you want to make money, right? so you open your shop on Etsy, list your items, and envision them selling out within minutes after hitting “publish”.
then, minutes turn into hours. hours turn into days. weeks go by and you haven’t sold a thing. so besides checking your inbox for that sweet “you sold an item on Etsy!” email a million times a day, you go to Etsy and search for your item. and you search. but you can’t find it.
frustrated, you cringe and think, “heck, if i can’t find my own item, then, how would anyone find my items??”
grumpily, you mumble some excuses for lack of sales.
- there are too many items on Etsy. competition is too steep.
- how can I compete with all those cheaper prices on Etsy?
- Etsy doesn’t do enough to promote Etsy or our shops.
- search algorithm is too complicated for me to know what words to use for the listings.
- renewing (recency) is only good for making money for Etsy. I renew all the time but it never shows up on the first page.
- relevancy makes no sense to me. i don’t see any relevant items show up when i search.
- i don’t have enough time or the desire to use social media. besides, i’m shy.
- what, i need to blog for my business? who has time to blog?
- Etsy does not care about handmade artists. there are lots of resellers on Etsy.
- same shops are always on the front page. i never end up on front page.
i know so many sellers who have thought of, if not verbalized, at least a few of the above. so I wanted to address the simplest question that many of you asked.
“how do I make my item show up on search?”
i’m going to use my necklace as a way to illustrate. you can click the images to enlarge.
first, imagine what would a buyer do (WWBD) when looking for something on Etsy? if she knows exactly what she wants then, she knows what to put in the search box, like “Blue Cotton Maxi Dress” or “Black Leather iPad Case”. but if she doesn’t know what to buy or if she’s looking for a gift, she may go to the category on the left side of the screen and click any of the categories to browse. or, like most of us, she may go to the search bar and type in a term that may help her find what she is looking for. most of us are in “Google” state of mind so she may ‘search’, like googling.
so imagine what terms a buyer would use to find your item. one way to do this is to have a friend or a family member look at one of your item. then, take her to the front page of Etsy and ask her to type in what terms or words she would use to find your item. see if your item shows up.
remember, Etsy uses relevancy and recency as algorithm in cataloguing your item so both matter when searching. relevancy is related to your Title and Tags to search terms. recency is timing in which you listed your item.
i’m going to use my Silver Toned Dewey Decimal Pendant Necklace that i listed awhile ago to illustrate. I edited my original listing a little to illustrate what works better. my necklace is good for a librarian, a teacher, a book lover, a nerd, a geek, a English major, or even a mathematician since the dewey decimal that is used to make the necklace is from a Math book. i decided to use the term ‘gift for a librarian’ since it seems most obvious. and when I typed that term my necklace showed up on page 5. not good enough, right?
look at this first page when i type “gift for a librarian”.
Screenshot of “Gift for a librarian”
i wanted to check what the first item’s title and tags looked like and why it showed up as the first. here is the screenshot. see the words “librarian” and “gifts” are in the title and tags? no wonder it was the first item on ‘search.’
now, let’s see why my listing ended up on page 5. i had no “gift’ or ‘librarian’ in the title or tags. and the item was listed awhile ago.
so, i added those two words to my title and used them in tags, to see what would happen.
it still didn’t make it to the first page. instead, it ended up on page 3, which was better, but still not on first page.
so, I renewed my listing.
then, i searched “gifts for librarian” again. now look. i’m on first page and as a first item! Whoo Hoot!
so you see, your item can be discovered on search! you just have to use proper titles and tags. and renew when you can.
things to try: try using proper words in tags and title and see where your item end up.
don’t know what to use for titles and tags? my next post will cover what to consider when choosing titles, tags, and description.