Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Use Etsy Browse Pages

For years Etsy sellers have complained about the inundated Etsy search capabilities.  Etsy has finally made changes, but they are significant changes.  These changes are so new it can be confusing what it all means for sellers.

I hope to break down some of the information that is spread throughout Etsy forums, and blogs to help us take advantage of this new search.

The OLD search statistically wasn't helping buyers find what they wanted.  According to Etsy, "Up until now, we’ve mostly relied on categories to provide that inspiration, but overall, shoppers rarely use them, and if they do — they seldom find something to purchase. In fact, only 6% of visits that include a purchase have viewed a category."

Think about how you search Etsy.... do you normally go to a category such a jewelry first?  Or do you put in more specific details to find exactly what you want?  The more specific a search is the more likely you are going to find what you need and you will buy.  This is a basic concept for search engine optimization is to find keywords that are very specific to your product so that when a customer finds your product they will act upon it.

The NEW search at first glance appears to ignore or leave out clusters of Etsy sellers.  For example, it wouldn't appear there is a food category or a candle category anymore but they are under this broad category, Home and Living on Etsy.

I understand the resistance to change, and I definitely understand the feelings of being excluded and the possible loss of sales or traffic that could come from this change.  After I read more and more details on this new Browse search on Etsy I started to realize it has more flexibility and more potential then we had before despite the lower number of categories.  (**SIDE NOTE *** Categories are still available but not as obvious and not the default)

A Couple of Advantages:

Your items are no longer limited to ONE category.  If you make jewelry that is also tagged for weddings your item can come up in a jewelry search and wedding searches.  Before this change, your item would only show in the category you assign in your listing.  This could/should mean double the possible exposure.

Targeted Customers.  Through more targeted searches and keywords, shop owners should be able to find their target customers easier.  Through some simple SEO steps you could potentially find your target market much easier.

So what changes do sellers need to make to their shops?

1.  You do NOT need to change any categories for your items.  Although it may appear there is no main category for some products Etsy will still have them in the searches based upon the category of your item.  No need to change that at all.

2.  I would suggest that you tag your items with the BROAD category that is offered now.  For example, for food sellers there is no longer an edible/food category, only a sub category.  The main category that food is under is the Home & Living category.  So I would make sure that a food seller tags with home & Living to make sure you are covered in all the searches.

3.  You will need to find keywords for your product that are "relevant" to etsy.  The easiest way to find these are to search your category for products similar to yours and see what the top results are.  Look at those top shops in the searches and see what are the first 3-5 words in their title and what tags are they using.
Another way is when you start typing in a word into the search of Etsy many other search terms start to pop up below what you are typing.  For example, I typed wood cutting and I started to see wood cutting board, large wood cutting board, reclaimed cutting board..... These drop down words are based upon recent searches on Etsy.  These are words actively being searched so if they apply to your shop or products use them.
Here is a free tool to help find keywords also:
 Craft Weasel

Use trending color tags, I use Wikipedia's list of colors to help me find other shades of colors, and use Pantone's color trends.
List of Colors

Here is an Etsy blog with lots of tips for ideas of tags if you get stumped

4.  Once you find keywords to use, they should be placed into the first 2-3 words of your title, AND also used in tags.  If you are already in your listings editing I would recommend adding these keywords to the first sentence of your description too so that Google will index your listings better.  

5.  I use a notebook and write down all the keywords I can find for each section of my shop, and it is good to spread these words out throughout listings.  Using a variety and just mixing up the order of the words, so that there are no duplicates.  Google will exclude duplicate content from their searches so this will help your google traffic.

Only time will tell if this search really does what they are promising.  I personally hope it does, because it would mean more targeted traffic, which means a higher conversion rate for sales.  I hope this helps everyone optimize their shop for a very successful holiday season.

How to Get Found Tips

How to Make Your Shop Relevant

FAQ's On Etsy Browse

Forum Discussion

Intro to New Etsy Browse

Trinkets N Whatnots - Button, Crystal and Pearl Jewelry


  1. Thanks for these hekpful tips. Lots of work to do!

  2. Great informative post Janet! Thanks for the tips. I've already begun to change my listings accordingly.

  3. Many thanks for taking time to write this article, Janet. There's lots of great info here!

    "I use a notebook and write down all the keywords I can find for each section of my shop" . . . You do this by Shop Section and then apply it to your individual items?

    1. Yes. For example, I look up as many keywords that I can find in the top 2 search pages of items for Crystal Rings, and write those all down so that whenever I list another crystal ring I have this list to pick from.

      Then I will go in and search for button necklaces......

      I also try to search for specialty keywords, like women's gifts or holiday gifts..... and see what other keywords go with that too.

  4. Thank you for this important and valuable info!

  5. Wow... Janet, there is alot of great information here... thanks for summarizing it for us!

  6. great article - I'm going to work on my tags now!

  7. Very helpful information! Thank you for explaining the new sections a bit more.

  8. I have a notebook of keywords too but I need to reorganize it and redo it :/
    Thanks for the advice!

  9. so very helpful!!!! Changed some of my tags last night woke up to 3 sales think this new browse is working!

  10. Great arrangement, explanation and sources for the new Browse feature. Thanks for giving some concrete steps to start taking. Had hoped to work clay this weekend but may need to set that aside for a while (again...sigh). Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out for us.

  11. Wow Janet, this was a lot of work! Thank you, thank you! now to put it into practice! yikes!

  12. I'll be spending the evening changing my tags, toooooo many of my items have very similar tags. Here's to hoping for more sales for all!

  13. Thanks for the tips. Haven't tried the new search yet.

  14. Janet, thanks for the tips! I'll start putting them to use as I update my listing!