This post aims to help you with your Etsy keyword planning and keyword research. If you are unsure of what SEO and keywords mean, please look at this post, which explains it.
What is your reason for selling on Etsy?
If your answer is to take advantage of all the people already using Etsy, then researching your keywords is essential. This means a keyword planning strategy should be high up on your must-do list.
A Keyword planning strategy encompasses the routine you will follow to determine the best keywords to use for your chosen listing.
Why research your keywords.
Keywords are one of your most crucial marketing tools for your Etsy Shop. They are used to target people already browsing on Etsy; which means they are looking to buy something. This makes them the perfect people to target!
If you don’t use keywords properly you’ll have to rely on your own marketing to get visits to your shop. This will take a lot longer to see results.
Don’t get me wrong, other marketing methods are important to build a sustainable business. But keyword research is something you can do without too much effort when starting out.
What keywords should you use?
Aim your keywords directly at the search engine. They should say exactly what the item is and strive toward telling Etsy WHO or WHAT it’s for.
Your keywords are also the words that customers use to search for your product. This means you need to put yourself into your customer’s mind and use words they are likely to use.
Don’t fall into the trap of using words that you THINK they may use. If your customer is unlikely to know a technical term then don’t use it.
You increase your chances of being found by using a mixture of general (short tail keywords), and specific (long-tail keywords) search terms for your keywords.
Short-tail keywords are a broad description of what your item is, e.g.:
- Wall Art
The examples above are likely to be highly competitive, but they are terms to start with. If you concentrate on just these terms you will find it difficult to be found.
Your target keywords should be long-tail keywords that can encompass your short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific search terms and generally multiple words rather than just one word.
To find your long-tail keyword, think in terms of adjectives and the way your customers might naturally search for your listings. Adding descriptive words to your short-tail keywords is usually a good place to start, e.g.:
- Farmyard nursery wall art
- Indian silver turquoise bracelet
- Lavender vegan soap
You need to research the search numbers and competition for these long-tail keywords. This makes sure that they are worth using and pick 2 or 3 high searching and low competition long-tail keywords.
Repeating the same keyword over and over is not a good strategy. The algorithm can draw on any of the words you use in your title and tags that match the customer’s search. Don’t waste space with the same word (unless it is part of your chosen long-tail keywords). If you have it present once that is enough.
To avoid repeating words, I would recommend doing variations of the same keyword. This will increase your chances of showing up in a lot more searches.
How to start your keyword planning.
You know your listing better than anyone else. You know how it can be used, who it is for and what it looks, smells, tastes like. And this is the starting point for your keyword research.
Using these basic questions will give you an excellent basis to get you started with a list of possible keywords.
- What is it?
- Who is it for? Try to think of at least 3 types of customers who could be buying your product.
- What or where can it be used for? Try to think of at least 3 uses.
- How or what is it made of?
- What occasion is it for?
- Does it have a particular type of style?
- What colour/ flavour/ scent is it?
Once you have a collection of words to work with, you can begin to put together phrases that might give you some good long-tail keywords.
What do you use keyword planning tools for?
Once you have your list of words, you need to re-arrange them to find the best word combo. Using the correct word order to match what customers are already searching for is essential.
You use a keyword tool to help do one or more of the following:
- Help you come up with the right combination of words that are searched for by real people. Something that gives you suggestions of searches is useful to work out combinations of words that might make good long-tail keywords.
- Tell you how many times the keywords are searched for. You need to know the number of times that particular combination of words are searched to determine whether the keyword is worth using. Just swapping the word order can make a huge difference.
- Tell you how big the competition is. Knowing how many listings use the same keyword is vital to understand how easy it will be to get to the front page.
Using all of this information will help you determine the keyword’s quality and whether it is worth using.
Often it is a balance between all of these factors that make a good keyword. If the search numbers are high, but the competition is also high, it is probably better to focus on fewer searches with less competition.
You can find out all of the best free and paid for tools I use or are worth mentioning here.
What makes a great keyword.
