Renewing to Boost Your Etsy Sales

All Etsy sellers are focused on boosting sales.  One of the best ways that you can do this is to manually renew your listings.  When you manually renew your products your listings will appear higher in the search results for your chosen keyword phrases which is the goal of a good SEO strategy.  This will help you achieve more views and more sales.  Read below to learn more about renewing.

Etsy renewing can be the key to boosting your sales. Click to learn more about why you should start renewing today!What is renewing?

Renewing a listing within Etsy gives the product a new listing date and a new expiration date which is four months from the date you renew the listing. Etsy charges 20 cents each time you renew a product. Most Etsy sellers only renew products when they sell or when they expire.  It’s not well known, but you can manually renew your listings at any time.

Why should I renew my listing before it expires?

Renewing is important because of a factor that determines your products appear in the Etsy search results called recency. Recency refers to how recently each product was added to Etsy either through a new listing or through a renewal. Etsy gives recently renewed products a boost in the search engine rankings.
Products are renewed when they are initially added to Etsy, when they are manually renewed or when they are sold and auto-renewed. This is why the Etsy search results adjust many times throughout the day as products are sold and renewed.  One of the best ways to give yourself a boost in the search ranking is to manually renew your listings. When you appear higher in the search results you have a much better chance of getting views which equal sales.

How do I manually renew my listings?

There are two ways to renew an active listing within Etsy.

  1. You can renew a listing from your Listings Manager by checking the box of the item you want to renew. Then scroll to the top of the page and clicking Renew.  You can also select Renew from the gear menu of the item you’d like to renew.
  2. The second way to renew within Etsy is from any listing page.  As long as you are signed in, a set of listing tools will be at the top of each listing page.  Click Renew.

What is the goal of renewing my listings?

The ultimate goal of renewing is to give your product a big boost in the Etsy search results for your chosen keyword phrases.  Ideally, you want to appear in the first 192 listings for the keyword phrase that you’ve added to the front of your title which means you’ll appear on one of the first 4 pages of search results.  Buyers often only look through the first few pages of results for a keyword phrase before they move onto a new keyword phrase.  This means you’ll be a lot more likely to receive views if your product appears on the first 4 pages.

If you’re already appearing in the first 192 search results for the keyword phrase you’ve added to the front of your title you may not need to manually renew your product or you may want to choose a more competitive keyword phrase.

How often should I renew my listings?

There are a few different factors that determine how frequently you should renew your listings.

  1. Keyword phrase competitiveness:  If you are using keyword phrases that have a lot of competing products appearing for the phrase within Etsy you will need to renew your product more frequently.
  2. Momentum of the listing:  A product that has been on Etsy for a while and has achieved good sales in the past will rank higher than a new product.  You may have to renew a new product or one that has less momentum more frequently.

What time of day should I renew my listings?

You should renew your listings at a time when your target market is most likely to be online shopping.  This can vary depending upon the target market and their location.  For me, early evening around 7 PM has given the best results with mid-morning around 10 AM following closely behind.

One way to research this is to take a look at the times that you’ve received sales in the past.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to look through your Etsy sale email notifications to see if you can spot any trends based on the times.  You can also view the order times from the Detailed Stats within Etsy but you can only see the times when viewing each day individually so this can take more time.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

5 Essential Tips for Etsy Product Photography

Bright and clean product photography can be the key to convincing Etsy buyers to click on your products. Learn my tips and tricks for great product photos.

Product photography goes hand in hand with a good SEO strategy.  SEO is how you get found in the search results and good photos are what determine if a buyer will click on your listing.  It doesn’t matter if you show up on page one of the search results unless you have good photos that entice Etsy shoppers to click.

Here are some basic tips that I’ve learned from my experience to help create product photos for Etsy that buyers will want to click.

#1: Use a simple background to let your product shine

The first photo you add to your product listing is crucial to getting views and sales.  You want to make sure that your product is the star of the show.  The easiest way to do this is to choose a simple background that doesn’t compete with your product.  A lot of Etsy sellers choose white or wood backgrounds which are great options.  They work for a lot of products but don’t feel like you have to go that route.  You can think outside the box with your product photography by trying out scrapbook papers, fabrics, placemats, distressed wood, metal, wallpaper, etc.  Currently, I use a dark blue piece of beadboard for all of my first photos.

