How to get free SEO data out of Etsy

I recently used the free tier of a third party website that takes Etsy data and does interesting things with it. I probably would have kept on using it, and maybe even upgraded if they’d kept the free tier useful, or charged a reasonable fee. But they didn’t.

See, I have no problem with developers charging for something. Adding value and providing a service is my day job after all. And when they do clever things with Etsy sales knowledge and add serious value, then that is worth every penny they want to charge for it (or if not then it’s worth slightly lower amount their competitors undercut them by…capitalism rocks after all \m/).

But their free tier wasn’t really added value. All they really did was pass a simple query to the Etsy RESTful API, pull back some data, do a bit of adding up and division, and output the results. Basic arithmetic isn’t added value. They got greedy.

So I thought ‘fuck it’. I know how to form those queries, and having played with PowerPivot in older versions of Microsoft Excel, I was keen to see what the new built-in PowerQuery functionality of Excel 2016 was capable of.

I registered for a developer account with Etsy, got my API key, had a quick read of the API documentation and passed a simple query through Excel looking for the tag ‘geek birthday card’ and pulled back some data that was never actually in the free tier either (including the views:favourites ratio (aka Fav%).

So for anyone else who wants that data and doesn’t want to pay $20 a month for the privilege, here’s how to do it – (warning, this is moderate to advanced stuff – I’m thinking of writing something to simplify it later on):

  1. Get Excel 2016, or if you have Excel 2010 or 2013 you’ll need to find, install and enable PowerPivot/PowerQuery. If you don’t know how to do this, find someone who does.
  2. Register on Etsy as a developer and get your API key.
  3. In Excel, start a new query from ‘Other Sources –> Web’ and submit the relevant URI with your API Key and search terms as parameters, and voila!

Let me know how you get on!

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