I have to confess I have been a little nervous about this week. It’s not because I don’t understand SEO or worry that I won’t explain it well. It’s because I am so committed to accuracy, it causes me to tread very delicately in this area. There is so much misinformation out there being provided to Etsy sellers, and if you don’t know better, it can have you chasing your tail. Or worse, implementing it can decrease your ability to be found on Etsy or Google or other search engines.
So going into this week, I need you to understand three things:
I will never label myself an SEO expert.
(Okay, maybe not never. It’s possible I could legitimately become one some day.) Rand Fishkin is an SEO expert. I am simply an SEO nerd who truly loves to research, study, test, and apply this stuff. I don’t watch television, but I never miss an episode of Moz Whiteboard Friday. As soon as I read a statement someone makes about SEO as it relates to an Etsy shop, I immediately start testing it to see if it holds any water. (It often doesn’t.) I understand SEO and how to apply it more than the average person, but I am not a guru.
I will never make a direct claim regarding SEO if I’m not sure.
If it’s simply speculation on my part or even something that’s believed by many (but not proven conclusively), I will phrase it that way. I see so much This is what you need to do Etsy SEO guidance being dispensed that reflects correlation – or even coincidence – rather than causation. It’s simply not correct to say, “Do x, and y will happen” (causation) when it’s actually a case of “For sellers who are already doing x with a listing, it also appears that y is usually true as well” (correlation). That’s not to say correlation is of no consequence, but one cannot make an “if then” rule out of it.
I am wide open to being wrong.
Since I love learning about SEO and really want to understand it better every day, a big part of that involves growth. I realize there will be things I miss or misunderstand. I will acknowledge that and adjust when presented with the evidence. But if you tell me that including a picture of a cat as the third image in your listing will boost you higher in Etsy search results simply because a few people you know included a picture of a cat, renewed their listing, and climbed a few spots… no dice. But if I test it out over several different searches and find that most of the people on page 1 of those searches have a picture of a cat in the third spot, I’m listening. 🙂
Each day we will focus on a different area: keywords in general, tags, titles, descriptions, etc. I will do my best to discuss both Etsy search relevancy (also referred to as Etsy SEO) and Google SEO in the context of each subject. There are some differences, but I firmly believe you can and should optimize for both.
I’ve had lots of readers express confusion about how to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help generate keyword phrases. So I’m thinking about offering a short webinar that shows my favorite way of using it, which is much simpler (and more effective, I believe) than other instructions you may have come across.
Please let me know in the comments if this is something that interests you. If I decide to go ahead, I will announce the webinar and signup procedure in a couple of days. It will only be available to those who register (including a replay for a limited time).
See you tomorrow for Day 13 of 31 Days of Etsy Seller Q & A.
Top image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net