Etsy Listings: The Magic Number for More Traffic – Etsy Case Study

More Listings = More Traffic, More Sales, More Everything

Let’s say you have one small, red ceramic bowl in your shop.

You’ll probably snag a few customers looking for handmade ceramic bowls, but you’ll miss out on all the customers looking for large bowls, black bowls, painted bowls, white bowls, fish-shaped bowls, and so on.

More things in your shop = more chances of something from your shop showing up in search.

Do you really need 100 listings?

Helpful members on the Etsy forums often suggest 100 items as a baseline, but I think that’s overkill for a lot of shops. If you’ve got a unique, specific product that doesn’t have a lot of competition (in my shop’s case, that’d be my plush bettas) you can get found for that one thing just fine. In more saturated markets, like jewelry, it seems like you really can’t have too many listings.

You should, however, aim to fill up your front page. That means posting a minimum of 20 items. If there’s a magic number to Etsy listings, it’s at least 20.

(But don’t feel like you need to stop at 20 – aiming for 50, 75, 100, can only help).

Having lots of stuff on offer makes your shop look like a well-maintained, happening place, and customers like that. No one wants to send $20, $50, $100+ into a sketchy-looking place.

What won’t work

Don’t make the listings identical. You’re going to have to vary the tags, titles, descriptions, and photos of every listing you post. It won’t do you much good to have two small red ceramic bowls, but having a blue large ceramic bowl and a small red ceramic bowl = twice the chances to capture the bowl buyers.

Don’t worry too much about timing, just get ’em up. I added my 20 new listings over the course of three days and I saw no difference in the time of day posted. If there’s some magical time to post a new thing, I didn’t find it.

Etsy Shop Before

Before its makeover, the case study Etsy shop looked like this. (I think a tumbleweed just bounced through.)

“But I offer 400 fabric choices! If only people would find me…”


My Etsy Shop Mistakes

The shop was sparse for a few reasons, which I now realize were big mistakes in my original shop strategy:

  1. I thought customers would want to customize the product, so I showed it once and told them how to choose a custom fabric
  2. I only sell two plush designs, wouldn’t it be weird to list a ton of the “same” thing?
  3. I was cheap and didn’t want to spend $4 when I could spend 20 cents!

My hundreds of fabric choices are packed with keywords: flowers, pirates, skulls, rainbows, hearts, you name it, but my items are generic. I wasn’t capturing any of those searches! People looking for a “pirate plush” wouldn’t land on my customizable grub and think “oh, I want this with pirate fabric”.

These were big Etsy mistakes that I didn’t realize I was making until I started dissecting successful shops. Successful Etsy shops list a TON of similar-looking things!

Are you selling a customizable product? You should list those variations separately.

If your thing can be made with “rubies” or “diamonds”, make two listings. You’ll catch searchers looking for “rubies” with the first listing, and searchers looking for “diamonds” with the second.

It’s okay to mention that the item can be customized, but listing them separately will bring way more traffic for a much bigger variety of key words.

Adding More Stuff to the Etsy Case Study Shop

Before I could add 20 items to this shop, though, I had to do a few things:

  1. Have 20 variations of a product on hand (fortunately, I already had plenty)
  2. Photograph those 20 variations from 5+ angles each (this took about 3 hours – here’s the $5 setup I used)
  3. Write listings for each of the new products (I copy/paste a template listing but I still write a unique opening blurb for each individual product)
  4. Post each product to Etsy 

This took me several hours start to finish – it ate up the majority of a Saturday.

Etsy Shop After Adding More Listings

Here’s the shop after the 20 items were added. The product hasn’t changed – but there are so many more keywords in this shop now.

Now I’m going to get traffic for words like “pirate plush”, “strawberry plush”, “graffiti fabric”, and “pastel bubbles”.

How to get more Etsy traffic: fill that shop up! Here's our Etsy case study shop after its listings makeover.

Isn’t it pretty? This shop looks much more alive now, and customers can see all the lovely varieties of plush bugs available.

Showing up in Etsy Search: Quantity and Variety

So, did it work? Is there more search traffic now? Let’s take a look.

Here’s the shop’s search data from February 2014.


