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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Etsy’s Latest SEO Updates (that WORK)

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oh CRAP! Etsy updated their SEO algorithm again! If you think your world is going to come crashing down around you, take a breath: I've got a complete, easy-to-use guide for you so your shop can stay on top. Click to get your ducks in a row!

OH CRAP! Etsy updated their SEO algorithm again!

If you think your world is going to come crashing down around you, take a breath: I’ve got a complete, easy-to-use guide with Etsy SEO tips for you, so your shop can stay on top.

Read below to get your ducks in a row!

oh CRAP! Etsy updated their SEO algorithm again! If you think your world is going to come crashing down around you, take a breath: I've got a complete, easy-to-use guide for you so your shop can stay on top. Click to get your ducks in a row!

Related Post: Flawless Etsy SEO in for 2019

Learn The Top Etsy Traffic Tips

Here’s the deal:

If you’re FLIPPING OUT right now, and you want to QUIT Etsy because they changed their SEO (and you’re POSITIVE your business is going to crash and burn and this is the end of the road for you)…then I’m gonna give you a BIG FAT DOSE of reality:

Etsy changes their SEO constantly. So does Google. These kinds of changes happen under your nose ALL THE TIME, without you ever even noticing.

This is the REALITY of running an online business. It’s NORMAL.

If you don’t like it, and it’s giving you night terrors, then online business might not be right for you. But the reality is that ANY business is going to have it’s stressful moments.

But working for yourself is WORTH IT. I’m willing to suffer through the occasional SEO update in exchange for a kick ass schedule and control over my own life.

In the grand scheme of things, changing a few tags and titles isn’t the end of the world. It will take you a bit of time, but it’s completely under your control.

Don’t spend your time worrying about things you can fix easily:

Etsy’s Latest SEO Updates 2018

TRUTH BOMB: You’ve conquered MUCH bigger obstacles that a couple lines of code (aka this SEO change).

Admit it: it was pretty friggin’ HARD to open your shop in the first place. It required a lot more work than bulk editing your tags, titles, and descriptions.

(Which by the way, you can do ALL AT ONCE using this tool here — it takes about 30 minutes. There’s literally ZERO excuse to complain about it).

The Big Existential Etsy Traffic Question

What if you didn’t have to RELY on Etsy search for your traffic? What if you controlled who visited your shop, and when? What if you could send a few emails, and make 50 sales a month? What if you could do a promo on social media, and get all the sales you need for the month in just a couple days?
These are the bigger questions we address in Subscriber Tribe. I don’t want your business to belong to (or rely on) Etsy. I want you to have the steering wheel. I want you to know how to create sales over and over again, even if Etsy never sent you a single view again.

If that sounds like what you REALLY need, check out the Tribe right here.

REMEMBER that Etsy TESTS SEO Changes by Rolling them out to SOME Accounts and NOT Others..If something is WORKING for you, then DON’T change it–no matter what the Etsy experts say! If it’s working, then don’t rock the boat. Test SEO changes on your LEAST viewed items first.

Please note the details below are based on Etsy’s TESTING ENVIRONMENT results, so it’s wise to follow a SIMPLE, BULLETPROOF SEO strategy, like the one outlined here if you don’t want to get caught with your pants down every time Etsy changes their SEO.

Before I hand you a BUTT LOAD of cool tricks, I want *site my sources* for you… Because Etsy SEO tips and tricks are no good if you can’t back ’em up! All the goodies in this article come straight from the Etsy SEO Discussion Panel, available for anyone to read here.

Don’t forget, there are some pretty awesome resources on Etsy’s blog that tell you EXACTLY how search works, and how to increase your traffic.

OMG What is this about search BOTS and Machine Learning?

Etsy is experimenting will all kinds of search bots and machine learning. Here’s the deal: if GOOGLE is doing it, then everybody pretty much wants to copy it. Bots might be capable of everything from looking at your photos to figuring out if you’re using a keyword that doesn’t ACTUALLY describe your item.

Take this Action

While Etsy’s bots might seem like they’re just running around in the dark, being completely unpredictable, the reality is that over time, you can’t beat machine learning. It’s literally collecting data and learning new things 24/7, which is something the human brain just CAN’T do.

