It's to do with 'keywords', words that people use to 'find' your shop or items for sale. If you can second guess what they might type in to the search bar on Google or somesuch, and make sure that word or phrase is in your title and description, then you stand a good chance of getting on the first one or two pages of that google search. In theory anyway. It gets horribly complicated the more you go into it. Not surprisingly there is a whole industry built around SEO with it's own gurus and ubergeeks to help you succeed. . . .
It all seems a world away from making nice things and trying to sell them. . .
But there is a way of finding what keywords are popular, or rather trying out your ones and seeing if anyone used those words in a Google search, and if so, how many did likewise. You can go to Google Adwords keyword planner and sign up (without having to spend anything), which gives you access to a text box in which to type your keyword or phrase. The number of searches using that phrase comes up in the results list. It's interesting stuff, with some words being madly popular and others drawing a big fat zilch. It's not always predictable and you will often find that your item title in Etsy has a lot of entirely unproductive words in it.
Then to get found on Etsy, you have to have keywords and phrases that people use on there too. You can test keywords by typing them into the search bar and seeing how many results come up. It tells you at the top of the page.
It all gets confusing because the phrases that got zilch on Google can often get you thousands of results on Etsy search. . .
example - 'Boho jewelry' 9,900 on Google - 267,000 results on Etsy
or - 'Rustic Necklace' 170 on Google - 30,000 results on Etsy
Not quite comparing like with like so I might be drawing wonky conclusions . . .
So really, I don't quite know where I am with all this. I'm giving it a go anyway. I'm trying to use some phrases for google and some for etsy in the titles of my items.
I guess the holy grail is to get people to your Etsy shop via Google, while at the same time making it easy for those who went straight there without your help, to find your stuff.
I think it takes a while for any changes to filter through the system Google wise, so I will just have to see if my views improve over the next week or three.
My brain hurts. . .