “Star Wars” appear a handful of times, so Google thinks that that is not your main topic, and it’s right.
You want Google to show your products when someone is searching the kind of products you are selling. So, if you’re selling leather wallets, you shouldn’t care to appear in Google searches for “wallets” or “white wallets”. You should focus on appearing, when someone looks for “leather wallets” and all its derivations (like “black leather wallets”).
I know it would be cool to appear in results for many different searches, but Google will give you importance on just a few topics topics. If you try to be relevant in a lot of topics, you’ll never be ranked high in any of them.
The core: Choosing the right keywords
One thing that I want to teach you that is very important, is that you must write good titles and descriptions of your products. Period. This means that in these two fields, you will have to distinguish your products on the designated topics.
Let’s start by choosing your keywords. You have to do this process for each of the products you’re going to write a description for. It’s simple and all you have to do is make a list of 3 to 4 word sentences that describe your products well. Something like:
-vintage leather wallet
-brown leather wallet
-man leather wallet
-handmade leather wallet
Then try to find synonyms of the keywords you’re using. Use this tool to find them. Just fill in the sentences that you came up with, and then copy the ones that it proposes to you that resonate more with what you’re selling.
These sentences should appear over and over in your page. Naturally, they should appear in the title and in the description. Use the most important keywords (like “man vintage leather wallet”) within the first two lines of the description. Then, while you write the story of why you have created this product, the description of how it is made and the materials used, these keywords should appear again. Doing it this way, your product will get relevance in these specific keywords. Don’t exaggerate because it will backfire. If these keywords appear too often, in the same order, or in a too short of text, Google will understand that you are trying to trick the system. It will also lead to fewer people buying your item after reading it, because it’s just weird.
What are the best keywords?
The best keywords are the ones that describe your products well and don’t have a lot of competition. Use this tool to understand how many people are looking for these terms on Google and how many results you’re going to compete with.
Be aware that you should find keywords that fit all three of these conditions, because:
- if the keyword don’t describe your product, people who arrive at your website will not buy.
- if there aren’t many people looking for these keywords, few people will come to your website.
- if there are too many results, it will be hard to rank high on the search results page.
What else I can do?
Doing what I have explained is already 80% of the battle but there are a few more things you can do:
- keep most of your products in line with the same theme (like all vintage products)
- choose a shop name that integrates a main keyword (like etsy.com/shop/ClaudiosVintage)
- choose a domain name that contains a main keyword (like www.claudiosvintage.com)
Always use SEO properly when you are working with Google. Never try to trick Google in thinking something other than the truth.Keeping that in mind, just focus on creating amazing products, because SEO, like any other kind of marketing,only works if your products are good.