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How do I improve my shop's Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful process that can help improve the visibility of your shop and item listings in search engine results for sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When shoppers are browsing the web, catching their attention through search engines is one way to bring more traffic to your Etsy shop.

SEO can be complicated. Search engines frequently change the way terms are searched, as well as the criteria for what comes up in a search. There isn't a way to promise your shop will appear at the top of Google search results. However, there are some best practices that you can use to help improve your shop's SEO.

In 2009, Etsy worked closely with SEOmoz, a Search Engine Optimization consulting group, to improve overall SEO for Etsy. The work we did together is summarized and has been updated on this page, covering the very basics of SEO best practices for Etsy shops. If you want to learn more about SEO, you can read the full 25-page guide from SEOmoz which can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking HERE. (Note this file is 1.9 mb and may take a few minutes to download.)

SEO is an evolving process, so it's possible there will be updates to this guide.

Also be sure to check out this blog post on SEO Tips!

1. Have a Great Product

Offering something unique, interesting, and desirable is the first step in drawing in shoppers. Before contemplating whether or not to optimize your searches for SEO, take a look at the items in your shop and consider what makes your item or shop different from everyone else's. If you'd like to improve the look and feel of your shop, learn more on how to do that here

2. Select Keywords

A critical step in improving your shop's SEO is to find the best possible words to describe your shop and your items. Think like a shopper: what words would you search when looking for your products or shop? The exercise of selecting keywords is also helpful when you choose Tags for your item listings, which help place your listing in browse pages and Categories on Etsy, as well as getting found through Etsy's on-site search function.

Get more tips about choosing keywords on Etsy's blog:

3. Your Etsy Shop

Two important SEO elements for your Etsy shop pages are your Shop Title and Shop Announcement. The diagram below explains where to find each of these elements on your shop page:

You can edit your Shop Title and Shop Announcement by going to Your Shop > Info & Appearance. Use the preview function to see how it will look as a Google search result.

Below we'll explain why each element is important and how you can make the best of it.

Shop Title

Your Shop Title will be the page title for your shop page. The page title is the text a person sees in the search engine that links to your shop. Search engines only show about 66 characters for a page title, so Etsy has automatic rules to determine how much of your Shop Title will be used in the page title. Etsy will also automatically include your username in the page title.

TIP: Briefly describe your shop and the items you sell. Consider including your full name or your business name in your Shop Title if potential customers are likely to search for you that way.

Shop Announcement

The first 160 characters of your Shop Announcement are used to create the meta description for your shop page. The meta description is the text shown under your page title on a search engine results page.

TIP: Describe your shop and the kinds of items you sell. Use welcoming language that will entice someone to explore your shop further. Use keywords that you think shoppers will search to find your items.

4. Your Shop Sections

How you name your Shop Sections can also help boost your shop's SEO. Each Section has its own landing page with a page title based on the Section name.

You can edit your Shop Sections by going to Your Shop > Sections.

Below we'll explain why each element is important and how you can make the best of it.

Shop Section

Like your Shop Title, Etsy uses your Section names to create the page titles for each of your sections' landing pages. The page title is the text a person sees in the search engine that links to your shop. Search engines only show about 66 characters for a page title, and Etsy limits Section names to 24 characters. Etsy will automatically include your username in the page title.

TIP: Briefly describe the kind of items in each specific Section. Using "category style" names for your Sections that include your keywords (in lieu of creative or poetic Section names) not only helps a shopper navigate within your shop, but also can help shoppers find you in search engines.

5. Your Item Listing Pages

Two important SEO elements for your listing pages are your Item Title and Description. The diagram below explains where to find each of these elements on an item listing page:

You can edit your Item Title and Description for a specific listing by going to Your Shop > Listings Manager and clicking Edit towards the right of that listing. Use the preview function to see how it will look as a Google search result.

Below we'll explain why each element is important and how you can make the best of it.

Item Title

Your Item Title is used to create the page title for your listing page. Search engines only show about 66 characters for a page title, so Etsy has automatic rules to determine how much of your Item Title will be used in the page title. Etsy will automatically include your username in the page title.

TIP: Clearly describe your item at the beginning of the Item Title. Use keywords you think a shopper may search. Item Title is also a factor in the search engine on Etsy, so a good Item Title serves double-duty!

Item Description

The first 160 characters of your item description is used to create the meta description for your listing page. The meta description is the text shown under your page title on a search engine results page.

Your description is important beyond the first 160 characters, too. Search engines look at a page's full content. Be sure to describe your item well, using your keywords and providing details about the item.

TIP: Briefly describe your item in the first sentence of your description. Use keywords that you think shoppers will search to find your items.

6. In-bound Links

Search engines like to show results that are relevant and interesting, but gauging "interestingness" is a bit tricky for a computer. While we don't know exactly how search engine algorithms calculate what makes a page interesting, we know that the number and quality of in-bound links to a page is important. In short: you want people to be writing about your shop and listings online, as well as linking to your Etsy pages. This helps search engines know that people are interested in your content.

7. Google Product Listing Ads

Etsy is proud to offer advertising spots in Google Shopping for eligible Etsy listings. The cost of ads is completely covered by Etsy. Learn more about Google Product Listing Ads.

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