In February, 21 people came to my shop by searching for these key words. Most of my traffic comes from key words about bettas and fish. That’s good – since I do actually sell plush bettas.

But it’s not helping people find my grubs. Grubs are kind of weird. Most people don’t search for “plush grub”. However, people who see grubs in real life usually love them and I’ve sold them for years to friends and co-workers. Getting them to show up in search is trickier.

Are your products weird or hard to describe?

Try to find other ways to bring customers to your product by using more common phrases.

No one searches for “grub”, but they might search for “plush bee”.

By listing a big variety of grubs, I can now use words like “yellow” and “snowboard” – these words are relevant to my product, and to searchers. Imagine someone searching for a cute gift for a snowboard-loving girlfriend. A snowboarding-themed grub could be perfect! That’s the kind of buyer I need to reach.

For tips on writing listing names, see Part 2 of our Etsy Case Study.

Results: How’d It Do?

Here’s my favorite part of the Etsy case study: finding out what works!

Here’s a snapshot of the shop’s stats 3 weeks after adding the 20 new listings.


Big improvement. Now I have a full 2 pages of search terms, and much more variety in those terms (ie: it’s not all plush fish anymore).

I waited another 2 weeks and checked my Etsy stats again:

How to get more Etsy traffic: vary your titles and tags so you capture a wider variety of searches.

It should be pretty plain by now: more listings = more ways for shoppers to find you.

Effect on Sales

Alas, I didn’t make any sales in this time. More traffic is always welcome, but it’s definitely frustrating to be a new seller not selling any products. I’ll explore more ways to promote the shop and how to experiment with pricing to make sales in future posts (and I’ll share an update when sales do start picking up).

Tags are Important

You might notice that “kawaii plush” is my second most traffic-pulling keyword. I only thought of this tag recently – just two weeks ago – and it’s already my #2 keyword. Tagging matters so much. Check out the tagging portion of this Etsy case study for more help with tags.


Google AdWords Phone Support Number – 1-866-2-Google

Google AdWords Phone Support Number – 1-866-2-Google

Do you run AdWords campaigns on Google to drive traffic to your eBay listings? Google doesn’t publish their support number on the AdWords website – but there is a team of specialists at 1-866-2-Google and they will actually evaluate your campaigns free of charge…

Accoridng to Google, “Our AdWords Specialists are available during the work week to address your concerns by phone.

To speak with an AdWords Specialist, please call

This is a powerful opportunity that Google has afforded AdWords users and a good chance to either learn about the platform, have questions answered or get some advice on your campaign. I’ve found the service to be surprisingly useful and very courteous.

According to Google, the hours are: “Monday – Thursday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. PST (US), or on Friday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST (US).”

Promoting Ebay Store With Google Base Store Connector

Google no longer allows feeds from independent ebay stores – So this guide does not apply to ebay store sellers.

This is the best thing I’ve come across yet for ebay store owners, and the absolute best part is – It’s totally free.  Google has built a free tool to let you upload all of your auctions into it, so that hundreds of millions of customers worldwide can find your auctions. And buy them.

Getting started is a breeze.  Just go to Google, and search for the Google Base Store Connector.  Run the download, and follow the directions.

The whole process is pretty quick.  It took me about an hour from download to uploading all of my auctions to Google.  Most ebay store owners should find it much quicker than that – the upload time depends upon how many items are in your store.

Sending items to Google is actually a two part process.  First you upload all of your listing to them, and then you have to publish them to Google.    They guide you through each process.

After you’ve got everything uploaded – Go to Froogle, Google’s shopping link, and start typing in some of your auction titles.  I did, and it was amazing.  Of the ten items I searched for, I came up in the top ten hits everytime, and as the number one hit nearly half the time.

One drawback I will share with you though is:  Adding your items with the Google Base Store Connector is not a one time thing.  You should probably update it at least once a week, or more often if you list a lot of items.  When you are done running the Store Connector it will give you some advice on this.

Hope to see you all soon on Froogle and Google.

Did you find this guide helpful?  If so please rate it below.  I spend a lot of time researching and writing these guides, and need you help to keep them up to date, and accurate.  If you have any suggestions, or concerns – please contact me, and if the info is accurate I will include it in the next update of this guide.