How to Optimize Your Etsy Shop & Start Selling

We talked about why we have all started Etsy shops here at Station Seven, and why we still see it as a relevant resource, but now we want to touch on how to optimize your Etsy shop and start selling. The goal here is to give your shop its full potential! Last fall I started a soy candle company on Etsy, mainly to try my hand at running my own shop and testing out different business techniques I’ve learned. Plus, making candles is fun! I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot in those few months on Etsy and how awesome it can be to run your own small business, as well as tips for optimizing search results and getting repeat customers. There is a lot of information in this post but we really do believe it can help you open a shop that will be optimized to attract your ideal customers, show up in search results, and create goodwill among your buyers. So… let’s dig in!


With Etsy, you don’t have to fuss over the design of your storefront as all of the shops are set up in the same style with a couple of areas you can add your personal touch. Your shop’s banner, avatar, shop lingo, and product imagery are where you can make your mark and start establishing a brand identity for yourself.

Shop Banner & Avatar

The banner and avatar provide a great space for you to use your logo, fonts, and brand colors! You can customize these areas to your liking and create a simple brand experience for your customers without the overwhelm of setting up a website or full branding.


Creating a fluid customer experience expands into the way you talk about your shop and products. Be sure to use similar wording throughout your shop and use keywords your customers will actually search for, including longtail keywords. Longtail keywords are the specific phrases your customer might search for when looking for a specific product like natural soy candle.


Finally, product photos make or break a shop! These thumbnails are so important so be sure to dedicate time to achieve the aesthetic you envision for your brand. You want them to be eye-catching, clear, and consistent with the rest of your shop’s product offering. These photos are so important because they show off what your product looks like and appeal to your buyer’s visual senses. The second important reason is that when someone searches for something, all they see are the search results. They won’t see your rad banner or well-done copy, just a thumbnail that needs to grab and entice your potential customer’s wants and needs.

Keywords & SEO

Another hugely important piece to getting your first few sales are your product titles, descriptions, tags, and shop announcement. These are the key areas to optimize keywords and target SEO, which in turn brings customers in from Google and Etsy searches.

Product Titles

The first and most  important step in getting your Etsy shop on track with SEO is your product titles because they are the first point of contact a customer will have with your product and are defining factor in showing up on search results. After your product images, product titles will be the next thing your potential customer will notice about your product. In addition to what your customers see, product titles give the buyer a sense of what they will be getting from you and are prime SEO and keyword targets. I remember looking through Etsy, wondering why titles were always so overly explicit about what they were selling instead of more simple, less overbearing titles.


When I started my shop, I tried the simple titles and it didn’t work. My products weren’t showing up in search results and in turn my shop wasn’t showing up to any new customers. So I tried longtail keywords and guess what, it worked! I also matched my title’s keywords to my tags, shop announcement, and product descriptions as much as possible. This gives strong keyword association and helps you show up in those much needed Etsy search results!

Product Descriptions

After you’ve optimized your initial contact points with customers, the next important place to optimize is your product descriptions. Make sure your first paragraph has keywords that match your titles and tags to encourage your SEO results. You will also want to include information regarding your product and break it up with headers so it’s easy to read.

Adding in links to other parts of your shop is also great information to include here. Since Etsy is a marketplace, there are a lot of opportunities for customers to leave your shop and move on to others. Links to products, categories, and sections of your shop keep a customer interested in looking around your shop and give more opportunity to make a purchase from you.

Product Tags

Next, you will want to optimize your product tags! You get ten for each product and to be effective, they will need to match keywords in your product title and description. Be sure to fill in all ten tags with a variation of keywords and longtail keywords. Another note to add here is if you have several similar products you may want to try targeting different keyword combinations for each product to attract different searches to your shop. This will give you larger reach than targeting the same group of words and phrases in every product.

Shop Announcement

The final part of your shop to optimize is your shop announcement, if you’re looking for an easy starting point this is a great place to begin! The shop announcement is the first thing a customer will look at to find more information about your shop. Use the first sentence to include keywords for SEO optimization and then tell customers more about your shop, products available, social media and website links – anything that will be helpful and informative. This is a great opportunity to avoid missing out on  that first trickle of traffic!


How to Find Keywords & Phrases

You’re probably sick of hearing about keywords and SEO by now, but you may still be wondering how to find those golden keywords and longtail keywords that matter to your target market. There are three simple techniques to help you find words and will help you get the most out of your SEO optimization.

Think Like Your Target Market

How would they search for your product, what words would they use, etc. Create a running list of potential keywords and search terms. For my candle shop, I might think of searching for them as soy candle, but a potential customer might be searching for a natural candle. That’s probably pretty obvious for me to include, but your product may be more complex with lots of potential search terms that a customer might use and that you will want to include.

Dig a little Deeper

Now that you have a decent list of potential search terms, we want to find a variety of search terms and related popular terms using Etsy’s search results. Take a keyword and start typing it into the search bar, see what other words and phrases pop up then add related ones to your list that you think your customers might use. The closer to the top of the search results, the more popular the terms are!


Another way to find similar keywords is to search the terms you have and then scroll to the bottom of Etsy, where you’ll see a list of related terms.


Go Beyond the Obvious

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thought of search terms relevant to your target market that might be outside of the box. Examples of these could include: gifts for her, home accessories, etc. These terms will allow you to reach potential customers searching for general items that could include your product.

Other Simple Tips for Your Etsy Shop

Use great customer service, always be nice and respond as soon as you can. If you recognize a problem area or recurring question, make a note and consider adding it to your product description or policies.

Between your great customer service and wonderful products, make sure you are encouraging customers to leave reviews. One key place to do this is in a message after they purchase! Be sure to include any other important information, like email sign-ups or social media links.

Set competitive pricing, look at those around you selling similar items and see what price they’re selling at. Add up your costs and decide how much you need to make to decide on a good price for your items.

Keep your shop stocked up! A full shop looks legit. If you went into a physical store and it was half full you would be worried, wouldn’t you? Another positive to a shop with multiple items is the potential to hit more keywords. As I said above, all of that work you put into your keywords will be useful when you have a variety of items targeting different words or phrases.

Is your brain hurting? Yeah, mine too! It’s a lot to take in but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Make a list and plan an hour to work on each part of your shop. Do what works for you, but don’t feel like everything has to be perfect overnight, remember the key is to optimize your Etsy shop. You are doing great and this is an opportunity to take your shop to the next level. If you’re ready to get started but don’t know where to begin, download our free Etsy workbook to take you through steps to getting your shop optimized and on track!


What parts of your shop will you start working on? Do you have any great tips for other Etsy shop owners out there? Let us know in the comments! :)

Author: Alex Austin

Alex is Station Seven’s right-hand gal hailing from the friendly Midwest and now living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A strategizer at heart and social media wiz, Alex has a passion for engaging with creatives and empowering them to accomplish big things in biz and blogging. When she’s not busy being awesome online, Alex loves to spend time traveling, watching films at her local theater, and slow walks around her neighborhood. She’s also a talented creative herself and the maker behind Midland Candle Co.!

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