Often, if you are in a popular niche, using the most popular keywords will result in getting no visits as you simply won’t be found. Yet if you target less common keywords, even though there may be fewer searches a month, you have a better chance of being seen.
For example, ‘wall art’ may be searched 1500 times a month but the competition is greater than 50k listings.
Unless you are on the first page, your listing is unlikely to be spotted amongst 50k listings.
Once the customer sees too many results returned, they will start to get specific in their search and could change ‘wall art’ to ‘nursery wall art’. This search might return 3000 listings but only be searched 500 a month, and 3000 listings are returned.
This is a more reasonable competition number. But again the customer might think this is still too many listings for them to look through. They may change their search to ‘farmyard nursery wall art’. This might result in returning 500 listings. But with only 150 searches a month, you might consider it not worthwhile.
However, in this last search, there will be a much better chance of the customer finding your listing and getting on the first page. So if you are concerned about the number of searches let me ask, if you got a sale for each of those 150 searches, is that a good result for you?
Finding the right keywords is a balance. To include your listings in relatively popular searches you should use targeted long-tail keywords. You must also use enough different words in your title and tags to ensure you are included in as many different searches as possible.
To help with the targeted keywords, you can use keyword planning tools to identify the volume of searches for the keyword and competition.
Where to use your keywords
Once you have your list of long-tail keywords you want to use for your listing, you need to make sure you place them in the best places to be found in Etsy.
There are the only two places on your listing that matter in Etsy search, your Title and your Tags:
Your title gives you 140 characters to play with. Make sure you populate it with your best 2-3 long-tail keywords.
Keep the title readable to a customer. You want it to make sense. Plus it appears on all of your customer receipts, etc. so making it a sensible sentence just helps clarity
Buyers only see your item’s first few characters of your listings title on the search page so pay attention to the first 40 characters. You want to make sure you’re telling them precisely what you’re offering them within those first few characters.
Your Listing Tags
Etsy gives you 13 tags to play with, each 20 characters long. This means you have a further 260 characters, in addition to your 140 characters from the title, to populate with keywords.
To tell Etsy what you want to be found for, copy the 2-3 long-tail keywords you used in your title directly into your tags. These should be repeated in the exact word order.
If your keyword phrases are too long for one tag, divide them into two tags and put them right next to each other, so the word order remains intact.
If you have any available space in your tags leftover, just add in as many of the words that you found as part of your research into the tags. You want to use as many of the 260 characters as possible while maintaining the correct word order of your chosen 2-3 long-tail keywords.
Etsy uses all of the words you have provided to try and match a customers search. It prefers exact word order matches, but if there are not enough exact matches (which is often the case with long-tail keyword searches), they will then display listings with the same words but not necessarily in the correct order. You want to make sure you provide enough variety of relevant terms so that Etsy includes you for lots of different searches.
With contextualisation and personalisation now coming into Etsy searches, the more words you can include in your title and tags the better, as it gives Etsy more opportunity to find you.
Remember, if you do not include the words used in the search bar in your titles and tags you will not included in a search.
Etsy does not use your listing description for Etsy SEO. However, Google may use it as part of their algorithm.
Let’s not get too excited about Google using it though. Etsy sends Google to market pages for specific keywords and not listings, so it is doubtful that you will be found by Google. That’s not to say you will not be found, and indeed, if you have a very good seller you may well be, but it’s not something you should be targeting.
That said if your long-tail keywords and the relevant words you have found accurately describe your listing then you should use them naturally within the description.
Use your description to tell the customer any other details about your listing. This should include details such as the shipping information, shop policies, and a detailed description about your listing.
The more your potential buyer can learn from your description, the better chance you will make a sale. Take a look at this post to find out the best way to write your descriptions.
Create Your Own Etsy Keyword planning strategy
Take everything you’ve learned so far and create your own unique Etsy Keyword planning strategy for your Etsy business.
Getting serious about how you target your Etsy SEO is one of the best steps you can take to start marketing your business.