## Introduction||||||#### What is SEO?||||||SEO stands for search engine optimisation.||||||While this may sound technical, all it really refers to, is the process of improving web pages (or in our case, listings) to make them score better, and by extension, make them more likely to be used by a search engine when a visitor / buyer performs a relevant query using a set of keywords.||||||#### How search engines work||||||In order to enable searching, an engine such as Google, employs what is called a "crawler". This is an automated program, usually referred to as a "bot", that scours the internet looking for web pages.||||||When it comes across a web page, it performs an analysis of the page's content. It looks for keywords and other relevant text that it can use to categorize the page. In addition, it will also use its own proprietary ranking system to score the content and determine how "valuable" it is.||||||The bot then files the analysis and the link in a database. The crawler will then regularly visit the web page to review its content and, if necessary, update the analysis. This ensures that the crawler's database is accurate.||||||When a visitor goes to the search engine website and performs a search using a set keywords or a sentence, the engine reviews the crawler's database and tries to match the query to records with a relevant analysis.||||||Once it has a bunch of records, it will then use the score the bot assigned to each page to order the results. While this is a simplification of what can often be a complex process, the theory behind it, is that you should hopefully find what you're looking for on the first page.||||||#### How Etsy differs from others||||||Search engines like Google index the internet with no inherent knowledge of the content or structure of the web pages they find. This means that they cannot make any assumptions.||||||By contrast, Etsy has direct access to the database that contains all of the content that appears on its site. It understands the structure of the content and can therefore prioritise / assign greater value to relevant sections.||||||As a result, its search algorithm has the potential to be much more accurate. In addition, it can also use data that it has, but that does not appear on their web pages to further improve results. Engines like Google can only work with what they can see, in other words, what is on the web page.||||||Given this reality, it might therefore seem that the process for improving Etsy listings would be different to what you might do if you were targeting Bing or Google. While there is an element of truth to this, owing to the limitations of what an Etsy seller can actually do, the differences aren't that extreme.||||||#### Easy solutions for SEO||||||Unfortunately, there aren't any. To understand why, you need to realize that the SEO process isn't about flicking switches. Instead, it involves tinkering with your content in an effort to make it more "appealing" for particular search queries, which by extension, will improve the odds that it will be chosen.||||||If this sounds like a less than scientific process, that's because it is. There is no "do this and you're done" solution for SEO. Sadly, it's a constant process of refining your content through trial & error.||||||Further to this, efforts to "over improve" can sometimes have a negative effect on what was previously good content. While this dichotomy is naturally confusing, there is a solid high-level strategy you can follow...||||||#### What strategy should I use?||||||First, always embrace your best judgment. Any tips, recommendations and suggestions, including this guide, are just advice. For each listing you work on, some parts you will follow and some parts you won't.||||||Second, obsessing over grades, scores and ratings is rarely a good use of your time. While it is true that you should pay attention to how your listing has been ranked, you should also keep in mind that the ranking is based on the advice mentioned in the previous paragraph. Therefore, it may be entirely valid, and if followed, lead to profound improvement, but given the other factors involved, it might also be the wrong choice.||||||Third, prioritise the listings that genuinely need improving. You'll be able to tell this from a combination of a low grade and minimal activity (views, likes and sales). If a listing has a low or moderate SEO rating, but is still seeing solid activity, then leave it alone. By contrast, if a listing has a good rating, but isn't seeing much activity, it could mean that its SEO needs revising (changing keywords, improving photos, and so on).||||||#### Why is SEO not simple?||||||The short answer, is that the search engines (Etsy included) have a sort of love / hate relationship with content optimization. They want to return the best results, but they don't want you to know too much about how this is done for fear that you might have bad intentions e.g. getting porn to appear on searches for a child's cartoon.||||||While the circumstances are slightly different for Etsy, the principle is the same. If you knew exactly how the algorithm worked then, you could game the system and ensure that your listings always appeared on page 1.||||||As a result, search engines will always be opaque when it comes to their inner workings, and therefore, by extension, SEO will never be a simple process, but rather an unending task of refining through trial and error.||||||<!-- Navigator -->|||<div class="flex w-full justify-between mt-20">|||||| <!-- Previous Page -->||| <div class="flex justify-start">||| <!-- Nothing -->||| </div>|||||| <!-- Next Page -->||| <div class="flex justify-end">||| <a class="uppercase text-12px" href="/guides/seo/keywords">Keywords</a>||| <i class="fas fa-arrow-circle-right text-gray-500 text-13px ml-2 relative -top-half-px"></i>||| </div>||||||</div>