Last Name Sign - Wedding Gift - Liberty Island Farm

I recommend experimenting with different backgrounds until you find one that lets your product shine and is a good fit for your brand.  Some sellers add decorative items into their main photo as well to help draw attention and emphasize what the product is.  You can do this but make sure they don’t overshadow the product.  Adding additional items to the first photo is a more advanced technique because it can easily make a photo look cluttered when viewed in the search results.  To start, I recommend keeping just your product and a background in your first photo.

One thing I never recommend is placing your products on the floor for your photos.  Even if you have gorgeous hardwood floors, buyers are going to wonder why you’re selling them something you’ve had on the floor.

#2: Create a cohesive look for your shop

I recommend using a similar first photo for each product within your shop to create a cohesive look for your shop.  This helps define your style and your brand. Think of how Target does this by using a red and white color scheme through the whole store.  No matter where you are in Target you can see their branding on display.  Your Etsy shop should feel the same way.  Whether you use the same background for each photo or you create a theme for your photos, make sure that each first photo has a similar look and feel that represents your brand.

#3: Use natural light

Great lighting is the key to amazing product photos.  To help achieve natural looking photos that are clear and bright, I always recommend using natural light and avoiding harsh flashes or artificial light.  My favorite places to take photos are beside a window or door or outside under a covering such as a porch or in the shade of a building.

When using natural light make sure to avoid direct sunlight which can be too harsh.  You can use a sheer curtain to help diffuse light if your photography spot only has direct sunlight.  Another tip is to use a homemade reflector such as a piece of white foam board, poster board or cardboard covered in aluminum foil to bounce light on the side of the product that isn’t receiving as much natural light.  Too much shadow can be as bad as too much light.

I like this blog post from White on Rice Couple that shows a creative background choice and it shows how to use a piece of white foam core to help bounce light onto the side that is opposite from the natural light source.

#4: Take shots that show scale, detail & function

You can upload 5 photos per product.  Take advantage of those spots to show buyers that your product is perfect for them with these suggestions:

  • A photo that shows scale can be achieved by placing your product beside a common object or use a model for apparel and accessories.  This helps buyers feel confident that your product is the size they are looking for.  I currently use a ruler with a text overlay that includes the size to help buyers get an idea of the size of my signs.  I added the text using Canva.

Sign with Ruler and Text Overlay - Liberty Island Farm

  • Take a close up photo that shows the detail, texture and quality of your work.  Some cameras have a macro setting that is perfect for close up photos.  Show a different angle or detail than you used in your other photos if possible.
  • Stage a photo of your product in use to show it’s function.  Help your customer imagine your product in their lives.  If you sell cutting boards, put a knife and block of cheese in the photos.  For jewelry such as rings or bracelets, recruit a friend to be a hand model.  Home decor can be staged in your own home.

#5: Make a few simple edits

Editing photos can be tricky for Etsy sellers. It’s hard to know where to start and it’s really easy to over-edit a photo.  I recommend keeping it simple by editing the exposure (how much light the photo has) and by sharpening the photo.  Doing these two things helps create a bright and in focus photo that will have a classic look.

For editing photos on your phone or tablet, I recommend using a free app called Snapseed available for Android or iOS.  If you are on your computer I recommend using the free version of PicMonkey or for best results I recommend Photoshop.  All of these programs allow you to adjust the exposure (brightness, highlights, shadows, contrast) and sharpen the image.  Edit slowly to make sure you’re not overdoing it.  Less is often better when it comes to editing.

Takeaways for Great Product Photography

  • Use a simple & neutral background for your first photo to let your product take the spotlight
  • Show off your style and brand by choosing a similar look or theme for each product’s first photo
  • Natural light is the key to achieving bright and clear product photos
  • Include photos that show detail, scale and function to help your buyers imagine your product in their life
  • Fine tune your photos by making a few simple edits in an image editing program

3 Etsy Shop Must-Haves for a Professional Storefront

The Top 3 Etsy Shop Must-Haves to achieve a professional appearance for your Etsy storefront. Get these in place ASAP so that your shop can thrive!

