What to Do if Etsy Search Results Have You Down

This post is part of our Best Next Step series, where you will hear from creative business owners like you, who are wondering what to focus on next. The background stories and questions are from creative businesses in various stages of growth, and I share my ideas for how to proceed forward most efficiently and ambitiously. Today we’re hearing from Silke Merckx, of Crochet on a Tree, who is working on Plan B after she was dropped low in Etsy search results.

If Etsy's search algorithm is messing with your sales, here are some ideas to create a Plan B

Crochet on a Tree

Business: Crochet on a Tree
Owner: Silke Merckx
Website: crochetonatree.it
Etsy Shop: Crochetonatree

Below is a screenshot of the Crochet on a Tree website:

Crochet on a Tree website

Below is a screenshot of the Crochet on a Tree Etsy shop:

Crochet on a Tree Etsy shop

About:

I sell hand-made (crocheted) nursery decor inspired by nature, such as baby mobiles, stuffed animals and wall garlands. My best selling products are hot air balloon mobiles and peculiar stuffed animals such as sloths. Most of my work is based on custom orders, I love to make baby mobiles with custom colors and with my customers’ favorite animals.

Silke of Crochet on a Tree

Challenges:

I opened my Etsy shop 3 years ago, and last year I was doing very well, until Etsy changed its “localization” rules. Since I’m not as visible to USA customers (where most of them come from) as I was before, I’m focusing on my own website. [editor’s note: the only mention I can find about localization changes from Etsy says they don’t affect US customers.]

Objectives:

I would like to attract new customers to my website by improving my brand personality.

Promotion:

I post every new item on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. I sometimes pay advertising on Facebook and Shopify (with an app called “Dandelion”). I have a banner on my homepage with a “Free shipping” promotion.

Crochet on a Tree gold mobile

Crochet on a Tree sloth mobile

Crochet on a Tree possum

Crochet on a Tree’s Best Next Step

Thank you for entering our Best Next Step giveaway! My thoughts follow (read them with a grain of salt, since I only have a brief outline of your business and challenges right now).

You have been relying on Etsy to send you traffic. They have slowed your traffic way down, due to their localized search change, and you aren’t able to instantly replace that traffic with another source. It’s great to use Etsy’s search engine as a traffic source, but you don’t want it to be the only way you get business – you’ve seen what happens when Etsy quits sending people your way.

You know that when people have seen your work in the past, they’ve bought it. So it stands to reason that the more people you can show your work to, the more will buy. You could take some time to calculate your conversion rate on Etsy, figure out how many page views you lost, and then you’ll have a number to aim for as far as how many people you want to be bringing to your new site. This article about conversion rate explains this in a simple way:

Improving Sales by Understanding Your Conversion Rate

It looks like you’ve been taking some great steps to get the control back in your hands, by setting up a shop on Shopify, and posting to social media. However, continuing to tell the same small group of people what’s new in your shop isn’t going to be enough to match the numbers of people that Etsy used to send your way. You need to be reaching out to new people all the time, growing your followers, and building a mailing list.

Increasing your fans and followers on your own can be a lot of slow work. Ideally, you would get your work introduced to a lot of new people at once, and the way to do this is to be featured on popular blogs or social media accounts. If you don’t know how to pitch your work to bloggers, magazines, or wholesale buyers, my best advice is to purchase our Pitch Kit. Jena on our team created this for her clients, and the $44 will be the best money you ever spent on publicity once you start getting all the blog mentions and other press. You can learn more about that and purchase it directly here:

Get the Pitch Kit

I would suggest that as you’re building a new audience, you focus on your mailing list and make plans to send a regular newsletter. This is a huge way to encourage repeat buyers, and stay in the minds of people who are curious, but not yet ready to buy. I see that you have a mailing list, but you don’t mention it in your marketing strategy, so you may not be using it to its full potential. Here are two great resources to start your list:

Two Great Email Newsletter Guides to Finally Start Your Mailing List

Thanks for the chance to learn more about Crochet On a Tree. It is a lot of work building up a sustainable following for your business. The work can be enjoyable, though, especially if you stay true to your brand, think of it as a conversation (not hard sales), and see it start to pay off!

Are you ready for the next step?

If you’d like the power and experience of the Aeolidia team behind you, please get in touch! Working to help businesses build their own web presence off of Etsy is one of our specialties. You may be interested in reading these case studies from some of our clients:

We’d love to talk about your needs and make a plan for you to grow traffic on your own site. Contact Aeolidia – we never bite!

About the Author

Hello, I'm Arianne! I am the head storyteller, idea hatcher, and yaysayer here at Aeolidia. I started making websites for friends in 1997, and never lost interest in building online homes for fascinating people. I have a great boss (me!) and I'm unafraid to play hooky to head out on an adventure. Some day I'll tell you about the time when, as a marine biology student, I was bitten by a baby elephant seal.

View more articles written by Arianne >

4 comments
  1. Thank you for this article. Silke has the most beautiful and charming products, but I understand it can be so hard to jump out there and say “Look at me!” or to even know how to do so. I’m not good at doing that at all, so I find the strategies you offer definitely worth looking into. I appreciate all your advice. Also, my views and sales at Etsy tanked last year, even after building up inventory for the Christmas season. In the past, more inventory=more views=more sales. I finally sent them a note expressing my frustration and inability to do what they said needed to be done. They replied with a very friendly and helpful note with suggestions on how to improve views/sales. Primarily, it’s all about the tags and keywords. I followed their advice and I have seen a vast increase in views from last year. Etsy has been a good experience and a learning experience and I’m using what I gained there to have another shop [not on Etsy] with other products. I’m very interested in your advice, Arianne, and am putting it all in my storage tank for when I launch my new business. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Allison,

      It’s good to know that spending some time on your keywords for Etsy can boost you back up in the search results! I think a lot of people think they can just make a shop on Etsy and immediately get seen. I’m glad you took the initiative to figure out how to improve your results!

  2. Do local listings count much for an online business?

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