For Etsy Shop Owners: How to Charm the Etsy Search Engine

by Jillian Leslie on

I met Natalie Gowen at Bloggy Bootcamp Denver. She is an a marketing expert who focusing on helping Etsy shop owners increase sales and visibility.

I asked Natalie if she would do a few guest posts directed at our Etsy shop owners on how to get your listings on the front page of Etsy. Here's what she had to say...


It stands for search engine optimization. And it’s so boring it can put you to sleep before you even get to the end of the sentence. But changes to the way Etsy displays search results has suddenly made understanding SEO the only way to keep your listings in front of buyers.

Even buying ads requires a little SEO knowledge. The shops that get it, end up on the first page of search results. The shops that don’t, are watching their business dwindle.


Every search engine – whether it’s Google or Etsy – relies on little robots to comb the Internet and catalog all the pages. It’s not a small job. There are lots of little bots scurrying from site to site and from page to page trying to make sense of it all.

When an Etsy robot views a new product listing, it doesn’t look at the page the same way we do. Our eyes immediately focus in on the fabulous product photos that show us color and size. and tell us immediately what we are looking at. This is what you see from The Things I Sell on Etsy.

This is what you see

This is what a search engine bot sees:

What the search engine bot sees

Your web browser translates this mess of letters and numbers into rows and columns, separating words from pictures and rendering a pretty web page. But all the search engine bot cares about is a few key indicators that tell it what the listing is.

By placing words and phrases in key places within the code you help the bot identify and catalog the listing. The next time someone searches for something using the keywords in your listing – the little bot says – “Oh! I’ve got the perfect match” and pops your product on the front page.


Lucky for us, Etsy takes all the hard work of SEO off your plate and leaves you with the easiest bits.

The words you enter into your listing titles and product tags are placed in the code right where the bots will look. All you need to do is load the title (especially the title) and the tags with tons keywords that buyers use in their search.


Finding the right keywords is going to make all the difference – if you miss the mark you won’t get found. So it’s worth it to spend some time researching your keywords.

There are lots of technical ways to come up with keywords but the first step is to brainstorm. Start with a pen and paper (and maybe even a thesaurus):

  •  Write down as many adjectives as you can think of to describe your product: color, texture, materials, alternate product names
  • Ask a friend to help you – go through the same exercise with them
  •  Check out your competitors – what keywords are they using in their listings?
  •  Get someone totally unfamiliar with your craft or product to describe it
Most importantly, stop thinking like a seller and try and crawl inside the mind of a buyer. Which elements would become most important to you when searching for a product?

This list is the first step in determining the right keywords to use in your titles and tags. Next week we’ll talk about how to decide which ones are going to get you the best results.

Thank you, Natalie!

Natalie is a craft-a-holic with a wickedly nerdy marketing streak. Her blog, is the love child of her two passions - educating, enlightening and empowering Etsy-shops owners towards greater success through tried and true business practices. Check out the blog or follow her on Facebook.

Also, if you are an Etsy shop owner and haven't joined our Catch My Party Stuff Etsy team, please do so! We have a lot of great stuff planned.




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