Etsy Vacation mode explained

If you are thinking of taking a little break, Here is what you should consider before putting your Etsy shop on Vacation Mode.

Hey friend! We all need a little break sometimes, right? Especially around the holidays or when the sun is hot and we want to be out living our best lives. BUT.. have you considered what could happen after you get back from putting your Etsy shop on vacation mode? Let me give you a quick little breakdown to help you make the best choice for you and your Etsy business. 

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if qualifying purchases are made, at no extra cost to you.

What happens when you put your Etsy shop on Vacation Mode?

Your products will no longer appear in Etsy search.

While your shop is on vacation mode, you won’t be showing up in Etsy auto-suggestion. The only way someone can find you is if they search your shop by name. Safe to say, no new shoppers will be coming across your shop while you’re away. Many shoppers also favourite listings while they are browsing, then come back later when they are ready to shop. So not only are they not buying from you now, but you could also be losing out on future sales too.

Etsy isn’t collecting data on how customers are searching and interacting with your listings. 

If your listings are no longer coming up in search, Etsy algorithms won’t be collecting info on your listings. (which is basically how the entire platform works!) All the hard work you’ve put in towards ranking on Etsy will quickly be slipping away. Etsy vacation mode will affect your ranking without a doubt. If you aren’t showing up and ranking in search during this time, other shops will be taking your place. No algorithm spot saving here. If you want to know more about ranking on Etsy, check out my post Etsy SEO for beginners where I break down all the factors that go into ranking on Etsy!

Many shops struggle to re-grain their momentum 

Since the algorithms won’t be holding your spot waiting for you to be back, It could take 4 days, 4 weeks or 4 months to regain your traction & placement on Etsy. Nothing is certain. Some people have said the longer you are away the longer this can take. If you’re only gone for a few days you could get lucky and bounce right back. But you also could not. Other shops have reported that a few weeks to over 30 days can be like starting from ground zero. I’m sure you remember when you first launched.. nobody likes crickets! 

Etsy might not come right out and say that putting your shop on vacation mode will negatively impact your shop, but there are definitely a few things to consider before you hit vacation mode ON. 

The truth is that we all eventually need a break. Your Etsy shop should never get in the way if you have more pressing matters, whatever they are for you.

If you really just hadn’t given much thought to the outcome, and you are a little worried about losing sales on Etsy and your placement on the platform, consider doing this instead.

alternatives to going on vacation mode on etsy

Extend your processing & shipment times

This is the best option to avoid vacation mode. This way your customers won’t be expecting something to be shipped out while you are away. 

Mark some listings as Inactive

If you have certain items that take longer to process, consider removing those items for the time being. This way it isn’t your entire shop that won’t be seen. Your presence will still exist on the platform. 

Message your customers

If you have extended your processing times, it would be a good idea to follow up (if you are able) to confirm your extended time. This is also good to do if you have repeat customers that might be used to faster turnaround times.

Update your shop announcement section

Note you are away/have extended processing times in your shop.  Put this up as soon as you know you will be away. You can also add a note to be sent automaically after purchase including this information. Not everyone will read your shop sections or listing details so it’s best to take action everywhere you can. 

Share on Socials & Emails

If you are on Instagram, Facebook, etc., you can post about your shop’s processing times if it makes sense for your following there.  If you have an email list for your Etsy shop you could also send a brief email for potential shoppers to keep them in the loop.

If it’s only a few days, consider turning on an Etsy auto-reply.

This works better for digital sellers, I do this often if I will be away even for one day because I do not want my response rate to drop. However, it may be good to auto-reply that you are away, for how long, and when you’ll be back regardless of what you sell because there are shoppers who do reach out prior to shopping and this will take care of those situations.

If you were going to go on Etsy vacation mode just to regroup and lounge around the house for a few days (which we all need sometimes), then I would definitely consider trying to use some of the above methods while also spending some time each day to message your customers. 

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Sometimes we won’t be able to keep in contact with our shoppers and do need to be away from our Etsy shops. and that's okay.

here’s a quick list of a few things to do when you get back to help you get things moving again.

Renew some listings. Give them that momentary boost that Etsy gives a little extra love to.

Add new listings. Again, get that boost in the Etsy algorithms. This will also send shoppers a notification who have your shop in their favourites, reminding them you are back and to come check out what’s new. 

