In this episode, we will cover one of the most important topics in building a successful Etsy shop. Create listings that convert. Conversion is often overlooked when it comes to growing your Etsy store. More often new sellers are obsessed with traffic, but a lot of traffic with bad conversion does not work very well.
Hey, Etsy sellers. We got a great show planned for you today. And let's get going. Hey guys, welcome to episode two of the unofficial Etsy podcast. My name is Dean, and I'm excited about this show; we will jump right into an essential aspect of being a seller on Etsy. And that is creating listings that convert. So it's important to understand what Etsy's job is. Etsy is a selling platform, essentially, in the real world. Etsy is the mall, right? Etsy has all the traffic that the main mall has. So if you were to rent a store in your local mall, the rent in that store would be a lot more expensive than a store outside of the mall. Because the mall has all the traffic. It's He's no different in the digital space. They are doing tons of advertising on TV, they advertise on Google, all these places, they have a name, they've been around for a long time, and they have 40 million visitors. So you're setting a shop in a place with 40 million visitors. And so, how does that see serve up all of the sellers to their 14 million searchers? Will they do that? There's I don't know all the algorithm pieces that do that. But I will tell you this Etsy wants to deliver products that sell. So if you've been selling on Etsy for a very long time and have a high track record of sales? Well, that's a good signal for Etsy. And Etsy will show those listings a lot more. So what do you know? What is it that gets Etsy to put your product forward? I've been selling on Etsy for some time now. And I can see that my numbers go up a little gradually a little more year, maybe double every year. And so as I'm selling more as he's putting me out in front of more people, and they do that because my products are selling, if Etsy sends 200 people to my Etsy shop. Only one buys less bad conversion; Etsy is not going to send me all this traffic; they're going to send it to another shop that's selling more because Etsy only makes money when you sell something. So do they hide your listings? No, they just drop a little bit deeper. And so, what are some of the signals to get your shop higher up on their search pages? Well, selling is one likes to your page is another interaction where they're coming to your page and doing something right, maybe they're contacting you, they're buying something, which is the number one signal. And you have to continue to build upon that. And so that's what that's he wants to do, as he wants to make money when you sell. So they're always going to deliver the products with the best conversion. So be wary of that. And so what can we do to convert better, you know, everything that you look for maybe on YouTube or search on google how to sell on Etsy, Etsy tells you how to do all of this, they have something on their website, called the Etsy seller handbook, I would suggest if you haven't done it already, and even if you have done it go back because they're constantly updating it, cause, you know, SEO and things change over time, as he's constantly adjusting their algorithms. And they note that in their seller handbook, I suggest you read that cover to cover; it will tell you everything you need to know to create your listings properly and get them found in Etsy search. So that's a great resource. I've learned so much from just reading that. And in fact, I've been involved in a couple of different Etsy Facebook groups. And I see a lot of the questions that get asked in there. And I see many of the answers that come back, and I'm like, Oh my God, that's so wrong. That's not true. Because if they just read Etsy, every question that I see getting asked in the Facebook groups can be answered right there in the seller handbook. I'm going to give you an instance, for instance, here. Somebody asked one time, why do so many people like my listings and don't buy? And it was the only question, and it's impossible to answer that question, right? I mean, people like things for different reasons. People like things as they like people like things because maybe they're going to come back and buy them later. Who knows. But the answer this person received was That's awful. Every time someone likes your page, it's hurting your conversion because they're not buying. So likes are really bad for your Etsy shop. And that couldn't be further from the truth, as he says in plain English right there in their cellar guide that likes are good.
