You've opened your Etsy shop, set up your shop and listed your products, but you'd like more sales. We have consistent sales because we use 3 strategies to optimize our listings so that they sell.
“If you open it, they will come” is not a successful strategy on Etsy or any online selling platform. Nope, it doesn't even work on ebay. Yes, we sell there too.
What if I told you there are three strategies to ensure your Etsy products sell rather than having them sit on the proverbial shelf?
That's right – the top three strategies we use to ensure we have 120-250 sales every month in our Etsy shop. The three strategies are to optimize every product listing, increase traffic to your shop, use SEO and keywords and, finally Social Media. Yes, I'm sharing them with you so you can increase your sales on Etsy. I want everyone to be successful on Etsy!
Read on to find out more about each strategy.
1. Optimize your Product Listings
In order get more sales on Etsy, you will need to optimize your product listings. It is critical that your photographs, listing title and listing description are created with the buyer in mind. So, let's talk about how to optimize each one.
Photographs and/or Videos
Take photos from every angle, take detailed photos to show important details about your product, show any signatures or hallmarks, photograph any flaws or condition issues, take a picture that shows the size of the item, and make sure the photo color is close to the color of the product.
Remember, your potential buyer can't hold the product in their hands so you want them to “see” it and “feel” it in your photos. If you can do a video, even better. Buyers love videos and Etsy is more apt to send buyers to your listing if it has a video. With that being said, we don't take videos of our products and they still sell.
I will talk more about your product listing's title under SEO & Keywords, but for now know that when you are creating your listing title, think like a buyer. As a buyer, what do you want to know about this product?
Some questions a buyer will have are – When was it made? Who made it? How big is it? What color is it? What can I use it for? Will this go with my decor? The questions will depend on the item, but this will give you an idea of what to think about.
How will you answer these questions? You will answer them in your photos, your title, and your description.
As an example, I have a Wm Rogers Revelation Tapestry silverplate flatware set for sale (the full title is Antique 1938 Wm Rogers Mfg Co Revelation Tapestry Silverplate Flatware Set Monogram M Service for 12 with 4 Piece Place Settings in Box). If I search on Google for Wm Rogers Revelation, here's what shows up. Yes, my listing is #1 in the search.
When a potential buyer clicks on the photo, it will take them to our Etsy shop listing where that potential buyer can read all about this product and, hopefully, purchase it.
Why did ours show up #1 on Google? Because we follow these 3 strategies (optimizing every listing, increasing traffic through SEO & keywords and social media). It is not uncommon that we show up as one of the first listings on Google. This may not happen immediately for your shop because Google and other search engines do need to “get to know you”, but the more visits and/or sales you have, the more likely that search engines will send visitors your way.
I will talk more about the listing description in SEO & Keywords below, but know that writing a great description also requires you to think like a buyer. The description is the area where you can go more in depth into the product you are listing as well as give information about your shop and you with social media links, return policies, etc. Here's an example:
If you want to know more about how to write a great description, check out this article on the Top 5 Tips on Writing an Etsy Description that Sells, where you can download the checklist titled The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Description that Sells.
2. Increase Traffic Using SEO & Keywords
Traffic is defined as how many visitors (potential buyers) visit your shop and/or your listings. Traffic to your shop and listings is necessary to boost your chances of a sale. The more traffic you have, the more sales you are likely have.
You might be thinking, “That's great, but what control do I have over traffic?” You can control traffic by optimizing your listing through your title, description, and especially the keywords you use in your listing. I will go over SEO & Keyword in more detail below.
There are 3 types of traffic. Traffic from Etsy, traffic from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Etc.), and traffic from social media (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). In fact, here is a screenshot of how your traffic stats will look in your Etsy shop.
Optimizing your listings so that they show up in Etsy's search results as well as in search engine results (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) is necessary for your product to sell. Etsy and search engines have different criteria they use to find your listing to show in their results. I will talk about these differences, but first I want to talk about SEO & Keywords.
SEO & Keywords
First, what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is one way of improving your site so that search engines will find you more easily and more often, resulting in more traffic to your shop. How does it work? You use tags (also known as keywords) in your listing so that it shows up in search engines. For the purpose of an Etsy listing, keywords and tags are two words that mean the same thing (Etsy calls them tags).
What are keywords? Keywords are a set of words that describe your listing. A keyword can be one word, but it is better to use long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are 3 or more words that describe an item. For example, if you are selling vintage clothing, a keyword might be shorts or vintage shorts. However, a better keyword is a long tail keyword such as 1980s Daisy Duke style cut off shorts. As you can see, there is a big different between these two types of keywords and which is more descriptive.
Now, for the ways that Etsy and search engines' criterias for finding your shop and your product are different.
Etsy's criteria for showing your listings in their search includes categories, titles and keywords and they use these to match your product to potential buyers.
On the other hand, Google looks at the first 160 characters in your description as well as your keywords to match your product to a potential buyer. So make those 160 characters count (a character is a letter, number, space, special character, etc.)!
3. Increase Traffic through Social Media
Social media is another way to increase traffic to your shop, which will lead to more sales. Social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are good traffic drivers. You don't have to be on all of these sites, but being on at least one is a great idea. If you only time for one, I would recommend Pinterest. You can see below that Etsy brought 91% of our traffic and we generated 9% of traffic through social media (mostly through Pinterest). By the way, the reason traffic is down is that this was done first thing in the morning. Also, last year during the pandemic we had record traffic AND record sales.
This could be higher if we made social media a priority, but we still get plenty of views just from sharing our items through our Etsy listing (without being social media gurus). After all, we are a bit busy with our 3,000 listings and 10-250 sales a month.
Etsy even has a great feature where you can add your product to social media with the click of a couple of buttons. I will show you how in a future article because that's too much information to go into here – just know that this feature is possible and it makes it easy for you to share your products with the click of a button.
In summary, you can increase the chances of your product being sold by optimizing your listing, increasing traffic to your site and your listings so your shop and products get seen and publishing your listings to social media to get more exposure to your shop and your products.
Now, it's time to go to your shop to optimize your listings, increase your traffic and think about social media. Don't forget to stay tuned for the series of articles over the next few weeks on Optimizing your Listing for Sale. I will delve deep into each part of the listing and show you how we get 150-250 sales a month with our listings. Next week I will talk about the Listing Title.