Try new tags. Duplicate some listings that aren’t doing so well, and try adding some new tags and titles to them. (Remember to never just go in and change tags, always make a duplicate!) 

Run a sale. This isn’t always the best solution if you sell physical products because you don’t want to sell yourself short. The sale isn’t worth it if you are working for free, so use your best judgement. If you have repeat customers, an email list, or a loyal following on a social platform, you could offer a coupon code just to those people. It doesn’t have to be for everyone that lands on your shop. 

Remember it isn’t the end of the world. If you had to take a break from Etsy, you had to take a break. Things will pick up again!

Need some help with your etsy seo?

You can grab my Etsy SEO cheat sheets from the free library that are perfect for beginners, or anyone that needs a little help with setting their Etsy shop up for success.

Have been feeling tied down to your Etsy shop? Selling digital designs or other digital products should definitely be something you consider starting in the new year! It makes situations like this a lot more flexible. Having a digital business can allow you to deactivate the physical products (you might still want to sell), while still having income rolling in without the worry of being away and catching up😉 If you want to learn more about running a digital business, join me here!

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From social media posts, Etsy shop banners and graphics, blog posts and more.

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Etsy Keywords Explained – Get ultimate SEO exposure

Etsy Keywords Explained. Let me help you get the ultimate SEO exposure by understanding the basics of selling on Etsy. If you don’t take the time to understand Etsy keywords, you’ll never really be seen. You will either be talking to nobody by using keywords that people are not searching for or be using keywords that everyone is using and it will be nearly impossible to rank for them.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if qualifying purchases are made, at no extra cost to you.

How important are keywords?

When I first started out, I knew that when it came to keywords it wasn’t going to be a part of the process that I could just skip over, work on the other areas, and hope to come out somewhere In the middle.

A lot of sellers who are new to Etsy hear “keywords” and think of it as a generalized word that describes what they are selling. Something like “Gold Ring”. Repeat it a few times and wait for the buyers to show up. (Girl, they’re still waiting).

Grab a drink, a notepad, or better yet join the club below and grab your own free Etsy keyword checklist, and let's dive right in.

There are actually a few different types of keywords to focus on

Broad keywords, focus keywords, descriptive keywords, long tail focus keywords, additional supporting keywords, and super targeted keywords.

Let’s talk about the main types of keywords, which to use, and which to avoid

Broad keywords – Broad keywords are one or two words, super generic, and very competitive. They get a lot of engagement but not so many sales. Think of “Mug” or even “coffee mug”. That could be anything right? Think of all the unanswered questions about this item. What colour is it? Is it for a mom or a dad? Is it a travel mug? Does it have a funny saying on it? You get it. Very broad and not targeting anyone specifically.

Focus keywords – Focus keywords start to paint the picture of what you’re offering. “Clear coffee mug”. Now everyone who’s looking for a black coffee mug isn’t going to land on your listing, leave right away, and mess up your conversion rates. You start targeting down the right shoppers when you are being more specific in your listings. We are still targeting a coffee mug, only we just eliminated a whole lot of guesswork as to what kind.

Descriptive keywords – I wanted to add this in because they are important to think of when brainstorming. Some examples could be “dainty”, “tiny”, or “personalized”. These words generally don’t make much sense as their own keywords, but they help describe your item and you’re going to want to pair them with your focus keywords.

now for The secret sauce to getting found on Etsy

Long-tail focus keyword – Usually 3-4 combined keywords. Needs to be descriptive. “Personalized clear coffee mug”. These are the kind of keywords that are going to pair you with actual buyers. If someone types in “coffee mug” in the search, they might not even know what they are looking for yet. Even if they did land on your shop with a term like that, it’s a total gamble for you both. BUT if someone types in “personalized clear coffee mug”, and you have optimized your listing for SEO correctly (see that post here if you missed it), then you have a VERY good chance you are getting that sale.

This will ultimately help your conversion rates go up and as long as you are following all the other best practices, there’s a good chance Etsy will start boosting this listing in front of others searching for this or something very similar.

Additional supporting keywords – Once you figure out your focus and long tail focus keywords, those will be the main ones for your listing. However, you still need to sprinkle some other words in there to reach more shoppers. Plus you get 13 tags and you need to be using them all. This could be a “personalized coffee mug” maybe this particular buyer doesn’t know they are looking for clear specifically. “Glass coffee mug”, “Clear Mug”, “16 oz mug”.