The best way to stay on top is to just BE HONEST. Describe your item for what it truly is. Don’t try to beat the bots, or do anything tricky just for more traffic. Represent your items as accurately as you can, and the bots will reward you over time.

Remember that nothing SEO-related (on Etsy OR Google) is instant. It will take TIME for your items to start ranking with the new search rules.

This is the BIGGEST advantage humans have over bots: we can see a downward trend and address the problem NOW, instead of being forced to wait for more data.

Your best weapon is to be vigilant. BE PATIENT, but if you’re seeing problems for 60 days or more, it’s time to evaluate whether something is wrong, and figure out what you need to do to change it.

Should I Stuff my Titles? – Etsy’s Response:

“While we recognize that incentives do exist for sellers to stuff our titles for internal search purposes, they do not follow Google’s best practices. We are working to improve our internal search algorithm to no longer favor stuffed titles to be more aligned with Google’s best practices, so while there isn’t an immediate fix, this is on our radars and we will be communicating when we make the change. Thanks!”

NOTE ALSO: “We don’t recommend repeating a word in the title.”

AND “Google definitely rewards well crafted, easy to read titles.”

Take this Action

STOP stuffing your titles. Google hates it, and Etsy will hate it soon too. Revise your listings so your title includes: ONE focus keyword that is integrated into your product name.

EXAMPLE: “Sarcasm & Profanity Funny Coffee Mug” – with the keywords being “funny coffee mug”, “coffee mug”, “funny mug”, and “sarcasm mug” – all rolled into one listing title. Easy to read titles are rewarded by Google.

*Added Bonus* titles like this work well on Etsy’s search NOW and you won’t have to change them in the FUTURE.

This example works because Google and Etsy’s search are intelligent enough to combine words to define your item:

“Google tries to treat synonyms similarly when appropriate. Therefore, I wouldn’t worry much about which specific word you use because Google is smart enough to understand that someone searching for “personalized necklace” will likely be well served by a page for a “custom necklace” as well.”

(Taken from the discussion thread)

How to Use Keywords in your Description – Etsy’s Response

“We recommend using your keywords as naturally as possible throughout your item description because Google does not like unnatural keyword use. Therefore, describe your product in a thorough and accurate way to give yourself the best shot at ranking well in Google.”

Take this Action

DO NOT list your keywords at the beginning of your listing in one big comma separated list. This will be penalized by Google and Etsy. Instead, create a casual-sounding description that explains your item clearly.

NOTE: Only the first 150-160 characters of your description will be read by Google. This is the most important part. Put your focus keyword in this section.

EXAMPLE: “Celebrate your love of all things sarcasm with this funny coffee mug” – with the keywords being “funny coffee mug”, “coffee mug”, “funny mug”, and “sarcasm mug” – all rolled into one sentence.

Adding Links to Other Items/Pages in Your Listing – Etsy’s Response

“If the page is seen as authoritative by Google, adding links to other pages from that listing page should have a positive affect to the linked to page. These effects are typically only substantial if the backlinks come in large numbers rather than individually. I would also say the chances of it being flagged as duplicate content and treated as spam is low.”

Take this Action

It’s A-OK to add links to your individual listings, either to other products or sections of your shop. (In fact, it’s good for your shop ranking!)

BUT: Only add ONE link at a time! Too many links, and Google/Etsy may think your page is spammy and rank you lower.

I’m Getting Lots of Views But No Sales? – Etsy’s Response

“Your conversion rate can have an impact on how you rank on both Etsy and Google. The higher the conversion rate, the higher you will rank typically. This is because Google will try to determine if a visitor found what they were looking for and a low conversion rate is usually an indication that a visitor didn’t find what they were looking for.”

Take this Action

If you’re getting lots of views but no sales, YOUR CONVERSION RATE IS TOO LOW. Sorry, no butts about it: this is an indicator that something is wrong somewhere.

Make sure your titles, tags and descriptions accurately describe exactly what you are selling.

Mediocre photography is often the culprit here, but the issue can also be: price, shipping cost, shipping time (shoot for 3-5 days max unless you’re OOAK), or just not enough variety in your shop. Most buyers won’t make a purchase from a shop that doesn’t carry lots of items (40+). Don’t forget, buyers also usually won’t make a purchase if your shop has no clear focus.

