Etsy has implemented several changes in the last few weeks for the benefit of its sellers. The new Search Engine Optimization(SEO) changes are going to be particularly helpful, especially with new sellers like myself struggling to get noticed. In the time it took me to read the PDF document I downloaded this morning I realized that there were several crucial changes I needed to make in my shop.
The article highlighted a technique I was previously unaware of called Keyword Researching. There are several applications online, such as Google's Adwords Keywords Estimator Tool, to help you find out which search terms, or keywords, are most likely to be searched on Google by using data from the last 12 months. This tool will be of inestimable value to newbie Etsians, I can't wait to try it out!
Another piece of information that I was unaware of was how exactly search engines find and rank a page. They search for the pages that have the most relevant keywords and rank them by how many keywords are on the page. Shop titles and shop announcements are prime targets for the search engines, so we need to try to squeeze in as many relevant words as possible, while maintaining the sense of the title and text and without sounding spammy. There are only so many times you can use the words "hand knit" for example, without losing the sense of what you are trying to convey. Wise use and placement of key search terms will make all the difference in how your customers find you.
I also didn't know that linking to your site via other sites increases your page's ranking in the search engine. The amount of influence your link gets depends on the source of the link. A link on a popular, well known site will carry more weight with the engines than a link from your best friends blog. You Etsy Mini is an excellent way to link traffic to your site from other sites, while also giving customers a foretaste of what you have to offer.
I offer my heartfelt thanks to SEOmoz and Etsy for giving us this information in such a user friendly manner. Way to go Etsy!