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How to Become a Top Seller on Etsy

Updated on January 28, 2015

Become a top seller on Etsy with these 5 tips!

1. Don't overlook the importance of SEO.

SEO (search engine optimization) can intimidate even the most motivated Etsy seller. People tend to overlook it or leave it as one of the last things they work on because it is seems too daunting to take on. The truth is that SEO should be one of the first things you do in your Etsy shop. It can take 6-8 months for search engines to fully pick up all of the changes you make for SEO so starting early is important to getting seen in search engines faster.

There is a lot to SEO, but I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be scary. Take it one step at a time and you'll find that it's not so bad after all. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make a list of the keywords and phrases that your customers might use to find items like yours. Use the Google Keyword Planner to find out how popular the words and phrases on your list are and the tool will help you find new keywords and phrases you might not have thought to use. Full directions on how to use the Google Keyword Planner can be found here.
  2. Once you have a complete list of the words and phrases that describe the items in your shop put them in the following places: your shop title, the first 160 characters of your shop announcement, the first 160 characters of your profile, your item's titles and your shop sections.
  3. Repeat the keywords and phrases that describe your individual items 2-3 times in each product listing. This lets search engines know that your item is relevant and should be shown in searches that contain those words. Make sure that the keywords you choose to repeat are relevant to each individual listing.
  4. Link building is important. In each product listing link back to your main shop by saying something like: "to see more of our handmade items, visit my shop {shop link here}". Add links back to your shop and to your shop policies in your shop announcement, about page and shop profile to create even more clickable links in your shop.

These tips can get your shop on its way to being found in more Google, Yahoo and Bing search results.

Using the Google Keyword Planner

Keyword / Key Phrase
Searches on Google Monthly
Scarf
673,000
Infinity Scarf
246,000
Pashmina Scarf
27,100
Cotton Scarf
8,100
Fashion Scarf
8,100
We looked up the keyword "scarf" in the Google keyword planner and it made the recommendations "infinity scarf", "pashmina scarf", "cotton scarf" and "fashion scarf". Use any relevant suggestions the tool gives you in your shop and listings.

2. Have professional looking product photos.

Your product photos are a window into your shop. Would you walk into a retail store with a messy front window? Some people might, but others might not so it's best to make your photos look as professional as possible.

When I first started my Etsy shop I knew that product photos were important but I had no idea how to go about achieving the look I wanted. At first I tried using some graphic scrapbook paper as a background and took the photos outside in natural light which you can see an example of in the "before" photo above. I didn't realize that the natural light was still too dark looking and looking back now I can see smudges (and wow, is that a hair?) on the face of the crystals.

I knew I should use a light box for my photos but in my head I envisioned a light box that would take up an entire table and need professional lighting so I decided against it, but my husband found a wonderfully small, portable and inexpensive version on Amazon and now I'm hooked! The "after" photo above is what the same earrings look like when photographed in the light box. What a difference!

Which photo do you like better?

Are you more likely to buy the earrings in the before photo or the after photo?

See results

3. Know your shipping costs (and have accurate shipping profiles).

Having fair and competitive shipping rates is essential to people buying your products. People may have your items in their carts ready to purchase and then abandon their cart without going through with the sale once they see how much it will cost to ship the item. Your shipping rates should always be fair to both you and your customer.

One mistake I see Etsy sellers making often is to say that they will ship internationally but you must contact them first for a rate. Buyers don't always want to contact a seller before a sale, this acts as a barrier to the purchase and many might leave without contacting you. It also looks unprofessional.

Use the USPS shipping rate calculator to figure out what the rates for international orders will be and include them in your shipping profiles. If you don't want to spend the time to figure out all of the countries rates then choose the most popular ones and do those. Popular countries to ship to on Etsy include: The U.S., Australia, Canada, the U.K., Germany, Spain and Italy.

Let us know more about your business:

How many Etsy items do you sell per month?

See results

4. Advertise off of Etsy

There are so many people selling on Etsy, even if you do a great job getting found by customers in the Etsy search engine you should still consider advertising off of Etsy. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Handmade Newsletter and Instagram are all popular places for Etsy sellers to promote their products and get noticed by potential buyers.

When advertising on social media it's important to know who your target market is and to learn how to promote your products to them. The worst thing you can do on these platforms is to send out links to the items in your Etsy shop one after another; this is considered spamming. Instead try to tweet out other things that your customer might be interested in.

For example, if you sell jewelry in your Etsy shop try to include information on how to clean your jewelry, interesting ways to store your jewelry, popular colors or new trends. If you sell art, include information on your social media pages about the proper way to hang art, how to successfully light your art or talk about what colors look good together in room. Posting this kind of information will help your followers and fans relate to you more and makes you appear to be an expert in your area. Post information about your own products only 25-35% of the time. Once your followers and fans trust you, they will be more likely to click on your shop links when you post them than if you were to only post the links to your shop.

5. Keep your customers happy (and coming back for more!)

You may have heard that it's easier to keep a customer than to make a new one and that is true. A happy customer will tell other people about your shop and come back and shop again and again. There are many different ways you can keep your customers happy. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Ship orders out quickly. Packages should be sent out within 24-48 hours of receiving payment from the customer.
  2. Package all items carefully and send your customers a tracking number so they can see when their purchase will arrive.
  3. Include extras when you can - if you sell bath and body products for example, send small samples to encourage customers to come back and make other purchases.
  4. Add a personalized thank you note in each package.
  5. Make high quality items that will impress buyers. It's always a nice touch when you can surprise buyers with the quality of your items.
  6. Be available if a buyer has a problem with the purchase. Have a flexible return policy and remember to treat all inquiries after a purchase with respect.

All of these recommendations will leave buyers with a positive experience and they will be more likely to purchase from you again and tell others about your shop.

Final Thoughts

As an Etsy seller there are many different things to think about and consider. Taking things in stride can really help you reach your goals. Follow the guidelines above and you will be well on your way to becoming a top seller on Etsy!

Comments

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 3 years ago

      Most of this applies to other sites, such as Ebay. This has more uses than just Etsy. Nicely done.

    • Michele Gallagher profile image
      Author

      Michele Gallagher 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, I'm glad you found the tips useful! I love selling on Etsy and would recommend it to anyone wanting to sell their crafts.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I don't sell anything on Etsy but maybe I will try to do so in the future. Your tips are worthwhile.

    • ashley418 profile image

      Ashley Robinson 3 years ago from USA

      really interesting. Thanks for sharing such knowledge.

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