If you’re not sure, get help or advice from other sellers… or hire a professional coach to evaluate your shop.

Should I Use Long-Tail Keywords: Yes or No? – Etsy’s Response

“When deciding between targeting keywords, always err towards the keyword that is most relevant to the product. The best case scenario would be to find keywords that are relevant that have search volume, but that is not always the case. I would try to use a combination of both long tail and head terms to describe the product, when applicable.”

Take this Action

Believe it or not, the answer is NO. Buyers just plain DON’T SEARCH for long-tail keywords. Etsy is trying to serve buyers here, so the best idea is to try and use the exact words (and wording) buyers use to find items in search. Using more than 3-4 long-tail keywords would be SEO suicide on Etsy.

How to Optimize Each Listing for Better Conversion Rates – Etsy’s Response

“We would recommend adding as much relevant content on your listing and shop page as possible. Attributes such as color, size, material and gender would be examples of more descriptive content.”

ANDIf two coffee tables are at the top of page 1 when people search for “coffee table” but one coffee table is always being clicked on and purchased – we will rank it more highly than the other over time. The best way to optimize for this is to create products that people want, encourage positive reviews and use compelling images and titles.”

Take this Action

When optimizing for better conversion, the more information you give Etsy about your item (including that bottom section with materials, style, size, and recipients), the more accurately they can target the right buyers. So fill all these bits out, and use CLEAR wording throughout your description (not jargon! I know you’re a professional, but BUYERS don’t use the same words professionals do).

Why are my popular listings suddenly getting no attention? – Etsy’s Response

“We don’t set quotas on shops for the number of orders they are allowed to fulfill a month but we will routinely experiment with different search ordering which might happen to give less popular listings a more prominent position.”

Take this Action

Search algorithms can cause you to wind up in the twilight zone. If you have an unpopular item that’s suddenly popular (for reasons NOT including a feature outside of Etsy or your own promotions)…then take a look at that listing. Examine how you’ve set it up. Then try to change your previously popular listing so it’s using similar tactics. If your popular listing becomes popular again, you know you’ve found a trick that works for your shop!

What Kind of Punctuation Should I Use in My Titles & Listings? – Etsy’s Response

“In general, we recommend making your titles as readable as possible while still being descriptive so this would usually involve putting a space after commas when appropriate. Google definitely rewards well crafted, easy to read titles.”

ALSO “Using capitalized or lowercased words in your title should not make a difference but we recommend writing your title in a readable manner which may involve being lowercased.”

Take this Action

So apparently search engines (and Etsy) like commas. Use commas in your titles. Try to stay away from capitalized words. While they don’t hurt you, they don’t help you either.

EXAMPLE: Listing title “Sarcasm and Profanity funny coffee mug”

Don’t do this – “SARCASM AND PROFANITY Funny Coffee Mug”

Should I Duplicate Listings to Fill Out My Shop / Distinguish Them? – Etsy’s Response

“If the similar items have any unique or distinguishing factors that would be targeting different keywords, then we would recommend distinguishing them as so. But we do not recommend duplicating listings for the sake of freshness or trying to capture more keywords.”

Take this Action

STOP duplicating listings for no reason! You CAN clone a listing if you have an alternative version, just make sure you change the item’s title and listing description to reflect this difference.

Get the Traffic Your Shop Deserves

Hey Guess What? Before I quit my job to sell on Etsy, I was an SEO Consultant for a Fortune 500 Company. I used Etsy tags to get my first 500 sales in less than 6 months. Wanna steal my tricks? Try SEO Bootcamp:


Jenni from Fuzzy and Birch

Thanks for Reading!
Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
Find out what went down here.

Hey guess what? The exact tricks that got me 6-figures sales are waiting for you in the Ultimate Guide to Etsy. This is a 40-page, step-by-step MEGA tutorial that will help you strategize your way to more sales.


I’m Ready to get focused!
Already have a product online but need to sell more of it to make rent? Figure out what’s clogging up your sales with a FREE Shop Critique, waiting for you on the other side of ⇣ this ⇣ button!