Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Etsy Shop SEO Success in Six Simple Steps, Part 1

The two main components of successful SEO for any Web site or blog are a). content and b) linking. This article covers both content and linking for the successful SEO of your Etsy shop.


There are several places on each Web page that the search engines look to see what the Web page is about. The search engines gather this information, analyze it and then add it to their huge index of Web sites organized by what each Web page is about. Some of this information is in areas of the Web page that can only be seen by looking at the program code.

You can view the program code for each Web page by clicking on View in your Internet Browser and then clicking on Source. The program code for your main shop page and each shop section will look something like this (you might have to scroll from left to right to see all of this code that is on one line):

Locate the title tag, meta description tag and meta keywords tag in the code above and find the same code in the Shop View of your Etsy shop. Now you can see some of the most important text that the search engines look for when they look at your Etsy Shop. Note: They keyword tag is not usually used by any of the large search engines any more but Etsy does move some of your shop and listing information into the Keyword tag.


1. Optimize (SE0) the Shop TItle

The first place that the search engines "read" on a Web page is the title tag. The title tag is the most important text to the search engines. This is where the search engine programs first look to find what each Web page on the Internet is about. Placing your best keywords into the shop title places these same keywords into the title tag - then your shop will come up on the search results whenever someone searches for whatever keywords you have placed into the title tag, such as, "handmade gemstone jewelry" or "original ACEO paintings" or "handmade baby clothes."

The main shop title for each Etsy shop is placed into the title tag by Etsy programs whenever the main shop page is viewed in Shop VIew. The section names you in your shop are moved into the title tag whenever each section is viewed in Shop View. Look for the title tag for your shop in the program code. It will look like this:

<title>SEO Web Design Custom Web Design SEO and SEM by SEOWebDesign</title>

As you can see, Etsy takes the shop title you create and adds it to the title tag of the main shop Web page, followed by your shop name and, if there is enough room, the words "on Etsy." I like to fill up my shop and section titles with as many appropriate keyword phrases as possible, confident that the search engines have other ways to figure out that the Web page is on Etsy.

Each shop title can be successfully optimized (SEO) for one primary keyword phrase and one or two secondary keyword phrases. You will see the reason for this on as you continue through this report.

The place to begin optimization of your title tag is with keyword research. I like to use Google's free Keyword Research Tool that you can find at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. Start by keying in the words you think describe what you are selling and Google will give you information about your keywords, such as the total searches in the most recent month for your keywords and also make other keyword recommendations.

Choosing keyword phrases from the keywords recommended by Google with the right number of recorded searches on the Internet is very important to getting found in the search engines. Your shop will get lost in the competing crowd of other web sites if you use a very popular keyword or phrase, such as "jewelry" or "handmade jewelry." On the other hand, your shop will not see an increase in Internet traffic if you use a keyword phrase with too few searches.

Choose the most appropriate keyword phrase for first placement in your title tag followed by one or two other appropriate keyword phrases. Add punctuation, such as commas if you like. The punctuation is only for human eyes - the search engines ignore punctuation but spaces are important. A few minutes after you make this change, the new shop title words will appear in the title tag of your shop when you are looking at the program code when you view your shop in Shop View.

Do not: break up the keywords phrases in the title tag into a string of words like this: "jewelry, gemstone, sterling silver, chainmaille, . . . . " The search engines will not read this as "gemstone jewelry, sterling silver jewelry, chainmaille jewelry."

Do: Use the complete keyword phrases as you find them in your Keyword Research. The way that you see the keyword phrases in your research is the same way that the search engines will look to find your shop.

2. Optimize (SEO) the Shop Welcome Text

This welcome text is the text that Etsy places into the description meta tag and is often what is seen on search results below the title tag. The description tag for your shop looks like this:

<meta name="description" content="Welcome to my shop, SEO (Search Engine Optimized) Web Design, your source for affordable custom Web designs created and developed by an experienced" >

This is what the search engines and Internet searchers see when they look at your shop in the search engines results pages.