When working with new Etsy sellers, I’ve noticed that there are a few key areas that Etsy shop owners are missing that are must-haves for a professional looking shop.  This missing information is like a missing store name on the front of brick and mortar stores or a missing sales associate behind the counter.  Check out the must-haves that you should add to your shop today!

#1: The Etsy Shop Owner Photo

The shop owner photo is your chance to put a face behind your shop name.  Etsy buyers are looking for the human experience that they can’t get from a corporate website.  They want to know you and be a part of your story.  Have someone take your photo with a non-distracting background and make sure you’re smiling.

The best part is, all that needs to appear in this picture is your head and shoulders.  No need to change out of your yoga pants!  Make sure the photo is bright and welcoming because this photo represents you and is your opportunity to greet customers that enter your shop.  Click here for photo tips that will also help with your shop owner photo.

#2: The Etsy Shop Title

The Etsy shop title is the line of text that appears underneath your shop name.  The shop title where you will tell your customers what you are selling and what it can do for them.  I often refer to this as the tagline because a lot of shops use their tagline as their shop title.  You have up to 55 characters to use here so make sure to take advantage of the space.

Another vital reason to fill this info in is that Google uses this as your shop title in their search results.  This means that you want to use keywords that a buyer might use to find your products when searching Google.  The shop title is an excellent opportunity to use as many descriptive words as you can to help market your products to shoppers searching on Google and other search engines.  Try to use long-tail keywords to really get specific.

If you don’t know what to write here, you can combine what you sell and what your products can do for your customer.  Here are a few examples:

  • Natural Bath Products to Make You Feel Radiant
  • Personalized Christmas Ornaments to Beautify Your Tree
  • Printable Planner Stickers to Decorate Your Schedule

#3: The Etsy Shop Icon

The Etsy shop icon is the square photo you will see at the top of Etsy shops which appears to the left of the shop name.  If you don’t have one, a blank square will appear which makes it look like something is missing from your shop.  To create a shop icon I recommend using Canva which is a free online design program.  They have templates for Etsy shop icons and make creating a shop icon that aligns with your branding super easy.

The shop icon is fairly small, so I recommend that you include your business name or logo only.  I wouldn’t recommend using a photo of yourself or a photo of your products as a shop icon.  Trying to add too much will make it appear busy and hard to read.

Takeaways for Etsy Shop Must-Haves:

  • Make sure you have a bright and smiling photo of yourself uploaded in the shop owner section
  • Fill in your Etsy shop title with info about what you sell and how it benefits your customers
  • Add a shop icon that aligns with your branding and includes your shop name or logo

 

 

5 Things You Need to Know about Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are 3 or more word keyword phrases that help you appear in search results because they are specific and therefore have less competition.#1: What is a long tail keyword?

A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains three or more words (although some consider 2 or more words to be long tail).  This type of keyword is usually very specific and therefore often less competitive.  Here are a few examples of long tail keywords:  blue starfish necklace, pink striped hair bow, embroidered bear shirt

#2: Should I be using long tail keywords within my Etsy shop?

Long tail keywords are amazing for standing out amongst your competition, especially if you are just getting established.  You will have a better chance at ranking (go here to learn about SEO and ranking) for a long tail keyword because they often are specific enough that you will have less competition in the search results.  This is really important to ensure that your product is found and not lost in a search that is too competitive.

As your shop grows you can work toward ranking for shorter and more competitive keywords.  I’ve been able to rank on the first page for really competitive keywords like housewarming gift and Christmas gift but only after my products received a lot of favorites and sales.  You’ll want to stick with long tail keywords when you are starting out.

#3: How do I incorporate long tail keywords into my tags and title?

You can add your long tail keywords to your titles using the tips found in my Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title post. Make sure that you are using keyword phrases that are appropriate for your product and make sure your title looks as professional as possible.

