Etsy is probably one of the most underrated marketplaces out there.
You can do very well with it – in fact, many people from LHS sell more on there than they do on Amazon.
It’s a different kind of marketplace, for sure – but once you master it you can get lots of sales. Here are some results from LHS Members (which are not necessarily typical, of course):
(You can open that up for a bigger version right here.)
Before you think this is just for LHS members, though – remember that you can actually sell all kinds of digital products on Etsy.
Personally, I haven’t spent as much time on Etsy as I should and plan to change that in the coming months.
Because of that, I did some research and found a bunch of things you can do on Etsy to send your sales through the roof. Even if you’re a highly experienced seller, I think you’ll benefit from hearing about the surprising and innovative Etsy tips and hacks I’ve discovered. And I know some of these seem simple, but people tell me they add up in a big way.
Here are my favorite nine…
#1: Renew Your Etsy Listings at Peak Traffic Times
With Etsy, recency matters. An article I read said that 72.92% of listings on the first page of Etsy search are 1 week old or less. Some of the listings were from products that were months old, but they had recently been renewed.
Etsy likes it when shop owners consistently add new products to their stores, as each product that’s added gets a boost in its search ranking simply because of its newness. The same also applies to listings that are renewed manually.
When you renew your products, however, you want to be mindful of your timing. If you renew a product at 2:00 am, odds are that not many people are going to see it, and your product’s search placement boost will have been wasted.
You should renew your listings at times when your customers are most likely to be online and shopping. To discover when your shop’s peak traffic times are, check your Etsy stats. Review the last few days and check for times when spikes in views occurred.
Then, renew your products accordingly.
EDIT: I found a new tool right here that you can use to auto-renew your most popular listings once per day. You get a free month of the tool just by linking your Google account, no CC needed. It’s definitely worth checking out.
#2: Match Your Titles and Tags Exactly
Keywords are one of the most important things to get right on Etsy. And according to Etsy, the title is the most important place to have those keywords.
This particular hack is a big one because it’s something a LOT of people miss.
Many people make the mistake of thinking the more they type, the more traffic they’ll get. This is the common advice for selling on Amazon.
That’s not how it works on Etsy, though.
You want your best keywords (see #3 for advice on this) to be put in the title, and then you want to have your titles and tags match exactly so your listing is consistent. (NOTE: your tags don’t need to be in the same order as your titles.)
One reason that titles and tags end up being different is you have more characters to use in the title than you do in the tags.
The solution? Break it up. Instead of saying…
Sterling Silver Celtic Cross
Sterling Cross / Silver Celtic Cross/ Celtic Cross
… and so on.
You have 20 characters per tag, so take advantage of that and match them all up.
And speaking of titles and tags… make sure to do what I did above and split the tags up with some kind of divider. I used slashes, but you could also use dashes or commas. Any type of divider is fine as long as it prevents Etsy from reading it as one long word.
#3: Use Pinterest for Keyword Research
Pinterest and Etsy customers have a lot in common. They’re mostly female and they love to seek out – and buy – unique and interesting products.
That’s what makes this hack so cool. It lets you tap into Pinterest’s massive audience to find the best keywords to use on Etsy.
If you’ve ever done a search on Pinterest, you know that if you start typing a word, you get a list of suggested keywords. (The same thing happens on Google and Amazon.)
Say you’re selling hand-made tote bags with floral designs. You might start typing “tote bag” to see what comes up. From there, you can narrow your search.
Keep in mind that the best keywords to use on Etsy are long-tail keywords – highly descriptive phrases of three words or more.
Write down the words that fit the best and then you can check them out on Etsy.
Side note: if you’d like to go through a fantastic Pinterest course, I highly recommend this one.
#4: Add Shop Info and Shop Owner Pictures
This next idea qualifies as a hack because it’s a relatively new feature on Etsy and many shop owners haven’t taken advantage of it yet.
In addition to the images you upload to showcase your products, you need to have the following:
- A shop owner picture
- A shop info image
The shop owner picture should be a picture of you. It’s a way of giving your shop a personal look and feel and of letting people know that you’re a real person.
