Etsy Marketing for ‘Help – My Store Has No Views!’ 5 Steps to Survive and Thrive

Are you one of the millions of entrepreneurs who opened an Etsy shop in 2020 or 2021? You may have seen or heard that Etsy is a great place to sell your product or homemade craft goods at reasonably high prices – in front of a very large audience – from the comfort of your own home.

But I’m guessing you don’t have a background in marketing, especially a background in Etsy Marketing or SEO. You’ve come to the right place!

My name is Joe and I’ve been running an e-commerce family of businesses for about ten years, having netted 7 figures and living the e-com lifestyle (finally) that’d I’d dreamed of when I started.

Maybe you’re thinking you’ll use your newfound Etsy profits to fund your next vacation trip, or even quit your job and work on your Etsy business full time.

Learning Etsy SEO takes some time

But you’re here because your store has been up and running for a couple of months and the sales have not come as expected – maybe you even have exactly zero sales so far.

Why is my Etsy store getting no views, no clicks, and no sales?

The answer to this very common issue almost always comes down to just a few key Etsy marketing factors, all of which can be solved:

  • Your keywords, title, and description have not been optimized to show when people search for what you have
  • Your product is not in demand and there is no audience for it on Etsy
  • Your product is priced too high or too low to be taken seriously
  • Your main picture is not interesting of professional enough to compel buyers to click
  • Your store does not show enough trust indicators, such as reviews or total number of sales

I’m hopeful that the truths above have not sounded too harsh, but I want you to know that nearly every e-commerce store beginner runs into these exact hurdles and you have control over fixing almost everything so you can better promote you Etsy Shop! Read on, and I’ll show you how to improve your Etsy store and your sales.

Your Etsy Stats Page shows zero (or very few) Visits and Not Enough Orders

With stats like these, you'll need some Etsy marketing help
Does your Etsy stats panel look frustratingly like this?

Why is my Etsy store getting no views, no clicks, and no sales?

-Almost every new Etsy store owner

Unfortunately I might be the first to tell you that the hype is not real – running an e-commerce business takes a whole lot of work, knowledge of how businesses work and what makes buyers buy which is irrelevant to the product you want to sell. This is doubly important while getting started. It’s so much work that most budding entrepreneurs with a new Etsy shop will give up and never achieve the kind of success they are dreaming of when they start. You might actually sell less on Etsy than you could at your local craft fair.

If you’re still with me after that, I’ll tell you why you’re not getting any views on Etsy.

When you set up shop at the local craft fair with your hand-etched shot glasses or customized epoxy tumblers, you might be the only shop in the whole place with this type of product. If the show isn’t too large, your wares might even be seen by every single attendee. Finally, your prospective customers can talk to you, touch and hold your product, and build instant trust for what you’re offering.

On Etsy, as a beginner, you have a booth in the basement of the back building of the craft show that has leopards guarding the front door.

In other words, no one can find you. If they do find you, they don’t trust you.

So how are you supposed to get people to find you, if they don’t trust you? How could you possibly expect anyone would buy from you?

Why does Etsy put some stores at the top, and why do people buy from those stores?

Let me back-of-the-napkin this idea.

Sales bring reviews and store stats which are the e-commerce version of a reputation. People buy on reputation, especially if they are going to buy at a “high” price (whatever you feel your time is worth). But, as you can see, you can’t develop a reputation until you already have sales.

Another factor to consider: Etsy doesn’t trust you either. They have twice the problems you have. They need to attract great buyers who will pay high prices AND attract the best sellers who deliver an exceptional customer experience. So you better believe that Etsy will only put your store up front once they are pretty sure you can deliver. But how can you prove you’ll deliver if you’re never given the chance?

Ahh. A Catch 22.

Now for some good news. Every successful Etsy shop has overcome this problem too. I’ll tell you how to become successful on Etsy below.