Long tail keywords can be a bit tricky to add to tags because they can often be longer than 20 characters which is the limit for tags.  To get around this, split your keyword phrases up if needed.  An example of this is ‘green striped hair bow’ which is 22 characters.  You could split this into two tags, ‘green striped hair’ and ‘striped hair bow’.  This helps cover the phrase even though it is too long to fit into one tag.  Make sure you use the same word order that you use in your title so that Etsy recognizes that they are the same word phrases.

As mentioned in our overview about Etsy SEO you will want to make sure that you use the same keyword phrases in your title and your tags.  This can be tricky because you are limited to the number of characters you can use in your title and your tags but try to match up your keywords between your title and tags as closely as possible for best results.

#4: How do I know which long tail keywords to use?

Knowing which keyword phrases to use is the trickiest part of SEO.  I like to sit down with my product in front of me and write out all the words I would use to describe the product.  Think of color, texture, materials used, size, shape, and so on.  Then go back and add a star beside the ones that you think describe your product best.  You can then combine those words into long tail keywords.

I also like to get the opinions of others to help create my long tail keyword phrases.  Show people your product either online or in person and ask them which terms they would use to describe the product or find it if they were looking for it on google.  Look for any trends to help you identify which keyword phrases would be best to use.

An advanced method for finding the best long tail keywords is to use an online tool such as Marmalead.  This is an Etsy SEO tool that helps you discover which keywords are working for similar products.  I highly recommend it and will be writing a blog post about it in the near future.  Some sellers also have good luck with the Google Keyword Planner tool.

#5: How can I tell if I am ranking for my long tail keywords?

Once you make changes to your SEO you should check to see if you are ranking for your new keywords.  Etsy can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before your changes fully kick in.  I like to check my keyword rankings weekly, especially for the keywords I have put at the front of my titles.  You don’t want to check in your normal browser by going to Etsy.com because you will see search results based on your location and previous search history.

The easiest way to check your ranking is to use an incognito window within Google Chrome.  This removes Etsy’s ability to tailor the search results to you.  Click here for instructions on how to open an incognito window.  Once you have the window open go to Etsy.com and search for your keyword phrase.  Then scroll through the results and look for your product.  Ideally, you want to appear within the first 5 pages.

Another method is to use the website Etsy Rank.  You have to sign up for an account and link it to your Etsy shop.  Once you do this there is a feature called Rank Checker.  You can type in your keyword and it will look for any of your products within the first 500 results for that keyword.  I really like using this because it tells you the location that your product appears in.  Etsy Rank also has some other great features.

The final method I recommend is using Marmalead which I mentioned earlier.  In addition to helping you find keyword phrases, it can also tell you where you rank for each keyword.

Takeaways for Long Tail Keywords:

  • Long tail keywords are important to ensuring your products appear in the search results
  • Do you research to determine which long tail keywords you should use
  • Incorporate your long tail keywords into your titles and your tags
  • Check regularly to see if you are ranking for your long tail keywords.

Ready to take your SEO to the next level?

Disclaimer:  The above info is what has worked really well for me in my experience of running a successful Etsy shop.  While it has worked for me, you may experience a different result.  Make changes slowly and be sure to save any previous information you are replacing in case you find that your previous choices worked better for you.

Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title

Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title

Etsy Product Titles

Etsy titles serve so many purposes.  They are absolutely vital to Etsy SEO, they tell the buyer what it is they are looking at and they are a buyer’s first look at your writing.  First impressions are important so crafting the perfect Etsy title should be a priority for your Etsy shop.

Trying to create a title that fits the bill for all of these purposes can be really daunting.  There’s a fine line between pleasing the search engine and your buyers.  When I first started my Etsy store in April of 2016 my titles were so short and just horrible.  I had no clue what I was doing and didn’t get many sales.  Updating my titles (as well as tags) has been one of the most helpful things I’ve done to get the sales I needed to quit my corporate job and focus on my handmade shop full time.

Tip # 1:  Use up as much space within your Etsy title as possible

Etsy allows up to 140 characters for your title.  As I mentioned in my Etsy SEO post you want to include as many keywords as possible in your title so this means using up as many of those 140 characters as you can.  I can get a little too obsessive and see it as a challenge.  Below the title bar Etsy shows a little countdown of how many characters are remaining to help you out.