It's an algorithm hit for them. Maybe that's the wrong way to say it. But that's a positive for their algorithm. So the more likes you get, it's good your shot; your stuff will start to show up more. And when they start buying, your stuff will start to show up more and more. So how do we make our Google or Google our Etsy shop better and able to convert more sales for us, right? So everyone's happy at that point, as he's making their money, you're making money, everyone's happy. So when you first list a product on Etsy, a brand new product, put it on Etsy send, Etsy gives you an immediate boost. They throw that product right to the front; I have tested that several times. And the way you can test that is this, enter a new product, put your description, put your tags in there, submit it, and then open up a second browser window, go into incognito, incognito mode, sign out of Etsy, search your product, and you'll see it right there at the top. So that's what Etsy does right from the beginning; they throw your listing right at the top. And if you can make a couple of sales real quick, that's gold, right? That listing will start to rank a lot faster than if it didn't. So you get that immediate boost. And I've sold, posted products, and sold that particular product, and one or two days of listing it sometimes the same day, it's because it shoots right up there at the top. Keyword Research is essential. And keywords are your tags and your titles. So it's imperative to do that. And I'll talk about I'm going to have another show where I'm going to dive in deep on Etsy tags and Etsy titles and tools that you should be using. Don't guess what people search for. It's all out there on what, you know, you probably could have a good guess on what your product is if it's a simple product. But some tools will help you do this. So choosing the right keywords and testing them is very helpful and successful for you. So the first thing I want to talk about is titles, right? The title is an interesting topic. And when I looked at most Etsy listings, and even when I started, I started looking at different products and people and competitors of mine that I was selling a similar product to, and I would read their titles. When I first started, I just put in; you know what my title, what I describe my product in three or four words, and that was my title. But then, when I started looking at all the Etsy shops that have like, what seems like a long sentence, and what it looks like is spammy, they throw up a bunch of keywords in their titles. That happened long ago, and eBay, even Google, you could spam your title tags with keywords, and it worked. But then, one day, Google came in and slapped it and said no, no, no, no more of that. And so everybody had to go back and change their stuff. What's happening with Etsy is if you look at every title, look at any of your competitors, or any product that titles and looks like many keywords spam. And it works, though, right there. They're ranking and will one day Etsy come in, swoop in, and say, Hey, can't do this anymore. Because number one, it looks spammy. It looks like garbage. Even when you look at it on the page, it looks bad. So I suspect, I suspect, and I have absolutely no feedback or anything from SEO; I never asked them not that they would tell me that maybe one day they'll swoop in and change that. Because no one wants everything to look spammy. And it works now, right? So I craft all my titles; I put three multi-word keywords in my title describing what the product is and how it works. It works great. But, this is directly from the seller's handbook. Although it's important to be descriptive and use relevant words and phrases, your titles should be short and easy to read. Etsy has that written in the seller handbook, just like that.
But if you look at any Etsy listing, I would be surprised if you found many or if any titles that would say, you know, a concise description of what the product is. I've started doing some of that. I'm testing it right now to see if there is a difference. Always test and measure right anything you do from an SEO standpoint or something to optimize. Please don't do everything at once; pick a couple of listings, do and process them and watch them over a couple of months. Right and see how it goes and keep track of that. And there are tools that you can use to keep track of changes you make inside your Etsy listings. But it's funny they say exactly that. Your titles should be short and easy to read. So, I'm going to report my testing fines in a few more episodes down the road. But that's interesting. Your main keyword, whatever your product is keyword research on, or it's something obvious that, you know, people are searching for, like, let's say teddy bear sticker. That should be your first keyword in your title; your most important keyword should always be closer to the front of your title. And if you don't have any idea what it might be, because it's maybe something a little bit different, do some keyword research a ton of tools out their marmalade e rank Alero, um, there's tons of them, right, and so do your keyword research, and it will shine a light on what you should be doing there. Putting your keyword as close to the front of the title is, even in Google, that's like a number one. What are the basic SEO rules and search engine optimization and make your main keyword forward? So that's how you should craft your title tags. And honestly, you don't even use the keywords you use in your title tags; you don't have to duplicate them in your tags. And Etsy says that in the seller handbook as well. But you know, I still do it because there are not many keywords for what I sell. And sometimes, I'm hard-pressed to find the 13th. And I always use the 13. So sometimes I double up, put them in my title, put them in my tags, and you know, I've