Additional keywords that still represent what you are selling very closely, but give you a chance to reach more search results. They can be more broad, so you don’t want to start your listing title with them but they are still a great addition to your tags and if they are a match to your item.

Super targeted keywords – Very specific. Could be low search volume and low competition, but a high click-through rate. Not every niche is going to focus on these but if you find a gap in the market or know you have a very specific product that people are looking for, then this is going to generate great sales. These words are not necessarily long tail, but they are not so competitive. Keyword tools really come in handy for this kind of research.

Think like a buyer when it comes to using Etsy keywords

You might have a collection of fun and beautiful names you call your products and launches over on the gram, but it’s no use on Etsy. If you fill your title and listing description with something like “flower child denim” because you made a super cute jean jacket that you covered with floral, nobody is going to be typing that in search.

You will want to stick to something more like “Embroidered Denim Jacket” or “Kids Denim Jacket”. You have to always be thinking of SEO and what the customer will be typing in on their end and how you can get Etsy to put you in front of them.

The best practice for Etsy keywords

Make a list of 10 to 20 possible keywords that you think best describe your product and are words someone would use when looking for that item. Then research them. It seems like a lot of thinking and searching, and it can be. It will get easier as you make more listings and sometimes you might just have to change your main long-tail focus keyword, but many of the other focus keywords might still apply. (You don’t want to make all your listings the same though because it’s all about expanding your reach)

Still feeling a little lost?

Don’t worry. There are lots of resources to help you do research and find keywords that will be right for you. The best part of doing research is that a lot of times you come across good keywords that you might have never come up with on your own!

Etsy Keyword research tools & resources

ETSY SEARCH BAR – I wouldn’t call this a “research tool” because It isn’t going to give you any data for keywords. However, sometimes it might be a good starting point if your new to Etsy or have a new product you are adding to your shop. You can start typing what you think your product is called and trending/recent searches will populate. After typing a few different things you might come to the conclusion that there is a more accurate name for what you are selling. Then you could take that information as a starting point to begin your own keyword research.

KEYWORDS EVERYWHERE – you can get a chrome or Firefox add on making this super easy to use. It will tell you things like search volume, competition, and trend data. A lot of people who use this will still use something like Erank or Marmalead too.

FACEBOOK GROUPS Many Etsy sellers belong to Facebook groups (or maybe another social group you are a part of) You can simply post a picture and ask the other members to let you know what they would search if they were looking for this item. It helps to get an idea outside your own head sometimes.

MARMALEAD – Many of serious Etsy sellers use this tool. They have a free trial period you can play around with before you purchase a plan which can be helpful if you just want to sit down and get a few good ideas going. Lots of very valuable data, trends, comparisons, and more. This is the kind of tool that is going to show you lot’s of other relevant keywords when you search, which helps with coming up with those additional words for tags. Beginner-friendly and lots of online support to help if you need it.

ERANK – Very similar to Marmalead. Different versions of both free and paid accounts. I’d start (I did start), with one of these right off the bat. I cannot imagine trying to guess my keywords without it. You will see the monthly search volume on the keyword, click-through rate, competition, all that good stuff. Erank and Marmalead will both have seasonal trending sections, areas to save keyword lists and much more.

Where to put all these amazing Etsy keywords now that you have them? Simply put, everywhere.

Listing Title – This is one of, if not the most important focus areas of your carefully selected keywords.

Description – Etsy may not query match with this area but it matters for SEO with outside sources like google for the first 160 characters.

Tags – Almost as important as your title. Make sure you use all 13!

Shop Title – The 55 characters become your shop preview on Google.

Shop Sections – This is a lot of extra “opportunity space” to sprinkle keywords that relate to your business all over in the section write-ups.

If you’re still here I’m seriously so excited that you want to learn how to actually make money on Etsy. If I can do it so can you.

Remember you can have good keywords all over your shop but don’t forget when it comes to overall SEO and ranking on the Etsy platform, there is more to it than just having the best long-tail focus keywords.

These kinds of posts are always so much longer than I plan, but I really want to help you understand Etsy keywords so you can implement them in your own shop. They will truly make or break your shop when it comes to generating consistent sales. I really hope this breakdown can help you make sense of keywords. It’s time to actually get excited about driving traffic you your new or existing shop!

Good luck!