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TEE #015 How Etsy Search Works A Guide for Thriving Sellers

sales visability Jul 01, 2023
How Etsy Search Works: A Guide for Thriving Sellers

Read time: 3 minutes


How Etsy Search Works: A Guide for Thriving Sellers

Hello, fellow Etsy enthusiasts! Today I want to share some invaluable insights into the mystical world of Etsy search. As a proud owner of five diverse Etsy shops, ranging from personalised wall art and labels to a sweet shop, chocolate shop, and digital planners, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. Through trial and error, I’ve gathered some nuggets of wisdom that I believe can help anyone looking to thrive on Etsy. So, let’s dive in!



Etsy is a treasure trove of creativity and uniqueness. It’s where I, like many of you, found the perfect platform to express my creativity and build a business. But, as any Etsy seller knows, creating a product is only half the battle. The real challenge is getting your items in front of the right eyes. That’s where Etsy search comes in, a powerful tool that connects buyers with the items they’re looking for.


The Two Phases of Etsy Search

1. Query Matching

Imagine a customer looking for personalised wall art. In my wall art shop, I make sure to use relevant titles, tags, and descriptions. I remember when I first started, I didn’t realize the importance of these elements. My listings were like hidden gems at the bottom of the ocean. But then, I learned about query matching. Etsy looks at titles, tags, listing descriptions, categories, and attributes to find matching keywords. It’s like casting a wider net into the sea to catch more fish. I started using all 13 tags and diversifying them. Suddenly, my wall art was getting noticed!

2. Ranking

Now, getting noticed is great, but what about getting to the top? That’s where ranking comes into play. Etsy uses a secret sauce called Context Specific Ranking (CSR) technology. It’s like a smart assistant that knows what shoppers want. For example, my sweet shop sells themed sweets, and around Halloween, I noticed a spike in traffic. CSR was at work, showing my sweets to Halloween enthusiasts.


Factors That Influence Etsy Search Ranking

1. Relevancy

Relevancy is like being the answer to a shopper’s question. When my chocolate shop’s tags, titles, and descriptions matched what people were searching for, I was the answer they were looking for!

2. Listing Quality Score

Etsy wants to know if shoppers like what they see. It’s like when my friends give me feedback on my digital planners. Etsy looks at how many people view a listing and then make a purchase. Positive feedback boosts the listing’s quality score.

3. Recency

New listings get a temporary boost. It’s like throwing a grand opening party for your new products. But don’t rely on this too much; it’s the overall quality that counts.

4. Customer and Market Experience Score

Think of your shop as a physical store. Good reviews, complete shop policies, and an About section are like your store’s décor. They make customers feel welcome. My personalised labels shop got a boost when I started receiving positive reviews.

5. Shipping Price

Nobody likes excessive shipping fees. Offering free or low-cost shipping is like giving your customers a special treat. My chocolate shop benefited immensely from this.

6. Translations and Language

Etsy is a global marketplace. Adding translations to your listings is like having a multilingual salesperson in your store. It makes non-English speaking customers feel at home.

7. Shoppers' Habits

Etsy learns from shoppers’ habits. It’s like when I noticed my niece always reaching for the same candy in my sweet shop. I made sure to stockup on that particular candy. Similarly, Etsy’s CSR technology learns what buyers are interested in.


Monitoring and Improving Your Etsy Search Performance

Now, you might be tempted to search for your own listings to see where they rank. I’ve been there, done that. But let me tell you, it’s like trying to read a book while looking in a mirror; it doesn’t give you the full picture. Instead, dig into your shop stats. See which listings are bringing in traffic. For instance, I noticed that my digital planners were getting a lot of views around New Year’s, so I started creating special New Year themed planners.


A Personal Note

Running five Etsy businesses has been a roller coaster. There were times when I felt like giving up. But understanding how Etsy search works has been a game-changer. It’s like finally finding the map to a treasure you’ve been searching for. My personalised wall art started getting the attention it deserved, my labels found their way onto so many products, my sweet and chocolate shops made celebrations sweeter, and my digital planners helped people organize their lives.



Etsy search is not just an algorithm; it’s a tool that, when wielded correctly, can bring your creations to the forefront. It’s about understanding your customer, being relevant, and continuously improving. As Etsy evolves, so should we. Keep an eye on the best practices, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Your creativity brought you to Etsy; let your understanding of Etsy search bring the world to you.

Happy selling!

With love, SJ.


If you're still looking for traction in your Etsy business, I'd recommend starting with one of the following:

1. → My Free Etsy WorkshopPerfect for you if you are just starting out on Etsy. Learn how you can turn your creative passions into cash to earn your first £1000 on Etsy.

2.  Join my Free Community: Successful Etsy Entrepreneurs is a Facebook community filled with creative people just like yourself all looking to grow their inline businesses.

3. → Join my VIP Members: Successful Ecommerce Entrepreneurs for only £27 a month.  With my expert guidance and actionable strategies in my private membership, you'll gain the skills and knowledge you need to build a profitable and sustainable online business.


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