been successful with it. Another thing to consider when optimizing your Etsy listings is you want to pop out in search, right. So if you're going to go ahead and do an Etsy shop search for, I don't know, flower quilt, something, anything, well, whatever it is you want to buy, or whatever it is you want to sell. All right, search it and look at all the listings. I do this all the time; every time I come with, I have a new product to add to my store. I go in, and I search it, and I see what all the listings are; you want to pop off that page because there is, first of all, you want to be on first on the first page. But and you want to jump off that page, right. So prepare your listings so they stand out in the Etsy search. That's very important. Etsy emphasizes the first image, right? It should be a product only, only the product being sold. A lot of when I search a lot of T-shirts on Etsy, I see you know, the t-shirt with, you know a million other things in the photo like it's just that they did like a little, a little setup of you know, if it's an outdoor shirt, they have like a pair of sandals on the side or a beach shirt, you know little trinkets around the thing, as he says that your first image should be clear, concise, jumps off the page, big and bold, and by itself, preferably on a white background. That's what I would suggest for you. So those other photos, those lifestyle photos, you can use them. But yes, use them more inside, second image, the third image, fourth image, 10th image, whatever. But the first image, try to make it just the product, right? You want that to pop and be as big as clear as possible. Because when someone does a search on Etsy and the results come up, you see many listings. And if your product is tiny, it doesn't pop off the page and has a lot of clutter in it; people tend to overlook it. And so you want to, you want to jump off the page. And here's Etsy's exact wording in the seller guide. The first photo should clearly show the item for sale and be eye-catching enough that the buyers want to take a closer look; right, you want to get them to click on your listing and then take you inside and show the rest of the images. Maybe have a video. But that first image right there, as he emphasizes, should be clear, bold, and make the buyer entice to want to take a closer look at the product. Very important.
Another thing that I think, and this is very controversial at this time, is that the new seller has the star seller badge, right? When I go into the Facebook forums, there are constant complaints about it. And what I noticed is the people that hate it and claim it's unfair are the ones that don't have it. And so I think it's a great thing to have. Have my sales increased since receiving it. I received it in the second month that it was out, and I've had it ever since. I don't know that there's been an enormous jump, but I can tell you that my sales have progressed evenly since I've had it. Unfortunately, I, you know, didn't test it before that. But I can see, I don't see a massive burst in sales. But what I do see is a consistent amount of sales. What I find, when I'm searching for something on Etsy is personally, I look at that, if I see the star seller badge on the listing, it's the first listing, I will try I will click on number one, it jumps out on the page, that little purple or blue star on a listing stands out, because most of my listings that show up all the listings around it, don't have it. And as a buyer, what I look at is the criteria, right? Ship on time: five-star reviews and excellent customer service. And I was communicating with the client. Those are three essential customer service aspects that you should have as a seller. And so that little star seller, I think, is a great thing to have. So for the one for the people who say, Oh, it doesn't do anything, it's a waste, it's just the badge. I think they say that because they don't have it. And I think that they probably should work a little harder to get it because it's not that hard to get the ship on time, provide fantastic customer service to get five stars, and always answer your customers within 24 hours. But the great thing is when I search for my for in my category, I see my listing pop up; that little star seller badge just jumps out at me. So I think it's a positive thing. And I do believe it helps me get a lot more because I noticed the traffic and sales to my shop have gone up directly related to it. Who knows, but in the eyes of a buyer, I feel that it's essential when I put my buyer pants on. The next thing is a touchy subject right price. So price, as he claims that a certain amount of potential customers search on price alone. And I believe that to be true because that's just true. People in the real world have a particular aspect that will search on price only. And so they'll go into the search box and Etsy, and they'll put in a price range that they're willing to pay between this and that. And if you want your listings to show up, they'll pop up there. So you know, I don't compete on price; I will tell you that I sell in some of the most overpopulated categories on Etsy. And I will tell you that I am the most expensive in those categories. And I know that because I'm constantly working on my shop, I'm continually searching out my competitors; I use a tool called E rank that monitors my competitors. So I can see their prices and what they sell their stuff for. If one of my competitors were to raise their fee by 25 cents, I would raise my price by 30 cents; if they were to raise their price by $2, I would raise my price by $4. I don't want to be the cheapest. And I think that mindset of the most affordable is in the minds of many sellers as well. Because they believe in competing in, in, you know, busy categories, you have to be the cheapest to sell. And that is just not the truth.
