If you are using social media to generate traffic for your Etsy site, don’t skip this post! Social media is a powerful tool, and organic traffic is likely something you are working very hard to obtain, so we want to make sure you are using it well and that you stop sending organic traffic to an Etsy shop.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic is any traffic you are hustling for on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc. If you send an email to your list with a link in it? Organic traffic. Post to your Instagram story with a swipe up link? Organic traffic. Livestream on Facebook page with a CTA to your shop link? Organic traffic. Unless you paid for promotion, it’s organic traffic. That is the type of traffic you are generating most of the time: unpaid, organic traffic. You want it going somewhere that is solely and singularly about you and nobody else.
In addition to the social media based traffic you are likely organically generating, you are also probably generating a different kind of organic traffic: from within Etsy itself. You can check this in your Etsy stats. Look at the breakdown on your stats page under the header “how shoppers found you.” It looks like this:
If the % on the left is equal to or less than the % on the right, that means you have an excellent opportunity for Etsy to pull more weight for you and generate more traffic organically (without paying) within Etsy.
We want Etsy to send traffic to you, not the other way around.
Let’s kick this off with the first reason you don’t want to send organic traffic to an Etsy shop:
sending traffic to all of Etsy
When you send traffic to Etsy, you send traffic to Etsy and all of the shops that exist there.
The rest of us appreciate that, though. There is no reasonable expectation that the traffic you send to your Etsy shop will only stay in your Etsy shop. The way that Etsy is set up, it’s a marketplace that means your traffic is my traffic. That’s a good thing – that’s the virtue of a marketplace. Someone can take one or two clicks and be in someone else’s shop entirely and have no clue about and never come back to your shop. More than one hundred links lead away from your shop on any given listing or page of your shop. If you don’t know how to counteract that, it is especially bad to send your hard-earned traffic to Etsy. (We can teach you how to keep traffic of any kind in YOUR shop longer, no matter where it came from, in our Training Course for Etsy Sellers.) This set up isn’t a problem when your traffic comes mostly from within Etsy. I’ll explain later.
Internal Etsy traffic is valuable
Secondly, the traffic that comes organically from within Etsy is really valuable in ways that social media traffic isn’t always.
It is better to focus on getting Etsy to bring more traffic to your Etsy shop instead of working your tail off to generate organic traffic to an Etsy shop. Here’s what makes traffic from within Etsy so valuable:
1. It tends to be very aligned to your offer, which means you need less of it to make sales. (People are more likely to see it only if they’re looking for something like that, unlike IG, where you could reach a lot of people, but very few need your product at the moment.)
2. It’s warm to the idea of purchasing because it came from within an eCommerce platform (people go there looking to buy today or soon.)
3. It’s more easily renewable than the organic traffic you might get from Instagram or Facebook. (On Etsy, if you create your listings properly and optimize them to generate traffic, they can work for months and months without further input from you. Compared to Instagram, where you can post an incredible, fantastic piece of content, and it will generally hit its peak within two days, and then you have to post again to stay active and keep generating traffic.)
traffic to Etsy is money in THEIR pocket
Big reason for number three: When you sell on Etsy, they make a 5% commission on every sale that you make.
That’s a very reasonable commission. Keyword: COMMISSION.
I am happy to pay Etsy a commission of 5% on sales when THEY help me get that sale.
If you are working on sending organic traffic to an Etsy shop to generate those sales, you pay Etsy a commission that they did not earn. If you are generating the traffic that goes to your Etsy shop and it’s converting to sales, send that traffic to your own website where you would not have to pay a commission. If you send the customers and they purchase through Etsy, what you have is an expensive shopping cart.
Etsy should be generating traffic to your shop. Etsy should be sending you people who are warm to the idea of buying the kind of products that you sell to your shop. All of this comes with optimizing your shop for search and various other opportunities. Most Etsy sellers forget about the different opportunities or don’t even know they exist and focus too much on search. But that’s a story for another day.
Send your traffic to your own website.
Earlier I told you that when you send organic traffic to an Etsy shop, you send traffic to Etsy, period. I also told you that it’s not a problem for traffic generated from within Etsy to come to your shop and then leave.
Here’s why, and this is the next reason on our list:
When Etsy is sending the traffic to your shop, they’ll be more of it coming down the pike no matter what, if your shop is set up correctly.
When you are out there hustling to send traffic to your shop, you want that traffic to stay with you. When you’re the person sending the traffic and driving the traffic to your Etsy shop, it’s going to feel a lot worse when it scurries off and leaves your shop. When Etsy is doing it for you and sending the traffic to you… repeatedly, it’s not so much of a blow. You need to set your Etsy shop up to generate traffic from within, and when done correctly, it will do that repeatedly. When you know that your shop optimized to generate more of that traffic over and over again, you’re less emotionally attached to it.
Relevancy begets relevancy.
For all the reasons above, you want to help Etsy see you as relevant.
If you are sending all of the traffic to Etsy that converts, you bypass Etsy’s system and diminish the chances of your item improving in Etsy relevancy. It’s more meaningful to Etsy for them to know they showed your item to a shopper they thought would be interested and that shopper bought, than for you to basically bypass Etsy entirely and send traffic to listings directly. Let the power of Etsy work for you – leverage it.
I hope this helps clarify why you want your Etsy shop to work harder for you than you work for it!! Let Etsy send their traffic to YOU, not the other way around.
Learn everything we know about creating visible, profitable, and opportunity generating Etsy shops that help you build your brand on AND beyond Etsy in our Training Course for Etsy Sellers..
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*This post is written and published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.