Tip # 2: Use keyword phrases and separate them for readability

Etsy SEO relies on your title to determine which keyword phrases you should rank for.  This means you want to fill your title with as many keywords as possible.  You want to make sure they are readable, though.  One way to do this is to separate keyword phrases with commas, dashes, slashes or the pipe symbol.  I personally prefer dashes with a space before and after the dash.  Here is an example of my Uncork & Unwind sign’s title:

Wine Sign – Christmas Gift – Uncork and Unwind – Wedding Gift – Birthday Gift – Wine Lover – Rustic – Kitchen Decor – Bar Sign – 18″ x 2.5″

Tip # 3: Use title case in your title for a professional look

I’ve seen a lot of Etsy titles with all caps or all lowercase letters. While I think that can have its place I really love the look of title case within a title.  I’m not great at explaining grammar but click here to read more about what title case is and how to use it.

Tip # 4: Put your strongest keywords at the front of the title

Etsy SEO will consider the keywords at the front of the title as the most important.  Also, only the first few words appear to buyers when they view your listing in the search results.  When creating a title I always make a list of every keyword phrase I want to rank for and then put them in the order I would consider most important.  This is the order that I place them in the title.  Your first 2-3 words should be the number 1 keyword phrase that you would like to rank for.  To learn about implementing these keyword phrases which are called long tail keywords check out this blog post.

Tip # 5: Vary your Etsy titles

There are a few reasons that your titles should be different from product to product.  The first one is that while you are trying to rank within Etsy, you also want to keep Google happy because buyers are going to find you through Google.  Google doesn’t like exact duplicates and may penalize you for having two products with the exact same wording.  This applies to descriptions as well.

Another reason your titles should be different is that you don’t want to compete against yourself.  As a general rule, Etsy only displays one of your listings per page for each search result.  If you have the same keyword phrase at the beginning of each title Etsy sees that you want to rank highly for that keyword.  Since you can only appear once per page you are competing against yourself.  I have a lot of listings that are similar but I try to make the titles different so that I appear in different search results.

Tip # 6: Don’t use keyword phrases that are too competitive

Think of your Etsy product as a fish.  You can either stand out in a little pond or get lost in a big pond.  When you are starting out with a listing, you want to choose keyword phrases that don’t have a high level of products competing for them.  As your product gains momentum you can try to use keywords that are more competitive but when starting out I recommend sticking to keyword phrases that have 2,000 or fewer products competing.  To check how many products are competing for a keyword phrase, type your keyword phrase into the search bar within Etsy and you will see the number of results that appear.  If the number is over 2,000 you should keep searching for keyword phrases that aren’t as popular.  You’ll have a much better chance at appearing higher in the search results for low competition keywords.

Bonus Tip!: Your Etsy title should include the same keyword phrases as your tags

I’ve saved the best one for last.  As I explained in my Etsy SEO post, you want to include the same keyword phrases in your titles and in your tags.  This is the number one key to appearing in search results.  You want the words to be in the same order whenever possible as well.  You’ll never match them up perfectly but get as close as you can.  Make sure your most important keywords match up and this will help ensure you appear in the search results for those phrases.

Takeaways for Etsy Titles:

  • Use all 140 characters within your title or get as close as you can
  • Separate your keyword phrases for readability.  I recommend dashes with a space before and after each one.
  • Use title case for a professional look
  • Put your MVP keywords at the front of the title
  • Vary your product titles from product to product
  • Avoid keyword phrases that have more than 2,000 products competing for them
  • Match up your keyword phrases in your titles and your tags

P.S. – I know all of this can seem overwhelming and overly complicated.  Take it one step at a time and just work on a few listings per day.  Also, check out this post where I explain why Etsy SEO is so complicated and the factors that impact the search ranking.

Ready to take your Etsy SEO to the next level?


Disclaimer:
 The above info is what has worked really well for me in my experience of running a successful Etsy shop.  While it has worked for me, you may experience a different result.  Make changes slowly and be sure to save any previous information you are replacing in case you find that your previous choices worked better for you.

 

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