Get Your Listings Visible in Search Results: An Etsy Shop Experiment

Are you curious why some of your listings are underperforming? Same here 👋🏼  Here's how I analyse and experiment to improve SEO ranking on Etsy Search.

Objective and Background

Looking back at my shop statistics, I realised my first listing sells better than the rest. To be exact, my sales are generated from just 20 % of my listings. As the 80–20 rule speaks, it’s pretty common that we only reap the fruits from 20% of the seeds we planted.

However, before I make that conclusion and mark my babies (products) as “Not Selling Well” items, I want to first make sure that my products are showing up when people search for them.

As a data analyst, I figured it’s a good chance to practice my analytical skills to enhance my listing SEO ranking on Etsy.

Note: The term 'Etsy' and other Etsy graphics are trademarks of Etsy, Inc. This article is not endorsed by Etsy.

Preliminary Analysis

First of all, I summarised all my listings basic statistics in a simple table, as shown below. 


Summary Stats of Listings (As of 9 September 2021) - Beautified Version Of Course! 

Note: I am plucking the numbers from Erank instead of Etsy Seller Dashboard, as it’s much more efficient.

From the table, we observed that in terms of listing traffic (i.e. average daily views), D001 is doing a good job (1.8 views/day) whereas the remaining listings have less than 1 view per day on average. 

Among them, D005 has the worst visibility score (9%), which means this listing performed worse than 91% of the similar listing across all Etsy Shops. That’s pretty bad :( 

Objective of the Experiment

From the preliminary analysis, I have decided on the objective and what to experiment with. We’ll use the listing with the worst performance as the sample – D005.

The objective is to test if the new keywords would move the ranking of the same product up in Etsy Search.

Hence the hypothesis would be:

By optimising and increasing the number of keywords in the title and tags, the listing would get a higher visibility score, and hence higher daily views from Etsy Search. 


The very first step is to come out with a list of keywords that I want to target for this listing. 

Then, I use Erank keyword tool to find out the popular listings within the same range. “Popular” is defined by the average daily view. This enabled me to discover what other tags or search terms my competitor has used. Of course, we are making a “naive” assumption that their listings are getting great traffic because of the Etsy SEO ranking.

Next, I proceed to make a copy for D005 in Etsy with all the other attributes being constant, except for listing title and tags. 

Before Vs After

Here shows the difference (variance) between the two listings after SEO optimisation.

Before and After Keyword Optimization

To quantify the difference between listing A and B, I count the unique word count for title, tags and both title and tags in total. 

As observed in the bar chart, the number of unique words contained in the title has increased by 60%. Overall, the number of unique terms included in Listing B (39 words) increased by 35 % as compared to Listing A (29 words).


Table and Bar Charts to show the difference in unique word count before and after SEO Optimisation.


The statistics for listing A and B are being shown in the dashboard screenshot below. 

Etsy Dashboard Screenshot

Total Visits

Listing B with slightly more keywords drives more visits to the shop. However, the difference in traffic is very minimal.

Traffic Source

An interesting finding is that Listing B gets more of the traffic from Etsy Search, whereas Listing A (with alower unique word count) gets most of the traffic from Etsy app & other Etsy pages.  

Traffic Sources Definition from Etsy Shop Stats Glossary

Erank Visibility Score

Based on Erank computation, Listing B has a much better visibility score (55%) as compared to other similar listings, whereas Listing A only has 29% visibility on Etsy. This may suggest that having more keywords improves the chances of getting seen on Etsy Search.


Etsy recommends sellers to use the short-and-precise listing title. This is only true to a certain extend, depending on which traffic source you are looking at.

The experiment results show that having more keywords does help to improve the listing visibility in Etsy Search. However, it may affect the traffic volume from other traffic sources, specifically Etsy App & Page.

For my shop, I would put greater weight on Etsy Search as 80% of my current sales (of other listings) comes from Etsy Search. 

Disclaimer and Limitations

I understand that there are many other external factors that goes into the performance or ranking of a listing. I am aware that this is not a perfect scientific experiment.  However, given the constraint (terms and conditions) by Etsy and the control we have as a seller on the platform, this is what I think is the most feasible way of testing things out. It does give me some insights on how I can improve the listing ranking if I were to rely on Etsy Search as the main traffic driver to my shop.

If you haven’t start selling online but looking to join the community: Here is 40 free listings to get you started!

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