If you’re a seller on Etsy then you must have explored the community side of the platform and found something called teams. It’s a side of Etsy SEO that many buyers don’t ever stumble upon because most of these teams are focused on providing SEO advice or consisting of SEO promo games. And today I’d like to share my thoughts and experience with the latter.When I first joined Etsy I was a complete beginner towards online business and just business in general, but like many who enter the world wide web with the motive of earning money, you soon discover something called SEO; search engine optimization. SEO is the art of ranking within a search engine, and I was desperate to rank on Etsy for my chosen keywords. It didn’t take me long to find these promo teams and discover these SEO games. For anyone reading this post that don’t know what games I am referring to, then let me explain. A lot of these community teams on Etsy are full of sellers playing “SEO” games that consist of posting links to their own products and clicking on everyone else’s links so everyone else on that thread will click on there’s also. Here’s an example so it’s easier to wrap your head around it all:The idea is everyone can help each other rank by doing various actions which Etsy’s search engine algorithm likes. The most common actions these games include are clicking on products to increase everyone’s traffic, and favoriting everyone’s products so everyone’s product gets more hearts. There’s other various SEO games, but those two actions are the most common as they’re the most straightforward to complete. I played these games religiously for a good 2 months back in 2015. Everyday I would spend up to an hour just clicking away at these links, “viewing” and “hearting” these products. Sometimes I would go through them so fast that I barely even looked at what the product was.So was all that mindless clicking worth it?Not really. Sure, it was a huge confidence boost looking at the sudden surge in traffic and all those hearts on my listings, but I wasn’t getting any sales. All these inflated stats on my dashboard were fake. Coming from sellers that were probably like me, not even taking more than 5 seconds to click, heart and move on to the next link just to get through the “game”.Needless to say I stopped playing, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time. My niche is relatively small on Etsy and my Keywords aren’t highly saturated compared to popular products people go on Etsy for. So the inflated traffic numbers really did help me rank for one particular keyword. I landed on the first page in the 5th position and after a few weeks I was getting sales for that particular listing. It didn’t however, work for any of my other product listings or any of my other keywords. They continued to float around on the 3rd, 4th and even 5th page of results. No matter how much traffic I was driving to these products, they just wouldn’t budge. Nor was sales growing for the one product that did manage to rank. That’s the moment when I stopped playing and started learning more about what SEO actually is, not just looking for “short cuts” that are just too easy to be true. Clicking away at links everyday is tedious work, but it definitely wasn’t complicated or hard, which is probably why it appeals to a lot of sellers, thinking they can get results without putting actual effort in. I jumped on that one product in my store that was ranked and built my entire SEO campaign around that one product. Fast forward a few months and I was dominating several keywords with over 60% of all my product listings ranking on the 1st page. So long story short, I think these SEO games work to an extremely limited degree. If you’re in a small unsaturated niche and you have a great keyword then go for it. Play the games for a while and see what happens, but don’t spend all your time clicking away thinking it’s the only thing you need to do for Etsy success, because that’s just not going to be the case. But I can’t deny the fact that without playing these games I wouldn’t have managed to get my small break within the search engine. And sometimes a small break is all you need to end up making $12,000.Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please take a moment to use the social media buttons at the bottom to share this with friends, family, colleagues, anyone with access to the internet… Thanks!
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