Here's my checklist of 5 ways you can ensure you haven't left your shop in the past:
Etsy shop real estate
1.) Check all elements are up to date from your Shop Announcement to your profile, banner, and About page. Ensure everything is filled in, and there is no sign of last Christmas lurking in there! Try Canva.com for creating frrresh new graphics (they even have an Etsy shop banner template and shop icon!) Did you know that having a completed About page and Shop Policy can help your product rankings in search? Leave no stone unturned in your shop!
SEO (search engine optimisation) is ever important, so the first few words of each text section need to include powerful keywords. The challenge is to load the first sentence with strong, relevant keywords, while still appearing grammatically correct and readable!
Listing keywords and titles
2.) Get into the habit of regularly weeding out irrelevant keywords and titles for optimum relevancy. You don't want a whiff of Christmas in your listings as I doubt people are searching for festive items now (press usually do in July though, so bring back the holly and tinsel then.) You also don't want Mother's Day keywords at Christmas!
A list of mere keywords or words in capitals is NEVER,COOL,OK,THIS,IS,YOUR,PROFESSIONAL,SHOP! See what I mean? Does John Lewis do it? Hell no.
Using the same word or phrase in both your title AND as a keyword will rank that item higher in search for that specific term. I recommend doing this with a couple of keywords/phrases per listing, especially if the terms are highly searchable at the time e.g. in the run-up to Valentine's Day it's good practice to elevate your Valentine items as high in search as possible!
Make your titles descriptive while cohesive, with the most important words first (that people will search for, and that describe your item.) Here's an example of one of my own items with the current title. Notice how the title is jam-packed with relevant keywords, yet still reads as short sentences. It will show up in search results for queries such as 'funny card for wife', 'anniversary card for girlfriend', and most importantly to me: 'funny anniversary card'. That's the specific phrase I have chosen to target for this card.
The photography isn't amazing (do what I say, not what I do - ahem!), but my point is that in one image I've shown what the product is, and the scale of the card. You can also include materials and tools to show how it was made.