Etsy Journal

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Seller How-To: Optimizing Your Etsy Shop for Search Engines

by Lauren Engelhardt

Apr 29, 2009


UPDATE: Please see the most recent information on this topic in our Help section. Click here! We've been making some changes around the site that we hope will have a big impact. Over the past several months, we've implemented a series of changes to improve Etsy's SEO (search engine optimization). Improved SEO means that it's more likely Etsy pages will be found by people searching with sites like Google, Yahoo and other search engines. While we've done a lot of the work behind the scenes, Etsy sellers can also help maximize the impact of Etsy's SEO on their shop and item pages. Meta Data: Understanding the Components Much of this SEO work is done through meta data, which is part of a website's code that is read by search engines. Meta data for SEO has three main components: page title, meta description and meta keywords. ABOVE: In this screenshot of the Jewelry Category, the meta page title is highlighted in orange in the web browser title bar. The page title is visible on the site in the top bar of your web browser window. This also shows up when you add a web page to your browser's Favorites or Bookmarks. Ever wonder how a search engine gets the text for the link that is shown in results pages? That's right: it's the page title. ABOVE: This screenshot shows how Google displays the meta page title and meta description for Etsy's home page in search results. Both the page title and the meta description are displayed on search engine results pages. Search engines display just a short bit of text for the description, between 140-180 characters depending on the search engine. Meta keywords are generally not visible to someone viewing a web page, but they are used by search engines to help rank relevancy of pages in search results. We’ve updated the meta data for many of the pages on Etsy: Category and Subcategory pages, the shopping features (like  Treasury and  Pounce), Etsy shop and item listing pages. Certain pieces of information you control for your shop and item listing pages can impact your shop's SEO. Below we'll explain how you can boost your Etsy shop's SEO. Your Etsy Shop Pages ABOVE: This diagram of jenniferladd's shop home page shows how Etsy uses parts of your shop text for the page title, meta description and meta keywords for your shop page. The page title format on shop pages is: "[username] on Etsy - [Shop Title]" You can partially control what appears here by using your Shop Title wisely. Your Shop Title is the text that appears in bold just below your banner in your shop. To edit your Shop Title, go to Your Etsy > Appearance. We recommend using this Shop Title to briefly describe your shop and the items you sell so search engines will pick it up more readily. You may also want to include your full name or your business name in your Shop Title if potential customers are likely to search for you that way. The meta description is the short blurb that appears on a search engine result page to help people quickly learn what the page is about. For your Etsy shop page, the meta description is the first part of your Shop Announcement. We recommend you use the first 1-2 sentences of your Shop Announcement to describe your shop (what kinds of items you sell) and use welcoming language that will entice someone to explore your shop further. Meta keywords are a less critical component to SEO, and various search engines use them differently to help rank relevancy of a page in search results. For Etsy shop pages, we have automatically pulled the Section Titles for the shop to be used as the meta keywords. We observed that many sellers use basic terms for their sections that translate relatively well into keywords. For example, it's common for jewelry shops to have Section Titles such as: bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings. To edit your Section Titles, go to Your Etsy > Sections. Your Item Listing Pages ABOVE: This diagram of an item listing page from FriendlyFairies shop shows how Etsy uses parts of your item listing text for the page title, meta description and meta keywords for your item listing pages. On individual item pages, the page title format is: • For handmade items – "Handmade [Category] on Etsy - [Item Title] by [username]" • For vintage items – "Vintage on Etsy - [Item Title] by [username]" • For supplies – "Craft Supplies on Etsy - [Item Title] by [username]" Once again, you can partially control the information that appears as the page title for your listing pages. You create your Item Title on the first step of the listing process. (To edit an Item Title, go to Your Etsy > Currently for Sale, and click the edit link by the item you wish to edit. Make sure to click "finish" to save your changes.) We recommend you clearly describe your item in the Item Title so search engines will understand what the page is about. For listing pages, the meta description is taken from the first portion of your Item Description. You create your Item Description on the first step of the listing process. (To edit an Item Description, go to Your Etsy > Currently for Sale, and click the edit link by the item you wish to edit. Make sure to click "finish" to save your changes.) Remember: search engines only display the very beginning of this text, just 1-2 sentences. We recommend you use the first part of your Item Description to draw in potential shoppers: describe your item briefly and use engaging language to encourage them to want to find out more. Meta keywords on item listing pages are taken from the listing's tags. You tag your listing on the second step of the listing process. (To edit the tags on a listing, go to Your Etsy > Currently for Sale, and click the edit link by the item you wish to edit. Make sure to click "finish" to save your changes.) If you're using your tags wisely for Etsy's on-site search already, then most likely you'll be in pretty good shape with your tags for SEO. For more help with tagging, check out Guidelines & Tips: Tagging on Etsy. These are a few easy ways you can help bring more targeted traffic to your Etsy shop from search engines by improving the SEO of your shop and item listing pages. Search engines are complex, and there are several other factors that contribute to how high your pages rank in search engine results. For more insight on some of these other factors outside your Etsy shop and item listing pages, you may want to read Shop Makeover: Google PageRank Tips for Your Etsy Shop.  

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Lauren Engelhardt