Again, when I frequent my Facebook groups, I say to groups that I'm a part of the price is always one of the topics. Another topic that comes up quite often is sellers that post crazy client stories. I've been selling for some time right now. And I haven't had a single crazy client, have I had unhappy client customers. But customer service is a number one for me, and I would just replace it. And people would have wished I would never asked them to change their reviews. They constantly change them to five stars anyway, going back to that store seller icon. It's a check and balance. Right? I think it's great. If you don't have it, you should strive to get it because it keeps you in check and balance. You're always on top of things you always want to get; it improves your customer service. So I use it as a tool to make myself better. And if I'm not hitting my numbers, I know I'm failing, and I can improve myself. But I will never compete on price. I think the price is a bad thing. And I think why a lot of these are, And a lot of the sellers who are not doing well or are getting a lot of poor reviews, is because they're competing at the price level. And honestly, when you sell at a lower price, you sell to clients that only judge you on merit. They're not looking for quality. Although they want the best quality at the lowest price, they're not. That's not my client. And so, when I have higher fees, I weed them out. I'm weeding out headaches, and all my customers pay top dollar for what I sell. And they're all great. I mean, they're great. I mean, I bend over backward for them, I do things that and I'll go into, I'm going to have a customer service show. In a couple of weeks, we'll talk about something you can do to improve your customer service and treat it more as a business than a hobby.
Because that's what it is. Competing on price is a race to the bottom. Competing on price is terrible for so many reasons. Because number one, you can't afford to advertise. Everyone that complains that the Etsy fees are too high is competing on price. They're not making enough ROI to pay for advertising to pay Etsy fees. Anyone who tells you they're just breaking even on Etsy doesn't know how to run a business properly. They think it's MCs problem. And it isn't; it's a seller's problem; you have to know how to run a business, even if you're selling in the most competitive markets on Etsy, which I sell.
And I am the highest price in all of them. And I sell a lot in all of them. Because they do things a little bit differently. I concentrate on a great product, focus on quality materials, and concentrate on excellent customer service. So I'll never be in a race to the bottom; I'll always be at the top. So when someone's searching on if someone goes into Etsy, and does a search on price between whatever and whatever if I don't show up in that search, I don't care because I'm not, that's not my customer, I don't want to sell to that customer. They're the low price leader and are the first guy out of business. And I learned this many years ago in business. When you base your prices on what you let me rephrase that. Because I know a lot of new business owners do this. They base their prices on what they think they would spend for something. And many people fall into that trap; you might say you make a t-shirt, right? You might personally pay more than $10 for a T-shirt. So you go ahead and price your T-shirt at $10. And you get free shipping. How can you make money you can't? If you sold that shirt for $17 and gave away free shipping, you would still be squeezing into your profit margins; never list a product for what you would sell for it and what you would buy because you don't know what other people are willing to spend. You know, some people have a lot more money than you. Some people look at something they love from a design perspective and have to have it. And money is not an object. Those are the clients you want to go after. So I learned this in business a long time ago. Because I fell into a pricing trap and a former company, I was like, Man, I wouldn't pay that much for this. And lo and behold, hundreds of 1000s of people out there delivered triple what I was charging; you're also going to lose business believing that if you're the cheapest, because the good buyers, the buyers who are willing to spend the money. They don't; they're always shy away from the most affordable, right? Because they're thinking, oh my god, it's cheap for a reason. And it is reasonable for a reason. It means, because number one, the seller is desperate. And number two, it doesn't the materials they built the product and are not that good. Or number three, their customer service is just wrong. There are many reasons people shy away from excellent customers and shy away from the low price leader. So if you're basing your prices on what you think you would spend for something, maybe sell that shirt for 25 $26. You won't sell as many, but you're going to sell them to good customers. So stay away from a race to the bottom. Here's what Etsy says; I have this written down here. Just to go back to myself. And why I'm the most expensive. I make. Again, I sell in a commodity area.