On the search results for the example shop, the search results look like this:

The shop title (title tag) is seen on the first line of the search results, followed by the description tag on the next two lines, then followed by the URL of your shop. Think about what you would like the Internet users to see when they see your shop in the search results. Most likely they would first like to know if you have what they are looking for.

Your welcome text has to contain your keyword phrases to add any benefit for your search engine rankings. It's to your advantage in the search engines to use your keywords in the text and place the most important ones at the top of the text - the ones you would want someone to see on Google if they were searching for the products you are selling.

In this text include the primary and secondary keyword phrases for your shop as well as the keywords you select for the section names. Use these keywords in the first few sentences of your shop welcome text and use each keyword phrase at least once and more often if you can. Use your keywords several times if you have a large amount of text in the shop welcome text.

The search engines will decide what the web page is about by the information on the entire page. If you write more about your shipping policies than anything else, for example, then the search engines will give more weight to your shipping policies than to any other text on the page.

Try words like this, which include your primary shop keywords as well as your section name keywords, for the first few sentences of your shop text (replacing the bold words with your own keywords):

"In my your primary keyword phrase here shop, you will find a large selection of secondary keyword phrase #1, secondary keyword phrase #2 as well as section name and section name from my primary or secondary keyword phrase. I hope you enjoy my (fill in with several of your section names here). I add more primary keyword phrase items . . .. (etc)"

These first few sentences are a suggestion. You can use your own words – just make sure to include the selected keywords for your shop title and at least a few of your section names in this area of your shop text. The more text you use the and more often you use the keywords for your shop and section names, the better your shop will do in the search engine rankings. Use a large proportion of keywords relative to the amount of text on the page. There truly is no "ideal" percentage of keywords to all the text on the page.

The search engines index all of the text on each page of your shop but only display a small amount of the text on the search results.

3. Optimize (SEO) the Shop Section Names

The words you use to label your shop sections are added to the Keyword meta tag. More importantly, each section name is moved into the title tag of the web page for each section: The keyword tag for your shop looks something like this:

<meta name="keywords" content="custom etsy shop seo, custom web site seo, custom web design, web design templates, web success 101, custom slide shows, custom web templates" >

Research the right keyword phrases for your shop section names using Google's Free Keyword Research Tool, https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal, using the same techniques that you used to research the keywords for your shop title.

Using full keyword phrases, such as, "Handmade Necklaces ", “ACEO Paintings,” “Watercolor Notecards,” and “Vintage Women's Dresses ”, that are actually used in real searches in the search engines is beneficial to the SEO of your shop. Use all of the sections in your shop to get the most out of the section name keywords.

Do Not: use spaces between each letter of each word, such as, J E W E L R Y, for section names. This does not work for SEO - search engine will read each letter as a separate word.

Do: Using full keyword phrases, such as, Handmade Gemstone Jewelry, for section names.

To be continued . . . .

Written by Mary


Mary said...

Some very sound advice here! thank you! SEO can be confusing and scary to newbies, but this is wonderful.

Danielle Renee said...

Thank you! I haven't read it all but I'm so glad this post was written. I just read a article on SEO in the magazine Inc. I have to say, though, after reading it I was still confused. I'm so happy this is specifically for Etsy sellers.

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Laura said...

Thank you several times over! I am putting your suggestions to use and heading over to read Part 2.

Laura said...

Thank you several times over! I am putting your suggestions to use and heading over to read Part 2.

Rozzie Lee said...

Super helpful... thank goodness there are people who out there like you guys!! :) *virtual hugs*

Stitches In Time said...

A lot of great SEO information here,thanks so much for this post.

Twisted Beading said...

Oh WOW, so well written and such great advice and reminders. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together.

Sam said...

I agree, these are great pointers. Thanks for sharing.

bobbi_goodwine said...

Great advice, making changes right now. Thank you

{ lillith } said...

your article is very helpful in my quest to get my esty shop optimized. thank you so much for the time and effort to put this out there.

IDesign Studios said...

Thanks for the info regarding the importance of our section titles, wish we had more room for words in those areas! I appreciate it!

Indigobjects said...

Thank you for helping me understand how SEO works.

Your Daily Jewels said...

This is very helpful. Thank you for taking your time to do this!

PSD To HTML said...

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