We've talked about tags and titles. We've talked about photos. We've even discussed listing descriptions. What we haven't talked about is ranking. There's a reason for that.
First, what is ranking?
When you type a query into a search engine, it lists your results in an order. This order is the ranking.
What goes into a ranking? It depends on the search engine. Every algorithm is different. And it depends on the day. Search engines tweak their algorithms periodically so that they're returning good results for their users.
So, if you type one query in to three different search engines, you'll probably get three different results. And if you type a query into Etsy today, you'll definitely get different results than you got last week, last month, or last year. This is why you need to periodically refresh your listings by doing things like checking your tags.
Ranking is complicated. For every aspect you have control over (such as your tags), there's something else that you don't (such as the pages viewed by someone coming to your listing). That's why it is best to focus on the things you can control.
What you can't control
The thing is, we don't know every aspect of the algorithm that Etsy uses to determine rank. And, Etsy has adjusted their algorithm for each user, so what you'd see when you make a query would be different than if someone else used the exact same search term.
Other things that determine ranking in search engines like Google are bounce rate, page speed, social signals, and links.
The bounce rate is about how long someone remains on your page. If someone clicks to see your item and then immediately clicks away, that hurts your ranking. But you can't help it if someone accidentally clicks a link to your page. This is why you want relevant tags, for you only want people visiting your listings that want to spend some time looking.
Links are just links to your item from elsewhere. The more links to your item you have, the better your listing looks to search engines. But, they have to be organic.
Have you ever seen spam comments? They say something random and then have a link. The more links out there, the higher that page gets on a search engine. But Google and other search engines look for such spam links, and if anyone is tending those comments, those links get immediately deleted.
So, if you were to try to help your listings with spam comments somewhere, you'd probably find that you did more harm than good.
This is why it's best to focus on the things you can control.
What you can control
Etsy is quite transparent in what they ask sellers for. The way they reward us for compliance is by boosting our listings. So, at the risk of repeating myself yet again, these are the things you should be doing:
- Using good tags
- Using good titles
- Filling out the attributes and sorting under the right category
- Having your about page filled out
- Having clear shop policies
- Free or reduced cost shipping
So, keep doing what you're doing, and your rank should improve. That's the idea, anyway.