etsy ads

The Big Pearl Lemon Guide to Etsy Ads

You’ve created a product that you’re proud of. You’ve launched your brand and opened an Etsy store, and your garage is stuffed with fabulous items that need to be sold.

Then you realize you’re one of Etsy’s 2.5 million or so sellers.

Buyers need not just a motive to buy from you, but also a way to find you among so many other sellers. You’ll need to do more than depend on Etsy search results if you want to build your brand. You’ll need a strategy for reaching out to your ideal customers with relevant, compelling content that encourages them to buy.

The good news is that Etsy marketing, along with paid Etsy advertising, doesn’t require a huge budget or a lot of skill. All you need to do is to take the time to understand your target audience and devise a strategy for reaching them with relevant, interesting content.

For many that includes social media marketing, content marketing and more. However, before you get into any of that you need to master marketing on Etsy itself, and that often includes Etsy Ads as well as Etsy SEO.

Here’s everything you need to know to start marketing and advertising on Etsy itself to begin building a viable business, whatever you might happen to sell.

Platform Marketing on Etsy

Etsy has hundreds of millions of monthly visits from customers looking for one-of-a-kind handmade items like yours. SEO and advertising are your two best on platform options for reaching these customers.

The use of any other marketing tactic or tool described in this article is entirely optional. Etsy SEO isn’t one of them.

You must ensure that your product listings are discoverable in order to capture traffic from Etsy searches. This is done in two steps.

To begin, optimize your listings for query matching, which is the part of the search process in which Etsy matches a shopper’s search to appropriate products. This means that the title, tags, categories, and product features of your listing are all built around keywords.

We offer a more in depth look at this part of the process in our guide to Etsy SEO here.

So Etsy can match your product to all relevant search phrases, you’ll want to utilize a variety of keywords. For example, shoppers seeking gifts for a cat lover may have a specific item in mind (such as a customised mug), or they may be looking for inspiration. You want your product to come up in both searches.

etsy Store

You must be both empathetic and analytical when selecting keywords for your Etsy listings. Consider your buyer’s perspective: what would inspire them to purchase your product? You should also look at available keyword statistics to see what terms people are using to find products similar to yours.

Ranking is the second aspect of Etsy SEO you need to be aware of. Etsy uses this approach to choose which products are displayed first. Because they’re more relevant, listings with keywords that exactly match the shopper’s search query appear first. You can use an Etsy specific tool like Marmalead to do this.


Etsy also assigns a quality rating to each listing depending on how frequently the item is purchased. Etsy’s goal is to ensure that the highest ranking listings provide exactly what shoppers are looking for. Unmet expectations are indicated by a high incidence of people leaving a listing without making a purchase.

There are a few other things you can do to increase your Etsy products search ranking besides keyword selection and conversion rates:

  • Make a serious effort to get positive feedback for your store. This demonstrates to Etsy that your product meets the needs of customers and really is what your listing descriptions claim. Don’t be afraid to include a note asking for a review when you ship your items.
  • Make your shipping price as low as possible. Although not everybody can offer free shipping, the cost of shipping has an impact on your search ranking.
  • Update and relist your products on a regular basis. Recent products are given a little greater weight on Etsy. Relisting your products may provide a short boost in search rankings because ratings are related to your business, not individual listings.

Etsy Advertising

Etsy has two advertising options to help you reach out to potential customers. Etsy Ads is the first and most effective option.

Etsy Ads increase the visibility of your products by including them in search results, category pages, and in the footer of other product pages. You can use Etsy Ads to skip to the front of the line and showcase your products first, even if they don’t organically rank high in search just yet, making Etsy Ads something brand-new sellers may want to seriously consider.

The location of your products in the Etsy ads sections is determined by the amount you spend. Etsy Ads is based on a cost-per-click model, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You do not, however, have direct control over how much you pay each click, unlike with other advertising networks.

You’ll instead set a daily budget. This is the amount of money you’re willing to spend on adverts on any given day. When selecting where to show your adverts on Etsy, the algorithm considers your budget at all times.

Etsy ‘holds’ an auction for all relevant advertisers every time a search is executed that matches your product listing. Your automated bid will be as competitive as possible while remaining within your budget constraints. If your daily budget is a mere $3, Etsy won’t let you spend $1 on a single click. Because the biggest bids get the best positions, people with larger daily expenditures are more likely to win top slots.

Etsy, also considers the quality of the listings too, though. You may not need to pay as much as sellers with lower-quality listings to be competitive in the advertising auction if you have a high-quality listing with optimized copy and a history of favorable reviews.

[convertful id="197359"]

Setting Up Your First Etsy Ads Campaign

It’s pretty simple to set up an Etsy ad campaign. Only two variables must be set:

Daily budget: The most you’re willing to spend for adverts on a daily basis. Etsy’s system will not go over this limit and will turn off advertising once it is reached.

Targeted Listings: The product or goods you want to promote. You have the option of selecting as many – or as few – as you wish.

Etsy recommends running a campaign that targets all of your products and has a daily budget of $3 to $5 when you’re just getting started. Running this campaign for 30 days allows Etsy’s system to evaluate your listing, potential audience data and optimize your advertising.

After this initial period has passed, play around with your budget and product goals. Examine your ad’s performance on a regular basis to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. While Etsy doesn’t give you a lot of control over advertising, you can still utilize analytics to figure out which items are worth promoting with a larger budget and which you might want to exclude.

How Much Should You Spend on Etsy Ads?

Etsy ads spend

As mentioned earlier, Etsy recommends starting small, and we agree in most cases. However, if you see decent results in those first thirty days, you may want to increase your ad budget. But how high should you go?

Obviously, if you invest in Etsy Ads, your primary goal is to raise your revenue. Measuring ROAS is one approach to see if your Etsy Ads are bringing in money for your company and then whether it might be worth spending more.

Return on ad spend, or ROAS, is a statistic used by sellers to determine how much money they make from each dollar spent on advertising campaigns. To put it another way, ROAS is the amount of money you get when you spend X dollars on an Etsy ad.

Although ROAS and ROI may sound similar, they are not the same thing. Return on investment, or ROI, is a metric that evaluates how much money a company makes from its marketing efforts. Unlike ROI, ROAS assesses the efficacy of a campaign by measuring its costs. So, if you want to figure out which marketing campaigns are the most effective for your company, you should absolutely compute ROAS.

For example, looking at your Etsy Ads performance dashboard, you find that your most recent listing made $50 in revenue, with a $10 advertising budget. Divide revenue/budget spent, or $50/$10, to find your ROAS. This listing’s ROAS would be 5, which is above average (with the average, according to recent figures, being 2.9 ROAS).

Etsy Advertising to Promote New Product Lines

Even if you do not plan to run Etsy ads on a regular basis, if you are launching new products it may be the perfect time to launch a short term campaign.

Because views and orders are both factors in your search relevancy on Etsy, promoting your new inventory is a wonderful strategy to increase their organic search placement. Rather than relying exclusively on organic traffic, you can employ an advertising test to understand which products are most appealing to shoppers and which items convert at the highest rate.

About Etsy Offsite Ads

word image 1

Etsy has also relatively recently launched its Offsite Ads platform, which functions as an ad-listing service. Etsy offers your products on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing using Offsite Ads. They take care of all the details and costs associated with listing and advertising your items. You only pay when someone buys something. For those looking to enhance their presence on platforms like Instagram, consider buying followers from

As a result, you gain advertising exposure without the risk of – and additional work – that comes along with running your own pay-per-click ads on these sites. Offsite Etsy ads run on their social media accounts, which, in all fairness, probably have a lot more clout – and active users – than any you might maintain yourself.

The cost? If your business produces less than $10,000 per year, be prepared to pay Etsy 15% of the sale as a finder’s fee (12 percent if you make more than that).

Etsy automatically enrolls all sellers in their Offsite Ads programs, so you don’t have to do anything to get started. If you don’t want Etsy to market for you, you simply turn off the feature in your store settings. At this time, vendors who earn more than $10,000 per year are unable to opt out of the program, something that has caused significant controversy, but has yet to be changed.

Need help with Etsy SEO, Etsy advertising or both. Get in touch. Pearl Lemon’s team of Etsy specialists will be happy to help.