In three areas that are Uber explosive. There are millions of sellers, right? Maybe not millions, 1000s of sellers, and I make an 80% profit margin on every product I sell. I'm not ripping people off. I'm selling at what the market will buy. Right? And so with that 80% profit margin, Guess what I'm able to do? Well, number one, I'm able to make a higher profit margin, I can put more money in my pocket, I'm able to spend money on Etsy ads on and off-site, I'm able to invest in more customer service related tools, and things that I can put in the box, I'm able to buy better packing supplies. So my products look professional when the customer receives them, not in a used old Amazon box; I can buy better materials to make my products with, So overall, I have a better product. So I'm operating at an 80% profit margin. Very rarely do I go below 80%? And if I do, it's in the high 70s. So if you're not in a high-profit margin, you need to reevaluate your products, right? You need to raise your prices or buy your supplies at a better price. It's that's all business, right? Buy low, sell high. MCs calculation for profits is right there, saying your hourly overhead plus your production cost plus profit times four. So put all those numbers together? What is your average hourly rate? And that that is hard to do? To pin it down? Because you're moving all around, you're doing different things throughout the day. You have dry, some people have dry times on their product, I wouldn't count that, and you're not handing whatever your hands on it, right? Your hands-on hourly overhead rate. And that would include packing and shipping, the time you spend doing marketing, the time you spent analyzing other listings, everything. That's your hourly rate; what are you worth per hour? Plus your production cost? What does it cost you to produce that product? Right? What does it cost to get the materials to build it? And then your profit? How much profit do you expect to make times that by four? And that's what they're saying. So your hourly overhead is your business expenses over the past 12 months. This is right out of the Etsy book. Your hourly overhead is your business expenses over the past 12 months, including Etsy fees, rent on your studio space, and shipping expenses, divided by the number of hours you work on your shop in a year. So if you work on your shop 10 hours a week, that'd be 520 hours a year. That's right there in the seller handbook. So maybe you can't get close to the times four, but at least be times three. Anything lower than that, you'll start blaming Etsy that their fees are too high, and you'll be out of business. Because that's the fees are meager for what you get. Okay, the next thing for conversion purposes is running sales, running sales, and free shipping. These are things that Etsy says will help conversion. I do neither. Okay. Again, just a reminder, I'm not saying this to brag, but I sell in three or four of the top markets on Etsy and do not run sales. And I do not do free shipping. With that said, when someone likes my page, I have the autoresponder set it up. It'll send them a 10% coupon, right? I tried to convert some of those, and I'll have like a little after the OB the autoresponder set up after receiving the order. There's a thank you, you know, maybe 15% would never go higher than 15%. But for the most part, I don't run live sales on my site all the time. I am on Etsy all the time. I go to Etsy stores, and their entire inventory is on sale for 30 40% off. And I just don't know how they can run a business like that. So Etsy says it'll help conversion. I've done it both ways. I ran sales when I first started, and I've stopped running sales, and I didn't notice a difference. Is free shipping another topic, right? It seems Amazon Amazon has changed the way Ecommerce has done. Everyone has this expectation of free shipping. When they're buying commodity products from Amazon. It's very different from Etsy sellers who are artists, and we're creating these beautiful works of art. Some things cannot ship for free. I ran free shipping for a couple of months and tested it against paid nonfree shipping. And I noticed a bump in sales when I had shipping added on. Now. I did add the $35 Free Shipping when you reach $35. I wish Etsy would raise that to a higher price. Because if you have products that are more expensive than $35, and I do have some, like automatically free shipping, I wish they'd have an option to say 99 or 79. So I do add that, that. And the only reason I add that is that Etsy gives me a bump in my listings; I'm not giving away free shipping, but I do say, and I have a lot of stuff that's $20 and below 25. And below is the majority of the stuff I sell. So I squeezed right under there. And if they do end up buying two items, I still make out because my ROI and profit margin are so high, and I can cover the couple dollars shipping, my stuff is not Uber heavy, so I would never lose money there. But I will not offer free shipping on every single item. So, I've noticed that I jumped my sales and did not dive down on free shipping; all of my competitors offer free shipping. And I know I outsell them. Because I looked at the numbers, I tracked them. And so you know, do what you want with that. But I think you should test it, you know, always be testing and measuring don't everything I'm saying here, you don't have to go and do tomorrow, I would test it over some time. And I did that. And that's why I get the data I get because I test and measure. So you know, they're saying that that will help conversion? Of course, it will. I don't think it brings the best client for me.