Every time I look in the Forums on Etsy someone is talking about SEO, and everyone seems to have an opinion, there are more myths and half truths flying around than Knats on a summer evening near a swamp, LOL, Truth be told, no one really knows how major search engines set up their algorithms, or how often they change them.
So let’s talk a little about what we do know, First of all, if your website or product isn’t on the first page of a search the chance of it being seen drops off dramatically, and if your not in the top 4 or 5 pages your chance of being seen is almost null! So you can understand how much competition there is out there for these first few pages. That being said, I have heard many people talk about how they don’t use tags that are too competitive. Let me tell you.
Although it may give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling to have a first page listing when you search for a “Red and Blue Poke-a-dot Bikini”, 99.999 percent of the people searching started their search looking for a “Bikini”, and if your Bikini isn’t in the first few pages, all you end up with is that nice warm fuzzy feeling.
Another point that we know, Search Engines are looking for relevant material. They are in competition as well with other search engines. Could you imagine doing a search for that bikini and getting a page full of websites advertising canvas boat tops or worst vacations to go skiing in Colorado? How often would you use that search again? So you can see why it is so important for Google to keep their algorithms secret.
Ok now, so just how do they set up computers to understand how relevant one site or product is compared to another?
It’s how words are used.
Words that are in bold print or larger font tell the search engine these are important words. Then mathematically, they scan the rest of the document.
In Etsy listings your product titles are a larger font and they are set to bold text, so to the search engines these look like the most important words in your document. Next important are the words you declare as your tags. If your large font, bold words do not match any of your declared tag words, search engines will decide the listing isn’t relevant and kick it out of the search.
Next is the tricky part, the part they keep secret, the part which decides between two listing with similar titles and the same tags which one is more relevant.
It’s really a mass of different things ranging from word count, to links,.to age and views. When I say word count, I’m talking how many times the large font bold words which you have declared as tags are used in your description.
Use these words too many time and search engines will decide it’s a phishing attempt and disqualify your site or product. Use them too little, and they decide the information isn’t relevant. It’s really a hit and miss / trial and error situation,
You really can over obsess with this, no one really knows where the limits are, so if you can get into the first few pages there are other things to play with. Besides, even if you do manage to get page one today, tomorrow the algorithms could be changed (and they often are) throwing your listing back to page three.
The next part is links, both onsite and off site.
You are often encouraged by Etsy to Facebook / Tweet / Blog your listings. These are links, when a search engine visits your store they are looking for ways to leave and Etsy gives them avenues to do just that, also if you have a blog listing or a link to your Facebook page in your store so are you.
This can be a good thing, because when they leave if you have set up links back to your store it makes your site and listing even more relevant.
SEO can seem like magic, it can seem like the hardest thing to grasp, but as you play around and learn a few tricks it will become easier and remember, No One has the inside scoop and if done right Anyone can end up on the First Page.
Feel free to visit my shop at Estates In Time or Drop me a line. I hope this might help you understand SEO a little better.