First, a super short primer on keywords (KW):

  • short tail keyword: “wineglass
  • medium tail keyword: “wineglass for red wine
  • long tail keyword: “wineglass for red wine at country themed weddings

More searches on Etsy are going to match the short-tail keywords.

If you are using short-tail keywords, your store will only get listed on the first or second page if you’re already among the top stores of Etsy. Otherwise forget about it! Short tail keywords are hurting you more than helping.

Go search Etsy and give it a try – You’ll notice almost every store on the first page has dozens, possibly even thousands of 5 star reviews already. The few you see that don’t have many sales yet are Etsy testing whether they might be early winners.

You’ll also notice that Etsy says there are more than 7,000 matching results (as of September 2021). Let’s call all those guys the keyword competition. Short-tail keywords are almost always competitive.

An etsy search for wineglass - example of a short-tail keyword
Using this keyword would be like running a store in the back of a shopping mall with 7000 other wineglass stores closer to the front door

The problem with short tail keywords: A potential buyer who is searching with just one word isn’t being very specific about what they want.

Even if they find you, your product may not closely match their intent!

Conversion rates will not be high (that is why I don’t recommend Ads for un-optimized stores – more on that later) and there are too many other stores for you to try and outrank for these super competitive words.

The problem with long tail keywords: very few people are searching with them, maybe just a few dozen a month.

But think about this – if someone searches Etsy with wineglass for red wine at country themed weddings and you happen to be the seller with the best cowgirl-themed red wine glasses? Boom – you’re going to get that sale. (I’m not sure if this kind of product even exists, it’s just an example, ok?? – Joe)

Etsy Long Tail Keyword "wineglass for red wine for country themed weddings"

I think you probably see where I’m going with this.

The Goldilocks Keywords

The secret, which I’ve now put out in the open so it’s no longer a secret, is to find LOW COMPETITION keywords, that still have HIGH ENOUGH SEARCH VOLUME to be worth your time. And you’re in luck! Computers can do this work for you.

Keyword Research on Etsy

For Etsy, there are two major players in the KW (KeyWord) Research space:

  • Marmalead
  • Erank
  • Bonus option #3: Hire a freeelancer on Fiverr who has one of the above two tools

I subscribe to Erank and use it with my Etsy shop, so I’ll show you what this looks like. I’m not affiliated with either Erank or Marmalead and can’t endorse one over the other. You can click the picture to get a bigger version.

Doing Keyword Research on ERank for Wineglasses
Erank Keyword Search result for Wineglasses

See, KW Research isn’t all that hard! Enter your topic, and it will show you the Average Searches (your search volumes), and Competition levels. And thank goodness, it will show you a bunch of related keyword ideas in the event you’re having a hard time figuring out where to start.

Now you have every reason to spend a half hour gathering your top 13 high search volume, low competition keywords so that people who want to buy your stuff can find your store.

Why 13?

Etsy gives you 13 keyword slots. Each one of those is an opportunity to show on the first page of 13 highly-focused, primed-to-buy search search queries. Etsy also gives you about 50 characters at the start of your title, so put your best keywords first.

Erank shows you which part of your title is helping your Etsy SEO (search engine optimization), and which part is ignored. It’s not a lot of space, so use it wisely.

Erank also says that “The first 160-500 characters (of your description) tend to be the most important to external search engines” which is another source of views. Use this space carefully to build trust and confidence that you’re the best.

Ok. Phew! Take a breather and give yourself a cliche pat on the back. Now you know enough to be dangerous with Etsy SEO, and you didn’t even know you were learning about Etsy SEO! It’s not that complicated, is it?

I’ve optimized my keywords, but I’m still not selling anything

I know. That’s why I’m not going to wrap up this article yet. Getting optimized is just the first step so that people can actually find you.

But so far, they don’t trust you. Because you have no sales or reviews yet.

Between you and I, I’m sure you’re trustworthy – but how does some random stranger on the internet know this?