The shop info image is usually your business logo. It’s a visual representation of your business and what you have to offer and it appears in a bunch of places when Etsy lists your shop.
Make sure to use beautiful, clear images for both of these profile elements and you’ll be able to increase your brand recognition.
#5: List Your Products on Pinterest, Too
This is a big one. Why? Because it can exponentially increase traffic to your Etsy store.
I already told you there’s a natural overlap between Pinterest and Etsy and this is where you can really make it pay off.
On Pinterest, upload images of your products that include a live link to your store. Be sure to say in the image description that the product is available on Etsy. You should also include a basic description of the product and as many relevant keywords as you can fit. If you’re not sure on the best ways to do this, I recommend going through this course.
You might get a small increase in traffic when you originally post the image, particularly if you already have a big Pinterest following.
Where things really get interesting is in the long run. Pinterest images last forever, unlike posts on Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest images don’t get lost in the shuffle because they stay on your boards where anybody can access them.
This means that three months… six months… or even a year down the line… someone can discover your image, pin it, and just like that, your product appears in front of a whole new audience.
Not only will you get sales as a result, but the increased traffic makes Etsy send even more traffic your way. Etsy chooses which shops to highlight based on perceived interest. And trust me, if you’re getting 100 hits or more a day from Pinterest, Etsy will notice!
#6: Join an Etsy Pinterest Group
In addition to listing your Etsy products on Pinterest, you can join an Etsy pinning board where a variety of Etsy sellers come together to pin each other’s products as a way of increasing their traffic and exposure.
You can apply to the Etsy “Pin it up!” group here.
The group doesn’t have any specific prerequisites for joining; all Etsy sellers are welcome. All you have to do is pin another member’s product at least once a week after you join the team.
#7: Partner with Other Etsy Shops
If there’s another store that has a similar look and feel as your shop or one that sells something that complements your products (e.g. if you sell necklace and bracelet chains and another shop sells charms), get in touch via the “Ask a question” button and see if you can form a relationship.
In doing so, you could help each other by promoting each other’s products on social media or offering exclusive deals on each other’s products.
#8: Preemptively Answer Questions about Your Products
Think of any questions your customers may have about your products and answer as many of those questions as you can upfront. A good place to do so is in your products’ descriptions.
This way, you minimize friction when it comes to any potential apprehension your customers may feel about purchasing your products. For example, if you sell jewelry, you should detail things like what the jewelry is made of, how long the necklace and bracelet chains are, et cetera.
#9: Monitor Your Conversion Rates
Etsy monitors each product’s conversion rate and displays the products that get the most sales. Etsy wants to make money, obviously, so it’s in their best interest to display the products that get the most sales.
A 1% conversion rate is considered average.
To calculate your listing’s conversion rate, go into your Stats and divide the total number of sales a listing had during a certain time frame (i.e. 30 days) by the total number of views the listing had during that same time frame, then multiply by 100.
For example, let’s take this mug:
It had 1 order and 5 visits, and 1/5 = .2 *100 = 20% conversion rate.
Your Etsy shop’s conversion rates can be negatively affected by numerous factors. For instance…
- If your product costs more than the average listing in its category
- If your product appears for irrelevant keywords
- If your shop has bad reviews or no reviews at all
- If your shop and products have lackluster photos
- If your products are listed in categories that are on the pricier side by default (e.g. engagement rings).
Of course it can be positively impacted by the opposite of these things.
If you’re seeing less than a 1% conversion, it’s worth checking into these factors.
BONUS: Get 40 free listings
I almost forgot to tell you – if you sign up here you’ll get 40 free listings from Etsy.
They’re normally $.20 apiece, so not a huge expense – but hey, you may as well get the free $8 – especially if you plan on following #1 and are going to be renewing your listings frequently. :)
I hope you found value in this post. If you’re an Etsy seller and have another hack or tip you’d like to share, please tell me about it in the comments section.