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As the pandemic continues, many people are looking for ways to monetize their hobbies and start their own businesses. Some are turning to Etsy, joining the millions of artisans, craft supply sellers, and vintage sellers already on the platform.
No matter the Etsy shop, there’s one thing all owners have in common: A desire to hack the Etsy algorithm. Should you pack your title with SEO keywords, or keep it simple and readable? Can your shop’s name help or hinder your traffic? Is it best to just pay for Etsy ads and not worry about the algorithm?
Like all e-commerce and social media platforms, Etsy’s algorithm determines how high items rank in its search results. Etsy shares some tips on the official blog, Etsy Success Podcast, and, more recently, Etsy U, a hub of e-courses and workshops from successful Etsy sellers. However, it never hurts to broaden your understanding of the algorithm, and as an Etsy seller myself, I’m always on the lookout for e-courses, podcasts, YouTube channels, websites, and other resources to help me grow my shop.
While there are countless classes on how to make just about any craft imaginable, the resources in this post specifically focus on increasing your sales by optimizing your SEO, tags, titles, descriptions, and more, so that Etsy’s algorithm will work in your favor. Though Etsy’s algorithm is subject to change at any time without notice, getting acquainted with the people who track those changes and pass on their knowledge will help you stay on top of the competition.
The 14 best e-learning courses, videos, and resources for Etsy shop owners:
In under 35 minutes, artist Jules Tillman will turn your SEO into S-E-Whoa. She even shows you how to use your About page on Etsy — an often overlooked sales tool — to draw people to your shop and convert customers. While Tillman shares technical tips for strategic things to include in your About page, I can also testify that taking the “know, life, and trust” factor into consideration goes a long way as well. In my own shop, I tell the short and sweet story about what inspired me to open it, which humanizes me to my customers, encourages them to keep reading, and stay on my page longer.
Adri Luna will help you polish your shop until it shines. If you know you’re doing something wrong but aren’t sure what, this course will help you figure it out. Adri goes over titles, descriptions, and categories to help answer Etsy sellers’ burning questions. Should you pack your titles with SEO? (Not too much.) Should you choose categories that are broad or super specific? (A little of both.) How do you find out what Etsy shoppers are searching for and how can you write a compelling description that actually gets them to buy it? All that and more is packed into Adri’s crash course.
Reaching 1000 sales is a huge Etsy milestone, and Patrick Gamaliel will help you get there for free in his Udemy course. What makes Patrick’s class stand out is that he not only discusses how to identify keywords that will help you rank higher in Etsy search, but also how you can use your new knowledge of high-ranking keywords to develop new product ideas. Don’t worry if you’re a vintage seller (like me); these tips can work for you too. If you know what keywords are ranking highly in the vintage corner of Etsy, you can source items that are more in demand and likely to sell quickly.
Lisa Jacobs instructs sellers on how to get found on Etsy and create a sustainable marketing strategy that includes — but is not limited to — ads. Every seller fears spending money on ads that don’t have a measurable impact. (Been there!) An occasional ad campaign might help you temporarily boost sales, but it’s going to take more than that to maintain high sales. Whether you choose to run ad campaigns frequently, or want to make the most of planned campaigns around high sales shopping days like, Lisa’s tips will help you understand the how, when, and why of ads, and how they fit into your overall marketing strategy.
Tara Jacobson has this course on Skillshare, a ton of blog posts on Etsy SEO and selling vintage on Etsy, a list of her favorite Etsy marketing resources, several ebooks, and more. Most Etsy content is geared toward makers, so Tara is unique in that she specifically tailors her tips to vintage sellers, who face different challenges on the platform. Tara teaches students how to maintain consistent sales when they likely only have one of a particular item, and how to sell those obscure vintage finds that might be too quirky for the casual shopper. I’m on her email list and she occasionally sends out free video workshops on topics like refreshing your keywords that are super helpful. Her tips have been a game-changer for my shop.
Did you know Etsy has multiple options for ads, and that earlier this year, Etsy rolled out Offsite Ads, which are mandatory? As a former Shop Optimization Specialist at Etsy, Brynna knows the ins and outs of how Etsy works and demystifies both traditional Etsy ads and the new offsite ads. Even better, she tells you when — and when not — to use paid ads, so you get the most out of your ad spend.
There are YouTubers with channels dedicated to helping small businesses make their Etsy shops work for them, including:
Bailey Lehrer is the founder of Ringcrush, also known as The Million Dollar Etsy Shop. Bailey has made over a million dollars on Etsy. (Seriously!) But it takes more than a stellar product to rake in that kind of dough. In this video, Bailey shares a tip about how your shop’s name can work with Etsy’s algorithm to do some heavy lifting for you on the marketing front.
Etsy has been pushing shop owners to offer free shipping for a while, and shops with free shipping do tend to rank higher in Etsy’s search. But what about the hit to your bottom line? Is it really worth it? Deborah Engelmajer does an especially great job helping you decide if free shipping is right for you in this video.
Nancy Badillo is an Etsy coach and creator of an Etsy sellers support group. She’s excellent at finding often overlooked ways for Etsy sellers to hack the algorithm. A perfect example is this video where she shares tips for how to name the sections of your shop. Hint: you’re going to want to change the “on-sale” section name ASAP.
A common question among Etsy sellers is “Should I renew or relist items that sell out or expire?” Does renewal versus relisting have an impact on your search ranking? Starla Moore knows the answer in this video.
Because the magazine is dedicated to handmade sellers, a large portion of their content is Etsy-specific. Between how-to articles, interviews with sellers, efficiency tips for artisans, and best practices for selling in-person and online, Handmade Seller Magazine is a must-read.
This podcast isn’t made by Etsy staffers, though the hosts are just as passionate. They invite makers to share their Etsy experience and tips, which of course includes advice on how to beat the algorithm. What I appreciate about this podcast is that it includes a variety of perspectives from shop owners selling nearly everything imaginable.
If you want your listings to be seen, you have to know what terms Etsy shoppers are searching for. Formerly known as EtsyRank, eRank tracks search and sales performance on Etsy for specific terms.
Like eRank, Marmalead helps Etsypreneurs increase sales by leveraging real shoppers’ keyword searches on Etsy. The keyword forecasting function is especially useful for anticipating new trends and riding those waves of popularity.