I’ll tell you what the trust signals on Etsy are:

  • Every picture of the item is perfect – Click here for Instructions on How to Take Perfect Product Pictures and choose a Youtuber you trust
  • Multiple pictures of the product in realistic settings, with human faces if you can (why faces? this blog explains a 100%+ increase in conversion rate by adding a face)
  • You’ve filled out the “About Us” section with something interesting and uploaded a real profile picture. It makes you and your brand “real”.
  • The price is middle of the range considering similar products – not too high or low
  • Shipping is free
  • Returns and Exchanges are gladly accepted
  • The shop has many reviews, almost all 5 stars
  • The shop has many sales compared to other shops
  • Customers have left photo reviews of this exact product
  • The customer’s reviews mention a specific element of the product, indicating the reviewer is trustworthy
  • The seller is a “Star Seller” (more on this in a moment)
  • Any responses to negative feedback are very professional (which can even improve your trust rating versus not having received the negative review in the first place!)

Some of these you can control today, and I recommend trying to implement every trust indicator you can.

Some of these you can’t directly control, but you can definitely influence them, and now I’ll show you how.

Three options to get more sales for your optimized shop and listings:

  • Wait it out – eventually some of those millions of other sellers are going to give up and the competition will be lower. I think.

    I’m being a little facetious (sorry!) but you will indeed get some sales eventually – especially if your product, like its keywords, is in high demand and has low competition. But this is the slowest way to a larger and successful shop.
  • Offer a big PROMOTION. Don’t lower your prices – that’s a negative trust signal – but offer a promotion to show you’re willing to put your own money behind your store and your product. Think of it like investing in your reputation. You might decide to sell 50 or even 500 items of your product at cost or cheaper, to get the needle moving. Once the sales start, it’s much easier to keep them going. Now you can play with your promotion discount % and find a sweet spot where you’re not losing anything as you develop the trust signals of a bigger store.

    The increased volume might enable you to find cheaper suppliers, better ways of shipping, and iron out any inefficiencies in your operation. In turn, this can bring profits sooner.
  • Buy Ads on Etsy. DON’T BUY ADS UNTIL YOU’VE OPTIMIZED YOUR KEYWORDS, or you’re going to throw money into the wind as the wrong people will find and click (and then you pay). Assuming you’re optimized already, you should expect a negative return on your ad spend (you’re going to lose money) while you’re doing this until you have ENOUGH TRUST SIGNALS to get a better conversion rate.

    Do the math on Etsy ads:

    If it’s fifty cents a click at 0.1% conversion rate, it means every sale will cost you $50 in ads. Does your item have enough profit to cover this? Low profit items need very high conversion rates to be marketable with ads. Get your calculator out and play with those numbers to figure out how to not lose your shorts!
  • Buy Ads on Facebook or Pinterest. DON’T DO THIS YET EITHER (or do, but let me know how it goes!) I typed that as a bit of a placeholder for a future update to this article. I don’t recommend this strategy yet as I’m still trying to determine if Facebook or Pinterest have better targeting capabilities than Etsy (I think they do for the right products) – so before I recommend this idea, I want to better understand it

Let’s summarize what to do if your Etsy store has no views:

  1. Optimize your keywords
  2. Improve your store’s trustworthiness indicators
  3. Wait, Promote, or Pay (for Ads) to get more people on your listings, and thus more sales

After you’ve gotten through all of the above improvements, sales will come and your store will begin to rank higher. This will eventually allow you, like the bigger stores, to upgrade to higher volume keywords that will bring even more organic traffic. And when your store is brimming with 5 star reviews, more of those searchers will feel confident in buying your product, leading to an increased conversion rate, which further moves you up the ranks.

Etsy doesn’t share much about how exactly they rank shops or precisely how they decide which product listings to show for which keywords, but you can bet the stores that make Etsy more money and give the customer a fantastic Etsy-esque experience go straight to the top.

Now you’re on your way! You’ve learned about marketing on Etsy, Etsy SEO, How to Promote on Etsy, a even a few Etsy Store Tips! I hope I’ve helped you in your journey how to be successful on Etsy.

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