Originally submitted by: particlesofstone
Question #1: "Why does Google Analytics show keywords that are not related to my website?"
If you log into your Google Analytics account and click on "Traffic Sources" and then "Keywords" you can see all the keywords that people used to arrive at your website. You will always have at least a small amount of keywords that do not relate to your website at all -- but your goal should be to have as few of these as possible. Why this happens is a bit complicated.
I will give you an example: say there is a listing for a handmade wooden chair and someone arrived at that site from the keyword "Andy Mathis." The site is not related to Andy Mathis but a website might website that Google indexes might have something related to both Andy Mathis and wooden chairs. Because of this fact, Google may think that the chair listing could interest someone searching for Andy Mathis and will return it as a result. This is just one possibility.
Another reason this may happen is Google might think they misspelled their search. If this happens, Google will guess what they were really looking for which might end up being a keyword on your site.
Also, not all users who searched for a keyword went directly to your site. If a user searches for an item and then clicks on an Etsy link and then later ends up on your Etsy shop then that keyword will show up as leading to your shop. To see keywords that went directly to your shop you need to set-up Site Search on Google Analytics.
All in all, Google's methods of producing search results is top secret and we may never know how it all works!
If you have a high percentage of traffic from an unrelated keyword you may want to try researching these negative keywords. By this I mean choose one of the keywords that you do not think should lead to your website and search for it in Google. If you end up finding your site based on this keyword then try and click on similar links and see why they might have caused your website to appear. If you find keywords on these other websites that appear on your website then you could try and remove them to reduce that traffic. If you cannot find your Etsy shop based off of the keyword, don't worry; this is pretty common because Google searches are unique to the user. Different IP addresses, cities, states and countries mean different data centers which results in different search results.
Question #2: "How do I help my shop to appear higher in Google searches?"
The best way to do this is by doing your own research. What would your customers be searching for in Google if they wanted to see your item? Here is a neat tool that helps you come up with good keywords: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.
Okay, now what do you do with these keywords? You need to work them into your listing somehow -- usually in the title and the description. Etsy does have tags but most search engines put these tags very low on their list. So even if you tag all of your Etsy items Google will more than likely not even look at those tags. So you should focus on making your item titles and descriptions search engine friendly. Etsy tags are still useful for people searching the Etsy site but will not help with your Google results.
So, you say, why not make your titles and descriptions with every word possible so you get lots of Google results? Well, because it is a give and take relationship. If I make a long obnoxious title that allows my item to come up first on Google it will also more than likely result in annoyed customers on Etsy .. I mean, who wants to read a 10-word title? So you should find a nice middle ground.
Here is a good example:
You are listing a tetris magnet set and you use a title of "Tetris Magnet Set." A more search engine friendly title would be "Tetris Magnet Set, Handmade Perler Beads" and an obnoxious title would be "handmade tetris magnet set perler hama fun fridge nintendo".
Another important factor in Google searches is the number of people who actually visit and do not bounce from a website. If a site has high traffic and a low bounce rate then Google will list it higher in the search return. So you need to put your site out there -- advertising and promoting while at the same time aiming for a low bounce rate. Improving your keywords will help your bounce rate decrease because it will increase the chances that people who find your site through Google were actually looking for something like it.
Additionally, I find Craigslist to be a great tool in improving my rank in Google. You can post a link to your Etsy shop in your Craigslist add, and including keywords is common practice for most users.
Finally, if you are interested in being in Google Shopping results you need to set-up a Google Base Account. I have detailed instructions here: What is Google Base? How do I set it up?
Don't understand something I wrote about? Have a related question? Post a comment and I will be sure to answer it. Have an unrelated question? E-mail me, and I will feature it on my blog!