#1 – They can not give you “strategic” advice
Marmalead and eRank are both great tools to help you brainstorm/research keywords and get data from Etsy – but they can NOT make the strategic decisions for you. They are just tools that should help guide your decision, but you can not base your strategy solely on them.
Both Marmalead AND eRank have detailed articles explaining what goes into their ranking system (the articles are linked above)… and essentially those A, B, C letter-based grades only represent how closely THEY think you adhere to Etsy’s best practices.
So what does that mean?
Well, for example, they know if you’ve used all your “13 tags” and so they would see this as a green light and the sign of a healthy, “optimized” listing, and put your grade up because of it, but they don’t know if those 13 tags are good or bad tags.
They don’t even know how relevant they are and how accurately they describe your product.
You could sell a pair of socks, for example, and have all your 13 tags be about jewelry and they would still think you’re doing great simply because your 13 tags slots are being used. Deciding if a keyword is “good”, as in likely to bring the right kind of traffic to your shop and to lead to sales… that’s your call.
Similarly, your ratio of long tail VS broader keywords might differ based on your niche and on your products and you could have a great combination of keywords in your title and tags that’s a “C” grade but that’s still bringing in tons of traffic and sales. In which case, DO NOT touch that listing! (more on that in a second)
#2 – There’s a lot more to the search algorithm than what those grades show you
Reason number 2 for not relying too heavily on those grades is that there is so much more going into the search algorithm on Etsy than what’s used in the calculation of those grades.
If you need a refresher on how the Search algorithm works and exactly what Etsy takes into account to decide how to “rank” search results, I have a video and a free PDF guide where I break down how the algorithm works that you can get here, but for now all you need to know is that Etsy doesn’t JUST look at your keywords, they also take into consideration things like:
- Your Listing quality score;
- Your Customer and market experience score;
- Your Shipping price;
- Shoppers habits;
- And more.
So a listing could be performing really well because of any of those other factors and these are NOT reflected in the SEO grades Marmalead and eRank are giving you.
Based on all of this, 2 things could be happening: