By Robert Edwards As I mentioned in my previous article, Etsy has been working on improving the site's ranking in Google searches. They've hired an SEO firm to help them do this, and in doing so have made it easier for us to do the same for our individual Etsy shops. In any web page there are component parts that the search engines use to determine the relevance of a given page to the term a person searches for. Some of these elements you can change in a minute or two; some are not so easily edited. To do this you need to figure out what your customers search for to find your stuff. People search for very specific things when they're ready to buy, and those are the terms you need to look for. Some of you use Google Analytics; that can help with this a lot. Once you know these terms, they should be used as your keywords. Many of you have heard of the keyword META tag; it is in the HTML code of every web page. You can edit the keyword META tag in your Etsy shop simply by changing the names of your store sections. If your customers search for "handmade peyote earrings" and you sell that type of earring ... name the section Handmade Peyote Earrings. Your META Description Tag is the first two sentences of your Shop Announcement. This should contain your most important keyword or search term in the first sentence. If your general search term would be wire wrapped jewelry, mention that exact term in the first sentence. Then you can mention wire wrapped rings etc, and finally your policies, sale offers etc. Your shop Title (NOT your Etsy ID) is also your Heading 1 text. This should be one or two of your most important keywords or search terms. This shows in the blue bar at the top of the browser window and also as a bold line of text just above your Shop Announcement. The body text includes all of the text on the page. It is important to note that overuse of your search terms is considered spamming. As a general rule, if you mention a term for every 100+ words on the page, you should be OK. I did a word count of the text on my Etsy shop home page and it came out just over 600 words. So I shouldn't mention my search terms more than five or six times each on the page. I just optimized it yesterday; and so I need to wait and see what Google thinks of the changes I made. I expect it to move higher in the rankings within a couple of days. If you have a page similar to mine - with about 600 words on it - and use your main search term in each of the elements above, you will have used it four times. This should be plenty of times. Most of us have a lot of items and we want to draw customers into the shop, where they can see everything we have to offer. By using the most searched for keywords - the store section search terms - to draw people to your shop, you should generate some traffic. In my Etsy shop I target the term handmade silver jewelry. But in my item titles I use the words handcrafted and sterling instead. Since Etsy puts 20 items on a page, there are 20 opportunities to use alternate keywords. This will help to get people in who search differently. By doing this in a deliberate way and taking advantage of the tools Etsy has given us, we can all help Etsy become THE place online to shop for handmade jewelry!
Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade. Visit his website for custom made silver jewelry. This article may be reproduced as long as it contains this author's statement and all links remain intact. ©2009 Robert Edwards