2018 Etsy SEO Updates + Free Download Checklist!

2018 Etsy SEO Updates + Free Download Checklist!

If you sell on Etsy, you are probably aware of the big changes that have occurred this month. Etsy has released a big SEO guide which many sellers have found overwhelming - what is SEO? Why do I need it? What is a long tail keyword!? We have made our way through the latest release and have pinpointed the key takeaways, creating an Etsy SEO Guide for 2018*.

In short, Etsy has stated that there are two phases when it comes to how their search works. Query Matching and Ranking. - here’s an overview of both as well as some suggested actions that sellers could implement.

Query Matching on Etsy Search

A buyer enters a query and Etsy look at the listings that match that query.

Etsy will look at the titles, tags, categories and attributes that have been added to find matching keywords.

Key Points:

  • Use all tags, missed tags are missed opportunities

  • Attributes & categories act like tags

  • Title word order does not affect ranking but the most important keywords should be at the front as that is what buyers will see

  • Titles and tags should be in the shop language

  • Use descriptive, multi-word, long-tail keywords

  • Your titles should be short and easy to read

Suggested Actions For Query Matching on Etsy:

  • Use all 13 tags - use multi-word tags and ensure they sound natural

  • Add relevant attribute options

  • Categorise your items

  • Put most important keyword at front of title so that it doesn’t get cut off in search

  • Instead of repeating keywords in the title, try one long title. For example,“Elegant Navy Floral Wedding Invitation with Calligraphy Style Fonts and Watercolour Illustrations” with the keywords being "Navy", "Floral", "Wedding Invitaion", "Calligraphy" amd "Watercolour Illustrations"

  • Don’t use multiple languages, Etsy will translate.

  • Use long tail keywords, buyers who know what they want are more likely to search for “Navy Floral Wedding Invitations” rather than “wedding invitations”

Ranking on Etsy

Etsy ranks all listings based on a variety of factors.

Etsy rank all listings using the information they have about the listing and the shop.

What Factors Affect Etsy Ranking?

  • Relevancy - how relevant tags, titles, categories and attributes are to a shopper query

  • Conversion - how well a listing converts (buyer view/favourite before purchasing)

  • Customer and market experience - e.g. good reviews, complete profile & policies.

  • Competitive shipping price - whether a seller offers free delivery


  • Recency does not increase ranking so renewing a listing is not a good strategy

  • Vacation mode can hurt ranking as Etsy are not looking at the above factors during your shop downtime

Suggested Actions For Ranking On Etsy:

  • Don’t keyword stuff for the sake of it, if it isn’t relevant, don’t use it.

  • Don’t use clicking groups or favourite trains because if there are lot’s of favourites / views but no purchase, you’re conversion score is low.

  • Focus your time and efforts on improving your listing and conversion rate.

  • Encourage buyers to review your item

  • Complete about section and use updates

  • Complete any policies and add any faq’s

  • Aim to offer free shipping if possible (Etsy now show free shipping badge)

  • Instead of vacation mode, you could increase turnaround times.

Context Specific Ranking (CSR) technology.

Taking shopper habits and history into account when ranking relevant listings.

Not only do Etsy factor in relevancy, conversion, customer experience and competitive pricing, they also customise search results to the shoppers.

Etsy will take shopper habits and history into account when they are displaying search results to shopper queries. This means that what you see is not necessarily what another user will see, meaning that searching for your own listings isn’t effective when determining where you rank.

Suggested Actions For Optimising Your Listings:

  • Look at your stats and traffic to see which listings are performing best.

  • Use stats to see which keywords you are ranking for

  • Use your stats to optimise underperforming listings and see what works best for you.

With all this said, the best way to go about your SEO strategy is trial and error. If your listings are selling and your shop is working for you, don’t go in and change everything at once, take everything with a pinch of salt!

*Please note these are recommendations based on our understanding of Etsy's SEO guide, August 2018 which can be found here. Etsy's algorithms may change and we cannot guarantee sales with these revisions.

SEOEmber29 (Sophie)