Why Isn’t My Etsy Store Getting Any Visitors or Traffic?

Published by
Kenny Novak
on March 07, 2015
Posted in Traffic Generation

When Etsy was new, it was deemed something of a nirvana for struggling artists looking for a place to sell their goods. For a long time, it has worked well in this role. The question, now, is whether or not Etsy is still a good site for small businesses and individual artists. After all, if you look at the top 100 shops, you’ll find that most of them have been taken over by large businesses with massive inventories and numerous employees.

Etsy may not be dying, but it’s not the golden throne it once was. Many new members sign up and open shops, only to see virtually no traffic beyond the people they directly refer. They don’t grow, they don’t spread, they don’t show up in search; what’s the point?

Well, Etsy is still the only site like it around. When you’re faced with growing an Etsy store or growing your own third-party shop on your own website, Etsy is a no-brainer. After all, they handle the payments, they handle the site design, they handle uptime; in fact, they handle everything other than the inventory and the shipping.

If you’re locked into Etsy, how can you boost your traffic and sales? A lot of it comes down to good old-fashioned SEO.

The Basics of Etsy SEO

Etsy SEO

With Etsy, you essentially have three ways for your products and shop to be found. First, users can come in from Google. Second, the users can come in from the Etsy search engine, which is very similar to Google in a lot of ways. Third, the users can come from direct links – or links from business cards or other print materials, of course – as direct referrals.

The first two involve some form of SEO. To make things simpler, we’ll just consider the Google aspect. You can safely assume that anything that makes your shop more visible on Google will also make you more visible through Etsy’s search.

As for the direct referrals, you can go about this in a number of ways. Business cards with shipped products, business cards handed out locally, print advertising, direct PPC advertising, links through guest posts and the like are all viable. Any direct link will help you, both in terms of referral traffic and as an SEO factor.

  • Tags. Tagging on Etsy is one of the most powerful sources of SEO exposure available. This is primarily because it’s one of the few bastions of pure keyword data left online with any value. Listing keywords for your products is essential, every product. Use every available tag and make them as specific as possible within the character limit.
  • Conversely, make sure your tags are as buyer-friendly as they are search-friendly. If everything looks over-optimized, buyers won’t want to search around; they think you’re trying to game the results and haven’t earned them.
  • Use relevant keywords in the first two sentences of your product listing description. Don’t start with the fluff, start with the stuff.

Thankfully, for any marketing pros out there, you can use Google Analytics on your Etsy shop. This means that any information about custom reports or traffic source tracking that you find online, relating to Google Analytics, will work for your Etsy traffic.

Analyze your keywords, as listed in Google Analytics. The keyword listings will show you what’s working for your shop and what’s not. You might have to make sacrifices in terms of accuracy in order to showcase keywords that bring in more traffic.

Other Etsy Improvements

Etsy Improvements

There’s a lot you can do beyond just awareness of keywords and tags on Etsy.

For one thing, there’s your inventory. Seasoned Etsy veterans will often recommend that you have at least 100 items in your store before you’re going to show up with any relevance in search. For small stores, however, this is a lot more than you really need. Instead, shoot for a minimum of around 20. More is better, but you don’t need to go out of your way to hit 100 if you don’t have nearly that many items to sell.

The more items you have, the more valid your shop looks. It looks like you do a lot of business, because why would you have so many items for sale if you never sold anything?

Vary your listings. Avoid using copy and pasted forms. Writing unique copy for every item makes your store look much more personal. You don’t need to vary things too much, particularly if you’re listing a bunch of variations on the same product, but you should still be as unique as possible.

If you offer one basic model and a number of custom designs, go ahead and list several products. You can always include on any item that it can be customized. For example, if you’re making pillows and you allow custom fabrics, create a dozen pillows with different fabrics. This has two benefits; first, you have a wider range of products to showcase, even if many of them are the same. Second, you have ready-made inventory if someone buys the pillow in the fabric you have displayed.

Etsy Blogging

One thing any Etsy seller can do is start up a free blog on a platform like WordPress or Blogger. These blogs allow you to write about your products and your life, ideally on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This is enough that it keeps up a flow of interest, without becoming a part-time job in itself.

Blogging gets you links, which get picked up by Google, which boosts the visibility of your shop. Your blog can also be a money-maker in its own right, particularly if you advertise on the site. You want to avoid running advertisements for competing products, of course. Be careful with the ads you run.

Above all, a blog allows you to create a community that doesn’t revolve around your Etsy shop. It’s a place for buyers to come to leave comments and feedback. Engage with them and they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends.

Written by Kenny Novak

Kenny Novak

Kenny is an SEM and SEO professional. He uses blogging and content marketing as a launchpad for small businesses looking to grow their online presence.

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