By Kaleigh Moore May 18, 2023
If you were trying to start a business online, you face two choices. One, you could try to do it all from scratch. Two, you could start off on a platform that already has 80 million active buyers.
If “80 million” sounds suspiciously specific, it’s because we have something in mind. That’s roughly the customer base of Etsy. The U.S.-based eCommerce company is something of a worldwide crafts store.
On Etsy, you can find handmade merchandise from jewelry to custom wood prints. People from all over the world have turned their Etsy presence into full-fledged businesses.
Yet Etsy success isn’t as simple as hanging a “we’re open” sign at the front of your digital store. You’re going to need one more ingredient: eyeballs. On Etsy, it’s all about getting people to see what you have to offer.
Let’s explore how you can get more traffic to your Etsy shop…
How to get more views on Etsy
Like Amazon or Google, the first goal is simple: show up when someone searches for your category. You don’t have to do anything sneaky here. Etsy even includes a search optimization guide in its Seller Handbook. Here’s what they recommend:
Query matching. The simplest way to get more Etsy views is to position your products for the queries people are already entering. Etsy recommends “the most specific option available.”
Why? When marketing on Etsy, the platform will automatically tag you in larger general categories. For instance, if you sell nail stencils, optimize for “nail stencils.” Properly categorized, those will automatically go under larger categories like Craft Supplies, Makeup, and Cosmetics.
Ranking. Let’s stick with the “nail stencils” example. When someone searches for nail stencils, what decides whether your products will show up?
Etsy says it tries to push the products most likely to make a sale to the top. It does so based on a few categories:
- Relevancy: The name of the product, title tags, categories, and attributes all count here.
- “Listing quality score”: Essentially, this comes down to how well your product converts once a customer clicks on your page.
- Recency: If your product is new, it gets what Etsy calls a “small, temporary boost in search results.” However, Etsy says renewing your pages isn’t an effective optimization strategy. Instead, they recommend you focus on building new, highly specific, products.
Avoiding penalties. If you’re tempted to lie about your products to attract customers, don’t. Etsy puts search engine penalties in place for any content it deems “false, deceptive, or misleading.”
How do you put these tips together for an effective Etsy search strategy? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be as specific in your listings as possible. For starters, this improves conversion. People who click on a highly-specific product page are more likely to buy because they know what they want. But specificity also means you’ve optimized tags, titles, and listing descriptions to increase search relevance.
- Mind your price. Because conversion rate is so important to Etsy, remember that every sale you make gets counted. Etsy says that price is “one of the most important factors [customers] look at when deciding to make a purchase.”
- Keep your listings honest. Customers don’t like reading one thing and then seeing another when they’re ready to order. Doing so won’t only decrease your conversion rate—Etsy will also punish you. Don’t try to “sneak” in your products with false or misleading keywords, or by choosing irrelevant categories.
Using visual cues for your Etsy storefront
Browse Etsy for a while, and you’ll notice something interesting. It’s all about that storefront. Etsy highlights popular gifts by showing brightly-lit product photos.
Yes, the search engine matters. But knowing how to get someone to click is all about how your store looks.
The key: great product photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. Given that your Etsy store is an entirely virtual shop, a professional photo shoot can go a long way to attracting clicks.
Here’s how to promote an Etsy shop with the power of visuals:
- Take shots from multiple angles. When a customer is browsing in a store, and they see something they like, what’s the first thing they do? They pick it up. Hovering their mouse over the product from multiple angles is the digital equivalent.
- Avoid zooming. Zooming, Etsy says, has a tendency to degrade the sharpness and quality of your image. It’s better to bring the camera in, which gives the viewer the feeling of being close-up.
- Avoid flash lighting. Natural lighting, Etsy says, tends to work best. That’s why many Etsy shop owners often take photos near windows. Even if your Etsy shop is running from your basement, it shouldn’t look that way online.
A well-optimized and well-it Etsy store will do a lot to attract customers. But sometimes you’ll need a boost beyond what the platform can give you.
That’s why some people on Etsy turn to off-platform traffic strategies. This is, of course, its own challenge. But if you can generate a following on Instagram with #etsyseller—a popular hashtag—you can drive some additional attention to your Etsy presence.
Consider product highlights on YouTube and other platforms if you have an existing audience. Add your Etsy store to your Link-in-bio link, or into social media descriptions. Or, if your forte is building a strong email list, you might try one more thing before you learn how to make more sales.
Connect your email newsletter with Etsy
Use email marketing to increase views and traffic. Your email list is a roster of people who, simply put, “like your stuff.” You can send them a new email when a product launches, for example. And since we know high conversion rates on Etsy increase your placement in their search results, it creates a virtuous circle: Etsy will see your higher sales rate and reward you with more prominent placement.
Promote your newsletter and send product updates. Once you’ve integrated your email software with Etsy, tools like AWeber’s auto newsletter feature allow you to invite customers to opt-in to your newsletter after making their first purchase at your Etsy store. From there, you can keep your customers informed of new product launches, new content releases, and more with automatically-triggered newsletters with the news, saving you time and effort.
Integrate AWeber with Etsy. With this integration, you can add loyal customers to an AWeber account. Your goal: building a unique web presence, but one that doesn’t rely on a singular platform like Etsy.
It’s great to have access to Etsy’s customers—not to mention the platform’s infrastructure for taking orders. But it’s even better if your Etsy presence is just one arm of your total online shopping experience.
Turn Etsy into a storefront
A storefront is great. But it’s called the front for a reason.
Done right, your Etsy store can be an invaluable part of your online presence. But it doesn’t have to be your entire presence, either.
Integrate with AWeber to turn your Etsy storefront into something more—a way to attract foot traffic, but not 100% of your business.
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